In 2019, I ended up reading thirty books cover to cover. (Though this number doesn’t include the books I started reading during 2019 but couldn’t finish due to their gargantuan size, cough cough Robert Caro’s The Path to Power cough cough.)

While this wasn’t as many books as I read in 2018, I am by no mean upset with myself, as I took something away from every book .

As is tradition now, here is every book I read this year, along with my thoughts on each in exactly ten words .


The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison: I don’t drink, but I’m a sucker for alcoholism memoirs.

Shop Class as Soul Craft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford: Promote trade schools as often as you promote traditional colleges.

The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: The Great Outdoors by David Borgenicht and Trey Popp: It’s always good to re-read this every so often.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: I worry that I enjoy this story way too much.

Memoirs of a Farmboy by William H. Turner: I’ve said this before but read more local history & writings.

Personal Interpretation: Connecting Your Audience to Heritage Resources by Lisa Brochu and Tim Merriman: Read as a part of Certified Interpretive Guide training.

One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Rybczynski: A delightful read documenting such an important tool to modernity.

Sapiens: A Breif History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari: Thought provoking, though I’ve kind of forgetton most of it.

The Best American Non-Required Reading 2018 by Various: Highlights include “Your Black Friend” and “Love, Death and Trousers.”

Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’ Hollywood by Karina Longworth: Don’t romantize Howard Hughes. He was a sexist, racist megalomaniac.

The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tale of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy: By far, my most enjoyable read of the year.

Grendel by John Gardner: Not quite as impactful as reading it in highschool was.

The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski: Fun Facts: Pins, the pointy ones, were the original paperclips.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Caanan White: A vibrant and vital read about a forgotten group of heroes.

Calypso by David Sedaris: Sedaris continues to be a shamelessly enjoyable and readable essayist.

Chesapeake Requim: A Year with the Vanishing Watermen of Tangier Island by Earl Swift: A vital documentation of a society that’s future is uncertain.

Start with Why by Simon Sinek: The title says it all. Indentify your personal purpose first.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: The only work of Hemingway’s I can say I’ve enjoyed.

Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks by Donald Bogle: A must read magnum opus of African-American film history.

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann: Highlights include “Trial by Fire” and “City of Water.”

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan: A bit unoriginal in the self-help, but helpful nonetheless.

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan: A pleasant historical read, that for me was completely escapist.

Redeployment by Phil Klay: 12 unique visions into the suckiness of the Iraq War.

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Bucker: 2019 has been the year of thinking about the west.

Ashenden: Or the British Secret Agent by W. Somerset Maugham: My dose of WWI espionage and intrigue for the year.

Make it Burn, Make it Scream by Leslie Jamison: As engaging and full of life as the title suggests.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris: The perfect white elephant Christmas gift for your disfunctional family?

Why We Loves Star Wars by Ken Napzok: As a longtime listener, I’m very happy Ken published this.

The Mueller Report by Various: Yes, I read The Mueller Report in full. Did you?

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe: I got a lot out of Crusoe this time around.

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