Reflecting on 2019: Reading

And now, here’s my last reading wrap up for 2019.

I did pretty good in 2019. I set my Goodreads reading goal for 50 books (10 more than last year’s goal) and ended up reading 78 books (that’s 14 more books than I read last year). As always, I was secretly striving for 100. I really want to hit that number one of these years, but with so many responsibilities, distractions, and work, I wonder if it’s possible for me to do so.

2019 got off on a great start, reading-wise, and I knocked out some great books at the beginning of the year. A few ended up on my favorite books list (City of Dragons, The Little Red Wolf) while others made my list of memorable reads (Bad Blood, Dopesick). But although I read a number of great books in 2019, it was too easy to choose my favorites. I don’t like when that happens. I prefer when I struggle to minimize my list of favorites. It makes creating the list more tense and fun, and makes me laugh at myself more. 🙂 The easy selection made me feel as if I didn’t have a good reading year. I instead struggled more to minimize my selection of favorite TV shows and movies watched in 2019.

Despite that, 2019 was a great bookish year. I attended some great events, like the ALA conference, and managed to complete a couple series, which I’m VERY proud of myself for doing because I tend to start series but not complete them. I read the last Realm of Elderlings book in October thus ending the great adventures I read about featuring Robin Hobb’s Fitz and his Fool. I was so sad when I got to the end and have yet to write a review of the book. I keep procrastinating on it; I don’t want to admit that it’s all done. 😥 I also completed Brent Weeks’s Night Angel trilogy, which had me on edge throughout the story. It was entertaining but dark. I can’t wait to tuck into his Lightbringer books!

Anyway, the rest of my reading stats are below. I’ve structured it like my quarterly wrap ups, so it should be fairly quick to get through. 🙂

Also see:

Zezee’s favorite books of 2019
Zezee’s most memorable books of 2019
Zezee’s most disappointing books of 2019


Favorites of the bunch

BOOKS

The Secret Lives of Color
Wundersmith
City of Dragons
To Night Owl From Dogfish
Perfect Shadow

COMICS & PICTURE BOOKS

The Tea Dragon Society
The Little Red Wolf
Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vols. 10-12

ARTICLES

In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation (nytimes.com)

About capitalism in America and how much it’s rooted in slavery and the plantation system, which may be the cause of its brutality. According to this article, certain processes we take for granted in the workplace were first developed to manage slave plantations.

“When Americans declare that ‘we live in a capitalist society’… what they’re often defending is our nation’s peculiarly brutal economy.”

How The Lord of the Rings Changed Publishing Forever (tor.com)

A look at the events that caused the Lord of the Rings books to be a success, and the impact of Tolkien’s books on popular culture, book publishing, and the fantasy/science fiction genre.

The Untold Story of Queenie, New York City’s Notorious Female Crime Kingpin (broadly.vice.com)

Madame Queen, a.k.a. “Queenie,” immigrated from the Caribbean to New York in 1914, ran an illegal lottery system, was the only woman of her time to be a crime kingpin in NYC, and was known to empower Black people.

Popular 2000s Fantasy Novels (thoughtsonfantasy.com)

A feature and discussion of the most popular fantasy novels published over the years.

Possible Disruptions on the Occassion of My High School Graduation (electricliterature.com)

A short story in the form of a college essay by Jackson Tobin. It’s about two twin sisters. One is disabled and is a stickler for following rules; the other sister is able-bodied and a prankster. The story is about their relationship. (I suggest skipping the intro and reading it after the story because it might give away too much.)

PODCASTS

Longform (longform.org): Episode 340: Linda Villarosa
Free Library of Philadelphia (libwww.freelibrary.org): Roxane Gay | Difficult Women
Free Library of Philadelphia (libwww.freelibrary.org): Jen Sincero | You Are a Badass at Making Money
Wheel Weaves (thewheelweavespodcast.libsyn.com)
Dragon Reread (thedragonreread.com)

TV SHOWS

The Magicians
The Witcher
Stranger Things
Into the Badlands
Deadly Class

MOVIES

Avengers Endgame
Knives Out
Into the Spiderverse
Klaus
Zombieland: Double Tap


Least liked

BOOKS

The Stand
The Lost Years of Merlin
Behind the Canvas
Childhood’s End
The Deep

COMICS & PICTURE BOOKS

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness
Elves, Vol. 1


Did Not Finish

The Queen of the Tearling
Wicked Saints
Eliza and Her Monsters
A Brightness Long Ago


Best stories

BOOKS

City of Dragons
To Night Owl From Dogfish
Wundersmith
Lair of Dreams
My Sister, the Serial Killer

COMICS & PICTURE BOOKS

Monstress, Vol. 4
Monstress, Vol. 3
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
The Tea Dragon Society
The Little Red Wolf

Best writing

The Snow Child
Middle Passage
In the Night Wood
The Devourers
The Secret Lives of Color

Best narration (for audio books)

Holidays on Ice
Evil Eye

Best illustrations

COMICS & ILLUSTRATED BOOKS

Monstress
Moonstruck, Vol. 1
The Little Red Wolf
Zodiac Starforce, #1
The Tea Dragon Society

Most amazing character(s)

Tracker from Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Murderbot from All Systems Red
Rutherford Calhoun from Middle Passage
Fitz & Per from Assassin’s Fate
Ana Canción from Dominicana

Most fitting titles

Becoming
My Sister, the Serial Killer
To Night Owl From Dogfish
Childhood’s End
The Secret Lives of Color

Most unique/impactful story

Dopesick (impactful)
Becoming (impactful)
The Deep (impactful)
Evil Eye (unique)

Awesome covers

Watch Hollow
In the Night Wood
Moonstruck, Vol. 1
The Secret Lives of Color
Assassin’s Fate


Reading challenges hits ‘n’ misses

**2019 reading challenges announcement**

Goodreads Challenge

Goal: 50
Read: 78
Success or Fail

Books I must read in 2019

Goal: 8
Read: 2
Success or Fail

Read some comics/graphic novels

Goal: 10
Read: 18
Success or Fail

2019 TBR Pile Challenge

Goal: 12
Read: 1
Success or Fail

Classics Club Reading Challenge

Goal: 2
Read: 1
Success or Fail

Read some horror

Goal: 4
Read: 5
Success or Fail


Reading stats

Read = 78
Reread = 11
DNF = 4
**“Read” includes rereads. “DNF” does not include those I paused reading.**

FORMAT

Physical = 47
Audio = 15
Comics = 13
E-books = 3

GENRE

Fantasy = 44
Nonfiction = 7
Sci-Fi = 7
Horror = 5
Historical = 4
Contemporary = 3
Romance = 3
Mystery = 2
Thriller = 2
Humor = 1

OWNERSHIP

Mine (bought before 2018) = 27
Library = 25
New (bought in/after 2018) = 21
ARC = 3
Free = 2

AUTHOR GENDER BY BOOK

Female = 46
Male = 30
Both = 2

SHORTEST | LONGEST

Zodiac Starforce, #1 = 32 pages
The Stand = 1348 pages

MOST POPULAR | LEAST POPULAR
**according to Goodreads**

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets = over 2.9 million people have read it
The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World = 42 people have read it


Other stats

It’s no surprise that the months in which I completed the most books are the ones in which I participated in reading events. I read the most in August and April because of the NEWTs and OWLs Magical Readathons, which helped me to complete 17 and 10 books in each respective month. February and May tied for third place. I read 9 books in each of those months. I don’t know why I did so in February, but in May I participated in the Wyrd & Wonder reading event, so each one of the 9 books read in May was fantasy.

June, July, and October were my worst reading months. I read 3 books each in June and July and only 2 books in October. Those were some of my busiest months at work and it showed in my reading.

The majority of books I read were of average length: 23% of them were between 300-399 pages, and 22% of them were between 100-199 pages. I blame this on needing to read shorter books to get through readathons. Only 2% were of 800 pages or more. Many of the books (18%) were published in 2019. My other popular reading years were 2018 (14%), the 2000s (13%), and the 1990s (13%).

I don’t know how well the database I use tracks the series I’m reading or have read, but I’d like to believe its numbers because they look great. Well, they are a whole lot better than 2018’s data. It’s telling me that I started 13 series (an improvement), have 18 ongoing (that’s actually worse than 2018), and completed 10 (yeahiee me!! 😀 I’m awesome!). I consider this progress.

As for book types, I read 48 novels (no surprise there), 17 comic book volumes (my preferred way to read comics), 7 novellas (this format is growing on me), 3 picture books (I must read more in the new year), 2 short stories (I’d forgotten I did), and 1 single-issue comic (they’re too short).

I gave a lot of books 5 stars. I believe it’s because I read some great stories and really well written books in 2019, but I also think I’m just very generous with my 5-star ratings, or my high ratings in general: I gave only 2 books an extremely low rating. Still, I think it’s weird that I gave so many books 5 stars but not many stood out as favorites. It was too easy to choose my 2019 favorites.

5 stars = 19
4.5 stars = 9
4.0 stars = 12
3.5 stars = 8
3.0 stars = 14
2.5 stars = 10
2.0 stars = 4
1.5 stars = 1
1.0 stars = 1

Author countries

I mostly read books by authors from the United States; however, some books were by authors from these countries:

Australia
Canada
Dominica Republic
France
India
Jamaica
Japan
New Zealand
Nigeria
United Kingdom

I think I’ll stop here. I won’t bother talking about the amount of books I acquired in 2019. Just know it’s probably less than 2018. I’m pretty certain I spent less too. Anyway, if you’ve read this far, WHOOPIE!! Thank you! That was a lot. I appreciate you. 😀


Reading plans for the new year:

Spend less

Read more of my own books


The books of 2019:

20 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2019: Reading

  1. Brilliant wrap up! Congrats on beating your challenge! Glad you had such a good reading year! Really like the sound of the tea dragon society and glad monstress continues to be good. Loved the witcher too! That’s interesting about having so many 5*, but not so many standouts- I think I have a similar thing happen sometimes. Loved looking at your stats!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on reading 73 books!! I would struggle to simply get to 50 so 100 would be nigh impossible for me. I hope you do manage to hit 100 one day though, I’m sure it would be a great feeling.

    It’s really interesting you say you don’t like it when it’s tough to choose your end-of-year favourites list, because for me it’s the opposite: if it’s difficult to choose, I feel like there weren’t enough stand-out straight-to-the-favourites shelf ones so I have to select from the just “really good” ones. But I guess it does make the choosing process more tense and interesting.

    Anyway, great post, I enjoyed seeing all your reading stats the and the favourites/disappointments! (Also thanks for mentioning my decades posts!)

    Like

  3. Great post! I’m glad you included comic book properties on your list! Endgame, of course, was one of the best comic book movies ever. For books, I recommend The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller), and for TV shows, The Mandalorian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen the Dark Knight Returns mentioned on a few blogs. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation 😊
      I do wanna check the Mandalorian…when I figure out my Disney+ situation, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 2019 was a very difficult but also a great year. I’m kinda happy that it’s over though, and hope that 2020 will be much MUCH better. Lol

    We just finished watching the Witcher a few days ago, and OMG it was so good! I recently met someone who read all of the books and said that TV show wasn’t good at all, so I’m kinda glad that I didn’t read the books before the show as I was planning to. Lol
    I have them all downloaded on my Kindle, and hopefully can start reading them this or next month 🙂

    Like

    1. Aww I do hope 2020 will be better for you. (Sending you some good vibes 😌)

      Glad you watched it and oh man! It’s so great, even better, to me, once I started rewatching. That sucks for that person though. One of my co-workers has read the books n love the show. From what I’ve read, the show creators tried to stick close to the books.
      I have the books too. Am planning to start on them this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, fantastic year. I also rate high but I think it’s generally because I choose to read books I’m more likely to enjoy–if I did more random ARCs and review requests it would probably be lower. Great stats!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve seen many were disappointed in The Deep. It was one I was really interested in but was denied. Now I’m not so upset. Same with the Damkeeper. I was surprised you didn’t finish Eliza and her Monsters. I’m sad you couldn’t get into it. Sounds like either way you had an enjoyable year with man6 milestones met. ♥️

    Like

    1. I thought I was in the minority regarding the Deep. I’ve mostly seen positive reviews. For me, the storytelling threw me off but I like what they were trying to do.
      Yea, Eliza and her Monsters didn’t work for me at all. I wanted to like it. It could have been a mood thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! So detailed! Congrats and well done for reading such a variety of books. And, it makes me happy that Spiderverse, Endgame and Knives out are on your list – they were some of my favourite movies of the year…if not ever ☺️

    Like

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