Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Book List

New year, new book list. That's how the saying goes, right? Y'all. I've branched out and gotten creative with this year's book goals and I'm pretty excited about it. 
Instead of just making my usual master list, I've decided to also participate in a reading challenge and to incorporate a mystery jar. A mystery jar? What's that? Well, after creating my master list (including the reading challenge within that list), I went around my house and chose books I've gotten at the Book Shelter, series that I love, books I've been wanting to re-read, or books that almost made the cut for the master list, wrote them down on tiny slips of paper, rolled them up, and put them in this little jar. Throughout 2019, I'll be drawing at random and reading whatever is on the slip. There are 40 slips of paper total in the jar, but those 40 slips actually represent about 70 books. I don't hold any delusional ideas of getting through the entire jar, but I'd love to get through at least 10 slips. I think this is going to be a super-fun way of mixing it up this year, and, if it goes well, this may be a permanent fixture in my reading life. 

Now that I've explained my little mystery jar of bookish fun, let me explain the reading challenge. Since the very first year that I started making these book lists, I've seen these reading challenges all over the internet. I've always wanted to participate in one, but since I was new to the whole list-making and blogging scene, I wanted to really figure out my rhythm and see what I was capable of before jumping into a challenge. Now that I have four years of book lists and blogging under my belt, I decided it was finally time to incorporate a challenge into my list and I chose the Modern Mrs Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge. This is a fun way to structure your reading, and I would encourage you to do a challenge yourself. Modern Mrs Darcy has free printables and everything to help you get started and her challenge is very manageable. 
But enough yakking, let's get to my actual list already! Here we go...

My Base List
My Utmost for His Highest : Oswald Chambers
The Knowledge of the Holy : A.W. Tozer
Humility : C.J. Mahaney
The Holiness of God : R.C. Sproul
The Last Founding Father : Harlow Giles Unger
John Quincy Adams : Harlow Giles Unger
As You Like It : William Shakespeare
King Lear : William Shakespeare
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall : Anne Brontë
All the Light We Cannot See : Anthony Doerr
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone : J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets : J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban : J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire : J.K. Rowling

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge
a book you've been meaning to read 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn : Betty Smith

a book about a topic that fascinates you
The Problem of Pain : C.S. Lewis

a book in the backlist of a favorite author
Sisterchicks on the Loose! : Robin Jones Gunn

a book recommended by someone with great taste 
Orphan Train : Christina Baker Kline

three books by the same author
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix : J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince : J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : J.K. Rowling

a book you chose for the cover
Crime and Punishment : Fyodor Dostoevsky

a book by an author who is new to you
A Man Called Ove : Fredrik Backman

a book in translation
The Count of Monte Cristo : Alexandre Dumas

a book outside your (genre) comfort zone
1984 : George Orwell

a book published before you were born
David Copperfield : Charles Dickens

So my base list and the reading challenge make up a master list of 26 books for 2019. My goal for this year is 36 books. Loosely, one book from my base list, one book from the challenge, and one book from the mystery jar each month. We'll see how it goes. As you can see, I'm finally joining the rest of the known universe in reading the Harry Potter books. I always kinda knew this day would come and here we are. I've got friends reading The Count of Monte Cristo (probably the book that intimidates me most this year) and All the Light We Cannot See with me so that should be fun. And I'm really excited about some of my more contemporary choices this year. 

All in all, I'm psyched to get reading in 2019. I'd love to see what you plan to read or hear about your 2019 resolutions in the comments. Happy New Year!

Have you read any of the books on my list? What do you think of my mystery jar? 


  1. I love the mystery jar idea!!

    My list is far from being done, but these are the books I’ve written down so far. A couple of these will be read aloud, which takes so much longer, but it will be worth the time spent.

    Book list 2019
    The Penderwicks
    100 Cupboards
    Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers
    Cameron Townsend (missionary stories)
    The Count of Monte Crisco
    All the Light We Cannot See
    The Gospel Comes With a House Key
    (Reread) The Lord of the Flies
    David Livingstone by Stocker

    1. So glad you're joining me in reading All the Light We Cannot See and The Count of Monte Cristo!! It's been a while since I read Leota's Garden. Maybe I'll get to re-read that one this year. (Francine Rivers is in the mystery jar—heehee!)

  2. So fun! Knowledge of the Holy is one of my all time favorites. I’ve not had much success with My Utmost for His Highest, but I want to read through it in a year someday. King Lear is a great choice, and I’ve wanted to read Ten Thousand Acres as a different take on it. I don’t think I’ve read As You Like It yet. Let me know when you want to read Bronte. I’m game. I got All the Light We Cannot See from the library, but only read a few pages before returning it (fines – ack), but I’m intrigued and want to give it another go. I read all of HP in the summer of 2015, and it was no trouble at all. I’ve thought about re-reading them (3 and 4 were my favorites). Looking forward to hearing what you think. It’s been a long time since I read the Problem of Pain, but I was young. I’d probably appreciate it more now.
    I started Crime and Punishment for the second or third time last year, and stalled after Torren was born. I got more than 200 pages in, though. I’ve picked it up again and will try to finish it. I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo in high school, so don’t let it intimidate you! It’s a fantastic story! You may want to write out a list of characters and how they’re connected though. That was the hardest part for me – couples, their children, who they’re supposed to marry, and who they actually want to marry. Lots of triangles. Sorry if that’s a spoiler. I appreciated 1984, but it’s not really a fun read. He’s very perceptive though, and I got a lot out of it.
    I haven’t read David Copperfield yet, but I need to read another Dickens soon. Little Dorrit might be next for me.
    I love the jar idea! If I were doing something like that, it would probably be mostly Austen and Lewis re-reads, plus some that I’ve bought but not read yet.
    Last year, I bought the newly revised versions of the Gateway Chronicles, so I’ve wanted to see how those revisions filled out the story.
    I’ll try to write out a list this week. Maybe I’ll finally finish some that I put on my list a couple years ago.

    1. I've been the same way with My Utmost for His Highest. I've used it a month here or a few weeks there but never started in January and gone through the whole year so I'm excited to attempt that this year.

      I chose Crime and Punishment and David Copperfield based on the recommendation of a blogger I've been following recently (keepingupwiththepenguins.com) so we'll see how it goes. I like Dickens more and more with each work I read.

      My brother said the same thing about keeping a chart of characters from Count of Monte Cristo. That'll be helpful going into it.

      My jar has Austen and the Chronicles of Narnia in it! Haha! I realized while I was going around the house that it's probably been 10 years since I last visited Narnia.

      Can't wait to see what you plan to read this year, and I'll definitely let you know when I start Tenant of Wildfell Hall!

  3. i will be rereading harry potter with you.

    1. Sweet! I think I'm going to bang it out first thing so are you ready?

  4. Ditto. I’ve been reading along with Reagan. Enjoying his take on them as we go.

    1. Yeah, he's the one that really got the ball rolling for me to finally read them. At the pace he's going though, I definitely intend to pass him. Haha! I'll be amazed if he gets through 4 and 5 this year.

  5. Your book list sounds great. You will love The Count, David Copperfield, The Holiness of God, As You Like It, and The Knowledge of the Holy. You will have to plow through Crime and Punishment and sometimes My Utmost for His Highest but don't quit you will be glad you made it through. The jar idea is great. Keep reading, you are so much smarter than your Dad.

    1. I will never be as smart as you, Dad. Love you.

  6. SO CHUFFED to see Crime & Punishment made the cut! ;) And this is a really great system - one of each list each month, I love it. I'm thinking of using the jar system to choose the next few books from my existing reading list, shaking up the ol' "look over the stack and pick whatever calls to me" system. Can't wait to read your reviews over 2019! Happy reading!

    1. Thanks, Sheree! Your January reading bootcamp is such a fun idea. Haha! Looking forward to more of those posts!

  7. I am so excited for some of the choices on your list!! And I LOVE the idea of the mystery jar. I don't know that I'll get to it this year, but I'm keeping it in mind, for sure. I'm also on my way to check out the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge. Lol.

    1. Thanks, Sabrina! I think you'll have plenty on your plate this year what with bringing a new life into the world and all. :) I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up reading this year.

  8. You have an excellent list this year, babe. I'm excited to read some with you, talk with you about them, and read your reviews. You're amazing. Keep reading and blogging the hecc out of 2019. ;)

    1. Hecc with two C's? Nice. Lol

    2. You are the best husband ever, and I love you for always listening to my raves and rants over what I'm reading.

  9. Best friend!!! Your book list, as always, is really inspiring! I have goals for this year that don't have anything to do with reading (other than the Bible lol). Maybe I'll finally write another blog post and include them? Just started reading Villette and I like it so far :) Did you do a summary on it??

    1. YES to more blog posts! And I actually haven't read Villette OR Shirley yet! My Bronte for the year is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Villette will probably be 2020 and Shirley in 2021 at which point I will have finished all the novels of the Bronte sisters. :)

  10. Woohoo! Going into 2019 strong! We're already into our Around The World Reading Challenge & thanks to my brother, Jess, we have included books from five continents (excluding Australia & Antartica). Pretty good if you ask me. We're starting out with The Shadow Of The Wind, a translation from Spanish. Only 10 on my list this year because moving, but who knows, I may surprise myself.

    Love you list...& YOU!!

    1. I definitely want more details about this list. So I see that Shadow of the Wind was translated from the original Spanish AND is set in Barcelona. What are the 9 others? And are all your siblings doing this?