I am settling down with a hot chocolate while I tell you all about my 2019 reading year. 😍
I have to admit, I absolutely love doing these end-of-year recap posts. Stats! Pie charts! Me, gleefully lining up all my favourite books of the year! Plus this is like end of the DECADE. End of an era. 😭 I’m feeling nostalgic, but also really freaking relieved because 2019 TOOK FOREVER TO END. It was the longest year of my life and I’m just…vaguely kicking it out the door and hoping 2020 will be amazing.
2019 was a mess of good and bad
Incredible things happened…like my second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, came out in April and was nominated for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie medal which is just — I still cannot freaking believe that happened to me!!! I’ve also have been having the best friendships this year, done successful freelance blogging work, joined MTMC Tours as a social media manager, read SO many good books (and had the actual funds — finally omggggg — to buy books I wanted), moved to live near the beach which makes my soul thrive, and hit some huge follower counts on Instagram (61,000!!!!). I look back and am so grateful for so much this year. Readers’ love. Friends’ support. Magnum ice creams. 🥺💛 love u.
…and the bad? I still am rather private about my personal life, so I won’t go deeply into details. But I have depression/anxiety, and add in messy-life-things = it’s genuinely been the worst year. Things have also happened and my author-future has stalled for now — but I’m still working so so hard. And I’m really really proud that The Boy Who Steals Houses is out and people have liked it. Maybe it’s not the world’s biggest release and I can’t promise what happens next with my writing, but it means everything to me that I did this. I have two books out. I DID THAT. I just…thank you so much to everyone who has bought it, reviewed it, taken photos, recommended it. 😭
It’s been a mess of a year, but I’m grateful for the good parts.
But I felt it’s important to say life isn’t perfect and things aren’t always golden after being published and anxiety can be forever debilitating. I want to be honest with you all too, because I find it way easier to just talk about the fun stuff.
For 2020, I want to do things I love. Write the kind of books I love. Read less, but read more FOR ME. Work slower and be kinder to myself. TAKE NAPS WITH NO GUILT. Enjoy the ocean. Daydream, wildly. I’m not making any huge goals for next year and I’m not saying “this is the year I’m not depressed!” The plan is to be less pressured. In reading, blogging, writing, living. I want to stop being mad at myself for going slower. It would just be nice !!!! to be kinder to myself.
And I would like to stack up books in very tall piles and just ADMIRE them. Because yes.
Getting to 200 was a struggle this year 😂And sadly this is my last 200-books-a-year for a while! I’ve been hitting this goal for 6 years now!!!! But when reading is stressful and you’re always behind…you have to ask what’s the point if it’s not fun. 🤗And yes, reading is still sort of work for me too (AUTHOR MOOD) but I’m aiming for 150 next year and I want to feel less stressed about it all!!! I also need more writing time because I write slow now and next year I want to write a lot.
I have plans. 👀
Hey I’m pretty happy with this! Last year I was at 16% for 5-stars and this year I’m at 20%. 😚👌🏻I did have a lot of “meh” books this year but is that the books oR THE DEPRESSION. Who can know. 😌I’ll also blame that I read a bunch of comics to catch up on my Goodreads goal, and they were…not good comics.
Fantasy ended up winning this year! Last year was contemporary. But loooook I’m going back to my fantasy roots. 😍Am pleased. I also suck at reading sci-fi and historical-fiction and thriller but this is not new. (I still avoid the really looooong epic fantasies but gAH. Not next year!! Next year I’ll read them all!)
Paperbacks are where I live, apparently. I didn’t listen to enough audios!! I need to up that.
where did my reads come from?
I moved to a town that actually has a library this year!!!!! I’m SO ridiculously excited (I was library deprived for nearly 2 years) and I absolutely made use of it. Also my habit of only reading ARCs and library books continues…even though I buy books I really want to read?!? I just…don’t read them?!? Would like to talk to me about this too.
YEAR PUBLISHED + Country
I read so much USA lit. I feel like a mild country traitor but omg there is just so much USA YA I am obsessed with. And as always, I manage to fail all backlist intentions. 😂
I still haven’t worked out a way to track diversity properly! Because this just means these minorities turned up in a book — not that they were the main character or the focus. So I’ll ponder how to define this better next year. So 132 out of 200 were diverse…and I think that stat could be better. But still makes me happy to know that I pick lots of books focused on portraying our world how it really is — DIVERSE.
And I still wish there were more disability books.
I’m trying to mention all the books I loved this year! All covers link to Goodreads Reviews.
I’m limiting myself to my top 10 list but oh am I insufferably in love with these ones. I can’t even express how much they all meant to me. Emotional roller coasters or deliciously clever writing or characters I’m obsessed with. They’re my heart stories for this year!!
Oh the sequel quality was excellent this year. And starting off spin-off series (between King of Scars, Red Scrolls of Magic, and Call Down the Hawk) just had me feeling happy. 🤗
Can You See Me had some of the best ever autism rep (and it’s MG which isn’t my usual genre but oh I loved it). And I expected to like Darius The Great Is Not Okay…but I accidentally fell wholly in love with it?! It’s quiet YA at its finest, queer and with great depression rep. 😭I don’t usually read anthologies but I loved EVERY single story in Hungry Hearts. It is glorious, diverse, and full of food.
Slay was just powerful and vulnerable and badass. Wicked Fox was just everything I love in YA fantasy…humour, angst, and monstrous girls and soft boys. I read both Elizabeth Acevedo’s books this year and omg LOVE them, but With Fire On High was my ultimate favourite because foodie fiction. 😌Jade City was just INCREDIBLE adult urban fantasy with the best magic system and excellent morally grey characters. And I read two books from Amy Rose Capetta (The Brilliant Death with Italian Mafia fantasy and magic and nonbinary MCs + and The Lost Coast with queer witches!) and AM A FAN of their style!
I read 7 books each from Leigh Barudgo, Maggie Stiefvater, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. (Including REREADS!) And can I just say these authors inspire me a phenomenal amount?! Especially Leigh Bardugo this year after she was interviewed for this article on Bustle about women fantasy writers having to “prove their trauma” and Maggie Stiefvater talking about her debilitating health issues and how she’s still healing. I love seeing disabled authors succeed so excuse me while I get emotional. 😭
I read quite a few books published in 2015 or earlier. This is because I got library access again 😂. But my true proud moment was winning against all 600 pages of The Secret History. I really REALLY wish someone would write a taut, mysterious and pretentious YA version. Please? Someone?
I reread 24 books this year! Not as many as 2018, but I was struggling to keep up with the TBR so much. (I failed 😂there is just no winning here okay.) But mY HEART. Gah, it belongs to these books. I’m pretty much counting down to being able to read most of them again in 2020. 😍
Contemporary makes me melt with appreciation, constantly. 🥺💛I read a lot of “quiet YA” this year, and fell in love with so many soft characters. There were also plenty of emotional ones that kept me thinking. Messy teens doing their best is exactly the content I want to read. (I also sense a colour scheme in 2019 contemporary releases.😂 Blue and pink, anyone?)
Can fantasy covers stop being so DOWNRIGHT ATTRACTIVE. But also it was just such a good year for fantasy. I’m realising I do prefer modern fantasy over epic these days, but I still read so many epics that took my whole heart and ran off with it. UGH I LOVE THESE.
This is the part where I just casually drag myself. The worst thing is, most of the ones I listed for 2018 as “I will read them this year!!” …I STILL DIDN’T. But I would like to think I will read these in 2020? 🥺
I am actually suffocating with excitement here!!! Just!! The quality and premises of YA in 2020 is blowing my mind and I can’t wait to read absolutely all of it and be broke. 😭🙌🏻 Most of my super hyped ones aren’t coming out for forever though.
And I’m still waiting on Stiefvater to announce the sequel to Call Down the Hawk AND hoping hoping that Holly Black announces a new book!!!
AM SHAKING. NEED THESE SO MUCH.
hi!!! tell me your favourite books of 2019 😍 how many books did you read? did you feel like it was a GOOD reading year?