2019 reading round-up and favourites

fireworks in Rotterdam
New Year fireworks on the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

Well I don’t know if it was a lucky guess or if I know myself well, but this year I read exactly the number of books I set as my 2019 Goodreads challenge: 70. I’ve had a few dry spells so a lot of those have been mini books, but I have enjoyed sampling several famous authors that way.

Of those 70 books, 37 were written by women and two were by multiple men and women, so that’s pretty close to even. 27 were translated from other languages, which is much higher than I have achieved in previous years and is probably the result of my EU Reading Challenge.

That challenge is only half complete, though I have now identified which books I want to read for the remaining 14 countries in the list. I guess I have until 31 December 2020, which will be a sad day for the UK.

Another challenge I haven’t yet completed is the Classics Club, for which I was meant to read 50 classics in five years. I had left myself a tough but achievable 16 to read in this final year, but only managed 2. I’d like to read the remaining titles I had picked out for my list, so I’ll carry on reading them, though it might be best not to give myself a time limit.

Looking at the books I rated five stars on Goodreads, a lot of my favourites this year were comics (possibly because I read a lot of comics). I have already posted my top 10 of 2019 on Twitter, but for posterity, here they are (not in any particular order):

How to be a Kosovan Bride by Naomi Hamill
Giant Days: Early Registration by John Allison
Inferior: the True Power of Women and the Science That Shows It by Angela Saini
1602: Witch Hunter Angela by Marguerite Bennett and Keiron Gillon
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi
Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police by Carmen Bugan
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson
Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri
Magnificent Ms Marvel vol 1: Destined by Saladin Ahmed and Minkyu Jung

I’m hoping for a bit more, well, hope in 2020. And if that doesn’t happen then maybe I could have a clear enough head to escape into more books. Happy New Year everyone.