My 2019 Reading Challenge and Top Reads

Boxing Day is the perfect day to update my 2019 reading Challenge page

It’s a cold, wet and miserable day here in Somerset UK, for Boxing Day 2019, so I’ve decided to use the time wisely to update my Goodreads Reading Challenge and to list some of my favourite books for the year. Just the perfect job for a lazy pyjama day, after all the excitement of Christmas.

Every year over the past few years, I have taken the Goodreads Reading Challenge, a self imposed challenge, and kept track of the books I’ve read. It’s not that difficult to do and it means I can always refer back to books, and my ratings, from the time of reading. Some books blend into each other so I need to keep track, mainly for my own benefit.

floral ceramic cup and saucer above open book
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

The page for my 2019 reading challenge can be found here. It lists all my 105 books read so far this year, and the star rating I’ve given each one:

2019 Reading Challenge

My top rated books of the year – 5 stars

I don’t give 5 stars will-nilly! So it’s no surprise that out of the 105 books I’ve read so far this year, only 16 books have made the cut.

Out of these my absolute favourites have been:

Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler’s post apocalyptic novels starting with Hope, were a great discovery during the year!

Hope by Terry Tyler
Hope by Terry Tyler

This is the blurb from Goodreads:

‘We haven’t elected a Prime Minister, we’ve elected a lifestyle’.

As the fourth decade of the 21st century looms, new PM Guy Morrissey and his fitness guru wife Mona (hashtag MoMo) are hailed as the motivational couple to get the UK #FitForWork, with Mona promising to ‘change the BMI of the nation’.

Lita Stone is an influential blogger and social media addict, who watches as Guy and Mona’s policies become increasingly ruthless. Unemployment and homelessness are out of control. The solution? Vast new compounds all over the country, to house those who can no longer afford to keep a roof over their heads.

These are the Hope Villages, financed by US corporation Nutricorp.

Lita and her flatmates Nick and Kendall feel safe in their cosy cyberspace world. Unaware of how swiftly bad luck can snowball, they suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, behind the carefully constructed mirage of Hope.

Terry Tyler’s nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller that weaves through the
darker side of online life, as the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows ever wider. Whether or not it will mirror a dystopian future that awaits us, we will have to wait and see. 

It just sounded a bit too close to the truth for my liking, especially as in Australia we have as our Prime Minister Scott Morrison who goes by the hashtag #ScoMO – see what I mean??

Project Renova Series

This was followed closely by the series Project Renova (in order): Tipping Point, Lindisfarne, UK2, Legacy. The recently released Blackthorn, which is a stand alone story, but set in the same time as the others – have been enthralling and compelling! Sometimes too close to the truth. I also enjoyed the story Patient Zero which was actually 9 short stories, featuring some other characters form the Project Renova series.

Just recently I’ve finished Terry’s latest book, Blackthorn set in the UK in 2139 – it is tied to the Project Renova series, but can be read as a stand alone novel. It was really good and had me wanting more! I also enjoy following Terry on Twitter 🙂

Other 5 star reads:

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Mother-in-law by Sally Hepworth
The Mother-in-law by Sally Hepworth

Desolation Bluff by Toni Pike

I was lucky to meet Toni in Canberra during the year!

Debbie & Toni
Debbie & Toni

Call Me Evie by J P Pomare

J P Pomare’s debut novel Call Me Evie was a serendipitous read. My husband found this in a book shop and we bought it mainly because it mentioned a little know small town in New Zealand called Maketu, that we’d unexpectedly found ourselves in while travelling around. It has a funny story about an AirBnB – our travels not the book!

Started driving without any real destination in mind before realising it was the weekend and we had no accommodation booked, luckily we found an Airbnb in Maketu that did the trick, despite its questionable appearance – lesson learnt – never judge a book by its cover!

Deb’s World – travels in New Zealand

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

where the crawdads sing
where the crawdads sing

Delia Owens wrote a fabulous book – and I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but I’m happy to say it did. I’ve since put my mother and sister onto it and they loved it too.

There are a few others on my list which got 5 stars – like Jane Corry’s I Looked Away; More Glimpses by Hugh Roberts; Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern – that I’ve not mentioned here. Some others were very close to 5 stars – you’ll have to go and have a look and see if you agree with me.

As you can probably see, I don’t stick to one genre of book, I like a variety!


As with anything, we don’t all see things the same way. I must say I was disappointed by City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, (although why I’m surprised I don’t know, as I wasn’t a fan of Eat Pray Love either). The hype of City of Girls didn’t live up to the reality for me.

What are your favourite books from 2019?

I’d love to hear what you’re reading.

And as always, any recommendations are always welcome.

Happy reading, I now have to think about how many books I’ll set for my 2020 reading challenge!

Deb xx

Reading Deb

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12 Replies to “My 2019 Reading Challenge and Top Reads”

  1. Loved reading this! And I actually added them all on my reading list 😄 I haven’t read many books this year (due to my twin toddlers who never sleep, never-endibg household chores, and a full-time job) but I used to read a lot and hope to get back to it. But I’ve been lacking ideas for light and engaging reads. The one book I loved this year was The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Toni Pike and commented:
    Are you looking for a book to read? Here’s a wonderful list from Deb’s World – and I feel so honoured to be included in her reads for 2019. Debbie Harris is an amazing blogger who writes about her life in the most fascinating and warm-hearted way, so check out the rest of her blog while taking a look at this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so very much for this!

    Aside from mentions like this that make all the hard work SO worthwhile, it’s so interesting to see other’s choices! I’ve seen the Delia Owens book on other lists, too, so will check it out 🙂

    Happy new year to you, Deb, and thanks so much for all your support! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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