2019 Reading Stats:
Number Of Books You Read: 25 (more than in the last two years but not nearly enough)
Number of Re-Reads: 12
Genre You Read The Most From: Classics
Best in Books
Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t: The Professor by Charlotte Brontë. I had a similar reaction to Villette but fortunately not as strong this time. Boy, William, the main character, was annoying. Everyone was under scrutiny, examination and judgement by him. Again, I could not believe this was the same author who had written the wonderful Jane Eyre, one of my favourite novels!
Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read in 2019: In a good way, Elizabeth and her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim It was a delightful book and I could relate to Elizabeth completely. In a bad way, The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford. If you want to read about messed up people having affairs and then making excuses for their behaviour, read this book. I did not like it one bit. I could see Ford had talent, but I thought he wasted it.
Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender: Well, this was kind of a year for series. I started a perpetual Agatha Christie read and the one I enjoyed most …. so hard to pick but probably The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I also began to read Josephine Tey’s mysteries. And an honourable mention goes to The 39 Steps and Midshipman Hornblower, both first books in a series. It wasn’t planned; it just happened. I just wish I had the time to continue with them all!
Favorite new author you discovered in 2019: Well, probably Elizabeth von Arnim, if one book is anything to go off of. Also, Josephine Tey, who is a wonderful writer!
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/ out of your comfort zone: Midshipman Hornblower. I haven’t read many books about sailing and war and the sea but this one was quite an enjoyable read.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year: The Secret Adversary, but The House of Mirth, although not action-packed, was pretty unputdownable too!
Book you read in 2019 that you are most likley to reread next year: The Divine Comedy. I love Ciardi’s translation so much that I keep sticking to it. I need to read Alan Mandelbaum’s translation next. He apparently gets the most balance between form and meaning, but Ciardi sounds the most like Dante, even though he takes liberties with the text.
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019: I don’t have alot to choose from but I kind of liked this one from Phantastes. It’s very moody.
Most memorable characters of 2019: Lily Bart from The House of Mirth absolutely!! Wharton’s crafting of her character is exemplary!! She’s probably one of my top favourite characters of all time.
Most beautifully written book read in 2019: The Divine Comedy. I wish I could read Italian as I’m told that Dante is a genius.
Most-thought provoking/ life-changing book of 2019: Ah, this is easy! Both The Art of Loving and C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves. I did read-alongs of both and it really helped me (and I hope others) to explore the true meaning of love and the actions that rightly build this emotion. They were both just awesome!
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read: Yikes! Hard to say but I’ll put Elizabeth and her German Garden only because I’ve had von Arnim on my radar for awhile.
Book that shocked you the most: The Good Soldier. I don’t think I’m a prude but I do have standards. Aimless meandering without a job or purpose, fooling around with people other than your spouse and making a joke of it, all while deliberately denying the tragedy of your actions, is not something I would want to read about. But I did. And I do feel like I wasted my time. Live and learn, I guess.
Favorite non-romantic relationship: Dante and Beatrice from The Divine Comedy (Paradiso).
Favorite book you read in 2019 from an author you’ve read previously: Ugh, this is difficult because I had so many re-reads. Probably The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
Best book you read in 2019 that you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else: The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey. A little of a cheat because the book wasn’t recommended but the author was!
Best world-building/most vivid setting you read this year: The Divine Comedy. No one can compare to Dante!
Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read: Elizabeth and her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim. Delightful!
Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2019: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Poor Lily!
Hidden gem of the year: This is a difficult choice. I had gems but I’d read them before so the second time around, the gem turns into something else. Again I would have to say Elizabeth and her German Garden for lack of a better choice.
Most unique book you read in 2019: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm. He’s a psychoanalyst who looks at love from a practical perspective. A nice complement to Lewis who, in his The Four Loves, looks at love from an emotional and spiritual perspective.
Book that made you the most mad: The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford. See above. I have no more to say about it.
Your Blogging/Bookish Life
Favorite review that you wrote in 2019: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton because I think I was able to capture her critique on society, but also the benefits she saw with a societal code and the loss of them when that code became compromised.
Best event that you participated in: Is it bad to choose my own event? There aren’t as many read-alongs as there used to be, so I’m going to choose my The Four Loves Read-Along which was the first of my three read-alongs for the year. I must say I loved The House of Mirth as well, but Lewis is always a favourite and it was my first read of this book while the two others books were re-reads.
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019: I’m not sure I have a great answer for this question. Probably the wonderful conversation and discussion we had during the read-alongs and finding like-minded readers and lovers of the classics!
Most popular post this year on your blog: The most looked at post was my Back to the Classics Challenge 2019 (262 views); my post popular review (of an essay) after that was An Apology for Idlers by Robert Louis Stevenson; and my most popular book review was The Age of Innocence which beat out The Return of the Native by one view!
Post you wished got a little more love: None really.
Best bookish discovery: Well, just the other day I picked up a first edition of My Friend Flicka but my absolute score was The Chronicles of Narnia hardcover first editions that I picked up for $9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is missing though which was a bummer. I think they’re U.S. editions but they still should be worth over $1,000 Would I sell them? Never!
Book you are most anticipating for 2020 (non-debut): Hmmm … possibly a Russian book such as Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2020: The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope. Now you’re probably seeing quadruple, as I’ve mentioned this is previous years …. more than once … *** blush ***
One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2020: I need to become more focused. My total books for 2019 is 25 and many of those are light books. One year I read over 80 books and 52 didn’t used to be a problem. However, I have been doing read-alongs which are tons of work and take away from my reading time. On the other hand, I get so much out of them and love reading and discussing with others. What to do? I guess just put one book in front of the other!
Wishing everyone happy reading days and lots of them in 2020!!
This survey is brought to you by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner!