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: 9/25/19

<–The State of the Reader: 9/11/19         The State of the Reader: 10/9/19–>

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


Books Finished: 1

Title: Traitor’s Blades
Series Title: Greatcoats
Author: Sebastien de Castell
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Started: August 26, 2019
Date Finished: September 25, 2019

Traitor's Blades by Sebastien de CastellMedia: eBook/Kindle

This story might have the most brutal twist of any I’ve ever read.  It was fucking fantastic, and I can’t wait to continue the series.


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: 25%

I did not know this was written in (sort of) rhyming verse, but I’m not upset.  It gives it a nice flow.

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)
Progress: 26%

This novel is like ASOIAF but less graphic and also told from one point of view.  A character literally talks verbatim about the “game of thrones” in reference to court politics.  There’s a reason for the dramatis personae in the beginning as well as the map; both of which I constantly refer to in order to keep up with who’s who and where’s where.

Title: The Hero With a Thousand Faces
Author: Joseph Campbell
Date Added: April 24, 2014
Date Started: December 3, 2018

The Hero With a Thousand FacesMedia: Hardback
Progress: 66%

“Society lapses into mistake and disaster.  The Little Ego has usurped the judgment seat of the Self.”  Campbell was a prognosticator.


I’m been drinking cider mimosas (apple cider and champagne).  It’s the perfect autumn contemporary to pumpkin spice as well as an alternative to regular OJ mimosas.  I’m kind of disappointed because I can’t find my favorite Halloween candy, mellowcreme pumpkins, in stores.  So I bought some from Amazon, and I don’t like them.  They’re Jelly Belly brand, and you’d think a company famous for its jellybeans would know how to make other candy (or…not?).  They kind of taste like orange slices (the candy) but with the consistency of the pumpkins, and I am not a fan.  The funny thing is Amazon had Brach’s brand available, but fancy TSN had to go with the more prestigious brand.  Live and learn I suppose.

What is your favorite Halloween candy?


<–The State of the Reader: 9/11/19         The State of the Reader: 10/9/19–>

The State of the Reader: 9/11/19

<–The State of the Reader: 8/28/19         The State of the Reader: 9/25/19–>

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: Tigana
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Started: December 8, 2018
Date Finished: September 7, 2019

TiganaMedia: Paperback

This was the best book I’ve read this year.  The very last line leaves you in speculation even as Kay so nicely and poignantly wraps everything up.  This will be an elaborate review when I get to it, but I highly, highly recommend.


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: 15%

Is this a fanfiction of the Book of Job, because it seems like the devil wants to torment Faust in a similar way, and God is like, “Eh, why not?”

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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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The State of the Reader: 8/23/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/16/17          The State of the Reader: 8/30/17–>

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. Traitor’s Blades by Sebastian de Castell: Kept – This wasn’t a hard sell for me at all given the series is called Greatcoats, and I love greatcoats in general (nothing beats a Badass Longcoat).  It was also an easy sell since it was also really cheap.
  2. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry: Kept – I had no idea The Giver was the first book of a quartet.  This is a definite must-read.
  3. Hunted by Meagan Spooner: Kept – More revamped fairy tales. This time it’s Beauty and the Beast.
  4. Santa Took Them by William Malmborg: Passed – I’m pissed about this pass.  Maybe this was the author’s intention, but I hated all of the characters introduced in the first chapter.  The dad was a douche.  The mom was annoying.  The kids were irritating, but them I gave a pass, because they were just normal kids.  I guess it’s more I hated how they were written, and there was a really bad pussy joke (not as bad as the Game of Thrones one, but still pretty awful).  Anyway, this is about murders that took place on Christmas Eve 2005, and the sole survivor is released from a mental institution ten years later when they start again.
  5. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: Kept – This is one of those books I added because I loved the title, and it doesn’t seem as if the text is going to disappoint.  Starting off as a series of letters exchanged between a boy and a girl, its foundation seems to be young love, heartbreaking rejecting and re-reconnection through adventure.
  6. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker: Kept (RWTR) – I would’ve bought this if it wasn’t over my $2.99 insta-limit.  Intertwining the concepts of time travel and immortality with a sense of greed and a lack of bio (or really any) ethics is one clear way to get me interesting in a novel.
  7. A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer: Kept – In my grand tradition of reading subverted stories (like the Flipped Fairy Tales), this novel takes place in a world where male children are rare and therefore coveted.  The main character, the oldest male with around 28 sisters, only has one use: to be sold off to marriage for to the highest bidder.  It’s a painfully common trope for girls, and it doesn’t make it any better when the tables are turned, because Jerin’s world has always been this way.  I wasn’t quite certain about it initially, but it was interesting enough to go on my library shelf.
  8. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: Kept (RWTR) – Holy fantastic opening line.  It’s brutal, raw, and reminds me of ASOIAF.
  9. Bull by David Elliott: Passed – Disappointing to say the least.  I love retold stories, especially fairy tales and myths, but I didn’t like the style of this.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: Traitor’s Blade
Series Title: Greatcoats
Author: Sebastian de Castell
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Purchased: August 17, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

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