Reading Roundup: 2019

My reading totals for 2019 are right on track with trends from the last few years (here is 2018's post). I read a total of 110 books--averaging around 8 books most months, with heavy reading in the spring when I worked on Whitney books. I didn't participate in any reading challenges this year after all, since the one I completed before was from a local used bookstore and I had a hard time spending my prize gift certificate (turns out I don't really like buying books, and used bookstores make it hard to find anything I want to actually have in my house). I did notice that I read more young adult books this year, which is something I had gotten away from during the last few years.

I was not surprised to find that I had read 87 books by women, 21 books by men, and 2 by multiple authors. I read a lot of fiction, and the genres I favor tend to have more female authors. I also read several adult categories for the Whitneys and they were all heavily female. Additionally, there were several authors and series that I discovered this year and read multiples of their books (Dervla McTiernan, Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series, Ruth Ware, and Mackenzie Lee).

This year I read 82 fiction books, 27 nonfiction books, and 1 book of poetry. That's also right on track with previous years' trends. I like fiction and it is often faster to read, which accounts for part of the difference in the numbers. Also, reading four categories for the Whitneys accounts for 20 works of fiction. I do want to read more poetry books this year and have set a goal to read at least one a month.

In no particular order, my favorite books from this year were:

Fiction:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller
Throw Me to the Wolves by Patrick McGuiness
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Lovely War by Julie Berry
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips


Nonfiction:

Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books by Edward Wilson-Lee
Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness by W. Paul Reeve

Movies:

I wrote down 48 movies that I watched last year, although I know I didn't include some that I'd already seen multiple times, especially when I watched them with the kids. For various reasons last year I didn't make it to the theater to see new movies as much as I would have liked. I've started to rely on streaming services a lot more than I used to, even though I have access to two libraries with excellent DVD collections. Unfortunately I've also used my streaming access to watch a lot of television during my free time. My goal for 2020 is to be more deliberate with what I watch and to finally get around to some of the things I've had on my "I want to watch that" list for a while. That being said, last year I did watch some excellent films (and two limited series):


Black Panther
Eighth Grade
They Shall Not Grow Old
Cold War
A Quiet Place
Always Be My Maybe
A Separation
The Farewell
Boyhood
Marriage Story
When They See Us
American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson

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