Books Read in 2019- pt 1.

With a goodreads goal of 50 books to read this year and having already read SEVEN this month alone, this reading year is off to a splendid start for me. (I also revised a 600 page manuscript the past couple weeks with publication only a month away so, yes, everything book related is going quite wonderfully for me right now.) I wasn’t planning on doing a wrap up so soon, but with seven books already read, might as well. Here are the books I’ve read in 2019 so far.


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (historic fiction) 

This is one of my favorite books of all time. Hands down. And this was my second reread. I cried just as much, if not more. I adore this book and everything about it. I also find that it’s nice, healthy even, to start/end your year reading a book that you know you are going to love. Last year it was Narnia, this year it was this.

A review I wrote for this book a couple years ago (so I don’t really know what’s in it) here.

5 stars. 

Whittling A New Face In the Dark by DJ Dolack (poetry) 

I splurged on poetry books with the Christmas money I was given. I gave this book 3.75 stars because the writing was beautiful, the metaphor encompassing and ridden with raw truth, but I had difficulty understanding what the author was writing about at first read. And some of the themes didn’t really flow together well. I am use to reading collections where the poems fit together start to finish. It was not the case here, and although I do not mind it, I found it hindering to the reading experience at first. The use of spacing was somewhat jarring as well. It was as if I was suppose to take pauses in the middle of sentences which hindered me from reading the line all the way through and determine what it said and meant. But all around, a decent, quick read.

3.75 stars 

Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest (poetry) 

Tempest weaves together fable and myth with her Tiresias based poetry collection. I found the concept very interesting and the execution fascinating. Some of the rhymes seemed to be written in such a way that sacrificed meaning or were written just to sound good and didn’t mean much at all. To me, at least. I found some of the topics monotonous and redundant, but Tempest writes poetry that lies right between the contemporary “press-enter” works of our present time and the classical works readers have grown to love. I think I liked this most because I read Greek Epics (Iliad, Odyssey) as well as Oedipus Rex about a year ago, and I can appreciate the inspiration, references, and how Kate weaves together experiences and issues of this present age with stories of the past. Hail, Hera. lol.

3.5 stars 

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip and Carol Zaleski (nonfiction)

I think I enjoyed this book more as a writer than as a reader. I loved learning more about the writing process of some of my favorite authors in relation to their lives and relationships. Some parts were dense, but altogether this book presented the lives of literary genius Tolkien, Lewis, Barfield, and Williams in a way that was engaging, interesting, and informative. The authors delved right into the text of the author’s works and presented their words in a manner that I found refreshingly objective. I learned a lot and would recommend this to anyone that enjoys learning about other authors.

4 stars. 

Iteration Nets by Karla Kelsey (sonnets/poetry) 

This collection is experimental at best. The process overshadows the words themselves in this collection. The collection is written in such a way that opens new doors for the forms of poetry-which being a poet myself, I can appreciate. However, it caused me to find little meaning and to grow increasingly frustrated as I read. I couldn’t make out much of what the author was saying. I will say, however, that I did enjoy the second movement above the other too. It was the most understandable to me. For the most part, each line seemed to start with a subject and then act as though that subject was going to do something, but then new subjects would be introduced and we go around in circles and nothing really ever happens. The poems sound good to the ear. I understood more when I read it aloud. There were quite a few repeating terms, phrases and concepts that, at a close read, could perhaps shed light on what the collection is actually talking about.

2.5 stars 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (YA fantasy) 

This was another reread for me, and a another 5 star book. I was fortunate enough to find the audiobook for a super cheap price and listened to it on my plane rides to and from the Dominican Republic. The audiobook is marvelous. I fell more in love with the story this time than I ever have before. Bardugo is a master story teller, and rereading this was timely as the reading world welcomed King of Scars into their hearts.

5 stars 

Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery (fiction) 

I read the first six books in the Anne of Green Gables series ages ago, and for whatever reason, it took my even longer to get around to this seventh installment. While it is probably my least favorite of the series as it follows Anne’s children and their friends far more than Anne herself, it was still quite an enjoyable read. And I’m excited to finish out the series with the final installment Rilla of Ingelside. 

3 stars 

what have you read so far this year? I would love to know! 




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