A Look Back At My 2019 Reading Year

Reading Stats 

84 Books Read (which includes books, short stories, essays and 1 book started in 2018 and finished in 2019)

Breakdown of Books
25 Children’s Books
21 Classics
14 Contemporary Fiction
24 Non-Fiction
4 Books Re-read

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Highlights from the Year

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins – I gave all three books in the series 5 stars. This series is not easy to read. It is heavy, intense, and emotionally charging. But the writing is compelling and I didn’t want to put the books down. If you like the dystopian genre, I highly recommend these books. ~ 5 Stars ~

 

The Gown

The Gown by Jennifer Robson – If you are a fan of the Netflix series “The Crown” then you will most likely enjoy this book. The central event in this novel is the making of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. If that sounds a bit boring, trust me….this book is anything but. The story centers on three protaganists and their lives over the span of several decades with the common thread being the gown and the women who help make it. Secret pasts, female friendship, loss, and dealing with the aftermath of war, this novel not only kept me turning the pages but also had me researching a bit about this event. ~ 5 Stars ~

 

Les Miserables Fahnestock and McAfee

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo- What can I say about this masterpiece of literature? Hugo’s writing was phenomenal. Hugo masterfuly weaves the stories of the lives of his characters amidst the backdrop of 19th century French culture and Paris in particular. Jean Valjean is probably one of the most well-known characters in literature and the novel itself is ranked among the greatest novels of all time. I want to put this book in people’s hands and say “READ IT.” ~ 5 Stars ~

 

the fellowship of the rings          the two towers

The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien – These two are part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy which is made up of three parts; the third part being The Return of the King.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

~ From The Fellowship of the Ring (p. 55)

This statement has to be counted amongst famous lines in literature. I read that The Lord of the Rings is one of the best selling novels ever written. And I can see why. Tolkien managed to create a whole world that readers can get lost in. Memorable characters, excellent story writing and development, and scenery you can picture in your minds eye, Tolkien created a fantasy adventure masterpiece. I started out ranking these as 4 stars; but as I reflected on them I realized these are totally 5 star reads. So I promptly changed them to 5 stars.

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally start reading this series. My husband is a long-time fan of Tolkien and especially this series as well as The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. I read The Hobbit towards the end of 2018 (which I also changed to 5 stars) and read The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers this year. I can’t wait to read the final part The Return of the King. I can see why Tolkien is seen as the father of the modern fantasy genre. ~ 5 Stars ~

 

the daughter of time

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey – This is the first Josephine Tey book I’ve read. You can read my review of it HERE. ~ 4 Stars ~

 

The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C. S. Lewis – C. S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Lewis’ Narnia series is one of those series of classic children’s books that is well-written and can be enjoyed by all ages. We did this series as a family read-aloud starting towards the end of 2018. We read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, and Prince Caspian towards the end of 2018 and finished the rest of the series at the beginning of 2019. So for 2019, we read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle. My favorite in the series is definitely The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; but all the books are good. We also watched the movies that were made of three of the novels after we read them and that was especially fun!             ~ 4 Stars ~

 

the-enchanted-april

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim – This was a re-read for me. It held up as a re-read and I loved getting lost in the novel as much as I did the first time. You can read my review HERE. ~ 4 Stars ~

 

The Bookshop on the Shore

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan – I’ve only read three Colgan books now and I describe them as Hallmark movie meets Gilmore Girls. I really enjoyed The Bookshop on the Corner. So when The Bookshop on the Shore came out this year and some of the characters from The Bookshop on the Corner were in it, I knew I wanted to read it. It did not disappoint. ~ 4 Stars ~

 

Lost Roses

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly- This historical fiction novel is the story of Caroline Ferriday’s mother, Eliza Mitchell Ferriday. Caroline Ferriday was a champion for victims of World War II and is the center of Kelly’s historical fiction book Lilac Girls which I have not read yet but plan to read soon. I don’t often buy brand new releases in hardback; but this is one I did and I am glad. At the back of the edition I bought is a whole section where the author talks about her research and it includes a number of pictures. As with The Gown, this novel kept me turning the pages and spurred me on to researching more. ~ 4 Stars ~

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What were some of your favorite reads in 2019?