2019: my reading year in review

I love tracking my reading and compiling my stats at the end of the year. 2019 was an excellent reading year for me. I finished 210 books, and an amazing 46 of those were 5-star reads and another 112 were 4-star reads for me. So many good books! My top 19 of 2019 are shown above, but here are some highlights.

Favorite audiobook of the year: The Stand by Stephen King, narrated by Grover Gardner.

An epic story, fantastically read. It was like listening to a movie (for 46 hours).

Favorite new-to-me author of the year: Susan Fletcher.

The Highland Witch was one of my first books of the year, and I loved it so much that I went looking for more.

Favorite classic of the year: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.

Such a gorgeous book; it made me nostalgic for a time way before I was born.

Favorite fantasy of the year: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

So lovely and magical. I’m still thinking about it months later.

Favorite post-apocalyptic of the year that was not The Stand: Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich.

I love Erdrich’s writing, but I was not prepared for how good this book was.

Favorite historical fiction of the year: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton.

My love affair with Morton’s lush writing and fantastic characters continues.

Favorite #1001BooksToReadBeforeYouDie book of the year: The Cider House Rules by John Irving.

I have such an inappropriate author crush on this guy, and it has everything to do with his magical stories and characters.

Favorite NetGalley ARC of the year: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nahisi Coates.

I started NetGalley over the summer, was thrilled to get this one, and then completely blown away by it.

Favorite new release of 2019: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.

Despite the buzz, I had no plans to read this until a friend sent it for postal book club. One of the absolute best books I read all year.

These selections really just touch on what I read, but fortunately I have lots of stats to evaluate as well, thanks to my slightly obsessive tracking and my monster book spreadsheet.

Just the tip of iceberg…

Audiobooks comprised the majority of my reading: 143 of my 210 books were audio (68%). I love that audio helps me get through more excellent books each year than I normally would be able to. I love that audiobooks free me up to ‘read’ while I cook, clean, drive, exercise, etc, and I don’t feel I’m wasting nearly as much time watching mindless television as I used to.

Some stats I’m happy about:

  • The majority of the authors I read were women (68%).
  • I finished 38 books from the #1001books list.
  • I saved $2,376 by using the library.
  • I finished FIVE different annual reading challenges, and used different books for each of the 138 prompts.

Some stats I’m not crazy about:

  • I spent $238 on new books for myself, despite owning 674 tbr books at the beginning of the year. 😬
  • My unread tbr count on 1/1/2019 was 674. My unread tbr count on 12/31/2019 was 715. Whoopsie.
  • I didn’t read nearly enough books from POC authors. I thought I was doing well on that front, but ended up only 16% of total books read by non-white authors. I plan to watch these stats more closely throughout 2020 and do much better.

All in all, I’m happy with my reading year. I read some great books, joined NetGalley, interacted with wonderful bookish people on Litsy, started this blog, and overall just enjoyed books and life.

On to 2020!

Until next time,