The look back over my reading in 2019 continues. I took this exact same survey at the start of last year. I love it, as it’s one of the most comprehensive ways to look back on your reading from the year you’ve just said goodbye to. Who says January is just about looking forward to what’s to come?
This end of year reading survey is super popular to fill in at the turn of the year, so why not take part yourself? I recommend keeping your Goodreads account open in one tab, so you can switch easily and check out the answers to each question.
2019 READING STATS
NUMBER OF BOOKS YOU READ: 108
NUMBER OF RE-READS: 15
GENRE YOU READ THE MOST FROM: contemporary fiction
BEST IN BOOKS
1. BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2019
I still can’t stop thinking about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s by far the best book I read last year, and I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone.
2. BOOK YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT & THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LOVE MORE BUT DIDN’T?
From the blurb, I thought The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez sounded like the perfect book for me. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t. I couldn’t gel with the storyline at all, and the characters really irritated me. For someone who’s a character-driven reader, that wasn’t a highlight for me.
3. MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD WAY OR BAD WAY) BOOK YOU READ?
I was expecting to love The Testaments, as I really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale. I did like it, but I wasn’t totally in love with it. I found it rather middle of the road.
4. BOOK YOU “PUSHED” THE MOST PEOPLE TO READ (AND THEY DID)?
I gave Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness to a friend of mine who also loves Queer Eye, and I also suggested it to another friend of mine. I’m really just spreading the same positivity Jonathan does.
5. BEST SERIES YOU STARTED IN 2019?
The majority of my reading in May was the I Heart series by Lindsey Kelk. I’d read some of her other books before, but the series that started it all had slipped by me until this year. I utterly adored it, and Angela Clarke has become one of my favourite characters.
6. FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2019?
Taylor Jenkins Reid was a hit for me. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was my highlight of the year. Daisy Jones and the Six had some Fleetwood Mac vibes that made it another firm favourite for me.
7. BEST BOOK FROM A GENRE YOU DON’T TYPICALLY READ/WAS OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
I’m rather squeamish, so I tend to stay away from anything medical related. However, This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was a triumph.
8. MOST ACTION-PACKED/THRILLING/UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR?
I loved I Looked Away by Jane Corry. I was utterly hooked on the story, and I was completely blindsided by the ending.
9. BOOK YOU READ IN 2019 THAT YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO RE-READ NEXT YEAR?
I will be buying a physical copy of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in 2020, and it’s a definite candidate for some re-reading at some stage in the year.
10. FAVOURITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2019?
I am in love with the cover of The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill. The book itself is fantastic too, but the cover is an absolute winner.
11. MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER OF 2019?
Again, Evelyn Hugo. I want to live my life with a “What would Evelyn Hugo do?” energy.
12. MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN BOOK READ IN 2019?
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is simply breathtaking. It’s clear Paul studied English in university, he’s got such a way with words. The book’s heartwrenching theme paired with this fantastic writing style makes it an incredible read.
13. MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING/ LIFE-CHANGING BOOK OF 2019?
This is Going to Hurt, T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas, and When Breath Becomes Air all had the same impact on me – it just made me so thankful for people who work in healthcare, and take care of us when we need help the most.
14. BOOK YOU CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WAITED UNTIL 2019 TO FINALLY READ?
Not just a book, a whole series. I can’t believe it took me until now to read Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart series.
15. FAVOURITE PASSAGE/QUOTE FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2018?
I rarely remember quotes or passages from books.
16. SHORTEST & LONGEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2018?
The shortest book I read was Jenny Lopez Has a Bad Week by Lindsey Kelk, and the longest was Marian Keyes’ Rachel’s Holiday. There’s over 500 pages between those two. I also read books with an average of 300 pages, which is the length I usually like most anyway.
17. BOOK THAT SHOCKED YOU THE MOST
I am still blown away by Caroline O’Donoghue’s Promising Young Women. The whole story of Jane’s life is something that didn’t sit well with me at times, but I am still so in love with the book.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (YOU WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP!)
I can’t say the exact one without spoiling it, so I’ll just say this: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
19. FAVORITE NON-ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP OF THE YEAR
There was something special about the relationship between Genie and Tui in Isabelle Broom’s One Winter Morning. Genie is so understanding of and patient with Tui, and it’s the exact bond you love to see in family relationships.
20. FAVORITE BOOK YOU READ IN 2019 FROM AN AUTHOR YOU’VE READ PREVIOUSLY
Juno Dawson can do no wrong, and Meat Market was an absolute triumph. It’s perhaps the best book of hers I’ve ever read – and yes, I said exactly the same thing about Clean last year.
21. BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2019 THAT YOU READ BASED SOLELY ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM SOMEBODY ELSE/PEER PRESSURE
If a book is super hyped I’m usually not all for it. But, This is Going to Hurt broke that mould to smithereens. I read it in 2019 and I’m still thinking about it.
22. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2019?
I don’t get a lot of book crushes. I’m not a very visual thinker, so I find it quite hard to imagine how each character would look. Yes, even when explicitly described in extensive detail.
23. BEST 2019 DEBUT YOU READ?
I had a feeling The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie would be a fantastic read and I was in no way misled. Not only is it a great book about a wonderful group of friends, but it’s filled with other book suggestions.
24. BEST WORLDBUILDING/MOST VIVID SETTING YOU READ THIS YEAR?
Isabelle Broom’s books are fantastic for settings. One Winter Morning is no exception. It gives amazing descriptions of New Zealand’s landscape in winter, and it will for sure have you reaching for your passport.
25. BOOK THAT PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE/WAS THE MOST FUN TO READ?
No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter definitely made me smile. I loved seeing a book with a fat-positive main character, which was a complete breath of fresh air for me.
26. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY OR NEARLY CRY IN 2019?
Crying at books is a rare phenomenon for me, but 2019 changed that. When Breath Becomes Air utterly broke me, and I can only recommend this book – but not in public.
27. HIDDEN GEM OF THE YEAR?
Netgalley is amazing for finding books you would never usually have read. Through Netgalley I was introduced to Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger. The cover is particularly beautiful, but the story inside is superbly sweet. It’s the perfect wintery read.
28. BOOK THAT CRUSHED YOUR SOUL?
Again the props go to When Breath Becomes Air. It’s absolutely not the kind of book you should read in public, but is a must read.
29. MOST UNIQUE BOOK YOU READ IN 2019?
I don’t read a lot of poetry, but Sarah Crossan’s Toffee was incredible. I’ve read her books before, and each is as heartwarming but heartbreaking as the others.
30. BOOK THAT MADE YOU THE MOST MAD (DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU DIDN’T LIKE IT)?
I had such high hopes for Never Greener by Ruth Jones. It disappointed me quite a lot unfortunately. I hated the main characters, and I found it hard to get through the book in general.
YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE
1. NEW FAVOURITE BOOK BLOG YOU DISCOVERED IN 2019?
I found some great new BookTubers to follow in 2019, and they’ve become must-watch for me. One in particular I loved was Chandler Ainsley.
2. FAVOURITE REVIEW THAT YOU WROTE IN 2019?
My favourite review was, of course, of my favourite book.
3. BEST DISCUSSION/NON-REVIEW POST YOU HAD ON YOUR BLOG?
In 2019 I made a new reading journal, and I loved showing everyone how I do so.
4. BEST EVENT THAT YOU PARTICIPATED IN (AUTHOR SIGNINGS, FESTIVALS, VIRTUAL EVENTS, MEMES, ETC.)?
I went to absolutely none in 2019, despite having had my eye on quite a few of them. Maybe 2020 will be my year to shine.
5. BEST MOMENT OF BOOKISH/BLOGGING LIFE IN 2019?
My best bookish moment was outside of blogging. In late 2019 I found an English language book club in my locality. It brought some new friends into my life, and has introduced me to some cracking reads. I can’t wait to see what we read in 2020.
6. MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BLOGGING OR YOUR READING LIFE THIS YEAR
There were a couple of moments where I lost a bit of my love of blogging. Thankfully, they didn’t usually last very long and I’m more than ready for 2020 to come at me.
7. MOST POPULAR POST THIS YEAR ON YOUR BLOG (WHETHER IT BE BY COMMENTS OR VIEWS)?
My most popular post overall was by far my reading challenge. I updated it constantly, and it’s a good way to hold myself accountable for what I actually read.
8. POST YOU WISH GOT A LITTLE MORE LOVE
How to Read More. I hoped it would be more helpful than it seemed to be.
9. BEST BOOKISH DISCOVERY (BOOK RELATED SITES, BOOK STORES, ETC.)?
I found The Books that Made Me podcast in 2019 and I was completely hooked on it. I loved hearing my favourite celebrities talk about their favourite reads.
10. DID YOU COMPLETE ANY READING CHALLENGES OR GOALS THAT YOU HAD SET FOR YOURSELF AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR?
1. ONE BOOK YOU DIDN’T GET TO IN 2019 BUT WILL BE YOUR NUMBER 1 PRIORITY IN 2020
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I’ve been dying to read it all year long, but didn’t have a copy until Christmas.
2. BOOK YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING FOR 2020 (NON-DEBUT)?
Holly Bourne’s Pretending.
3. 2020 DEBUT YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING?
Helen Corcoran’s Queen of Coin and Whispers. I’ve got a copy from the publisher already, and I am so excited to read it.
4. SERIES ENDING/A SEQUEL YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2019?
Again, I can’t think of a single sequel coming in 2020. I swear I’ve been paying attention.
5. ONE THING YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH OR DO IN YOUR READING/BLOGGING LIFE IN 2020?
I’d like to continue bringing great books to new audiences and championing amazing authors.
What books would fit your bill in this survey? Why not take part to find out?