2019: My Year in Reading

All of the data that follows was collected by me throughout the year using a combination of Google Sheets and Google Calendar. This year, I analyzed my reading using both the start and finished dates for each title: for example, I totaled how many books I started reading each month and also how many I finished each month. I calculated separate averages for both and found the overall totals work out the same either way. Average days to read titles are based on the number of days actually spent reading each title, and not necessarily the full span from starting date to finished date.

A complete list of all the books I read in 2019 is at the bottom of this post.

For a list of my favorite books I read this year, go here >

I participated in #LibFaves19 on Twitter. See my selections here >

I didn’t create a “Least Favorites” list this year. I started to but then realized I enjoyed even my least favorite books too much to justify such a list. It was a good year for reading!

I read 75 books in 2019:

  • 38 fiction
  • 37 nonfiction

To the best of my knowledge, this is an all-time record for me. This is also the first year in my life outside of school that I read an equal amount of fiction and non.

I averaged 6.25 books per month. I read 37 books in the first half of the year and 38 in the second half. My average books per month for the first six months of the year was 6.17 compared to an average of 6.33 per month in the last six months. I maintained a pretty steady pace through the year.

My fiction-to-nonfiction ratio was 17 and 20 respectively in the first six months, 21 and 17 for the last six.

I spent 183 days reading in 2019 and 182 not reading. I averaged 2.91 days of reading in a row per stretch and 2.89 days in a row not reading.

My longest uninterrupted stretch of reading lasted 19 days, from December 9–December 27. My longest stretch without reading was 21 days from October 21–November 10. At least I didn’t go a full month or more without reading anything, unlike last year.

I’m surprised at how even my overall stats turned out to be this year: 38/37, 183/182, 2.91/2.89, 21/19. I certainly didn’t plan it that way.

My seasonal reading pattern was mostly consistent:

  • 20 books in winter (January-February-December)
  • 19 books in spring (March-April-May)
  • 24 books in summer (June-July-August)
  • 12 books in fall (September-October-November)

I read 10 books in both March and July. My lowest monthly total was October, with 3.

On average, it took me 2.67 days to read a book:

  • 2.74 days for fiction
  • 2.60 days for nonfiction

Only one book took me more than a week to read: The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, which required nine days. It was close to 1,000 pages and her stories make you take your time. I read 73 books in less than a week each and one took me one week exactly: The Best of Uncanny edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas. 16 took me only one day each—which puts me one shy of my record from last year. There were two days when I read two books from beginning to end in a single day:

  • July 5, when I read both Broken Places & Outer Spaces by Nnedi Okorafor and Recursion by Blake Crouch. I read Changing the Conversation by Dana Caspersen the following day, which makes three titles completed in two days.
  • October 20, when I read both Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time edited by Hope Nicholson and Tranny by Laura Jane Grace.

I continue to seek out works that are not written by, nor told from the perspective of, cisgender heterosexual white men, both in my fiction and nonfiction reading. This year, I also found myself drawn to books about the history of punk and I read my first ever inspirational romance novel: A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot.

I finally got around to posting all my Booklist reviews on this blog. I’ll continue to post these reviews as they’re published. I wrote very few reviews for myself, though, continuing a pattern that began right around the time I started reviewing for Booklist.

As I’ve discussed on this blog recently, this will be the last time I post an annual analysis of my reading for… I don’t know how long. Possibly for ever. I’ve decided not to track my reading next year—I find it stressful and I’ve come to resent the pressure it puts on me to read even when I don’t want to. I’ll still keep a list of all the books I read but I won’t track start or finish dates, nor how long it takes me to read anything.

Books Read in 2019

I’ve linked titles which I’ve reviewed on this blog. Asterisks (*) indicate titles I reviewed for Booklist.

Title Author Started Finished
1. Ball Lightning Cixin Liu 12/30/2018 1/1/2019
2. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters Priya Parker 1/1/2019 1/3/2019
3. Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor Virginia Eubanks 1/7/2019 1/9/2019
4. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism Robin DiAngelo 1/10/2019 1/17/2019
5. Titanshade * Dan Stout 1/14/2019 1/16/2019
6. The Science Fiction Fanzine Reader: Focal Points 1930-1960 * Luis Ortiz (ed.) 1/19/2019 1/26/2019
7. Smek for President! Adam Rex 1/26/2019 1/27/2019
8. Punk: The Best of Punk Magazine John Holmstrom and Bridget Hurd (ed.) 2/4/2019 2/6/2019
9. Deep Past * Eugene Linden 2/6/2019 2/7/2019
10. Perihelion Summer * Greg Egan 2/8/2019 2/9/2019
11. So You Want to Talk about Race Ijeoma Oluo 2/25/2019 2/26/2019
12. The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life Tomás R. Jiménez 2/27/2019 3/3/2019
13. Heroes of the Space Age: Incredible Stories of the Famous and Forgotten Men and Women Who Took Humanity to the Stars * Rod Pyle 3/4/2019 3/7/2019
14. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval Saidiya Hartman 3/8/2019 3/9/2019
15. The Raven Tower Ann Leckie 3/9/2019 3/11/2019
16. Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World Maryanne Wolf 3/12/2019 3/14/2019
17. Breach of Containment Elizabeth Bonesteel 3/15/2019 3/16/2019
18. Zoo City Lauren Beukes 3/17/2019 3/17/2019
19. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men Caroline Criado Perez 3/24/2019 3/25/2019
20. The Mere Wife Maria Dahvana Headley 3/25/2019 3/29/2019
21. Octavia Gone * Jack McDevitt 3/30/2019 3/31/2019
22. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Ibram X. Kendi 3/31/2019 4/8/2019
23. Reentry * Peter Cawdron 4/9/2019 4/11/2019
24. The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books * John Wade 4/13/2019 4/15/2019
25. How Long ’til Black Future Month? N. K. Jemisin 4/16/2019 4/24/2019
26. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity Kim Scott 4/30/2019 5/5/2019
27. Meet Me in the Future: Stories * Kameron Hurley 5/11/2019 5/13/2019
28. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World Melinda Gates 5/14/2019 5/18/2019
29. The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach 5/20/2019 6/3/2019
30. Tyger Burning * T. C. McCarthy 5/22/2019 5/27/2019
31. Conversations from the Edge: The Galaxy’s Edge Interviews * Joy Ward 5/28/2019 5/31/2019
32. African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard 6/3/2019 6/9/2019
33. The Cruel Stars * John Birmingham 6/9/2019 6/11/2019
34. A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson 6/11/2019 6/11/2019
35. The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives Leonard Mlodinow 6/12/2019 6/14/2019
36. Tiamat’s Wrath James S. A. Corey 6/15/2019 6/17/2019
37. The Kingdom of Copper S. A. Chakraborty 6/19/2019 6/29/2019
38. The Best of Greg Egan * Greg Egan 6/30/2019 7/4/2019
39. Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected Nnedi Okorafor 7/5/2019 7/5/2019
40. Recursion Blake Crouch 7/5/2019 7/5/2019
41. Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution Dana Caspersen 7/6/2019 7/6/2019
42. Kabu Kabu: Stories Nnedi Okorafor 7/7/2019 7/13/2019
43. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities Mady G & J. R. Zuckerberg 7/10/2019 7/10/2019
44. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View Various authors 7/14/2019 7/17/2019
45. Sisters of the Vast Black * Lina Rather 7/17/2019 7/17/2019
46. The Science of Monsters: The Truth about Zombies, Witches, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Legendary Creatures * Meg Hafdahl & Kelly Florence 7/21/2019 7/21/2019
47. A Stolen Heart Amanda Cabot 7/28/2019 7/31/2019
48. The Woman Left Behind Linda Howard 8/3/2019 8/13/2019
49. Reality Ahead of Schedule: How Science Fiction Inspires Science Fact * Joel Levy 8/11/2019 8/12/2019
50. A Heart in a Body in the World Deb Caletti 8/14/2019 8/15/2019
51. LaGuardia Nnedi Okorafor, Tana Ford & James Devlin 8/17/2019 8/17/2019
52. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019 * Sy Montgomery (ed.); Jaime Green (series ed.) 8/19/2019 8/25/2019
53. Alice Grove Jeph Jacques 8/20/2019 8/20/2019
54. How to Be an Antiracist Ibram X. Kendi 8/27/2019 8/30/2019
55. Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages * Jack Hartnell 8/31/2019 9/3/2019
56. Readymade Bodhisattva: A Kaya Anthology of South Korean Science Fiction Sunyoung Park and Sang Joon Park (eds.) 9/5/2019 9/9/2019
57. The Best of Uncanny * Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas (eds.) 9/10/2019 9/22/2019
58. The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick Mallory O’Meara 9/22/2019 9/22/2019
59. Out of Darkness, Shining Light Petina Gappah 9/23/2019 9/29/2019
60. Snowflake, AZ Marcus Sedgwick 10/6/2019 10/6/2019
61. Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology Hope Nicholson (ed.) 10/20/2019 10/20/2019
62. Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout Laura Jane Grace with Dan Ozzi 10/20/2019 10/20/2019
63. A Pale Light in the Black * K. B. Wagers 11/11/2019 11/12/2019
64. The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World Jamil Zaki 11/13/2019 11/16/2019
65. The Light Years * R. W. W. Greene 11/16/2019 11/18/2019
66. Going Bovine Libba Bray 11/21/2019 11/24/2019
67. Galileo and the Science Deniers * Mario Livio 11/25/2019 12/1/2019
68. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse Chris Riddell 12/2/2019 12/2/2019
69. The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg Deborah Eisenberg 12/3/2019 12/13/2019
70. Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe * Brian Greene 12/14/2019 12/16/2019
71. Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk John Doe with Tom DeSavia and Friends 12/17/2019 12/18/2019
72. More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of L.A. Punk John Doe with Tom DeSavia and Friends 12/19/2019 12/21/2019
73. The Champions of Camouflage * Jean-Philippe Noël & Biosphoto 12/22/2019 12/22/2019
74. Scientists Who Changed History * DK (pub.) 12/23/2019 12/25/2019
75. Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy * Desirina Boskovich 12/25/2019 12/27/2019
76. The Cold Between * Elizabeth Bonesteel 12/29/2019 In progress

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