According to Goodreads, I’ve read 47 books this year. There are still a few days left in 2019 and I expect that number might go up by one or two more, but let’s work with those 47 for now.
47 feels like a very low number to me. In 2018, I read 62 books, but many of those were free novellas from indie authors, while this year I read more full-length novels. The amount of pages read is about 1500 or so less, so in reality I guess I have been slacking a little bit this year. I don’t really understand why people would challenge themselves to read x number of books though – read as many as you like! Some are short and some are long, some are audio only and others are mostly graphic art, but as long as you do read, it’s all good.
They say your thoughts and ideas are formed by what you read, so let’s have a look at what was bubbling around in my brain in 2019.
(Please note, I’ve added affiliate links to some of these books – they won’t cost you anything extra, but if you decide to buy from the link I’ll get a small commission to help feed my reading habit.)
Books That I Read for Review Purposes
I love that I get paid to read books, but seriously, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. Indie publishing means there are no more gatekeepers, but oftentimes those gatekeepers are sorely needed. The books I read for review this year were generally not too bad, thank goodness. One was excellent and one nearly did me in. We’ll see if I continue with this particular time sink next year.
Books by Author Friends
It’s always nerve-wracking to read a book written by a friend – what if I don’t like it? Should I be honest or should I sugarcoat it? Luckily, my friends are all excellent writers! I particularly enjoyed Starheart, A Study of Ash and Smoke, and Last Fight of the Old Hound!
Books on Writing and Marketing
I’m always trying to improve my writing skills, and I’ve discovered a love for book marketing. Most people don’t realise how difficult it is to write a (good) novel! And trying to get other people to actually read it is even more challenging (even more so if they need to pay for it first).
Other Non-Fiction Books
I’m a little disappointed by how short this list is. Reading non-fiction is where I get my ideas from and it fills my creative well, so I’ll definitely need to make it a priority for 2020. I always used to read one book for fun, followed by one book for the mind, but this habit has fallen by the wayside the last few years. Time to implement it again, I think. This year, my favourite non-fiction book was Big Magic and I’d recommend it to any creative in need of some motivation or inspiration.
Books that were Okay
Sometimes books just don’t live up to my expectations. They may have an interesting idea, or great writing or fantastic worldbuilding, but somehow they just disappoint. For me, The Belles was great on almost all counts, except that it didn’t convey the message that the shallow society and its crappy morals are less than ideal. Similarly, I really wanted to like Angelfall (because angels) and Talon (because dragons), but they just didn’t do much for me.
Books that I Liked
I’d recommend every book on this list, either for their great writing, great characters and/or plot, or creativity. They were all fun reads, but just lacked that little something that pushes a book from being good to being great. I was particularly pleased to discover The Mermaid’s Sister, which has beautifully lyrical writing and quirky characters, and the concept of time as a currency in Everless was fascinating.
Books that I Loved
Needless to say, I think you should add all of these books to your TBR pile if you haven’t read them already. The Swan Thieves and The Shadow of the Wind were both riveting, and The First Time I Died was clever and quirky.
My favourite book of 2019 was hands-down Strange the Dreamer – I loved everything about it and it makes me want to quit writing, because I’ll never be as good as this book is.
What was your favourite book this year? Recommend something I have to read in 2020 in the comments below.