2019 was a busy year for me. I spent the first part of the year student teaching and going to graduate school, both full-time, and the last half of the year I spent teaching my own classes. Although I was able to do some catching up when I visited Israel and Greece over the summer, between teaching and taking my own classes, I read less than I usually do. This is kind of a bummer, partly since I love to read and it’s frustrating when I don’t have as much time to spend enjoying great books, but also because I love the satisfaction of finishing a book and adding it to the list. I think I still managed to get in some good ones, though. 

This year, there’s plenty of high-carb crime thrillers, a few spookies, some literary favorites, and fascinating informational works. Because I had less time, I became more selective about what I decided to read and what I continued reading. If I didn’t like a book, I put it down quickly, instead of finishing it out of guilt and compulsion. I included a separate list of the books I didn’t finish, and marked the books I especially liked in bold. I also included some notable literary short stories that I liked.

  1. The Chosen, Chaim Potok (x2)
  2. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
  3. Dateonomics, Jon Birger
  4. A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean
  5. Enduring Love, Ian McEwan
  6. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  7. The Yearling, Marjorie Rawlings
  8. 12 Rules For Life, Jordan Peterson
  9. The Innocents, Ian McEwan
  10. The Revenant, Michael Punke
  11. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
  12. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  13. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
  14. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  15. Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
  16. The Call of the Wild, Jack London
  17. Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
  18. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
  19. My Side Of The Mountain, Jean Craighead George
  20. Manhattan Mayhem, various authors 
  21. The Innocent Man, John Grisham
  22. The Last Policeman, Ben H. Winters 
  23. Countdown City, Ben H. Winters
  24. World of Trouble, Ben H. Winters
  25. Carrie, Stephen King 
  26. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  27. The Course of Love, Alain de Botton
  28. Best American Mystery Stories 2018, ed. Louise Penny 
  29. Snap, Belinda Bauer 
  30. The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena
  31. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  32. Along Came A Spider, James Patterson
  33. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
  34. Occasional Magic, Various Authors
  35. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
  36. Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
  37. Anthem, Ayn Rand
  38. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  39. The Godfather, Mario Pucci
  40. The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray
  41. 1984, George Orwell
  42. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  43. The Jewish Way, Rabbi Irving Greenburt

 

Short stories:

  1. Hop Frog, Edgar Allen Poe
  2. The Devil and Tom Walker, Washington Irving
  3. Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx
  4. The Lottery, Shirley Jackson
  5. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, George Saunders

 

Did Not Finish:

  1. The Doctor’s Wife, Elizabeth Brundage – bad writing, lame plot 
  2. The Fishermen, Chigoze Obigma – overwrought writing and slow plot 
  3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mark Haddon – terrible characterization, crap writing, sappy, stupid, etc. 
  4. HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams – too goddamn weird 
  5. Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez – slow and winding plot, overwrought writing

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