2019 Wrap-Up & TBR Update

I made a TBR for the whole of 2019 at the beginning of the year, thinking it would be the thing that finally made me follow a TBR. My big problem is that I usually don’t work with planning things out. I can have a general direction or options, but if it’s dinner, books or anything in between, I never respond well to a strict plan.

GOALS – to read more widely with science books, poetry, books about writing, new YA releases and some classics, along with the fantasy books I love. I also had a very personal goal of reading about physical pain, which I find very difficult to describe, and wanted different authors’ take on it. That last bit just didn’t happen at all, let’s start with pointing that out.

Books I read from the TBR:

I read 15 out of 47 books on my 2019 TBR … and 48 other books not on it. 63 books in total, which I’m really happy with considering the last four months of the year was very unproductive in reading-sense because of starting university.

Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson was a dnf/kind of read. It’s built on “letters to a young poet” and was interesting at times, but also dated and dry.

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman (review) was a great intro read, as Feynman explains physics concepts very well. I didn’t like his six not-so-easy pieces as much.

Alex’s Adventures in Numberland is a book I’ve kind of paused, because I didn’t finish it before summer vacation ended and now I’m surrounded by math, but it was really promising.

Branches by Rhiannon McGavin was the only of the TBR poetry collections I got to and it’s amazing.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson I just picked up this christmas, but he’s one of my fav authors.

Women in Science (review) is one of the best books I’ve read this year. So cute illustrations, so many brilliant women. Can be gifted to any age.

New releases

The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown (review) was a great book. I had my issues with The Wicked King by Holly Black (review). These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling (review) was not everything I hoped for, but nearly.

Heartstopper vol. 1 by Alice Oseman (review) was stunning and queer and great. I also read vol. 2. I recently devoured The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson, the sequel to Truly Devious, and liked it. Solitaire by Alice Oseman (review) was the let-down of the year – I love the author, but it’s obvious it was written by a teenager.

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren was my ultimate favourite book this year! Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (review) was another let-down. Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard (review) was a refreshing YA book.

Did I achieve my goals?

I read enough books this year. And I had a period of reading more poetry, even if it was mostly not the ones on the list. I definitely read more science books as well, and most of the new YA releases I wanted to get to. Where I failed hard was books about writing, partly also because I’ve been writing less than expected. I regret not reading the classics I wanted either. Thing is, this big TBR and goals worked a lot better than they seemed to. During September and October I read zero fiction books, which is rare for me. In November I read only two. About 30% of the books on my TBR was read this year, but everything considered – it wasn’t terrible.

The biggest surprise and win of this year of blogging was the June Pride Library 2019 Challenge (all the posts I did here), which I suddenly decided to join amidst exams and also made me do A LOT more investigation into which types of queer books were out there.

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