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: 12/4/19

<–The State of the Reader: 10/23/19         The State of the Reader: 12/18/19–>

A biweekly 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: 7


Books Finished: 1

Title: Vita Nostra
Series: Метаморфозы (Metamorphoses)
Author: Marina & Sergey Dyachenko
Date Added: December 22, 2018
Date Started: September 23, 2019
Date Finished: November 20, 2019

Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey DyachenkoMedia: eBook/Kindle

Most of my notes for this are in my Kindle copy, but this book was fantastic.  It’s described as similar to Harry Potter, but the only similarity is that both books are about going away to school.  While Rowling’s series certainly has its positives (and negatives, mostly due to the author not knowing when to just stop), Vita Nostra is an existential masterpiece that shares more paradigms with time loop narratives than HP, but I hesitate to compare it fully to any of those either.  It really is unique and shows why it’s so important to experience media from different cultures.  I’m sad none of the other books in the series have been translated, and I really hope that happens soon.

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The State of the Reader: 10/23/19

<–The State of the Reader: 10/9/19         The State of the Reader: 12/4/19–>

A biweekly 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: 1


Books Finished: 1

Title: Kushiel’s Dart
Series Title: Phèdre’s Trilogy
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Date Added: February 21, 2012
Date Started: August 23, 2019

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline CareyMedia: Hardback (Library)

Well I did it.  I finished a book I shelved as DNF years ago, and I’m glad I did.  I wound up using my last library renewal, though I managed to finish before the 21st.  I still didn’t return it because I worked from home that day, so.  I also bought this book AND the second one, because I loved it.  Whatever issue I had prior didn’t bother me now, and while it does have a long denouement, it makes sense for the scale of the story.

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The State of the Reader: 10/9/19

<–The State of the Reader: 9/25/19         The State of the Reader: 10/23/19–>

A biweekly 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: 2


Currently Reading

Title: Faust
Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: September 1, 2019

Faust by GoetheMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 33%

Mephistopheles has finally shown up.  Now things are going to get interesting.

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The State of the Reader: 8/28/19

<–The State of the Reader: 8/14/19         The State of the Reader: 9/11/19–>

A biweekly 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: 1


Books Finished: 1

Title: Snow White Learns Witchcraft: Stories and Poems
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: February 5, 2019
Date Started: July 8, 2019
Date Finished: August 21, 2019

Snow White Learns Witchcraft: Stories and Poems by Theodora GossMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was amazing.  I’ll need to look at the table of contents and figure out all of my favorite stories.


Books DNF: 2

Title: The King in Yellow
Author: Robert W. Chambers
Date Added: January 5, 2018
Date Started: August 4, 2019
Date DNF: August 25, 2019

The King in Yellow by Robert W. ChambersMedia: eBook/Kindle

I am very interesting in the concept behind this story, but the writing just isn’t holding my attention.  I decided to DNF it, but I bookmarked an analysis of it as well as a YouTube video breaking it down.

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