a year in books: 2019 reading goals recap + favorite reads of the year

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Although I’ve been making progress bit-by-bit, I am horrifically behind on all of my 2019 reviews and 2020 planning. I could blame it on the fact that we’re selling our home and getting ready to start a new life 1,300 miles from the home I’ve known for the past 12-plus years . . . actually, yeah, that’s a pretty good reason. Let’s go with that.

The good news is even though I’m behind in the actual recording of the things, I did manage to cross a few items off the goals list — including exceeding my reading goal by nearly 150 percent! Not only did I FINALLY get through every single book club book for the year (only took me seven years), I managed to make time to read a total of 52 books. Honestly, that number could have been quite a bit higher had I continued to prioritize reading at the same level as I did during the first six months for the entire year but I’m going back to that aforementioned whole cross-country move thing and I’m going to cut myself some slack. Ironically, about a year ago when I was setting my goals for 2019, I toyed with choosing 50 as a goal but thought it too ambitious. I guess I should have gone with my gut.

One more accomplishment I’m super proud of as it relates to reading is that, while I read significantly more books this year, I purchased only a few. How, you may ask, does that magical math work out? One amazing place made it happen: the library. Even though I had to wait months and months to dig into a few of the books I read this year, I didn’t give in and replace my position in queue for purchasing the book. I practiced patient and restraint and it paid off — literally, like to the tune of approximately $1,000 saved over the year. These cost savings are just one of the many reasons I adore libraries and can’t wait to get my new card in California (I’ve already researched the SF library system).

Below you can find a recap of my 2019 reading goals, which I significantly simplified over past years, as well as my favorite books of the year. I’d love to hear in the comment what you enjoyed reading last year and what you’ve got on your shelf for 2020!

2019 reading goals

  • read a total of 35 books – done + 17!
  • read all book club books (~10) – done
  • read 10 unread books I own – not sure about this one, I kind of lost track
  • re-read one of my favorite books – done
  • complete all quarters of Bookbar readolution challenge – not done/made it through one quarter
  • attend two Bookbar readolution happy hours – not done

Top reads of 2019 (alphabetical)

  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Trevor Noah
  • Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, Cal Newport
  • Dog Songs, Mary Oliver
  • The Library Book, Susan Orlean
  • Silence in the Age of Noise, Erling Kagge
  • The Thing About Jellyfish, Ali Benjamin
  • Wild Words: Rituals, Routines and Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s path, Nicole Gulotta
For the full list, you can check out my Goodreads.

1 comments on “a year in books: 2019 reading goals recap + favorite reads of the year”

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