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All the Books I Read in 2019 | A Recap

In 2019, I finished 13 books.

Lower than last year’s and a major fail from my goal of finishing 30 books.

Although the number is lower, I am still happy. 

This year I read A TON of good books.⁣
📌I was able to read and finish in 4 out of 7 Harry Potter books ⁣

📌I purchased my own The Bullet Journal Method book by Ryder Caroll. ⁣
📌I read and finished Bad Blood, a nonfiction book about once Silicon Valley startup Theranos. 
{ enjoyed this book so much plus it’s part of Bill Gates’ reading recommendations }
📌⁣I read and finished my first Stephen King book - The Running Man.⁣

I used to have reader’s block, but the past two years have been the best years in terms of reading books for me.  

My best book for 2019 is none other than Ready Player One. It’s sci-fiction, a genre I’m not that used to but still enjoyed. 

I had so much fun reading this book page after page. I remember staying late in a fast food chain just to not miss a couple of minutes of reading. This book is soooooo good. I am not a gamer or a tech-savvy but this book still gets me. I love it so much.⁣

And it today’s post I am thrilled to share a recap of all the books I read in 2019. Towards the end, I am also sharing my reading goal for 2020.

Let’s begin. In no particular order:

The Bullet Journal by Ryder Carroll

You all know how much of a fan I am of the bullet journal method. I’ve been using the system to increase my productivity and make me literally on top of what I want to achieve. When I saw the news that the creator of the bullet journal method, Ryder Carroll was releasing his own book about the system, I was ecstatic.

I saw and bought the book when I was in Malaysia and finished it in an instant. Ryder provided great productivity tips that I’ve never heard or read of. I love the illustrations of other bullet journal set ups inside the book and have tried applying some of them on my own. 

Although you don’t really need to purchase the book to start bullet journaling I still recommend for you to check it out. 

Read more about bullet journaling here -

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

I have an amazing story behind this book. I was on a usual stroll at National Book Store after work when this book caught my attention.

1. It’s a New York Times Bestseller
2. It was based on a true story of a real defector from North Korea
3. It has 4 out of 5 stars rating on Goodreads

Saw the price tag as Php 525 so I got hesitant at first but there was a red circle/mark at the back which indicates na SALE siya.

True enough after i-punch ni Ate sa cashier, Php 74.50 na lang yung book! It was 90% off. What a steal!

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden introduces the incredible story of Shin Dong-hyuk - the only person born in a North Korean gulag ever to escape. Dong-Hyuk’s journey is unbelievable. I found myself asking how he was able to endure such harsh conditions growing up. His chronicles of Dong-Hyuk’s escape was breathtaking. I was moved and can’t help but turn to a new page just to get to know what happens next. I have nothing but praise to how Harden was able to share Shin Dong-hyuk’s story.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

This, I believe was the only self-help book I read (aside from The Bullet Journal Method) in 2020. Better Than Before is all about our daily habits and how we can improve them. 

I love how Gretchen was able to explain the concept of building habits. She introduced concepts that will help you realize who you are as a person and how these identifiers can affect how we deal on building habits of our own. 

She also recommended, through the book, the importance of working on your goal, no matter how you might feel on the inside. What we have full control of is our behavior towards what we are aiming for in life. Eventually, all the seeds you planted towards your goal will flourish.



The Martian by Andy Weir

I had The Martian book for a long time but only read it this January. I’ve watched the movie a long time ago too but I am still familiar with the characters and the story line. I don’t really read sci-fi fiction but this definitely got me into the said genre.

To give you an idea in case you haven’t read and watched The Martian yet, the story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035 and must improvise in order to survive. Reading Watney’s daily log while trapped in Mars from growing potatoes, finding the Pathfinder to his final moments on Mars to be reunited with his crew.

This book is totally entertaining. Reading the book is as always a different experience. I am not scientifically/mathematically inclined but Weir didn’t bore me at all! Reading Watney’s daily log while trapped in Mars is definitely fascinating.

The Running Man by Stephen King

It was my first time to read a book by Stephen King. Although I knew him as a great author, I’ve never attempted to read one of his books. But last year I challenged myself to read at least one Stephen King book. 
The story revolves around Ben Richards who lives in a dystopian America. He joined this ultraviolent TV game show called The Running Man. ⁣
In the show The Running Man, contestant becomes a public enemy no. 1 for 30 days. You are given a new identity and must hide for the next month with only pocket money and a camera in your hand. ⁣
Your day-to-day struggle is being broadcasted to the public. And the public can reveal your hiding place for a chance to win a portion of your prize. ⁣
Amazing, right?⁣
I’m glad I settled for this as my first Stephen King book. I can’t wait to read more of his works in the future.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup is an expose of Silicon Valley Startup, Theranos. Theranos was set to revolutionize healthcare by drawing blood using finger prick technology instead of the traditional injections. Turns out everything was a lie. A total scam from founder Elizabeth Holmes who was once dubbed as “the next Steve Jobs”.⁣ ⁣

I first learned about the story of Theranos when I stumble upon a news article narrating its downfall. From then, I researched about the business from articles on Wikipedia, online news to watching Holmes’ interview on YouTube. So, yeah, I am that invested in the story even before reading Carreyrou’s book.

I was looking forward to reading the book even though the price in Php 849. The funny thing is, when I bought my copy, it was on a 30% discount! I only paid Php 594.30 for the book. Awesome!

Reading Bad Blood gave me so much insight on what happens inside a startup companies. Holmes’ idea could have been revolutionary, it was just too difficult to materialize. The sad thing was, Holmes decided to conceal the lie within a lie. She and Ramesh Balwani, her former beau and Theranos’ COO, used intimidating tactics to their employees and led them out of fear.

Actually now that I’m done watching Fyre Festival documentary from Netflix (check out my January 2019 recap for full story) I realized there are similarities between what happened to Theranos and Fyre Festival. Both founders gave gave promises, took money but didn’t deliver. The worst part is innocent lives got hurt in the process.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is a fictional story of Hazel Grace, whom despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, has never been terminal. One day during a cancer support group she met Augustus Waters, and their story of love begins. I include this book to the reading experience I had with Me Before You and Love, Rosie.

It made me smile, it made me laugh, and then it made me cry. The hopeless romantic in me was deeply “kilig” reading the book. This book changed is a far different reading experience from what I had with Paper Towns. 

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Probably my worst read for 2019, based on my personal opinion alone. I don’t know but I didn’t like how this book ended. All along I thought there was a plot twist to it, but there wasn’t. It was good in the beginning but kind of became flat at the end. Still, I have to count it as my addition in last year’s reads. 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This book is so A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y written that you won't be able to put it down. At least that's what happened to me. I picked this up from my bookshelf just to read the first few pages and surprisingly found it hard to let go. I finished 120 pages of it on day 1.

Ready Player One follows teenager Wade Watts as he tries to win the most important game in the OASIS, a virtual reality simulator accessible to anyone. The setting of the book is on 2040s and is considered as a dystopian novel much like Fahrenheit 451 which I finished before.

I was surprised that I enjoyed reading this book since I am not a gamer and I have no idea experience playing games where you have a character aside from Temple Run. HAHA. But the way the story is written/narrated will make you feel like you are in the same world as the character. I had such a good reading experience that I read it whenever and wherever I can. I was able to finish it in a span of one week reading at most a 45 minutes within a day.

Ready Player One definitely deserves a spot in my best books I’ve ever read!

Harry Potter 1-4

Finally, I made progress on my Harry Potter reads.

One of my 30 before 30 bucket list is to finish reading the whole book set of Harry Potter. Last February 2019, I bought the entire book set during my first ever Big Bad Wolf Book Fair. It took me months before I finally started reading the series.

In 2019, I finished Book 1 - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Book 2 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 3 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Book 4 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

I will always be biased with Goblet of Fire because it was my favorite movie from the series. So imagine the excitement I had reading the book and understanding in full the characters and events that took place during the Triwizard Tournament.




I’m very bad when it comes to keeping my reading goal. So for 2020 I decided to be more realistic. I plan to read 20 books this year which means finishing at least two (2) a month. Since I’ve done 16 before, I think this goal is now more achievable than the ambitious 35 last year. 

That’s it for my books read in 2019. 

How many books do you plan to read in 2020?

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