Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 Reading in Review


As is my tradition, I counted every book I read this year, including board books and picture books I had never read before, the chapter books and middle grade novels I read aloud to the girls, as well as adult and young adult books I read for myself. The grand total is 486 books, and Goodreads claims that equals over 69,000 pages.

My busiest reading months were July and November, during which I read 60 and 64 books respectively, and the lightest was September, when I read only 25 books, thanks to morning sickness.

Here is the breakdown of books by intended audience and genre:

  • 28% Adult (138 books: 51 mystery,  38 nonfiction, 12 literary fiction, 10 classics, 7 fantasy, 6 romance, 6 historical fiction, 4 poetry, 3 chick lit, 1 play) 
  • 3% Young Adult (16 books: 6 romance, 5 literary fiction, 3 fantasy, 2 contemporary realism)
  • 17% Middle Grade (82 books: 33 realistic fiction, 26 fantasy, 10 historical fiction, 9 nonfiction, 2 mystery, 2 literary fiction)
  • 3% Chapter Books (15 books)
  • 3% Easy Readers (14 books)
  • 42% Picture Books (203 books)
  • 4% Board Books (18 books)


At the beginning of the year, I set five goals for my reading for 2019. Some of these were derailed by the fact that I became pregnant with twins over the summer and had terrible first trimester symptoms, but I did make progress on most of them. Here's a quick look at how I did. 

Goal number one was to allow breathing room for activities outside of reading. Though I still read a lot of books, I did read fewer this year than in any other year since I started tracking my reading in 2011, so I think I did a decent job of trying not to spend every minute racking up more pages read. 

My second goal, however, was to devote more time to reviewing books and writing blog posts, and that didn't really happen as I had hoped. I ended up becoming more active on Instagram, which is fine, but I really need to figure out how I can keep blogging even when blogs are not that popular anymore. I did start blogging more about homeschooling, but I still want to write about my reading life too!

The third goal I set for myself was to re-read the Harry Potter series over the entire year. This one I stuck to almost perfectly, following the schedule and blogging about each set of chapters as I made my way through the books. It was really fun to revisit the books this way, and I look forward to a few years from now when my oldest can start reading them!

Goal number four was to read books by Katherine Paterson. I did read a few of her books, but I didn't stick to my original hope of reading one per month all year long. The titles I did read were: Jip: His Story; Flip-Flop Girl; Park's Quest; Come Sing, Jimmy JoThe Master PuppeteerBridge to Terabithia (which was a re-read); and The Same Stuff as Stars.

My last goal was to simplify challenge record-keeping. I do think I did a good job of tracking my challenges this year. I had a Goodreads shelf for each one, and I kept checklists in a notebook for challenges with specific category requirements. 


I signed up for 8 challenges in 2019, but only completed half of them. Here are the details.

The goal of the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge was to read 26 books whose titles begin with each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. I took a long break from this one in the middle of the year, but came back around to complete it in November. I also completed the Alphabet Soup Author Edition Reading Challenge, where the goal was to read 26 books, having one author represent each letter.

I really enjoyed participating in the CathLit Catholic Reading Challenge, but there were some categories that just didn't appeal to me, and I ended up crossing off only 14 of the 19 items on the challenge checklist. The books I did read were: The Seven Storey Mountain (a spiritual memoir); The Interior Castle (a classic spiritual work); The Reed of God (a book about Mary); Brideshead Revisited (book by a Catholic novelist); Humanae Vitae (book by a Pope);  Unplanned (book by a Catholic woman);  Something Other Than God (a conversion story); The Gentle Traditionalist (a book about apologetics); In This House of Brede (a long Catholic book); The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer: Special Edition for Young Readers (a Catholic classic); The Great Divorce (a book by a non-Catholic that all the Catholics are reading);  The Catholic All Year Compendium (a recently published Catholic book); Real Music (a book about the liturgy), and Leisure the Basis of Culture (a book by a Catholic philosopher). 

I didn't end up keeping up with linking up my books for the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge after the first quarter, but I did continue tracking them on Goodreads. I read 50 total, which was within the range for my goal of Special Agent (36-55 books). 

I completed the Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge, where my goal was Famished (26 -51 Cozy Mysteries). I read 34. 

I stuck with both the Library Love Challenge and the RMFAO Audiobooks Challenge on Goodreads until around the halfway point of the year, but realized that I didn't really need to be challenged to borrow library books or to listen to audiobooks and stopped linking up my titles. I also abandoned the Mount TBR challenge, but that was almost immediately, as I just didn't like the strict tone of the whole thing. 

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing my top 25 reads of 2019. Then check back on New Year's Day for my reading plans for 2020. 

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