2019 Book Review

As we wait out this pandemic and practice social distancing, I finally found the time to reflect back on the books I read last year. Thanks to Bookstack, I don’t have to remember which ones I read - its all tracked for me in the app. In 2019 I read 25 books! Maybe not a lot to some people, but I consider that a nice accomplishment. I usually aim for about 25-30 per year.

Here’s the list in chronological order:

  1. Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan
  2. Fortunate Son, by DJ Rhoades
  3. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan
  4. Proteinaholic, by Garth Davis, M.D.
  5. The Fighter, by Michael Farris Smith
  6. Conspiracy, by S.J. Parris
  7. The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
  8. Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom
  9. The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  10. This Year is Different, by Bob Sturm
  11. Not a Sound, by Heather Gudenkauf
  12. Missing Pieces, by Heather Gudenkauf
  13. These Things Hidden, by Heather Gudentkauf
  14. Git for Humans, by David Demaree
  15. Make Time, by Jake Knapp & John Zertatsky
  16. Educated, by Tara Westover
  17. Little Mercies, by Heather Gudenkauf
  18. The Man They Wanted Me to Be, by Jaren Yates Sexton
  19. Unlearning God, by Phillip Gulley
  20. Soil, by Jamie Kornegay
  21. Cave of Bones, by Anne Hillerman
  22. The Ploughmen, by Kim Zupan
  23. Lovability, by Brian de Haaff
  24. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
  25. Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, by Michael Bennett

The Top 3

Consipiracy, by S.J. Parris

Definitely the best book I read last year. This book is the last of a 5-book series based on the historical figure Giordano Bruno, a 16th Century monk turned philosopher, professor and solver of murder mysteries. A little bit of history, a bit of religion and philosophy mixed with murder and intrigue - what’s not to like. Bruno will forever be one of my all time book characters.

The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom

Young Lavinia is an immigrant servant who finds herself indentured to a wealthy plantation owner in Virginia in the middle of the 1800s after her parents died on the journey from Ireland across the Atlantic. While she is notched a wrung above the slaves that are knit into the fabric of the plantation, she identifies with them, befriends them and grows to love them as her new family. This book is a unique look at pre-Civil War slavery, immigration racism, class struggles, and familial bonds.

Educated, by Tara Westover

This book is crazy. Actually, Tara Westover’s upbringing was crazy. In her amazing autobiography, she details the incredible odds she overcame to leave her family and earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She was raised by extremely fundamentalist “survivalist” parents who allowed her very little interaction with the outside world and no formal education. She scratched and clawed her way out of the ignorant, backwards thinking of most of her family, her father in particular.

About the author
Bitmoji image of author: Chuck Mallott
Chuck Mallott

I write about design and UX, family, religion, sports, mountain biking, and dumb observations. I'm a web, mobile, UX, and product designer living in Colorado.