Books Read: 2019

STATS:

  • Books Read: 82 (+13 from last year!)
  • Most books in a month: March (9, I think due to a particularly badly-managed library holds list!)
  • Fewest books in a month: May/December (5 in each, makes sense as both were super busy/full of travel)
  • Percentage of library books: 62%, but a good number of the other 38% were from my local little free library, so that sort of counts as a library book??

TOP 20 BOOKS (FICTION)

I seriously couldn’t narrow it down to 15 this year! All of these hold a place in my heart! Agh!

The list below is arranged by when I chronologically read the books, not as a ranked list, but I’ve left the number of asterisks the same as when I added them to the list (a.k.a. some have an extra asterisk or three, which means I was EXTRA ENTHUSED when they went on).

It’s been a good year for books, pals! Also, I think I’ll try to include a little note with my starred books next year…I don’t have the energy to go back & do it this year, but if you want to know why I loved the the following 20 (well, actually 21, but #11’s books are part of a series so I mused them into the same line) books, I will be happy to tell you!

  1. Semiosis – Sue Burke*
  2. Uprooted – Naomi Novik****
  3. The Only Harmless Great Thing – Brooke Bolander**
  4. The Changeling – Victor Lavalle**
  5. The Grimoire of Kensington Market – Lauren B. Davis*
  6. The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline*
  7. Moon of the Crusted Snow – Waubgeshig Rice*
  8. Binti: The Complete Trilogy – Nnedi Okorafor*
  9. Freshwater – Akwaeke Emezi*
  10. The Hunger – Alma Katsu*
  11. A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet / A Close & Common Orbit – Becky Chambers*
  12. Washington Black – Esi Edugyan**
  13. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories – Tove Jansson**
  14. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik*
  15. This Is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mothar & Max Gladstone*
  16. Middlegame – Seanan McGuire*
  17. Mrs. Caliban – Rachel Ingalls**
  18. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng*
  19. Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente*
  20. Dead Astronauts – Jeff Vandermeer*

*A special note 1: I have also been recommending Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez to anyone who wants a bunch of v. good spooky short stories & one UTTERLY TERRIFYING ONE. It did not make the above list because that one story gave me nightmares for a full week & still makes me extra-scared of the dark. But read it! If you are either SUPER TOUGH or like being scared out of your skull!

*A special note 2: I sincerely enjoyed reading The Terror (with some caveats), but have since learned that the author is…not a great human, so I bumped the book down to this note? Because I am still grappling with that whole ‘death of the author’ thing & what I think about it, I guess??


TOP 7 BOOKS (NON-FICTION)

I tried to read more non-fiction this year and mostly learned that I’m much pickier when it comes to non-fic books (but I found some really great ones nevertheless). Special mentions go to The Mummy Congress for changing the way I think about the study/display of mummies & The Tiger for being so much more than I expected it to be.

  1. The Royal Art of Poison – Eleanor Herman*
  2. Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley – Charlotte Gordon*
  3. Columbine – Dave Cullen*
  4. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance & Survival – John Valliant*
  5. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death – Caitlin Doughty*
  6. The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead – Heather Pringle*
  7. Fear on the Family Farm – Jana G. Pruden*

ALL 47 OF THE BOOKS I PUT STARS ON THIS YEAR (which means I liked about 57% of the books I read more than just a little…which is a pretty great ratio, I think!)

  1. The Mere Wife – Maria Dahvana Headley*
  2. Semiosis – Sue Burke*
  3. The Secret Lives of Color – Kassia St. Clair*
  4. Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach – Kelly Robson*
  5. The Wreckage – Michael Crummey*
  6. Uprooted – Naomi Novik****
  7. The Terror – Dan Simmons*
  8. Vassa in the Night – Sarah Porter*
  9. The Only Harmless Great Thing – Brooke Bolander**
  10. The Royal Art of Poison – Eleanor Herman*
  11. The Changeling – Victor Lavalle**
  12. Things We Lost in the Fire – Mariana Enriquez (oh no so scary oh no!)
  13. The Grimoire of Kensington Market – Lauren B. Davis*
  14. Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien*
  15. The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline*
  16. Moon of the Crusted Snow – Waubgeshig Rice*
  17. Romantic Outlaws (Mary Wollstonecraft & Shelley) – Charlotte Gordon*
  18. The Descent of Monsters – JY Yang*
  19. Columbine – Dave Cullen*
  20. Friday Black – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah*
  21. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance & Survival – John Valliant*
  22. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death – Caitlin Doughty*
  23. Binti: The Complete Trilogy – Nnedi Okorafor*
  24. Freshwater – Akwaeke Emezi*
  25. The Hunger – Alma Katsu*
  26. A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers*
  27. The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead – Heather Pringle*
  28. Florida – Lauren Groff*
  29. A Close & Common Orbit – Becky Chambers*
  30. Washington Black – Esi Edugyan**
  31. Strange Bird – Jeff Vandermeer*
  32. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories – Tove Jansson**
  33. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead*
  34. The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang*
  35. Frog Music – Emma Donoghue*
  36. Room – Emma Donoghue*
  37. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik*
  38. This Is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mothar & Max Gladstone*
  39. The Glass Woman – Caroline Lea*
  40. Middle Game – Seanan McGuire*
  41. What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah*
  42. Mrs. Caliban – Rachel Ingalls**
  43. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng*
  44. Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente*
  45. Dark Water – Koji Sukuki*
  46. Fear on the Family Farm – Jana G. Pruden*
  47. Dead Astronauts – Jeff Vandermeer*

AND THE WHOLE DANG LIST, ARRANGED BY MONTH, IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I READ:

January

  1. The Mere Wife – Maria Dahvana Headley*
  2. Rolling in the Deep – Mira Grant
  3. Semiosis – Sue Burke*
  4. Bobcat – Rebecca Lee
  5. Fugue States – Pasha Malla
  6. The Secret Lives of Color – Kassia St. Clair*
  7. The Incendiaries – R.O. Kwon

February

  1. A Study in Honor – Claire O’Dell
  2. Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach – Kelly Robson*
  3. The Wreckage – Michael Crummey*
  4. Uprooted – Naomi Novik****
  5. The Terror – Dan Simmons*
  6. Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Córdova
  7. Vassa in the Night – Sarah Porter*
  8. The Only Harmless Great Thing – Brooke Bolander**

March

  1. The Dark Dark – Samantha Hunt
  2. The Royal Art of Poison – Eleanor Herman*
  3. The Changeling – Victor Lavalle**
  4. Things We Lost in the Fire – Mariana Enriquez (oh no so scary oh no!)
  5. The Grimoire of Kensington Market – Lauren B. Davis*
  6. Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien*
  7. The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline*
  8. The Devil in Silver – Victor Lavalle
  9. Big Machine – Victor Lavalle

April

  1. Moon of the Crusted Snow – Waubgeshig Rice*
  2. Romantic Outlaws (Mary Wollstonecraft & Shelley) – Charlotte Gordon*
  3. The Descent of Monsters – JY Yang*
  4. Columbine – Dave Cullen*
  5. Friday Black – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah*
  6. Borne – Jeff VanderMeer (reread for book club!! Still my fav book!!)

May

  1. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance & Survival – John Valliant*
  2. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death – Caitlin Doughty*
  3. Binti: The Complete Trilogy – Nnedi Okorafor*
  4. Delicate Edible Birds – Lauren Groff
  5. Freshwater – Akwaeke Emezi*

June

  1. The Hunger – Alma Katsu*
  2. Monday Mourning – Kathy Reichs
  3. A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers*
  4. We Are All Completely Fine – Daryl Gregory
  5. Bog Bodies Uncovered: Solving Europe’s Ancient Mystery – Miranda Aldhouse-Green
  6. The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead – Heather Pringle*

July

  1. Florida – Lauren Groff*
  2. A Close & Common Orbit – Becky Chambers*
  3. Cold in the Earth – Aline Templeton
  4. Washington Black – Esi Edugyan**
  5. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
  6. The Last Neanderthal – Claire Cameron
  7. Strange Bird – Jeff Vandermeer*
  8. The Good People – Hannah Kent

August

  1. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories – Tove Jansson**
  2. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead*
  3. The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang*
  4. Frog Music – Emma Donoghue*
  5. Into the Blue – Andrea Curtis
  6. Room – Emma Donoghue*
  7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (comfort reread)

September

  1. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik*
  2. Kingdom of the Blind – Louise Penny
  3. This Is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mothar & Max Gladstone*
  4. Anne of Green Gables (comfort reread)
  5. In the Heart of the Sea – Nathaniel Philbrick
  6. The Glass Woman – Caroline Lea*
  7. Josephine Baker’s Last Dance – Sherry Jones

October

  1. The Intuitionist – Colson Whitehead
  2. Middle Game – Seanan McGuire*
  3. The Dinosaur Artist – Paige Williams
  4. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson (reread for book club)
  5. River of Teeth – Sarah Gailey
  6. The Seas – Samantha Hunt
  7.  The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World – Shelley Emling

November

  1. The Whale – Philip Hoare
  2. What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah*
  3. Iceman: uncovering the life & times of a prehistoric man found in an alpine glacier – Brenda Fowler
  4. Mrs. Caliban – Rachel Ingalls**
  5. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer*
  6. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng*
  7. The Rise & Fall of the Dinosaurs – Steve Brusatte

December

  1. Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente*
  2. Dark Water – Koji Sukuki*
  3. Terry Pratchett – Feet of Clay
  4. Fear on the Family Farm – Jana G. Pruden*
  5. Dead Astronauts – Jeff Vandermeer*