2019 Review

Followers will realize that I have been delinquent in my posts for 2019.  I started of posting and meant to catch up but then life happened…  After taking a break, here is my list of 2019 reads.

Have you read any of these?  What did you think?  Any suggestions for 2020?

Here is my 2020 list (with some commentary) and I am now reinvigorated to have a fresh start fresh for the new year (note that those books highlighted in red are by Canadian authors and authors highlighted in blue are authors I have been lucky to meet over the past few years):

# Title Author
1 Beartown – an amazing book.  To be honest, for the first third, I was a bit bored with all the hockey but then BAM! like a hockey punch, it sucked me right in and I could not put it down!!  It was a highlight of the year to meet this author!! Backman, Fredrik
2 Remember Us – written by a wonderful friend!!!  We enjoyed having Layne join us for a great book club evening!  READ LOCAL!! Blake & James
3 Eat Move Think:  The Path to a Healthier, Stronger, Happier You Francis, Shaun
4 The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules – quirky seniors rob a bank!!  enough said! Ingelman-Sundberg, C
5 A Well-Behaved Woman:  A Novel of the Vanderbilts – great historical fiction based on a real family. Fowler, Therese Anne
6 goodnight mind: turn off your noisy thoughts & get a good night’s sleep Carney & Manber
7 Small Fry – quite a memoir about growing up with a brilliant yet bizarre man (Steven Jobs) from the viewpoint of his daughter who reported neglect and abuse. Brennan-Jobs, Lisa
8 Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days Guillebeau, Chris
9 Homes – written by a refugee student with help from a teacher, this is a book that all students should read and realize what other students go through in other parts of the world.  This was a great read that made the Canada Reads short-list. al Rabeeah, Abu Bakr 
10 By Chance Alone – another Canada Reads book which detailed the authors experience through the holocaust and in the time after when he had nothing and no one.  Eye opening! Eisen, Max
11 This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership that Matters – remember the lollipop video?  Check it out and then read Dudley’s book. Dudley, Drew
12 The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Turton, Stuart
13 The Penelopiad – the world needs more Atwood!! Atwood, Margaret
14 The Hate U Give – a book recommended by my daughter which was thought-provoking and a great read.  Imagine having to warn your children how to respond to police just simply based on the colour of their skin!  We were lucky to get to meet this author at the Art Gallery of Ontario! Thomas, Angie
15 On the Come Up – not as compelling as The Hate You Give but we are looking forward to her next book. Thomas, Angie
16 Carnegie’s Maid – interesting fictional tale of a fictional maid set in the reality of Carnegie’s life Benedict, Marie
17 The Death of Ivan Ilych Tolstoy, Leo
18 The Woo Woo – this was my least favourite of the Canada Reads picks.  I am not sure how anyone could categorize it as humorous and feel that this girl should have been rescued from abuse by the CAS… her feet were purposely burnt by her mother.  i sure hope that it was an exaggeration! Wong, Lindsay
19 Suzanne – a beautifully written translation for Canada Reads! Barbeau-Lavalette, Anais
20 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@CK – seriously, can you fit any more f words into one book?  It was a run of the mill, self-help, leadership type of book with f words thrown in to make a splash.  no thanks! Manson, Mark
21 A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life – an interesting reflection on the author’s life before our trip to South Carolina Conroy, Pat
22 The Quintland Sisters – another fictional novel based on the horrendous childhood of the Dionne quintuplets.  Their whole life was built on others… their father, the government, their doctor, taking advantage of them.  From further research, two quintuplets remain and one had all her money stolen by her own son.  so sad! Wood, Shelley
23 The Body – Stephen King, need I say more?  The best character author! King, Stephen
24 A Mind Spread Out on the Ground Elliott, Alicia
25 Apron Strings –  this was the One Book One Brant book of the year and told of a woman’s trip across 3 countries eating like the residents and learning how to cook along with her son.  A very interesting experience! Wong, Jan
26 The Home for Unwanted Girls – a sad part of Canadian history! Goodman, Joanna
27 Uncle Tom’s Cottage – a horrid tale of slavery. Beecher Stowe, Harriet
28 The Glace Bay Miner’s Museum – a play sent by my secret sender from my good reads group.  Sadly, our summer trip turned into a “Chevvy Chase” vacation and once our car was towed away after an electrical fire and we were stranded in a campground on Cape Breton, we never made it to Glace Bay or the mines. Lill, Wendy
29 The CHAOS Cure Cilley, Marla
30 HBR – Influence and Persuasaion HBR
31 The Moment of Lift – inspiring!! Melinda Gates
32 Foe – creepy! Reid, Ian
33 The Moon of Crusted Snow – interesting concept and story but could have used a bit more editing. Rice, Waubeshig
34 Cari Mora – disappointing story by the author of Silence of the Lambs. Harris, Thomas
35 Green Book – we all need to be more environmentally friendly! Dyer, Harriet
36 The Mister – dreadful book club pick which was so hard to finish.  Everyone hated it! James
37 Glass Beads – a collection of linked short stories Dumant, Dawn
38 A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Adichie, Chimaamanda Ngozi
39 Us Against Them – a great sequel to Beartown! Bachman, Fredrik
40 Normal People – not sure what all the hype was about?? Rooney, Sally
41 The Blue Castle – lovely story as I continue to read the words of LMM. Montgomery, LM
42 Writing the Revolution – I am kicking myself for missing the UofG event.  This collection of articles continues to be relevant today as we continue to strive for and retain women’s rights. Landsberg, Michelle
43 Very Good Lives Rowling, JK
44 Note to Self: Inspiring Words from Inspiring People King, Gayle
45 The Waiting Hours – listened to this one in audio and it was interesting to read the fictional account of a  911 operator. Mitchell, Shandi
46 The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox Wells, Katie
47 The Reality Bubble – interesting but read a lot like a textbook! Tong, Ziya
48 Explore Nova Scotia O’Brian, Cyntha
49 Nova Scotia: Canada’s Ocean Playground Beckett, H
50 I’m Afraid of Men Shraya, Vivek
51 The Dead Zone – this was a reread for me and it is amazing how prescient Stephen King seems to be with this book and how much relates to the sad situation with Trump in the States. King, Stephen
52 The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore Fu, Kim
53 All Things Consoled – a memoir of an author experiencing the aging and death of her parents… sad but something we will all deal with at one time. Hay, Elizabeth
54 French Exit – not for me! DeWitt,
55 Men Explain Things to Me Solnit, Rebecca
56 The Rosie Result – a lacklustre end to the Rosie trilogy. Simsion, Graeme
57 The Latte Factor – simple, common sense finances but a basic repeat of The Wealthy Barber. Bach, David
58 Dear Life – Alice Munro, amazing stories always! Munro, Alice
59 Hysteria
60 The Handmaid’s Tale:  Graphic Novel – not a genre that I typically pick but a great refresh. Atwood, Margaret
61 In Praise of Difficult Women Karbo
62 My Life on the Road – what an interesting life she has had.  I didn’t realize what a nomad she is! Steinem, Gloria
63 I Feel Bad About my Neck – aging sucks! Ephron, Nora
64 Jane Goodall:  50 Years at Gombe – when he government was concerned that she would be camping alone in the jungle, she brought her mom along!  An amazing start to her love and research of chimpanzees! Goodall, Jane
65 The Handmaid’s Tale – 3rd read and always AMAZING in preparation for The Testaments. Atwood, Margaret
66 The Testaments – won’t say much as you all need to read this one but I LOVED finding out more about Aunt Lydia.  There is always more to the story and we can’t judge before we understand! Atwood, Margaret
67 Akin – a sweet tale of a boy and his great uncle.  Thanks Shalom! Donoghue, Emma
68 The Innocents – still damaged by this book and have not been able to rate it.  Beautiful writing by Crummey. Crummey, Michael
69 The Institute – another great book by a great author! King, Stephen
70 A Quality of Light – Love all of his books, a bright light, gone too soon! Wagamese, Richard
71 One Drum: Stories and Ceremony for a Planet – great to get a taste of what Wagamese was working on but so sad that he never got to finish these teachings. Wagamese, Richard
72 The Crucible – a read along as my daughter studied this play… wish I could have gone to Stratford with her class! Miller, Arthur
73 A Fine Balance – I am not sure why I waited so long to read this.  Devastating but amazing literature! Mistry, Rohinton
74 Plant Based on a Budget Okamoto
75 Mostly Plants – learning and adapting our diets with a new vegetarian in the house. Pollan family
76 The Chimps of Fauna Sactuary – read with kleenex.  It is hard to believe that research chimps could have been abused so horribly.  This sanctuary is amazing and tries to bring joy. Westoll, Andrew
77 Our Homesick Songs – I want to go to Newfoundland!!! Hooper, Emma
78 24/6:  The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week – great advice for a technological attached world. Shlain, Tiffany
79 Empire of Wild Dimaline, Cherie
80 Finding Chika – i never knew that this author opened an orphanage in Haiti.  the sad tale of a girl that he tried to save. Albom, Mitch
81 You are Awesome – so positive! Pasricha, Neil
82 The Last Resort – a quick read about a marriage saving resort gone wrong. Stapley, Marissa
83 The Minimalist Home – don’t bother! Becker, Joshua
84 Nine Perfect Strangers – could have been edited down to a third of the book. Moriarty, Liane
85 When We Were Vikings – thanks for an ARC from Harper Collins.  This was a terrific story about a girl living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and her struggles for independence as she lived with her brother who had his own challenges. MacDonald, Andrew
86 This Year it Will be Different – awful Christmas read that was all about women looking for a man or being with men who are cheating on their spouses. Binchey, Maeve
87 I Quit Sugar Wilson, Sarah
88 Albatross – do you like golf?  The author said it is not all about golf but it sure does talk a lot about the sport! Fallis, Terry
89 Be More RBG  Easton, Marilyn
90 The Weight of Ink – a great historical fiction. Kadish, Rachel
91 The Education of Augie Merasty – devastation from colonialization in this disjointed account. Merasty, Augie
92 For the Love of Books:  Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books – dry, dry, dry. Tarrant, Graham
93 Chrismas Present – cheesy! Jacquelyn Mitchard
94 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding – I need to read more Agatha Christie in 2019! Christie, Agatha
95 The Obesity Code – unfortunate title but turns the nutrition that we all learned upside down.  Guide to intermittent fasting and cutting out added sugar by a Canadian renal specialist. Fung, Jason
96 The Noel Diary – are all Christmas reads so cheesy? Evans, Richard Paul
97 Bad Feminist – interesting essay collection Gay, Roxanne
98 Christmas at the Vinyl Café – best Christmas tales every!!  Enjoy in a book or in audio.  The late Stuart McLean was a genius story teller and these should be repeated EVERY Christmas season! McLean, Stuart
99 Euphoria -a sad love triangle of anthropologists set in New Guinea. King, Lily
100 The Shape of Family – a quick read of a family struggling with loss.  Instead of pulling together, they all suffered individually as they tried to get their lives together. Gowda, Shilpi Somaya
101 The Obesity Code Cookbook Fung, Jason
102 The Blood Sugar 10 Day Detox – helpful concepts but lost me when the author started pushing his own products. Hyman, Mark
103 Reproduction – an interesting mix of family dynamics starting with two individuals meeting in hospital as their mothers were dying.  This was the winner of the 2019 Giller prize and is certainly unique. Williams, Ian
104 Where the Crawdads Sing – an awesome book to end the year.  I could not put it down!!  everyone needs to pick up this book!!! Owens, Delia
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2 Responses to 2019 Review

  1. laura g says:

    YEAH!! Glad to see your blog back. I read a few that you did. I didn’t love the ‘where the crawdad live’ as much as you. I read my way through all of Christina Lauren’s books and Jennifer Robson’s. I read/listened to over 100 books this year which blew me away…a few business ones; a few biographies and lots of novels (chick lit, suspense/dark and some historical romance). As always I loved the new ones by Jennifer Weiner and Elin Hilderbrad. These are always ones that I procrastinate on the must do around the house to finish reading! I look forward to seeing more regular blogs from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Laura!! I enjoyed all of Jennifer Robson’s books too. She probably has a new one coming out soon. That is great that you were over 100 books!! I am looking forward to adding in more Audio this year


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