January 13, 2020

2019 End of the Year Reading Survey

Alright, so another year has passed -- farewell, 2019! -- and 2020 is upon us. It's once again time to catalogue my reading from 2019 and look ahead to 2020. I think I did decently well in 2019 in terms of reading -- I met (and even surpassed) my Goodreads challenge, and I met 2/4 of my other reading challenges.

This fabulous survey is hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner. If you want to participate, link up your blog post here.

Number Of Books You Read: 51 (which includes a couple re-reads, and not counting DNFs)

Number of Re-Reads: at least 2 (The Handmaid's Tale and The Eyre Affair)

Genre You Read The Most From: Tied between speculative fiction -- fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal -- and contemporary (Genre breakdown: 12 historical; 19 speculative; 19 contemporary)

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

Illusion by Paula Volsky -- this is a thoroughly detailed and engrossing alternative universe fantasy retelling of the French Revolution

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides -- I read a few thrillers this year, which is a genre I don't usually read a ton of, and this one completely surprised me with the twist.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik -- I really loved Uprooted, but this one just didn't work for me the same way. I wasn't totally on board with the multiple POVs/storylines, as I didn't like or care about all of the characters equally.

A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole -- An Extraordinary Union balanced the romance and historical storylines really well, so I was disappointed that the second in the series leaned more heavily on the romance -- which, to be honest, I felt kinda lacked chemistry -- and was quite light on the spy/intrigue storyline.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?   

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell -- surprising in a good way! I really wasn't too sure about this book starting out, as it seemed like a campy, over-the-top Harry Potter wanna-be story, but then I warmed up to it.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood -- this was a re-read, but sort of surprised me in being quite different from what I had remembered (and also quite different from the TV show, which really expanded on what Atwood had originally written). It definitely has more of a "slice of life" sort of approach to living in the dystopian world she's built, rather than the rise and fall of a typical plotline.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Illusion by Paula Volsky, the Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon

5. Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?

Best series started: not sure which to pick for this one... there are a number of series I started in 2019 that seem promising, including Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, and A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigit Kemmerer.

Best sequel: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. (Weirdly enough, since it was also listed for my "most disappointing books" question, but honestly, I read a bunch of unimpressive sequels this year, and Spinning Silver was still probably the most well-written one of the bunch.)

Best series ender: Bright Ruin by Vic James -- this series doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

Paula Volsky, Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, Alex Michaelides

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Illusion by Paula Volsky, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

9. Book You Read In 2019 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Rosemarked (to refresh my memory before reading the next in the series)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Rosemarked, Wildflower Hill, The Ten Thousand Doors of January

11. Most memorable character of 2019?

Kelsier from Mistborn; Baz from Carry On

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019?

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow -- while some of it got purple prose-y, there were also some beautiful, quotable turns of phrase in this story.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan -- not life-changing, but definitely provokes some critical thought about the mental health system in the US.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys -- these books have both been sitting on my shelves for YEARS and YEARS. So glad I finally got around to reading them!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?

From The Ten Thousand Doors of January:

"That afternoon, sitting in that lonely field beside the Door that didn't lead anywhere, I wanted to write a different kind of story. A true kind of story, something I could crawl into if only I believed it hard enough." 

And this one from A Stitch in Time:

"There are some supremely agreeable moments in life that are best savoured alone -- the first barefoot step into a cold sea, the reading of certain books, the revelation that it has snowed in the night, waking up on one's birthday... And others the full wonder of which can only be achieved if someone else is there to observe."

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

Shortest: A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively (138 pages)

Longest: Illusion by Paula Volsky (700 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Silent Patient

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Eliste and Dref from Illusion, Simon and Baz from Carry On, Tiffy and Leon from The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

This is a hard one to choose this year... maybe the connections that Ove forms in A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman?

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Bright Ruin

21. Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Carry On

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?

Malcolm McCall from An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole; Dref from Illusion

23. Best 2019 debut you read?

The Flatshare

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? 


World building: Illusion; Spinning Silver; Mistborn

Setting: Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian; Beatrice and Benedick by Marina Fiorato

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Carry On, The Flatshare

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase (it didn't make me cry, but it was quite haunting in how it dealt with the impact of a mother's death)

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Stay Sweet -- as I said in my review, this was a "feel-good read that transported me to a summery lakeside and made me really want to taste that indescribable ice cream flavour 'Home Sweet Home.'"

Daniel Half Human by David Chotjewitz -- I was surprised by how powerful and compelling a read this was.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Black Rabbit Hall, Mistborn

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

The Unseen World by Liz Moore -- it was a bit different from a typical contemporary novel, in that it dealt both with very realistic life events (the father's deteriorating mental state) and also the sci-fi elements involving artificial intelligence

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth -- Not super mad, but I just felt irritated by how pointless this book seemed. The execution did not live up to its potential.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine (this was my answer last year, and I still haven't read it...), Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly -- these are all already on my physical TBR shelves, so I have no excuses!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?

I know I'm a broken record at this point, but it remains: the next book in the Bone Season series. (Please let 2020 finally be the year it gets published!!!)

3. 2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins  (not a sequel, but a prequel of sorts, so...)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

Just to read more books that I have a high likelihood of enjoying -- I read a lot of books in 2019 that were "okay, but not great." Perhaps this is partly because I can't resist a really good deal on Book Outlet, even if the book hasn't gotten amazing reviews. I feel like I need to be a little more selective about which books I pick up, or perhaps just more judicious in DNFing them... at the same time, I want to still be open to unexpectedly stumbling upon a hidden gem of a read!


  1. i love reading round up posts. great job
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. My hold for Silent Patient just came in from the library and I'm excited to pick it up. I also don't read too many thrillers and I"m curious about the twist!


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