Kat's Reading List

What I Read in a Year: 2019

Well, I beat my previous record, and in 2019 I managed to go through close to 80 books. I credit this mostly to the fact that I got off all social media, except for this blog, and also unsubscribed from Netflix. Amazon Prime was the only streaming video service I had, but I rarely used it, and I’ve now taken a hiatus even from my Prime account.

It’s kind of amazing what you can accomplish when you cut out so many little distractions from your life and embrace opportunities for boredom. Boredom will drive you to do a lot of things that you might otherwise avoid; such as those dishes waiting in the sink or that book you keep meaning to pick up. Cutting out distractions also gives you the space to think your own thoughts and process whatever might be going on in your life. Seriously, I strongly recommend giving it a try. Take a break from social media, leave the TV off, have face-to-face conversations with people, sit with your own thoughts, read a book.

So what did I actually read last year? I didn’t exactly have a reading plan, but I did have some specific focuses geared towards my current writing project. I read a lot about dinosaurs. And because my own protagonist is male, I read a lot of books by male authors that were either personal memoirs or focused on male characters. I’m not sure how John Green manages to get into the psyche of the opposite sex, but this technique has been working pretty well for me. Dave Eggers’ books have been the most helpful in this regard, as well as the books The Perks of Being a Wallflower and A Clockwork Orange.

The most personally significant books that I read last year were Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together and Reclaiming Conversation, as well as Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person and a re-read of Susan Cain’s Quiet. All of these books gave me a better understanding of my own sensitive and introverted nature, as well as context of the larger social issues that are being produced by technology and social media. It has altered how I approach my relationships with people and really helped me to open up to deeper and more meaningful interactions, while also giving me the tools to take care of myself and avoid emotional and mental burnout.

For the complete list of what I read in 2019, with links to each monthly summary, just keep scrolling. Happy reading!

January
The Grace of Enough, by Haley Stewart
Dear and Glorious Physician, by Taylor Caldwell
Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation, by Josef Pieper
The Napoleon of Notting Hill, by G.K. Chesterton
Folks, This Ain’t Normal, by Joel Salatin
Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, by Joseph Pearce
Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
The Reed of God, by Caryll Houselander

February
The Benedict Option, by Rod Dreher
In the Beginning…, by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, by Steve Brusatte
Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari
Hard Times, by Charles Dickens
Flatland, by Edwin A. Abbott
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

March
Business for the Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur, by Joanna Penn
The Apostles and Their Times, by Mike Aquilina
Outer Order, Inner Calm, by Gretchen Rubin
The Wild Things, by Dave Eggers
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield
Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton

April
Paradise Lost, by John Milton
The Plant Paradox, by Steven R. Gundry
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron
The Way of the Cross, by Caryll Houselander
Phantastes, by George MacDonald
The Temperament God Gave You, by Art and Laraine Bennett
The Lamb’s Supper, by Scott Hahn
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting, by Robert McKee
The Book of Job
The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis

May
The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity, by Carrie Gress
The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography, by Matt Fradd
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other, by Sherry Turkle

June
Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
Edith Stein: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda
Middlemarch, by George Eliot
Doors in the Walls of the World: Signs of Transcendence in the Human Story, by Peter Kreeft
Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture, by Kathryn Lasky
Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within, by Taylor Marshall

July
Dinosaur! by Dr. David Norman
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, by Tom Bissell
The Dinosaur Hunter, by Homer Hickam
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely, by Lysa TerKeurst
The Undergraduate, by E. Scott Lloyd

August
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Understanding Media, by Marshall McLuhan
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
The Golden Key, by George MacDonald

September
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle
Wit, by Margaret Edson
The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis

October
C.S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction, by James Como
The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery and Meaning in an Ordinary Church, by Margaret Visser
Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, by Richard A. Swenson
Between Heaven and Hell, by Peter Kreeft
The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: The Biology of the Tyrant Dinosaurs, by David Hone

November
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
The Good News About Sex and Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions About Catholic Teaching, by Christopher West
To Own a Dragon: Reflections on Growing Up Without a Father, by Donald Miller
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War, by Joseph Loconte

December
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers
Theology of Home: Finding Eternal in the Everyday, by Carrie Gress, Noelle Mering, and Megan Schrieber
The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming, by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, by Matthew B. Crawford

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