2019: My Year in Books!

Posted January 8, 2020 by Amber in Checking In / 4 Comments

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Good morning everyone!  How has the beginning of 2020 gone for everyone so far?  Has everyone stuck to their New Years Resolutions?  I’m rubbish at resolutions, if I’m being completely honest, but one of my big ones this year is to take better care of myself physically – sleep, hydration, diet, etc.  I mean, most people have that, right?  Here’s hoping that I can keep to it, and you all are doing amazingly on your resolutions as well!

Every year, I do a bit of a review on my blog to look at all the reading I did in the previous year, inspired by and edged forward by Goodreads’ “Year in Books” feature.  Last year, I went all out and used a lot of pie charts which was fun… this year, since I just updated my backend database, I haven’t had time to verify all my data is correct, so I won’t be doing that.  BUT.  There’s still a lot of fun stuff to see.  Pie charts next year, I promise! 😉

Pages Read

At 63,262 pages, this is almost 10k more than last year!  This would be a whole lot more impressive if most of these were not audiobooks!  Still, all combined, that’s a lot of time reading and listening to amazing stories.  I think this number comes mostly from an increased number of books, rather than reading longer books.  I read 29 more books this year than I did last year.

Still, I’m quite happy with this.  Maybe I’ll hit 200 next year?  Still, I’m keeping my goal to a healthy 100.

Longest and Shortest

I am not surprised that Harry Potter: The Prequel popped up for the shortest book this year… in all truth, that one felt a bit like cheating when I added it to my list.

The Return of the King, though?  I didn’t realize it was as long as it is.  I suppose in all fairness, it does feel like an awfully long book!  This is one of those moments where I’m realizing exactly how many books I readjust year and how long a year could seem, because I didn’t realize that my reread of The Lord of the Rings was just last year.  Oy!  While I do recommend trying the series, it’s not one I’m going to reread again for a while.

Popularity Contest

I am not at all surprise that nearly six million reviews are logged for The Hunger Games… but wow.  It outruns the Lord of the Rings series, and honestly, with how much chatter there is in the community about other books (like Illuminae) sometimes it’s easy to forget that The Hunger Games is still immensely popular – a classic.  Are you excited for the prequel coming this year?

As for Pirate Queen – not very surprising that this was not very popular.  This was an ARC I received from Candlewick, and a graphic novel at that.  While I am grateful for the review copy and I always like pirate books… it wasn’t that remarkable of a read.

My Average Rating

This is the same as last year!  Generally speaking, I do enjoy the books I read.  Especially because if I don’t like them, I DNF them.  You won’t catch many 1 star reviews on this blog, unless I am truly incensed or if the book is really short.  Too many books, too little time!  As Goodreads doesn’t account for half stars, it is actually probably a little lower than this.  I round up for Goodreads.

My Highest Rated

This was unexpected (though not undeserving) and I’m happy to see this book getting so much love on Goodreads!  I’m jus disappointed that we’re still waiting for book 3, but so are all the other fans of the Kingkiller Chronicle.  The Wise Man’s Fear was good, but not quite as good as The Name of the Wind.  Regardless!  This is a series I recommend easily – it’s very good.

My Favorites By Month

12 books found

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★½

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

This is always one of the most difficult!  There are a lot of books I really liked that I read all at the same time.  In June, I couldn’t decide between Spin the DawnMarilla of Green GablesShip of Magic, and The Storm Crow… so I went with The Storm Crow because I feel like I haven’t featured it very often, but it was excellent.

Also… there are definitely re-reads on this list.  Both Tess of the Road and The Hunger Games were indulgent re-reads, but I loved them both so much.  Still.

My Least Favorites By Month (Not Including DNFs)

12 books found

★½

★★½

★½

★★★

★★

★★★½

★★★

★★★½

★★

★★★

★★★

A lot of these books aren’t bad books… but they did not meet my expectations or sort of bummed me out.  For example, take War Girls.  The first part of this book was so, deliciously good.  But after that, it got stiff and uninteresting.  I wanted so much to love the book, but the more I read, the more bored I became.  So these books aren’t necessarily “bad” books, just ones that let me down somehow.

This Year’s DNFs

Some books don’t quite make th cut for me to keep reading them, especially because I’ve been straddling over 1000 books on my TBR for a couple years now. I know a lot of bloggers aren’t a big fan of DNFs, but I’m in that other camp – if there’s nothing there to hold my attention, then I bid the book adieu.

I started off this year really well – I didn’t DNF anything until the late-ish summer!

2019’s Most Popular Post

Hands down, my most popular post last year was a bit of a musing, unplanned piece I wrote about the importance of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and why I believe every fantasy lover should give the books a go.  I still get hits every day on Why You Should Read Lord of the Rings (Even Though It’s a Bit of a Chore).  Posted in February, I felt a bit like a hypocrite as this post continues to garner attention… because I finished a LotR re-read last year, and I was so bored.

Simply put, that series is not for everyone.  But for development of the genre?  So important.

2019’s Most Popular Review

I’m very pleased to say that my most popular review last year was House of Salt and Sorrows!  This book was absolutely fantastic and I’m so happy I was able to share my experience of it with everyone, and that so many of you went on to pick up this book or at least add it to your TBR.

Honestly?  My ARC reviews don’t usually get a lot of hits until they’ve been out for a while, if at all.  I was surprised and pleased to see so much love for this book when it first came out, and it is so well deserved.  Erin A. Craig has a fan in me.

All the books

178 finished books and XX DNFs!  If you missed any reviews or want to look back and squee about any of 2019’s reads together – I am so in!  You can use the navigation under the grid to flip through the books.  Otherwise, tell me all about your year of reading! <3

183 books found

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★

★★★★½

★★★★★

★★★★½

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★

★★★

★★★★★

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★½

★★

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

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4 responses to “2019: My Year in Books!

  1. Ahh you’ve had such a good reading year, so many books read and such a good average, too, yay! I see Strange The Dreamer on your favorites’ list, I really really need to get to this book eventually, I keep hearing about it ahah 🙂
    I hope 2020 will be an incredible reading year! <3

    • Amber

      Same – I heard about Strange the Dreamer FOREVER before I finally read it. I will say that it is very long and meandering, with a lot of pretty language before anything actually happens. It worked for me, in part because the narrator, Steve West, was excellent at pulling me in. I’m not sure if I would have loved it as much in hardcopy (though I intend to find out!).

      Here’s to reading all the best books in 2020! <3

  2. As a Tolkien fan, please indulge me as I hone in on one aspect of this post, haha. I usually reread The LotR every year (though in 2019 I read The History of Middle-Earth instead). I read a one volume edition. The pages are thin and the font is small, so it’s about the same length as your edition of RotK 😛 I went back and read your ‘why you should read’ post. I love that you see the value in reading the books even though they aren’t your favourite.

    • Amber

      Jenna I am happy to indulge you eternally. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I originally read a one-volume edition of LotR as well! In retrospect, I’m not sure how I got through it. I loved the edition I had, but it was not an easy read. And I so deeply wish I enjoyed them as much as so many people – one of my dear friends is a Tolkien devotee. 🙂 But objectively… he did SO much for the genre and the series is *very* good, storytelling-wise. Popular writing styles ebb and flow, and language has simplified since Tolkien, which makes going back difficult for many readers (including myself)… but I have SO much respect for his craft.

      I’m glad you enjoy them and read them every year! Are you going to do another re-read this year, or are you thinking about delving more into the extended canon?