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 Tokarcyuk (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 Tokarcyuk
- “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 Britain” 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.