Some Favorites from My Year in Books (2019)

I really only had one main reading goal this year: to quit books I wasn’t enjoying. And, I more or less did that, only grinding past the point of no return with a couple of books. Overall, I think it was a good change from my usual habit of finishing everything I start (the realization that the number of books I am going to read across my lifetime is actually finite hit me with force this year … along with increasingly gray hair at my temples and aching knees after basketball), and I’m going to stick with it in the future.

As usual, the list below contains the books that happen to to come to mind as especially good/interesting when I think back over the past year – in no particular order beyond fiction first and then everything else. I’m even shorter on time than usual, so the links will take you to my Goodreads notes/reviews for my comments:

Europe in Autumn – Dave Hutchinson

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers – Tom Rachman

My Struggle Book 2: A Man in Love – Karl Ove Knausgaard

True Grit – Charles Portis

Last Night at the Lobster – Stewart O’Nan

Happiness – Aminatta Forna

Favorite re-reads of the year: F by Daniel Kehlmann, Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Antifragile – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Seculosity – David Zahl

Christ the Heart of Creation – Rowan Williams

Keep Going – Austin Kleon

The Year of Our Lord 1943 – Alan Jacobs