#My10toReadin19 + My 2020 List

If you read my 2020 goals post, I mentioned posted my January goals today. But I forgot I had a few 2019 challenge recaps scheduled for the next few days, so you can expect to see my January goals later in the week!

At the beginning of every new year, I always resolve to tackle my unread books. And inevitably, I do... okay. I read books I own but still keep buying more, so the number seems to stay about the same. But there are definitely a handful of books that have been on my shelves for years and just keep lingering there unread. I've noticed that the longer a book stays on my TBR, the less interest I have in reading it. Isn't that a struggle?

So, I loved @idlewildreads’ plan to commit to finishing 10 specific books from her TBR in 2019. She created #my10toreadin19, and I decided to join in. This is the photo I posted on Instagram in January 2019. Most of these books had been on my shelves awhile, though a few were books that I just needed an extra push to pick up. It was one of the few challenges I participated in last year, so I figured I'd share a quick post about how I did.

Of the 10 books on my list, I finished ALL 10! The challenge was a success, even though I didn't love everything. But I was still so proud of myself for getting these books off my TBR! I'm planning on continuing the challenge in 2020 with a new list. But first, here's a recap of what I read (clicking the title will take you to my review): 

1. PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE – A surprise favorite! I honestly expected to read a few pages and call it quits, but then I couldn't put it down. I So Loved It, and it even made my best of 2019 list

2. MISTRESS OF ROME BY KATE QUINN – Kelly kept pushing this one on me, and I should have listened to her sooner! I So Loved It, and the third and fourth in the series were excellent, too. They made my favorites list, too! 

3. JANE OF LANTERN HILL BY L.M. MONTGOMERY – This was a charming book from one of my all-time favorite authors! I So Enjoyed It, and it motivated me to continue to read more from Montgomery's backlist.

4. FREDERICA BY GEORGETTE HEYER – Considered the queen of Regency romance, I couldn't wait to start this one. But the story dragged on forever! I was So Okay With It but lost my desire to read more from Heyer.

5. WHAT MATTERS IN JANE AUSTEN BY JOHN MULLAN – I can never resist Austen-related books! I So Liked It overall and felt the introduction and last two chapters alone were worth the price of the book for me.

6. HOUSE OF DREAMS BY LIZ ROSENBERG – I had high hopes for this L.M. Montgomery biography, but it didn't wow me. I was So Okay With It but kept thinking about how much I preferred Rubio's biography.

7. A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES BY DIANA GABALDON – Finishing this book made me realize that it might be time for me to break up with this series. I was So Okay With It but am getting tired of Gabaldon's stories.

8. WORLD WITHOUT END BY KEN FOLLETT – Despite the fact that I flew through this book, I didn't like it very much. I was So Okay With It but couldn't help noticing Follett's formulaic writing style. I won't continue the series.

9. HEART'S BLOOD BY JULIET MARILLIER – I loved all the nods to Beauty and the Beast while still feeling like I was reading something entirely new. Marillier's writing and subtle romance won me over – I So Loved It!

10. EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN BY CHRIS CLEAVE – Yiiiiiikes, this book was awful. One of the worst things I read all year! I So Disliked It, wish I had quit it, and could write an epic rant about all the reasons it was so horrible.

So, what's my plan for 2020? Here are the 10 books I'm challenging myself to read this year:

Most have these been on my TBR for years and a few were recent additions. Here's the breakdown:

1. THE JOY LUCK CLUB BY AMY TAN – This is one of those books that I feel like I should have read before now, and I don't know why it wasn't on my radar until last year. I'm looking forward to finally starting it!

2. MAGIC FOR MARIGOLD BY L.M. MONTGOMERY – A children's classic from one of my favorites, which I've owned since 2013. I'm hoping it's a win like Jane of Lantern Hill so I'll continue to explore Mongtomery's backlist.

3. ALL THE PRETTY THINGS BY EDIE WADSWORTH – My mom gave me a copy of this memoir in 2016, and I have no idea why I haven't read it yet. So I'm committing to it in 2020 – plus it's one of the shorter books on my list!

4. SHADOW OF NIGHT BY DEBORAH HARKNESS – I read A Discovery of Witches in 2018 and liked it overall. It wasn't a favorite, but I'd like to give the series another chance to win me over and need it on my list for motivation.

5. A PERFECT HERITAGE BY PENNY VINCENZI – I had two giant historical fiction sagas on last year's list, but I'm not continuing either of those series. I just added this book to my TBR in 2019, but I'm excited that it's a standalone.

6. THE SECRET KEEPER BY KATE MORTON – I'd written off Morton until Kelly convinced me to give her another try, and I bought this one used in 2018. After loving The Clockmaker's Daughter, I'm excited to dive in to this one.

7. SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS BY J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN – Sullivan's The Engagements spent years on my TBR before I read it, and I don't want the same to happen to this one. I bought it in 2018 while visiting Kelly!

8. THE REAL JANE AUSTEN BY PAULA BYRNE  This non-fiction book was one of the earliest books I requested on NetGalley... and I was declined. Ha! I bought a copy while traveling in 2013 and have meant to read it ever since.

9. JANE AUSTEN FOR DUMMIES BY JOAN RAY – I loathe this title, but the content inside does look really good! This non-fiction book has been on my TBR the longest. I bought it in 2011 when Borders was going out of business.

10. THE ANNOTATED LITTLE WOMEN BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT – I've read Little Women, but I wanted to revisit it after loving the recent movie adaptation. I've owned this annotated edition since 2015 but never read it.

What should I start first? Point me in the right direction!


  1. Good to know that I'm not the only one who hated Everyone Brave is Forgiven. I've just re-read all the books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series - definitely ready for something shorter!

    1. I'm so glad you hated it, too! I'd really only heard good things before starting and was shocked by how much I wanted to throw it against a wall. Haha!

  2. I also found myself not super pleased with the 5th and 6th Gabaldon books. Some of the storylines get a little boring, the battle scenes with Jamie's son take forever. But the Roger/Bre storyline kept me coming back. I listened and hard copy read the books, going back and forth with whatever format worked for me at the time. I remember listening to the scene in book 8 and sobbing so hard I had to pull the car over, even thinking of it now is making me tear up. The 8th book ends on a huge high note and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for Go Tell the Bees I'm Gone.

    1. Okay, I'm glad to know that you found those books a little boring, too. I will have to think about continuing the series if the next ones are better! It's so frustrating when your enjoyment of a series lessens -- and hard for me to find motivation to keep going when they're also such a commitment haha!

  3. It's awesome that you were able to complete your list of books for 2019, and I'm eagerly waiting to see (in a future post that I'll be getting to in my commenting spree) how you did for 2020! Pachinko is totally a title that's totally on my radar now because of you :)


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