2019 End to Endpaper Book Awards

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This is the first year in a long time where I opted not to do some kind of official reading challenge (e.g. Read Harder, Reading Women). While I did set a goal of 30 books on goodreads, I am almost proud to have failed. I smiled when I lowered my number to 25 last week. My only wish was to read for my own entertainment and enjoyment and in that I succeeded. If you look at my Year in Books, I finished 9,894 pages of fantasy, non-fiction, thrillers, and romance. Here are my personal book awards for 2019.

Wildest Read

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupBad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book back in January and I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t stop talking about it. Every fact included in this true story boggles my mind. From the crazy Silicon Valley culture that led investors to throw millions of dollars to a college drop-out with an idea deemed impossible by everyone in the medical field, to how investors were still throwing millions of dollars at her once her lies started to unravel. The lack of oversight in the medical device field is terrifying. The dangers whistleblowers faced even for a completely fraudulent company and the lengths the company went to in order to cover their tracks was unbelievable. I highly recommend this book.

Best Re-Read

Eat, Pray, LoveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read this book the first time, I felt a connection to much of the authors pain and inner turmoil. I too wasn’t living for my own joy but trapped by the expectations of others. I feared reaching her age and feeling the same.

A decade later and I am now the same age as the author when she wrote this book. It is hilarious how old I felt the author was at the time. Happily, I did not need ten more years to shed the guilt of living my life for me. I moved multiple times, traveled, changed my career, and somewhere along the way started to wake up to peace and contentment.

Reading this the second around, there was no painful introspection, only pleasure to share in her personal revelations and world travels.

Biggest Disappointment

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I looked forward to reading this book. I really believed I was going to love it and nothing is better than loving the first book in a series. It started off feeling very much like The Historian. The protagonist was a historian who came across a manuscript that could explain the origins of all supernatural creatures.

But then the book took a dark turn. Too dark for me. It became another love story between a clumsy, helpless (how did a PhD earning witch turn out to be so helpless!?!) women and an obsessive, abusive vampire.

I’m still sad over this disappointment.

Most Satisfying Series

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holly Black never disappoints. Not only was this series released in a timely fashion (hint, hint George R.R. Martin), it was absolutely wonderful from start to finish. It is an urban fantasy series that straddles our mortal world and the world of the fae. Our hero, mortal, has no special powers or destiny, so she creates her own fate through political schemes, spying, and her sword.

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