• 2019 Year in Review

    January 1, 2020 | 1

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    Anne Bennett on January 1, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON is so good, well-written. We read it for book club and had a fabulous discussion, too.


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    Inspired by the year-end survey hosted by Perpetual Page Turner

    2019 Stats

    # of Books Read: 80 (See full book list here )

    # of Pages Read: 25,891

    # of Re-Reads: 2

    Genre Read The Most: Business/Leadership

    Note: My answers pertain to books I read throughout the year, no matter when they were published. It is not limited to books that came out in 2019.

    1. Best Book You Read in 2019?

    Nonfiction: On Writing Well by William Zinsser

    Before reading this book, I had never heard a single person mention Zinsser's name even though he wrote 19 books including one that sold over 1.5 million copies . Zinsser passed away in 2015, but his legacy will outlive any of us. If you want a quick taste of the writing tips in this book, check this out: William Zinsser's Top 13 Writing Tips .

    Fiction: The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronice I) by Patrick Rothfuss

    This book follows the story of a young, mysterious musician and warrior named Kvothe. I was immediately hooked by Rothfuss's storytelling ability and Kvothe's dark and surprising story. Rothfuss wrote this book back in 2007 and published its sequel (The Wise Man's Fear) in 2011, and his work continues to gain in popularity. Fans (myself included) eagerly await Rothfuss's final book of the trilogy, but he's taking his time to complete it.

    2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t?

    Fear by Bob Woodward

    I respect Woodward and everything he's done in his career. When I saw that he had written a book about President Trump and the current political climate, I was excited to check it out. Unfortunately, the book completely fell flat for me. It read more like a series of disconnected blog posts than it did a cohesive narrative. The writing and storytelling were atrocious.

    3. Most Surprising (in a Good Way or Bad Way) Book You Read?

    Killers of the Flower Moon

    by David Grann

    This nonfiction book depicts a series of murders enacted upon Native Americans living in Osage County, Oklahoma in the 1920s. I was surprised to learn that this event happened whatsoever because it was never covered in any of my U.S. government textbooks throughout school--which is a HUGE shame. The flurry of murders prompted federal government investigation, which later led to the creation of the FBI. Fascinating book.

    4. Book You Pushed the Most People to Read (and They Did)?

    Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

    Kleon offers simple, impactful advice about creativity in this short 160-page book. I've gifted this book to a couple of people because it's that good. You can find some of Kleon's tips here .

    5. Best Series You Started in 2019?

    The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss, mentioned above

    6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2019?

    Austin Kleon

    7. Best Book from a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?

    Akira manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo

    I had never read manga before, but this series is phenomenal. Shout-out to my brother Trevor for recommending this to me!

    8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?

    The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

    A woman murders her husband, then refuses to speak for six years. Why did she murder him? No one knows. It seemed like they had a great marriage. A therapist takes interest in the woman's story and begins to get closer to her to learn what's going on inside her brain. The end is shocking.

    9. Book You Read in 2019 That You Are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?

    The Art of Living by Epictetus

    I've been diving more into Stoic philosophy, and Epictetus is one of its core teachers. I just read this book a few months ago, and I'm already planning to re-read it.

    10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2019?

    Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian

    11. Most Memorable Character of 2019?

    Tyler Durden from Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club

    12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2019?

    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

    13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2019?

    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

    This book took me several years to read. It's massive (over 1,200 pages), but the payoff was definitely worth it. Hugo's portrayal of love goes beyond anything I've ever read. Bishop Myriel's love for the escaped convict Jean Valjean. Valjean's love for Fantine, Cosette, and even his own enemies. Marius and Cosette's love for each other. Even Inspector Javert's love of justice. There are countless stories within Les Miserables that redefined my concept of love, and I'm glad that I took the time to read this long book.

    14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2019 to Finally Read?

    Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

    15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2019?

    From The Art of Living by Epictetus

    "When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it. What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance."

    From Walden by Henry David Thoreau

    "Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate."

    16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2019?

    Shortest: The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot (47 pages)

    Longest: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1,232 pages)

    17. Book That Shocked You the Most?

    Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

    I knew Palahniuk was dark, but holy crap, this book is intense! Regardless, I loved

    Fight Club and think Palahniuk did a great job of jealously protecting the book's secret until the finish.

    18. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 from an Author You’ve Read Previously?

    What Is the Bible? by Rob Bell

    Although I don't agree with everything Rob Bell writes, his writing always challenges me to think about things in a new way. This book was so good that I read it twice this year.

    19. Best Book You Read in 2019 that You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation from Somebody Else?

    Akira 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo, recommended to me by my brother Trevor

    20. Best 2019 Debut You Read?

    The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

    21. Best World-Building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

    The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

    Atwood's return to the world of Gilead exposes more of the community's secrets that were first described in her book The Handmaid's Tale .

    22. Book that Was the Most FUN to Read?

    The Grandmaster by Brin-Jonathan Butler

    As a chessplayer, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Butler focuses on the career of young world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, but also brings in stories from other chess titans throughout history.

    23. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2019?

    The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King

    King's biography of Fred Rogers made me want to be a better person. Rogers' kindness and love for children is astounding and inspiring.

    24. Hidden Gem of The Year?

    The Chain by Adrian McKinty

    The plotline for this book is a kidnapping circuit that makes parents continue the "chain" of kidnapping in order to save their stolen kid. (As I'm typing this, I am realizing that I apparently like some pretty intense books!)

    25. Most Unique Book You Read in 2019?

    Educated by Tara Westover

    Westover is a brilliant writer whose tale of growing up in small-town Idaho is both shocking and maddening. My company read this for our monthly book club, and Westover gave us a lot to talk about.

    1. One Book You Didn’t Get to in 2019 But Will Be Your Top Priority in 2020?

    Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

    2. Fiction Book You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

    The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes (Hunger Games #0) by Suzanne Collins - Release Date: May 19, 2020

    This book explores the world of Panem before The Hunger Games series began.

    3. Nonfiction Book You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

    The Motive by Patrick Lencioni - Release Date: Feb 26, 2020

    I'm a big fan of Lencioni. In this book, he'll talk about why so many leaders fall into pitfalls and end up hurting their teams.

    4. Series Ending or Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

    Doors of Stone (Kingkiller Chronicle #3) by Patrick Rothfuss - Release Date: 2020 (Month TBD)

    We'll see if this actually comes out this year. Publish dates have been rumored for years, so it's hard to know how solid the 2020 ETA really is.

    5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2020?

    I want to write at least one new article per week this year.

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