In 2019, I completed reading twenty-two books. This feels inadequate. The feeling is akin to improperly packing for a trip. I can make due when it gets colder than I thought or when I discover that I didn’t pack enough pairs of socks. It’s not quite that feeling either. Its as though I thought I’d be on a road trip with a friend for seven days, but it turned out to be five days and throughout those days we spent significant chunks of time staring at our smartphones.
I previously wrote about reading challenges, and this year I didn’t have an explicit one.
Below I list the books that I read (completed or not). I don’t count reading of role-playing game systems nor sourcebooks. So my complete read of “Eberron: Rising from the Last War” is not listed below.
Books Completed in 2019
- The Crimson Talisman by Adrian Cole
- Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Phillip Pullman
- The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
- Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk 🔍 (See my review)
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Faust: A Tragedy by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Martin Greenberg (See my response)
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien 🔍
- The Hobbit: Annotated and Expanded by J.R.R. Tolkien, annotated by Douglas A. Anderson
- How to be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci
- If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Colvino
- The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch
- The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull
- The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time by David L. Ulin (See my review)
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Cros
- Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk
- The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Stoic Challenge by William Irvine
- Swords against Wizardry by Fritz Leiber 🔍
- Swords in the Mist by Fritz Leiber
- This Land is Our Land by Jedediah Purdy
- Tragedy, The Greeks, and Us by Simon Critchley
- The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Walking: One Step at a Time by Erling Kagge
Books Started but not Finished in 2019
These two books sit in a halted state. Something else has gathered my attention.
- The Arabian Nights
- The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
- The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Books That I Read Bit by Bit in 2019
These are books that I reference or read as the mood strikes. Books of poetry, essays, or compilations.
- The Book of Taliesin: Poems of Heroism and Magic in Another Britains by Rowan Williams and Gwyneth Lewis
- Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History by Michael Witwer
- Figuring by Maria Popovic
- The Origins of Dislike by Amit Chaudhuri
- Poems and Prophecies by William Blake
- Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth by Catherine McIlwaine
Books Abandoned in 2019
For some reason, or other, I abandoned these books. I wrote about my visceral response to interstitial cut sceens. Both “The Killing Moon” and “A Darker Shade of Magic” triggered that response. I plan to revisit “The Killing Moon” now that I’ve had time to reflect and have begun to internalize Ebony Elizabeth Thomas’s “The Dark Fantastic”
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
- The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s the Hobbit by Cory Olsen
- The Killing Moon by N.K. Jamisin
- Packing My Library by Alberto Manguel
And for 2020
For 2020, I’m committing to reading at least 10 fantasy/sci-fi books written by persons of color. Octavia Butler leaps to mind.
I’ll continue reading Jorge Luis Borges short stories. I may dive back into Gaiman’s Sandman series.