In 2019, I made a goal for myself to read 12 books over the course of the year. For some, this may seem like a rather low bar, just one book a month. But it’s been so long since I’ve read consistently, so I wanted to start off slow. I was worried I wouldn’t make it, but in the fall I signed up for a library card at my local library and my motivation to read was reignited. I found new ways to incorporate reading into my daily life and I was able to meet my goal, right at the end of December with just a few days left to spare. Read on to find out what I read in 2019!
Here is a quick breakdown of my reading:
- 2 classics
- 2 vampire novels
- 1 full series
- 1 self-help book
- 1 contemporary novel
- 3 children’s books
My Reading List
I stumbled upon some really great books this year, and some not so great ones, too. Below I have listed out the books in the order that I read them and included my star ratings. I also added a short blurb describing my reading experience and whether or not I would recommend them.
1. The Witches by Roald Dahl – ★★★★
I found this book highly discounted at Kyobo Bookstore since it was damaged. I was a big fan of Roald Dahl books as a kid so I thought this would be a great pick for my first book of the year. It was a fun, quick read with lots of whimsical details and a surprising ending. I recommend this one!
2. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice – ★★★
I showed this book in a used book haul video, and I found this one at Aladin. I saw the movie years ago so I was already familiar with the story, but the book is so much more expansive and detail-filled than the movie that it’s still worth reading. While the story is impressive, it covers such a long history that I felt bored at times, and it’s also a very dark and morbid story, which can make the reading experience quite dreary. For those reasons, I only gave it 3 stars, but I still would recommend it.
3. Weekend in Paris by Robyn Sisman – ★
This was my most anticipated read and yet my most disappointing. This was another Aladin find. I didn’t buy it when I first encountered it on the shelf, but over a year later when I visited the store again, it was still there, so I felt compelled to get it. I thought this book was brought to me by fate! But I was so wrong… I found the main character annoying, the plot to be pointless and lacking, and the ending highly unsatisfying. Needless to say, I do not recommend this one.
4. Dracula by Bram Stoker – ★★★★★
I had been wanting to read this book for a very long time, seeing as it is the most famous vampire novel. Every vampire novel to come after has been inspired or influenced by this story in one way or another, so I thought it was important to read it. I attempted to read this book several times before finally employing both e-book and audio book (sometimes at the same time) to propel me through to the end. The audio book was amazing, featuring the talents of Tim Curry and Alan Cumming, and it made the epistolary format really come alive. Highly recommend!
5. Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne ★★★
I borrowed this book from my school’s English room as a quick and festive read for Halloween. I used to read the Magic Tree House series as a child so I really enjoyed the nostalgic feel of this book. I was a little bit disappointed because there weren’t many educational tidbits in this story, and it didn’t have many Halloween-y things like witches and pumpkins, etc. It’s still a great book for children, but I’d maybe skip this one as an adult.
6. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George – ★★★★
I chose this book randomly from my local library and was very pleasantly surprised. This young adult fantasy novel had a little bit of everything – mystery, magic, romance, and action. It’s not a very complex or emotional story, but it was fun to read and fast to fly through. It was maybe my favorite book of the year because I had such a pleasant, easy reading experience. If you want something light to read, then I recommend this one.
7. Divergent by Veronica Roth – ★★★★
This was another book available at my local library. I picked it out because my library had the whole series and I thought it would be motivating to work on a series. I enjoyed the first installment of this series – it had many of the exciting elements of a young adult dystopian that makes them fun to read. There were some plot holes and the premise of the story required a lot of suspension of disbelief, but I found the main character compelling and enjoyed the journey. Recommend!
8. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – ★★★
I continued on to the next part of the series but didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first part. I don’t have much to say about this one because it wasn’t particularly memorable. I guess I’d recommend it to anyone who read the first book and wants to finish the series, but I don’t think I can recommend it on it’s own merit.
9. Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne – ★★★★
I found another fast and festive Magic Tree House book in our English classroom, this time for Thanksgiving. This was much more in line with what I expect from this series. It was educational, heart warming, and dealt directly with Thanksgiving symbols and traditions, which made it feel much more festive and appropriate for the holiday than the Halloween book did. I recommend it!
10. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – ★★
I finally finished the series but I was not happy about it. This book changed drastically from the previous installments of this series and I found it to be very disappointing. The narrating point of view kept switching between two characters, which I found unnecessary and distracting. I also found the main character’s thought process to deviate quite a bit from her established personality. The setting was also drastically different from the past two installments and I didn’t find it very interesting. And I just plain didn’t like the ending. Again, read it if you like to finish series, but I do not recommend this book on its own merit.
11. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – ★★★★★
This book was given to me as a gift by my mother and she sent it to me as an audio book. Dave Ramsey is a seasoned radio personality, so his narration was lively and compelling. The one drawback is that I was familiar with many of the contents of this book from having listened to many of his podcasts, so there isn’t much information exclusive to this book. I’m also not spiritual or religious so those elements were not applicable or relatable to me. But overall, I find his money advice to be extremely wise and useful, especially to anyone living in the US, so I highly recommend this book.
12. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – ★★★★★
For my last read of the year, I headed back to the library and chose something short, familiar, and festive. I had never read this classic Christmas tale before, but I have been enjoying this story for years. As a kid, my family would go see a stage production of A Christmas Carol every year, and I love watching movie adaptations when the season comes around. I really enjoyed getting into the original material and now I’m interested in reading more Dickens. Ending on a high note, I highly recommend this one!
So that’s everything I read in 2019! I hope you also had a successful reading year in 2019! Since I was able to successfully complete my reading challenge of 12 books, I’m pushing myself in 2020 to read even more! I’m looking forward to sharing my reading journey with you this year.
Thank you for reading!