2019 In Books

At the end of last year, one of the goals I had set for myself for 2019 was to read 24 books, or two books in every month. Well I can happily say I far surpassed that goal…by 16 books! I rediscovered my love for reading new books, as I’ve been known to reread the Harry Potter series every year (I guess you could say I’m a fan). I discovered new favorites and talented authors and had fun exploring new genres as well as old classics. 2019 was definitely the year of reading for me, and I thought a post recapping each book I read this year would be a great way to pay homage to these amazing writers and their works of literary art.

What really helped me read so much this year was finally getting a library card. Crazy, right? The public library, have you heard of it? Being able to read any book that slightly catches my attention without having to pay for it and find space for it on my bookshelf has been a saving grace. It also makes me happy that these books are being reused and reread by many rather than collecting dust on my bookshelf. I would highly recommend using and appreciating your local library. Five stars.

Below is a list of the 40 books I’ve read this year, with my favorites in bold. If you’re looking for a new book to read, I hope a few on this list sparks your interest! Keep reading to see what my favorite book of 2019 was!

  1. One Day in December by Josie Silver
  2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  3. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  4. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
  5. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  6. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  7. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
  8. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  10. Mercy by Jodi Picoult
  11. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
  12. Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox
  13. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  14. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
  15. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  16. The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
  17. Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone
  18. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  19. A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson
  20. Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder
  21. Circe by Madeline Miller
  22. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
  23. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
  24. Catcher by Kalyn Nicholson
  25. The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  26. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  27. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  28. Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me by Adrienne Brodeur
  29. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  30. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  31. Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson
  32. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
  33. Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  34. Own It: Make Your Anxiety Work For You by Caroline Foran
  35. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  36. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  37. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  38. After You by Jojo Moyes
  39. Still Me by Jojo Moyes
  40. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

In writing out my list of books, I’ve noticed a few trends:

  • If I liked an author, I tried to read their other books. I’ve noticed a repeat of certain authors on my list, either reading trilogies like Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, or separate works written by the same author such as Gillian Flynn or Sarah Addison Allen. Thankfully, I was never disappointed.
  • I mainly read books written by women. From this list of 40 books, 33 were authored by women while 7 were by men. This was a very subconscious act on my part, but I’m happy to have rallied behind and supported these amazing writers.
  • I ventured outside of my usual genres. I went back to read a few classics that I somehow hadn’t read yet, like Animal Farm and The Handmaid’s Tale, and read a few nonfiction pieces, which is a genre I largely ignore. Using my library card allowed me to explore other works; typically I only buy books I know I will like because I want to make sure I spend my money wisely. There was one exception to this, though, as I paid for one nonfiction that ended up becoming my favorite book of the year and, possibly even, decade.

2019’s Book of the Year goes to…

Know My Name by Chanel Miller.

I set out to buy Chanel’s book as soon as I learned it had been published, purely to support such an amazing human being. If you don’t know who Chanel Miller is (and you really should), she was the victim in that now infamous Stanford swimmer rape case from 2015. You know, the guy who is now the textbook definition of rape but only served three months in jail because the judge was concerned of the way incarceration might affect his future? Yeah, that one. Well for awhile Chanel Miller remained anonymous, only known as Emily Doe to protect her identity. Her victim impact statement went widely viral, even being quoted by Hillary Clinton in a speech. I knew this woman was powerful, so when she identified herself and announced the publication of her memoir, I knew I had to read it. I’m forever grateful to Chanel for her work. I strongly believe her memoir needs to be read by every single human, especially young women. I have recommended this book to every family member and friend I know, and I hope that you take this recommendation seriously and grab yourself a copy. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

I’ve decided I don’t want to challenge and push myself to read 50 books in 2020. It’s not a race. Some books take longer than others to read, and I never want to feel like I’m on a deadline when it’s truly just a hobby that should be enjoyed and not rushed. I think I’ll give myself a goal of 30 books, a little bit more than my last goal of 24 but (and I know this now) not an impossible amount. Having a goal really encourages me to spend more time reading and less time watching mindless TV. I’m excited to see what my 2020 reads bring me in terms of new memories, adventures and lessons. Let me know what your reading goal is for the new year!

P.S. – don’t forget to follow my account on Goodreads to see what I’m reading while I’m reading it! Just search for Erica Loera 🙂

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