16 Books to Finish 2019…

My Goodreads challenge for 2019 was 60 books. To make that, I’ll be reading a book every 4 and a half days until the end of the year. That’s doable, but as most of the books on this list are non-fiction, perhaps a little ambitious. Never mind!

Here are the books that will hopefully end the year in style:

1. ‘The Story of the Human Body’ by Daniel Lieberman — I’m nearing the end of this wonderful book. A brilliant read.

2. ‘Why we run’ by Bernard Heinrich — this should tie together strands from ‘The Story of the Human Body’, ‘Born to Run’ and ‘Running with Kenyans’. Guaranteed to be my last book on running for a while!

3. ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’ by Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt — Jonathan Haidt was a recent guest on the ‘Making Sense’ podcast and this book looks like an important read.

4. ‘Against Empathy’ by Paul Bloom — the author will have his work cut out convincing me on this one, but I’m keeping an open mind.

5. ‘Food Rules’ by Michael Pollan — this is a classic. A simple short guide to food that needs to be read and read again.

6. ‘In Defence of Food’ by Michael Pollan — Pollan wrote this before repackaging the essence into ‘Food Rules’. This should round out some of the insights.

7. ‘Salt’ by Mark Kurlansky — A history of Salt doesn’t sound that promising but this type of book can take you to unexpected places.

8. ‘Medical Medium‘ by Anthony William — a few of my family/friends like this guy. But after recently reading a comically inaccurate article he wrote on the ‘Ketogenic diet’ I wanted to dig a little deeper.

9. ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ by Daniel Gilbert — on my to-read list for far too long. Looking forward to this one.

9. ‘Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics’ by Dan Harris — Dan Harris’s first book was an unorthodox first look at meditation. Curious to see how far his ideas have developed and spread.

10. ‘Circe’ by Madeleine Miller — ‘The Story of Achilles’ was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Betting on Miller’s next book being just as good.

11. ‘The Book of Dust’ by Phillip Pullman — Pullman’s long awaited follow-up to ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. This came out last year and the reviews are solid.

12. ‘Convenience Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata— quirky Japanese fiction, what’s not to like?

13. ‘Factory Girls’ by Leslie Chang — a book about the massive rural-urban migration of the Chinese working class that will hopefully shine some light on an aspect of Chinese society that doesn’t get much media.

14. ‘Upstream’ by Mary Oliver — never read a word of Mary Oliver, despite many recommending her work. This collection celebrates nature, so it seems like a nice place to start.

15. ‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah — don’t even know how this ended up on my wish list, but it did and I bought it. Reviews for this are outstanding.

16. ‘Keep going’ by Austin Kleon — his other two books are practical little handbooks for a creative life, this one continues where the last left off.

Phew. That’s it for now.

What’s everyone else reading?

9 thoughts on “16 Books to Finish 2019…

  1. “Against Empathy” sticks out, kind of a funny title! I’ve read The Golden Compass by Pullman, very imaginative, and the ending was a page turner. Currently reading a history book on Rome(the Roman Empire), a place I’d like to visit.

    Do you know Kitchen by Yoshimoto? A quite famous short story collection from the late 80s that combines two subjects you mention here: food and quirky Japanese fiction. I rated it 8 out of 10.


    1. i think there’s an element of publishing ‘click-bait’ with ‘against empathy’. The byline ‘ The Case for Rational compassion’ would have worked fine but not caught anywhere near the publicity!
      I haven’t read ‘kitchen’. Put it on the wish list just now though

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not yet but planning to start it before the year ends. Glad to know you’re enjoying it. I suspected it would be better than Song of Achilles—which was just an okay read for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I really liked her first book! The ‘nature’ of the relationship took some getting used to but I thoroughly enjoyed the quality in her writing and way she brought myth to life.


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