Friday, January 17, 2020

Books Read in December & 2019 Challenges Wrap-Up

One of the beautiful holiday displays at Longwood Gardens
I was just working on my 2019 reading wrap-up post (yes, a bit late, I know) and realized I never summarized December! So, here we go - I also included a wrap-up of my 2019 reading challenges below.

I December, I finished the following books:

  • Sunny Rolls the Dice by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (PA) - middle-grade graphic novel
  • Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (DC, NY) - memoir on audio
  • The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (NY) - adult fiction

  • The Seventh Voyage by Jon J. Muth - graphic novel
  • The Census by Jesse Ball - adult fiction on audio
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (UK) - classic adult fiction

  • Remarkables by Margaret Peterson Haddix (PA) - middle grade fiction on audio

Wow, another BIG reading month for me, with 13 books finished - no wonder I am behind on reviews! (Reviews at the links, where available.) Four of the books I read were quick graphic novels, which explains why I was able to read so many in one month. You can also tell that I carried over a few from Nonfiction November. Of the 13 total, three were nonfiction and the other ten were fiction, nine books were for adults, three were middle-grade, and one was a teen/YA book. I listened to three books on audio ... and those were my three favorites! Becoming and Making Toast were both immersive, warm, funny, powerful memoirs, read by the authors - both highly recommended.

Progress and Wrap-Up of 2019 Reading Challenges:
This is my favorite part of my monthly summary - updating my Reading Challenges. Here, I also include my end-of-year wrap-up for each challenge. The above link will take you to my challenge page, for more information, lists of books read for each, and links to the challenges.

Mount TBR Reading Challenge - Eight books were from my own shelves last month (!), bringing me up to (drumroll...) 45 TBR books read in 2019! (I don't count audios). My goal was at least 36, so I surpassed that. So, then, why are my shelves still full?
Monthly Motif Reading Challenge - December was Last Chance, a book you've been meaning to read all year, so Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward certainly fits. I met the Monthly Motif Challenge every month except November.
Back to the Classics Challenge - Just under the wire, I squeezed in one more classic, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, finished late on 12/31! My goal was to read 6 classics, but in 2019, I only read 4 classics, so I will try again this year.
Monthly Keyword Challenge - Another big zero for this one in December, and a major fail for the year. I only managed to read a book with one of the monthly key words twice all year, in September and October. I guess this one was not a good choice for the way that I read.
Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2019 - I read three more nonfiction books in December, for a total of fourteen for the year. My goal was 15, but I think that's pretty close and quite good for me, since I tend to focus on fiction.
Diversity Reading Challenge - I added another five books in December that had diverse authors, characters, or themes. In all, I read 37 diverse books in 2019. My goal was 25, so that was a big win!
Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge - I added Tanzania and two more books set in the UK in December. In 2019, I read 23 books set in 17 different countries. In 2018, I read 31 international books, so my reading was a bit more domestic last year, but I hit some places that I knew very little about it.
2019 Literary Escapes Challenge - I added no new states in December, but I read books set in 28 different states in 2019, which was slightly better than 2018, when I read in 25 different states.

Finally, Bookish Bingo hosted by Chapter Break - not really a challenge per se, but a fun game that I play each month. I filled in 21 squares in December:

Bingo spaces filled:
Becoming - library book
Through a Window - photographs, set in a foreign country
The Woman I Was Before - kissing, crime
Sunny Rolls the Dice - play games, in a series
Making Toast - audio book
The Nest - gift, debut novel
Are You Listening? - kindness
Stargazing - free book
Sing, Unburied, Sing - red cover, bad habit
The Seventh Voyage - read a physical book
Census - not in a series
Mrs. Dalloway - shelf love, classic
Remarkables - mystery, tree on the cover
Free Space

What was your favorite book read in December?   

Next up: my full 2019 Book Wrap-Up! 


  1. December was a whopper for you! And you did so well on your travel challenges and TBR shelf reading. 45 is amazing. I hope I do that well this year.

    1. Thanks, Helen! That was definitely my best TBR year, but as my husband pointed out, we are each constantly finishing books & moving them over to the other's side of the bookcase, saying, "You have to read this!" so the TBRs never seem to go down - ha ha Nice to know I am making progress, though.

  2. Lots of great books read! You had a great month for sure.

    1. Thanks, Beverley! One of my best ever!

  3. I love these posts. Fascinating to see what people read and how they decide what to read.