Year in Books 2019

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Happy New Year, Gentle Readers!

I don’t have any particular words of wisdom or inspiration as we change calendars, so why not just go right in to Your Humble Blogger’s Year in Books 2019:

The Paying Guest, by Sarah Waters (suspense)
The Party, by Trevor Griffiths (play)
Pipeline, by Dominique Morisseau (play)
Stupid Fucking Bird, by Aaron Posner (play)
Norse Gds, by Neil Gaiman (SF?)
Beasts made of Night, by Tochi Onyebuchi (YASF)
The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton (SF)
Winter’s Promise, by Christelle Dabos (SF)
Moon over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch (SF) (and also the third and fourth and fifth and sixth ones in the series, and one of the novellas)
Dramatic Exchanges: The Lives and Letters of the National Theatre, by Daniel Rosenthal (theater)
Merrily We Roll Along, by Kaufman and Hart (play)
The Intuitionists, by Colson Whitehead (SF)
The Bacchae of Euripides, by Wole Soyinka (play)
Throne of Glass, by Sarah Maas (YASF)
Guardian, by A. J. Hartley (YASF)
I, Claudia, by Mary McCoy (YA)
Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (YASF)
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (YASF)
Real Friends, by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (graphic)
The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (YASF)
Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan (Historical)
The Raven Tower, by Ann Lackie (SF)
Ray Bolger: More than a Scarecrow, by Holly Van Leuven (Theater)
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller (Historical)
The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (SF)
Straight White Men, by Young Jean Lee (play)
If, Then, by Kate Hope Day (SF)
Lent, by Jo Walton (SF)
Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee (YASF)
A Doll’s House Part 2, by Lucas Hnath (play)
Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, by Sam Steiner (play)
Maple and Vine, by Jordan Harrison (play)
The Orphans of Raspay, by Lois McMaster Bujold (SF novella)
Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (SF)
I am My Own Wife, by Doug Wright (Play)
A Brightness Long Ago, by Guy Gavriel Kay (SF)
William Shakespeare’s The Land of the Dead, by John Heimbuch (Play)
The Caretaker, by Harold Pinter (play)
The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin (SF)
Marjorie Prime, by Jordan Harrison (play)
Earth Logic, by Laurie J. Marks (SF) (and the other three in the series)
A Prayer for Own Meany, by John Irving (non-genre)
The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, by Joy Ladin (scripture)
Shakespeare in Hollywood, by Ken Ludwig (play)
Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang (romance)
Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (SF)
The Public Eye, by Peter Shaffer (play)
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, by K. Eason (SF)
City of Bohane, by Kevin Barry (SF)
Subsequent Perfomances, by Jonathan Miller (theater)
Angel Mage, by Garth Nix (SF)
Shakespeare & Me, by Susannah Carson ed. (theater)
Brutus and other Heroines, by Harriet Walter (theater)
Ron Carter : finding the right notes, by Dan Ouellette (music)
The Adventures of Unemployed Man, by Erich Origen and Gan Golan (graphic)
This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (SF)
The Water Dancer, byTa-Nehisi Coates (historical)

Those are the books I read for the first time in 2019.

That’s a total of 63 books (which include two novellas that were printed as separate volumes (or sold as separate e-books), which break down to 27 works of speculative fiction marketed primarily to adults, seven works of speculative fiction marketed primarily to teens, three historical novels (all of which have speculative elements), one work marketed primarily to teens that did not have speculative elements, 15 playscripts, five books about theater, two graphic works, one biography that wasn’t about a theater practitioner, one work of Scripture analysis, one suspense novel (that had no speculative elements), one romance novel (again, one without speculative elements—I am including romantic specfic in the specfic), and one ‘literary’ novel that actually had some speculative elements but isn’t considered specfic at all.

Favorites include Lent, Dread Nation, City of Bohane, the Earth Logic series, and The Intuitionists. I can’t say I was knocked out by any of the plays, honestly—there are a few good parts for me, but nothing that I am itching to play, nor really anything that I think I would advise anyone to produce. Perhaps Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, which does have ideas that have stuck in my mind.

Has it been a good reading year for YHB? Yeah, it has. I may have more thoughts about it later, but in general: I’ve read a lot, and a lot of it has been pretty good.

Next year, I expect I will read somewhat fewer new books, because I have embarked on Shakespeare 2020, Ian Doescher’s endeavor to read all of Shakespeare’s plays and major poetry over the course of the calendar year. I am actually doing discussion of it in Another Place (contact me if you are not friends with me over there and would like to join that gang) but I hope to at least briefly post about each play here as I read it. There are several of the plays that I have never read, or at least not read properly, so I suppose that will add to my end-of-year totals next January, but that scarcely counts.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian. [/raw]

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