2019 in Books

My reading life in 2019

Friend me on Goodreads as Trish Murrell to see my book list from this year or just to book chat.


  • On January 1st, 2019, I set myself the goal of reading 60 books this year. I read a total of 71 books. Now, some of these were novellas and therefore shorter reads so that should be taken into account as well. In 2018, I read 26 of the 30 I set as a reading goal so I’m pretty proud of this year.
  • I finished the Harry Potter series. I read books four through seven this year and I wish there were more of them to read. While, the first book is my best loved one because of the magical excitement and the entering of a new world, the last is my favourite for its stunning completion of the hero’s journey. The Goblet of Fire and the Order of the Phoenix are the two that I had me turning the pages the fastest and kept me the most spellbound.

The Best and the Worst

  • The best books I read this year were hard to choose there are many excellent books on my list from this year. I chose The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton and The Nightingale by Kirstin Hannah. I loved the Morton’s book for its well spun story with many layers, the mystery, and the beautiful writing. It’s a book I know I’ll be drawn to read again and again. Hannah’s book I chose because of the unexpected twist, the historic detailing, and the amazing discussions it provoked during book club. It’s a book that will stay with me forever.
  • My least favourite read this year was Steal Away Home: One Woman’s Epic Flight to Freedom – And Her Long Road Back to the South by Karolyn Smardz Frost. It was interesting at first and in sections but for the rest it was a lot of slogging through detail. You can tell that there was passion, curiosity, and a ton of research put into this work. It would have been better if the book had been divided into smaller books that could hold your attention. There were so many histories in one book that it became tedious to read all at once. I did learn more slavery in the Americas and about how slaves escaped to Canada which I have always found fascinating. It just was a tough read.


  • One challenge was reading books other than those selected for book clubs (for most of 2019, there were 3 of them). I love my book clubs, I need that sense of community. They add so much insight and friendship to my reading life. But, sometimes this year it felt like there wasn’t a lot of time for self-selected reading. I found that my weekends were days to get a lot of my reading done which created a chance to read something I chose.
  • Listening to books in the car with my daughters was a challenge after we moved into the new house. We didn’t listen to an audiobook at all in October because our 30 minute commute each way (minimum) is now a 10 minute drive (tops). On top of that. my oldest girl now takes the bus in the afternoon so there is even less time to listen together. We are doing The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick right now, but it takes much longer than it would have before. I find myself making excuses to drive around with them in the car so that we can listen or I turn it on in the house while we are doing other things like folding laundry. My daughters and I connect so much to each other through our shared reading that I don’t want to loose that.

Unexpected Things

  • I had no idea that I would like reading mysteries so much. I read 7 this year! M.C. Beaton books are a great read. I especially liked The Death of a Prankster because as the title suggests it was full of fun.
  • I did not finish one of the books I started this year. It is unexpected because I have very few DNFs in my past. A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay wasn’t a terrible book, it wasn’t the book for me. The plastic wrapped body in the back of the car was a bit too Jeff Lindsay for me and I almost stopped there. Then came the first scene with the typewriter – ACK!! I was done. All kinds of nope, my friend. Other book club members enjoyed it but it was too much for me.
  • This blog was unexpected. I had no idea that I would start blogging about my reading life as a creative outlet and secondarily to get me ready to try podcasting again. I’m not consistent with my writing, yet but I always enjoy doing it. I don’t know what to write about sometimes or what you want to read about sometimes. There are also sessions when I sit down to write and I have a clear idea and I know just what I want to say. Your comments and feedback and likes are unexpected, welcome, and so appreciated.
In total, I read 22,818 pages across 71 books.