The Books of 2019

Goodreads Challenge: 20
Books Finished: 20
Books DNF: 5

I lowered my challenge from 50 books to 20 in 2019, and I think this was a good idea.  I’m keeping that same energy in 2020, plus it goes with the number.  I still have book reviews from 2018 to write, so the lower number theoretically helps bring that down, too (not…really).

Because I only read 20 books, I’m going to list them all here in no particular order at first then the Top 10 after.


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Classic)

You really have to keep your present sensibilities in check in order to garner what Fitzgerald was after.  It’s not a bad message about how we treat the very young vs. the very old, but it comes with a whole bunch of yikes.

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare (Classic)

The question of Cleopatra’s betrayal is still up in the air, and the ruminations on the concept are far more fascinating than the answer.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (Classic)

Oh my fucking god, this was almost laughably bad in so many ways.  I’m glad I read it, but it was dry and plodding for so many chapters.  The most interesting parts involved the Persian who doesn’t even get a name.  Raoul’s character as well as Eric’s were greatly improved by Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical, which greatly improved upon many aspects of Leroux’s work.

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The State of the Reader: 1/16/19

<–The State of the Reader: 1/2/19          The State of the Reader: 1/30/19–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Obtained: 0


Books Finished: 2

Title: Calling All Angels
Series Title: Shadow Council Case Files
Author: John G. Hartness
Date Added: November 24, 2018
Date Started: December 20, 2018
Date Finished: January 9, 2019
Reading Duration: 20 days

Calling All AngelsMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was so good.  It’s clear to see that this story is part of a much larger once, as there were characters mentioned and hints dropped about things that had happened before; however, this didn’t take away from the novella, which has it’s own contained plot arc.  I’ll be continuing this series.

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The State of the Reader: 12/5/18

<–The State of the Reader: 10/24/18          The State of the Reader: 12/19/18–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 9


Books DNF: 2

  • A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (Meredith Gentry) – Somehow or another LKH made silver hair boring.  I didn’t think that was possible, but she did it.  “But his hair was uniquely his own, silver, like metal beaten into hair.”  Are you…fucking…kidding me?  I didn’t even finish the first chapter and I took the rest of her books of my TBR list.  I love her earlier work, but you can tell she now only cares about collecting a check.
  • The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales) – Fuck abusive parents and fuck kindness when you’re being abused.  I know I have a huge issue with blaming the victim in stories like this.  I want to shake them and tell them to not put up with it, even though I know intellectually that that’s not fair.  It’s not the victim’s fault their abusers are trash.  I’m much more cognizant of it in real life, but in stories I hate a particular type of naivete in protagonists.  I think I hate when naivete is unrealistic even for fairy tales.  The MC is actually shocked her drunken, abusive father is willing to sell her to a whorehouse in order to pay his debts and continue to get his fix.  It just bugged me that she wouldn’t expect this from a man who’s done nothing but beat and belittle her since her mother left.  This is a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling, which isn’t one of my favorite stories in the first place, and I’m not invested enough in the character.  The ironic thing is this story is what got me interested in the Flipped Fairy Tale series in the first place.  I added it then realized it was the “second” in the compendium so I read Shadows on Snow first,which was okay.  It’s not like they’re in any order; I think it’s just the order Huchton wrote them.

Books Finished: 5

Title: Alex + Ada: The Complete Collection
Series Title: Alex + Ada
Author: Jonathan Luna
Artist: Sarah Vaugn
Date Added: October 28, 2016
Date Started: June 17, 2018
Date Finished: October 28, 2018
Reading Duration: 133 days

Alex + AdaIt didn’t take me this long to read this entire collection; I just split it up to pad my reading total.  The Complete Collection is made up of three books, but I read the one pictured above.  People rated the second and third higher than the first, and I’m not really sure why.  It’s an excellent series, and even though it doesn’t do anything new, it refines many previously touched on points in fiction involving AI sentience.

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The State of the Reader: 6/7/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/31/17          The State of the Reader: 6/14/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. The Names by Don DeLillo: Passed – I read White Noise by the same author in my postmodern literature class, and I loved it, but this one just didn’t catch me at all.
  2. All Fall Down by Christine Pope: Kept – I love the main character’s blunt, no-nonsense voice.  It works perfectly for her role.  I also love that she’s a doctor in a medieval fantasy setting, and she’s respected as such for the most part.  The only people who don’t respect her are the slaver’s who’ve captured her, obviously.  She makes it a point to say that her order values science so she’s not like the religious healers they compare her to.
  3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Kept – It didn’t strike me as hard as The Raven Boys, but Maggie Stiefvater still has this way about her writing that’s just so alluring.
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: Passed – I really wanted to like this one.  I talked myself into adding it after seeing it pop up in my newsfeed a few times.  I won’t say I should’ve just passed on it without giving it a try, because you never know, but the story just doesn’t grab me.
  5. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds: Kept – The mystery of what killed off this alien civilization almost a million years ago overrides my dislike of the main character.  He could just be driven, but if there’s something called a “razorstorm” coming your way, it seems logical that you’d want to get yourself and people out of there.  I’m also wondering if this is a Reaper like situation.
  6. Alive by Scott Sigler: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit does this story drag you into a world of fear of confusion.  The main character starts off locked in a coffin, and she has to fight her way out.  She finds herself in a room with 11 other caskets and a plaque by hers with “M. Savage” on it, which is all she knows of her name.  I want to know what’s going on.
  7. The Archived by Victoria Schwab: Kept (RWTR) – If this hadn’t been so expensive, I would’ve bought it immediately.  The Archived in question are the dead, and the story starts out with two deaths and a whole bunch of secrets.
  8. The Crow Box by Nikki Rae: Kept/Purchased – I wasn’t as excited about this one as the above, but it was interesting and not that expensive.  The main character Corbin (which sounds a bit like corvus, the Latin word for crow) is plagued by a voice she doesn’t know is real or fake.  She worries about her mental health in seeing her mother’s struggles, and there’s a little poem in the beginning that suggests this is a kind of ghost story.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 5
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 6, 2017
Date Purchased: June 6, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.35
Retailer: Amazon

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