Favorite Books Read in 2019

Hello, long-neglected blog.  I may not have been writing this year, but I’ve been reading and it’s time to look back and pick my favorites.

First, here are some big-picture statistics about my reading this year:

  • Total books finished: 140
  • Total number of rereads: 24
  • First time reads: 116
  • Total pages read: 42,329
  • Average rating: 3.79 stars
  • Most active month: June with 18 books and 5,291 pages
  • Least active month: November with 7 books and 2,729 pages

For a complete list of titles, ratings, and formats, download my Excel spreadsheet by following this link.  Or you can check out my 2019 shelf on Goodreads.

A few words about my reading habits… I’m an eccentric reader.  Driven by mood, I pick up whatever book catches my fancy and usually read 6-10 at once.  I have designated books for designated times or places, which helps me cover a wide variety of genres and titles without confusing them.  There’s always a book for reading after breakfast before I finish my coffee. I always have an e-book on my Kindle that I’m only allowed to read at the gym.  (Motivation for exercise that actually works!!).  I usually have an audiobook I play while driving and washing dishes. Then, there’s book clubs. I lead two and am a member of two more. My friends poke fun at me for being over-committed in this arena. (They’re not wrong.)

On to the books!  Many of the titles I’m about to talk about are worthy of critical acclaim, but they’re on this list for one main reason: I liked them.  These are the books that moved me this year.  They are the ones I’m still thinking about.  This isn’t necessarily a list of recommendations. Maybe you’ll like these titles. Maybe you won’t.  My tastes might not match yours and that’s okay.

Continue reading

2016: A Story in Three Parts

As another year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect.

By global standards, 2016 was pretty much a train wreck.  Personally, though, it was a beautiful journey that I will tell in three parts.

INTRODUCTION:

A year ago, I was an unemployed college graduate with no idea of what I wanted to do with myself.  You see, for the majority of my life, my intuition has been my guide.  Until this point, early every major life decision has been guided by instinct.  College?  My gut lead me to the right fit.  Major?  My heart found home in the English Department.  Work at camp in the summers?  It just felt right.

The future, however, holds infinite possibilities and the prospective paths had me absolutely paralyzed.  I had absolutely no idea of anything.  My intuition, the little tug that pulls me in the next direction, had failed.

So, at the beginning of 2016, I felt my heart tugging me back to Europe and, against all logic, I followed. Continue reading

Goodbye, 2015!

Another year has come and gone.

Looking back, 2015 was a year of waiting.  First, I was waiting to graduate.  Then, I was waiting for whatever came next. There were days when I would have given anything for time to move faster.  There were periods of loneliness and periods of frustration.

In other ways, though, it was a wonderful year.  I was able to spend nine months living at home, which, in a way, has been like a return to childhood.  I’ve loved spending time with my family.  I loved working at our strawberry patch and apple orchard.

I’ve learned a lot this year.  I finished my degree.  I spent my summer pulling weeds followed by a fall hauling around apples.  I experienced my first professional job.  I attended the Urbana missions conference.

I’m not sad to see 2015 go.  It’s been good, but better years lie ahead.

Check out some photo highlights from my year: