Top Ten Books I Read in 2019

An avid reader as a youngster, I quite proudly earned the Girl Scout nickname of Bookworm. Books were a huge part of my childhood landscape. However, my reading ebbed and flowed into adulthood based on things like how many textbooks I was reading or how many children I had at home who needed me.

Now that the kids are older, I have a little more of “my own time” and a working fireplace. My reading life is back in full force, so this past year, I decided to record the books that I read, both by title and for a number count.

The Grand Total for 2019: One Hundred and Thirteen (113).

Having seen a few posts in early January about other people’s favorite books from 2019, I decided to create my own Top Ten List. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Anne of Green Gables (the series) by LM Montgomery
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
  • The Book of Hours (poetry of) Maria Rainer Rilke
  • William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher
  • O Ye Jigs and Julips by Virginia Cary Hudson
  • Surrendering Oz: A Life in Essays by Bonnie Friedman
  • Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Place by Andy Crouch
  • All We have Left by Wendy Mills
  • Dr. Sleep by Stephen King
  • Devotions (the Poetry of) Mary Oliver
Books! Lots of books, everywhere.

Anne of Green Gables (the series) was a pleasurable re-read. I hadn’t read it in a very long time and I’ll admit it was slightly disconcerting to follow Anne’s life, only to discover I am the age she was in the final book. I had the odd sensation of discovering her life and reviewing mine at the same time.

Poetry was back in force this year – two volumes made the top ten! Mary Oliver’s Devotions is a collection she chose from all her other works, in reverse chronological order. It was like unfolding her life, but backward -another odd sensation. Rilke’s poetry I savored in the spring, reading a poem as I prayed each morning. Malcolm Guite’s Waiting on the Word (a poem a day for Advent and Christmastide) gets an honorable mention here.

Shakespeare’s Star Wars series is a delightful read, and if your kids are into Star Wars, it’s super fun to read out loud and hear lines from the movies “translated” into Shakespearean iambic pentameter. O Ye Jigs and Julep is a series of short chapters from an eleven year old at the turn of the 1900’s, as she shares her perspective on life. Absolutely charming!

Liturgy of the Ordinary is a great read for anyone trying to figure out how faith and life fit together. Andy Crouch’s book on Technology and the family is probably the best I’ve read, largely because it urges families to develop a positive vision for their lives.

All We Have Left came from my daughter’s ninth grade summer reading list, and is a remarkable story of two families whose lives are connected by the September 11 attacks; it’s told from the perspective of two sixteen year old girls, one in 2001 and one modern day.

Surrendering Oz is a memoir in a series of essays about a woman’s journey to herself, as she peels off the layers of the fairy tale expectation of what her life is supposed to be. Dr. Sleep, Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining (written forty-five years after), answers his readers many requests to know “what happened to that kid from the Shining.” I read both King’s books almost under protest, caving to the pressure of my dear husband who insisted that I would enjoy them. This post is dedicated to that sweet husband, acknowledging that he was in fact right – I did find them fascinating and in fact consider Dr. Sleep to be one of my top books of 2019.

This post is inspired by the WordPress online course, Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration (Day 7: Let Social Media Inspire You). Read the whole series here.

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