Books of note that I read in 2019

Books of note that I read in 2019

I’ve tried in past years to share out book reviews about individual books or even compile lists of what I’ve read but… I read too much, and I never post anything. So this year, I’m imitating a friend at The Living Room by just posting a brief list:




See next, a gap in my reading when I wandered off to England.


And then, there’s a gap in my reading list when I went to a conference and caught a dreadful cold.  





And then I went to Greece and had fun seeing instead of reading. 


A quote about citizen responses to state power citing Dyson, from Ghodsee's book Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

  • Kristen Ghodsee, Why women have better sex under socialism. Kristen writes engaging academic books. She tried to write a popular polemic here, and didn’t quite hit it. It would help to be looser with data and more scandalous to hit the bestsellers list. My favorite quote, though, is from dismayed men in East Germany, who complained that under socialism, you couldn’t just amass money to get a woman… you had to be interesting! Pity the boring man.
  • Molly Millwood, To have and to hold.


When compiling this list, I realized I read some of these earlier than October. What happened to my reading? Oh… I went on a long trip east to see family and New York City, so I’m missing most of the month. 


And then I went to Canada and ate a lot of food for Thanksgiving.  

book quote from rebecca de souza on socialization, race, and food pantries


Summary: Well, to be honest this doesn’t include plenty of books I didn’t finish, or found dull or embarrassing.

I know it slants towards women’s issues and kids but… what’s the point of sharing a reading list if I’m not honest about what I’m thinking about? It was career in my twenties, relationships a few years ago, and now I’m reading a lot on parenting and finance. Predictable, isn’t it?

I know most of what I read is written by well-off, educated Americans and Europeans, which means I’m missing plenty of good perspectives from other folks around the world.

And I haven’t noted kids books here, but I still love a good picture book or middle grade fantasy.

What are you reading? I’d be glad to hear your reading lists or recent favorites below!


  1. Lauren

    Currently reading Dubliners by James Joyce I’ve also read Educated . My home town book store is have a book challenge that is getting me out of my comfort zone. It’s been exciting picking a book for each month.

  2. Danae

    I am so proud that I finished a book only 2 weeks into the new year! Granted I started it after Christmas, (I’m not a fast reader), but it was finished in the new year, so it’s going on 2020’s list!

    1. Cee

      Hmm, I think Eli Finkel’s The All-or-Nothing Marriage actually hit both of those, mixing broader history with practical tips based in relationship research. It’s not on this list, because I read it the year before, but I recall Tara Parker-Pope’s book being similar.

      And going back a few years, I also valued Peter Kramer’s Should You Leave. As a psychologist, he reflects on stories of (anonymized) messy marriages from different angles: when should you exit a relationship, when is there value in staying, and how would outsiders even know enough to advise well? This probably isn’t needed if everything is honeymoon and roses, but if it’s begun to get frustrating I think it could offer perspective.

Thoughts? Leave a note here!