What a year it has been! A year full of incredible stories, new adventures, dark moments but also newfound courage. I am so thankful for each and every second of 2019, even the ones where I was lost in the darkest and most horrifying corridors of my mind, because I’ve learnt so much about myself. I’ve had several episodes of severe health anxiety and books where my only comfort and distraction. They helped me build bridges onto the other side and gave me the courage to walk towards a life full of possibilities.
I didn’t read as many books as I did last year mostly because I wanted to focus on the larger books on my shelves and naturally they do take a lot of time to read! And while some were a tad disappointing, I do consider 2019 as one of my best reading years. I have discovered new authors, reaffirmed my love for classics and reread some old favourites.
Number of books read: 72 [Goodreads Reading Challenge: 70]
Number of reread books: I reread a total of 13 books, 7 of which where the Harry Potter books. I think my favourite rereads (apart from Harry Potter obviously!) were The Secret History and The Diviners. Opinions and perspectives change over time and there’s a huge possibility that I might not enjoy a book the second time round. Thankfully I adored these books even more and I felt even more connected with the story and the characters!
Genres most read: In my reading journal I keep note of the genres that I read both as a form of record but also as an incentive for me to read more books out of my comfort zone. While the majority of what I read are fiction books, this year I did read 15 non-fiction books, which personally is quite a feat considering how I used to avoid them like the plague a few years ago. I also read 25 classics and next year I want to double that number! The rest of the books I read were mostly historical fiction and fantasy, with a few mysteries and literary fiction mixed in.
Longest book read: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo [1456 pages]
Shortest book read: The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton [48 pages]
Top 10 Books: While these are in no particular order, I do concede that Les Misérables was one of the most impactful and compelling book that I’ve read this year. It’s the kind of book that needs time and patience but the experience is definitely rewarding. Not only did it induce me to learn more about French history, particularly the French revolution and the subsequent June rebellion, but it also taught me so much about forgiveness, love, and social justice. Enjolras has made it onto the list of my top favourite characters and I like him especially for his passionate belief in democracy and freedom. I do want to reread Lss Mis someday, but in the meantime I’ll keep on rewatching the film adaptation. Although not necessarily flawless in the way the storyline was handled, the music and choice of casting definitely make up for it!
- Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara [review]
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern [review]
- The Diviners by Libba Bray (or the series as a whole)
- This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- Spring by Ali Smith
- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
- New favourite authors I discovered this year:
Hannah Kent: I’ve had Burial Rites and The Good People sitting on my shelves gathering dust for quite a while and I thought it was high time to finally read one of them. I had no idea that Burial Rites would become one of my favourite books! Hannah Kent has such a beautiful way with words and in Burial Rites she managed to depict 19th century Iceland in such a beautiful and atmospheric way. It was truly wonderful and exquisite and I’m looking forward to read more of her work.
Thomas Hardy: Far From the Madding Crowd was my first Hardy book and I’m definitely planning on reading more of his work. I absolutely loved his lengthly descriptions of nature and the surroundings, and I usually find such excessive detail tedious and unnecessary. My next read will probably be Tess of the D’Urbervilles or the Woodlanders.
Hanya Yanagihara: This author broke my heart while reading A Little Life, and I am ready for my heart to be broken again if need be because her character study and the way she makes you feel involved in a story is definitely worth crying over. The People in the Trees will definitely be on my to-read list next year.
These are all of the books that I’ve read this year:
I hope you had a wonderful reading year! Wishing you loads to love, happiness and good health for 2020 x