My 2019 Reading Challenge: Halfway Through

July 17, 2019Hels

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

So we’re halfway through the year, and I’m on 43/75 books, which I’m really pleased with, particularly as I haven’t actually read anything for the last six weeks (I have a really good excuse though). I thought I’d do a bit of a round-up on the last six months of my reading challenge…

Favourite book

I have read SO many amazing books this year. I’ve had to change how I review books as I found I was giving five stars to so many books! I’ve picked two favourite books – one fiction, one non-fiction. Both are incredible – and neither are gripping psychological crime thrillers (very unlike me!)

Michelle Obama’s Becoming is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Her story is incredible, her writing is brilliant and it’s a book I think everyone should read. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is my favourite fiction book so far this year. It’s one of those books that genuinely deserves all the hype around it, and I was lucky enough to spend the publication morning with Beth and some other book bloggers, and she deserves all the success – I’m excited to read her next book!

Least favourite book

B.A. Paris’ Bring Me Back was around 1.5 stars for me. The first book by B.A. Paris I read (Behind Closed Doors) was excellent but this was just…not. I persevered with it because I thought it would get better but it really didn’t pick up.


I really, really don’t like not finishing books, but there have been three books this year I’ve not been able to get through…

The Binding (Bridget Collins) – I read about 100 pages with it and that was a struggle. The concept is so fascinating – books are used to hide and bind your deepest fears and darkest desires – and the cover is absolutely beautiful but I just couldn’t get into it. I found it slow, and like I was constantly waiting for something to happen.

Pieces of Her (Karin Slaughter) – Following a shooting in a diner, Andrea quickly realises that everything she thought she knew about her Mum was a lie, and all she has is pieces of her. I genuinely felt bad about DNF-ing this one, I usually love Karin Slaughter’s writing, but this one just felt a bit forced, and I didn’t care about any of the characters.

Things in Jars (Jess Kidd)* – I was kindly sent this for review by Canongate, but unfortunately I just couldn’t finish it. It’s described as a Victorian crime fiction, and it has amazing reviews, but I just really struggled with it. I don’t tend to read historical fiction, and this world was macabre, involving ghosts, crooked surgeons and fanatical anatomists. It just isn’t my kind of story, though if you love crime, historical fiction and fantasy you will probably love this!

Best new author discovery

There are a few authors I’ve read this year that I know I’ll rush out to buy anything else that they write, particularly Beth O’Leary, Sarah Haywood and Samantha Downing, and there are a couple of authors I discovered last year who I’ve made an effort to read more from, including Lucy Clarke and C.L. Taylor.

Best Blogger Book Club book

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society was chosen as May’s Book Club book, and I’m so pleased it was. Not only was it an amazing choice for Blogger Book Club because the chat went so well and so many people joined in, but it has become one of my all-time favourite books.


How are you getting on with reading in 2019? Do you have a reading challenge?


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