Just updated my 2019 Book War reading list and I read 82 books over the past year! Not to pat myself on the back, but can I just say that’s quite a few books and more than last year. It also places me one book ahead of Hannah for the year…wait and see if 82 books holds up for the win! There have been ups and downs over the past year, good books, bad books, intriguing books, and books that left me confused and wondering why? while pushing me past the boundaries of how I understand the world in which I live. By way of summarizing this past year of reading I decided to comment on a few key categories of books from 2019.
Most difficult book to get through: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan – In my not so humble opinion this book should have been about 1/4 of the length it was and then it would have been really good. It basically repeated the same exact theme over and over and over…and over again, and then when you finished the first part of the book the same story begins all over again with a minor change in the main characters. The idea of this story was actually brilliant but it felt like beating a dead horse after awhile.
Most fun book: The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club Triology; The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter & European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss – This trilogy (I haven’t finished the third book yet) has definitely been the most fun I’ve had reading this past year. The books are long (which I love because I’m lazy and would rather hang out with familiar characters for awhile than have to get to know new people) but so worth the length! All of the main characters are daughters of 19th century literary fictional scientists, think Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, Dr. Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Dracula, etc., who find one another and form a club to protect one another and of course they go on adventures together.
Most profound book: The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery by Wendy Moore – This book is a history book but it read like a novel which made it super interesting and easy to get through. I learned so much about the methodologies utilized to bring about modern medicine. Many practices were ethical while others were super sketchy just like the doctors who utilized them. This book is full of interesting ‘characters’ (keep in mind these were real people) who walk the line between ethical medical practice and scientific discovery.
Worst book: Last Secret Chamber (Joey Peruggia #2) by Phil Phillips – Ok, this was by far the winner in the ‘worst book’ category. I already blogged about this book so I won’t make everyone read a re-hashing of my rant, but needless to say this book was a complete rip-off of a number of Hollywood movies/tv shows (Stargate, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, etc.) and I actually wonder how the author did not get sued for copyright infringement!
Honorable Mention: Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World by John Man – I wanted to include this book in my summary because I love a good ‘shatter the common narrative’ history book. Were the Amazonian warriors real? This book explains how the legend(s) of the Amazons arose in the ancient world and why in many ways the Amazons did/do exist and yet have never existed.
I hope you have all enjoyed our Book War blog over the past year, and here’s to wishing you all a fantastic 2020! Happy New Year!
Read on my friends!