It is (almost) officially three quarters of the way through 2019, which means I have three months left to accomplish my goals for the year. So far, I’ve been doing pretty well, but let’s see how well I’ve actually been doing. And exactly how much I need to get to before the end of the year.
My 2019 Reading List:
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. This was one of the first books I read this year, and I liked it. I was a little disappointed (I had pretty high expectations based on how gorgeous the cover is), but I still thought it was a solid historical fiction novel.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I really enjoyed this one. I found it to be a great discussion about race relations in the US. I particularly loved that the story was so focused on just a few characters, but still managed to get its point across.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I loved this one! I am so glad I finally read it, because it is definitely a new favorite. I liked the movie adaptation, too.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I didn’t love this one as much as everyone else seemed to, but I did enjoy it. I think my issue was that I feel second-hand awkwardness pretty hard, and it’s difficult for me to love a book that makes me cringe for a week straight. Still a good book, though.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I didn’t love this one. I think the hype might have ruined it for me. But it wasn’t a favorite.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. I didn’t love this one quite as much as Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci biography, but I still loved it. I listened to the audiobook, and I think the fact that it was narrated by Edward Herrmann (aka Richard Gilmore) made it that much better.
Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium by Gerit Quealy. This isn’t quite what I was expecting – it’s literally a collection of Shakespeare quotes that mention plants, accompanied by illustrations – but it was interesting.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. I loved this one. I read it very early on this year, and I already kind of want to read it again.
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. I really enjoyed this one, and liked learning more about octopuses. They’re fascinating creatures.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I can appreciate how books like this are important, but this one didn’t have as big an impact on my as I thought it would. It was good, it just wasn’t a must-read for me.
How Am I Doing?
I was afraid The Goldfinch would keep my from finishing this list, but I did it and I loved it. And, as of this month, I have completed my 2019 reading list! (I didn’t even realize it until just now.) Let’s hope next year goes just as well!
My Five-Star Predictions:
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I loved this one so much! I still think about it often. Definitely five stars. Also one of my new favorite books.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Another five star read. I just love biographies. And Einstein. And Walter Isaacson.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I am planning on reading this in November, because I think it will make a great read when the weather is cooler. (My reading moods change with the weather, okay?)
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Loved this one! Not a huge surprise given that the person who recommended it to me also recommended The Pillars of the Earth. Five stars!
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. And this one was (a very low) four stars. I liked it, but it generally wasn’t my cup of tea.
How Am I Doing?
I have one book left to read, and so far I’ve rated three out of four five stars. So my predictions were fairly accurate. (I’m already struggling to come up with five-star predictions for next year.)
2019 Reading Goals:
Continue Reading (At Least) One Nonfiction Book a Month. I have definitely read at least one nonfiction book a month. But I have fallen a bit behind on my more ambitious goal of reading 25% nonfiction. I’m currently at around 24% so still not terrible. I think I might be able to hit it by the end of the year.
Finish the Complete Works of Shakespeare Before I Turn 30. I actually accomplished this one! Including reading all the sonnets. It felt great, but it was also kind of weird to not have any Shakespeare left to read. Check out my ranking of all Shakespeare’s plays to see what I thought of them all!
Read More Lesser Known Books. This one is actually quite a bit harder to judge than I thought, but I think I’m doing pretty well. I’d say at least 20% of the books I’ve read this year have been a bit more obscure (books I haven’t really heard anyone else talking about). Not bad.
Read More Diverse Books. I’m at about 25% diverse books so far this year, which could be a lot better, but is still up from 20% at my last goals check in. So that’s good, right?
Stop Being Afraid of Big Books. I think I’m doing fairly well with this one. Not only have I read eight big books that scared me, I have officially beat my record for most pages read in a single year (currently over 45,000) without exceeding my record for most books read. So that’s a win. I’m also planning on reading a very large book next month (you’ll have to check out my October Reading List post to find out which one), so I think I am definitely facing my fear, if not getting over it.
Read 100 Books. I definitely accomplished this one! As of my writing this, I have read 127 books so far this year (and maybe one more before this post goes up).
How Am I Doing?
For the most part, I’m happy with how I’ve been doing with all of my reading goals. There are a few I can work on during the last few months of the year, but I’m actually pretty impressed with myself.
How are you doing with your reading goals this year? Is there anything you definitely want to accomplish before 2019 is over?