Favorite Books Read In 2019

A back dated post from my old website (RIP hacked/dead alexmanderson.com url).

I know I’m not going to be the only person who looks back on 2019 as a dividing line in their life. The pandemic in 2020 is the obvious line, but looking back for myself, 2019 was the end and beginning of many new chapters (sorry).

At the begining of 2019 Didi and I were in our early 30’s living in an appartment in Seattle.

At the end of 2019 we married and traveled easily on a plane for the last time (unbeknownst to us) to Hawaii for our honeymoon.

2020 is when the pandemic happened and at the end of the year Didi found out she was pregnant.

2021 was one of pregnancy and early baby Augie.

2022 mostly revolved around Augie and keeping him away from all the sickos.

Also in 2022 we moved away from Seattle to Port Townsend and somehow I turned 35.

Now as I am writing this post I can see 2019 was the last time I would live normally in Seattle, commuting daily to-and-from work on a bus, as a non-married, childless individual.

All of that is just to say that when I look back at the books I read during 2019 it feels like I’m looking back at books read from a decade ago, in a different life.

Something else I’m sure I will be saying as I continue going backwards in time is that my memories of the books themselves becomes more and more hazy. I swear I was paying attention at the time, but now, other than general plot points I can’t remember anything. So for my rankings I’m mostly just going with how I remember feeling about them at the time and ones that have sat with me well over the years. But also I’m sure a reread of any would alter my thinking.

Ranked below in descending order are 14 of the 32 titles I read and enjoyed the most in 2019.

Favorite Books Read In 2019


Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema by Anne Helen Petersen

Pages: 289

Release Date: September 30, 2014


Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror by Jason Zinoman

Pages: 274

Release Date: July 1, 2011


Paper Girls, Book One by Brian K. Vaughan

Pages: 320

Release Date: November 1, 2017



Educated by Tara Westover

Pages: 352

Release Date: February 20, 2018


The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things ― Stories from Science and Observation by Peter Wohlleben

Pages: 272

Release Date: September 11, 2017


How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveller by Ryan North

Pages: 464

Release Date: September 18, 2018



The Vision by Tom King

Pages: 488

Release Date: January 23, 2018



Complete Concrete by Paul Chadwick

Pages: 316

Release Date: September 13, 1994



The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

Pages: 336

Release Date: June 21, 2012



The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett

Pages: 353

Release Date: July 6, 1905



The Long War by Terry Pratchett

Pages: 419

Release Date: June 18, 2013


Robert Altman: The Oral Biography by Mitchell Zuckoff

Pages: 560

Release Date: January 1, 2009



Recursion by Blake Crouch

Pages: 336

Release Date: June 11, 2019



Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Pages: 368

Release Date: May 7, 2019

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