We’re officially a quarter of the way through the year! I set myself some pretty big goals for the year. So I thought I’d be interesting to take a look and see how I’m doing. Because there’s still enough time to catch up (without freaking out) if I’m not doing as well as I want to be.
Today, I’m going to take a look at my 2019 reading list, my reading goals for the year, and my five-star predictions. This is going to be a long post, so let’s get right into it!
My 2019 Reading List:
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. I read this and I really enjoyed it. I had pretty high expectations going in – I think it was the cover that did it – and was a little bit disappointed. I still thought it as good, just not amazing.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Haven’t read this one yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Haven’t read this one yet, either, and I’m kind of scared. It’s a big book.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I’m hoping to get to this one soon!
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I read it and… I didn’t love it. I thought I would – it had all the elements I like, but, together, it just didn’t work for me.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Read it and loved it! Going to read all of Isaacson’s books now…
Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium by Gerit Quealy. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this one, but it was a fun read. It’s basically illustrations of all the plants mentioned in Shakespeare, along with quotes where said plant is mentioned. It was interesting, but probably only if you really love Shakespeare. (The illustrations are beautiful, though.)
Becoming by Michelle Obama. Read and loved this one, too! Are we surprised?
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. I haven’t gotten to this one yet, but I’m planning on reading it in the next month or two. I have high hopes for this one.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I did read this one, and thought it was good. Not amazing, but definitely worth reading.
How Am I Doing?
Really well! A little over three months into the year, and I’ve read six of the ten books on my reading list, including all but one of my nonfiction picks! I don’t want to jinx it, but I have high hopes for the rest of this list.
My Five-Star Predictions:
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I haven’t read this one yet, but I did pick up the audiobook. I’m hoping it’ll be less intimidating than the physical book. This book scares me, but also, I do think I’m going to love it.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. (There is some overlap with my 2019 Reading List, so bear with me). Read it, loved it. FIVE STARS. To be honest, I didn’t love it quite as much as Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci, but I think that’s just due to the fact that physics is slightly less interesting to me than art. The biography itself is great.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m waiting until I’m in the right mood for some WWII historical fiction. Because I’m sure this will make me cry.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I’m so upset it took me so many years to read this book. Because I LOVED it. So, so good. This’ll probably end up on a favorites list this year. FIVE STARS.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Obviously, I had very high hopes for this book. So many people have read it and loved it. And I just wasn’t feeling it. For the first few chapters, I was convinced this would be a five-star read. Then it slowed down, and I just wasn’t that excited to pick it up anymore. I debated my rating of this for a long time, but, ultimately, this was a low four-star read for me. Not bad, but I didn’t love it.
How Am I Doing?
A week ago, I would have happily reported that I was two for two with my five-star predictions. But then I finished The Shadow of the Wind. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t love it. But I am happy Einstein and A Gentleman in Moscow both turned out to be five-star reads. They’re both really great, and I’m curious to see what I think of the other two books on this list.
2019 Reading Goals:
Continue Reading (At Least) One Nonfiction Book a Month. Definitely still doing this, and I’ve been loving it! I’ve read so many great nonfiction books so far this year. My ultimate goal is to read around 25% nonfiction this year, and I’m currently at about 28%, which is awesome.
Finish the Complete Works of Shakespeare Before I Turn 30. Definitely on track for this! I have about two months, and two plays to go. I’m thinking about trying to finish the plays before Shakespeare’s birthday at the end of this month, but we’ll see. Might be a good idea to attempt it because I still need to read the sonnets.
Read More Lesser Known Books. So far, I’ve read three books this year that aren’t very well known and also aren’t new releases. Which isn’t bad, considering I wasn’t going to concentrate on this that much until after I finish my Shakespeare project. But I definitely have a few on my list for the second part of the year.
Read More Diverse Books. I’m not doing terribly with this goal – I’m around 35% or so – but I could do better. To be fair, I think part of the problem is that I’ve been reading a fair amount of English classics, which aren’t very diverse in general (I’m closer to 45% diverse if I don’t count the classics).
Stop Being Afraid of Big Books. I’m still afraid of them, but I’m conquering that fear. I did read a biography of Einstein. And, as I write this, I’m currently in the middle of Vanity Fair, which I’ve put off reading for years. I’m not going to read ALL the big books this year, but I’m trying not to let length put me off anymore.
Read 100 Books. Definitely on track! As of my writing this post, I’ve read 44 books, and am 19 books ahead of schedule. I have my fingers crossed I can keep this up!
How Am I Doing?
I think I’m doing pretty well! I’m really happy with my nonfiction reading for the year and my progress with my Shakespeare reading project. But I do want to work on reading more diverse books this year.
Did you set yourself reading goals for this year? How are you doing so far? (Don’t worry, we still have time to catch up!)
Also, let me know if you’re interested in seeing these posts a few times a year! I think it’d be interesting to see how well I’m progressing as the year goes on, but that might just be me.