Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 Year End Book Wrap Up and Recap

I expected 2019 would be the year of rereads, and I did reread 14 this year. Of the total read, I have discovered new books I definitely would like to reread in the future.

Here are books I read in 2019:

FICTION (10)

Miller: Caroline
Wharton: The Age of Innocence (reread)
Forster: A Room With a View
Cervantes: Don Quixote (reread)
Crane: Red Badge of Courage (reread)
Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge
Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale (reread)
Wharton: Ethan Frome
Wharton: The House of Mirth (reread)
Kovaciny: Blizzard at Three Bears Lake

*Still reading, but almost done...
Melville: Moby-Dick (a reread)

Almost every single book on this list was exceptional and memorable and, if possible, I would reread (again, in some cases), except maybe Caroline. I am still mulling over it.

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR (8)

Ten Boom: The Hiding Place (reread)
Stewart: Letters of a Woman Homesteader
Wurmbrand: Tortured for Christ (reread)
Hillman: I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree
Bainton: Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (reread)
Stewart: Letters on an Elk Hunt
Newzad: My Journey to America
Moore: Inside Out

Excellent stand-out reads here are The Hiding Place, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, and Lilac Tree (for short). Inside Out, Demi Moore's autobiography, was a tragic modern day Lily Bart story. So sad. But at least Moore is still alive.

SORT OF SELF HELP (3)

Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People
Thomas: Change Me
Ross: Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners

HISTORY (8)

Paine: Common Sense (reread)
Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Tocqueville: Democracy in America  (reread)
Marx/Engles: The Communist Manifesto (reread)
Eusebius: The History of the Church
DuBois: The Souls of Black Folk
Guerber: The Story of the Great Republic

Of my history reads, Gibbon's blew me away. But I am pretty sure I will never commit myself to it again.

OTHER NONFICTION (7)

Schaeffer: A Christian Manifesto
Fraser: Prairie Fires
McDowell: The World of Laure Ingalls Wilder
Wiker: The Mystery of the Periodic Table
DeMille: A Thomas Jefferson Education (reread)
Bonhoeffer: God is in the Manger
Bonnett: The True Saint Nicholas

The YA science book, Mystery of the Periodic Table, was fascinating. Fraser's Prairie Fires is like a history/biography, but more like a personal hit piece; it was really intense, though I won't read it again.

PLAYS (3)

Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
Othello
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Of course, Midsummer is amusing, but Othello was my favorite of these three; albeit, quite bloody.

JUVENILE/YA (15)

Uncle Tom's Cabin Young Folks Edition
Cousins: The Boy in the Alamo
Hinton: The Outsiders
Gatty: Parables of Nature
Beesly: Stories From the History of Rome
Curtis: Bud, Not Buddy
Yehoshua: The Story of Crime and Punishment
Carroll: Alice in Wonderland (reread)
Robinett: Forty Acres and a Mule
Smith: The Story of Antigone
Freedman: Children of the Wild West
McCauge: When Cowboys Rode the Chisholm Trail
Medearis: The Princess of the Press: The Story of Ida B. Wells
Coe: The Story of Gulliver
Estes: The Hundred Dresses

If you have children, check out the young edition classics (Crime and Punishment, Antigone, Gulliver) because they are well done, and you have to introduce the classics to your kids. I also enjoyed The Story of Ida B. Wells and look forward to reading more about her in adult formats.

BAILED (4)

Rushdie: The Satanic Verses
Burckhardt: Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (TWEM History)
Wallace: Ben Hur
Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo

Satanic Verses was too cryptic for enjoyable reading and Civilization of the Renaissance was dull and repetitive. I get it...the Italian Renaissance was politically corrupt! And also bloody. I read halfway through Ben Hur and about a third of the way through The Count of Monte Cristo, and neither kept my interest. I had to give them up.

TOTAL READ: 54 BOOKS

Forty was my goal, but from now on fifty will be a safe number for me. I read a lot of books with my kids, and those count.

Unfortunately, I lost inspiration to write later in the year, and several of my books have not been reviewed. The history portion of TWEM has been a disappointment maybe. Oh, well. Carry on.

Overall, I discovered several great new reads, and reread old favorites. It was still a good reading year.

~
How about you: 
Did you discover new favorites? 
Did you surpass your goal? 
Do you see any on my list that you want to read next year? 

12 comments:

Marian H said...

Much respect for reading Gibbon and Tocqueville in the same year! Those are neither light nor short...

I consider the Wollstonecraft Readalong to have been a highlight of the year. There was so much to unpack in that book!

Silvia said...

Wow. Congratulations on a good year of reading. You did some heavy weight reads and rereads. Love to see those titles you read with your children.

Looking forward to our plans for 2020. And I too went through a stage of not being so inspired to write, though the inspiration came back.

I have the feeling that I would have left the same books you did.

Cleo @ Classical Carousel said...

Wow, you did a wonderful job! Your reading seems to be getting more diverse. Are you enjoying that approach? I've been inadvertently diversifying by simplifying (reading Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, John Buchan, etc.) On one hand I enjoy it, on another I miss my more complex reads. And I had lots of re-reads which on one hand I like and on the other I lament all the books I've never-read that I didn't read because of them. Ah, a year of conflict. Oh well, next will be better. Happy reading in 2020!

James said...

Tremendous list of great reads for the year. I share with you a decline in my reviews, but keep up the good reading.

Ruth said...

Marian: Thank you. This is true about Wollstonecraft. I think I had too high expectation leading up to the read, that it wasn't as impactful when I did read it. However, when I fanned through it the other night, as I was rearranging my shelves, I saw how much I wrote in the book, and realized it did capture so much of my attention. There was a lot it in to think about.

Silvia: Thank you. I do love using "reading to the kids" to cover some of my classics and rereads. It's a healthy excuse, and it introduces them to good books, too. Yes, looking forward to our read-along. We'll need to discuss some details earlier in the new year.

Cleo: Thank you. About my diverse reading...you have no idea how that bothers me. I really like everything to be related and connected, which is why I prefer chronological. I want so badly to go through my books and group them by topic and date (either published or setting) and read them accordingly; however, I have not done it. So jumping around makes me feel uneasy. Weird, huh? But I totally agree about the rereads....while they are so essential to reading, I too think about how many new books I could have covered in their place.

James: Thank you. I realize it happens to many bloggers throughout the year. But as long as we keep reading, that's what matters!

Cleo @ Classical Carousel said...

"you have no idea how that bothers me"

Lol! The perils of immersing yourself in The Well-Educated Mind and discovering its benefits! I know EXACTLY what you mean! How dearly I would like to stay with just Greeks for the year, or just Russians or even classic mysteries. But I tend to get pulled in all sorts of directions. Reading with people is important to me because I find I get more out of the book. So I cave ..... I might even join you for the 100 Years read which is so far away from my usual reading choice. We'll see ....

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

Well done!
I managed to read 1133 books so far (my goal was 100), and should be able to finish 2 more. I have definitely discovered new favorites, I will post about them at the beginning of January.
I plan to read The Satanic Verses, as I was blown away by his recent Quichotte

Laurie @ RelevantObscurity said...

I am so impressed with your nonfiction choices. So many are the ones I feel I 'should' read. I need to read more nf...sigh...and so many other genres. Congratulations on a great year!

Ruth said...

Emma: Thank you. You meant 113, right? :D I might be willing to read Quichotte. I'm still determined to try something from Rushdie.

Laurie: Thank you. I think if you want to stick to fiction, that is what you should read. In reading for pleasure, we are at liberty to read what we want. I committed myself to reading TWEM, and that is the only reason I am reading so much history right now.

Jillian said...

50 is a great reading year! I only read 32 this year. :P

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

You have such a nice mix of hefty and light, solemn and fun. No wonder we get along well.

I'm so honored to see my name up there too! :-D That's such a thrill.

Ruth said...

Jillian: While we all like to read as much as we can, I suppose it is better to look at what we read and if it enriched our lives any; that would be a better determinant of how well we read in a year. And I'm sure you read some great books last year.

Hamlette: It's my pleasure! I enjoy your delightful writing style and story-telling. I get right in with the character and visualize every detail. It's truly fun reading!