My 2019 in books and Blyton

I love stats and looking back on things so I thought I would do a little round up of my year in books. Obviously I’ve listed all my books month-by-month in my monthly round ups but I thought it would be interesting to see how many Blytons I read and how many children’s books vs grown up ones.

I have goals every year beyond the total number of books I want to read. There aren’t hard-and-fast numbers but I generally aim to:

  • Read more new books than ones I’ve read before
  • Read some books I’ve always meant to but never got around to, especially if they appear on lots of ‘must-read’ lists
  • Read at least one classic
  • Read a good balance of grown up books and children’s books

So let’s see how I did!

I re-read 23 books and the rest (95) were new, so I can tick off the first goal.

I read Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton, and Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding so I feel like I’ve achieved the second goal too. I also read several often-recommended picture books including a few by Dr Seuss.

I only half achieved the goal of reading a classic as I got through half of Jane Eyre, and I hope to finish it at some point this year. 

I read 36 children’s books which means I also read 82 grown-up books, so I’m very happy with that split.

Newly discovered books and authors

I love nothing better than discovering a new author or series, especially if there are several books then waiting to be devoured one after the other, with none of that pesky wait for a new one to be written and published.

In 2018 I discovered (27 years after it was first published…) the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

Last year, I found Jasper Fforde and the Thursday Next series. When I say ‘found’, what I mean is ‘finally picked up’ as I had actually heard of them before then. (In fact, I’m sure at least one person had told me I would like them but I hate when people say that and almost always ignore it, only sometimes to my detriment.)

Unfortunately both these series are waiting on a new book; Outlander should have one at some point this year but there is no news on Thursday Next. Fforde has a couple of other series, though, so if I don’t discover anything new soon I can give those a try.

The Blytons

I actually only read five Blyton books last year; all of them Famous Fives. I read:

Which are books five to nine of the series. I remember when I could read the whole series in a matter of weeks!

I also read some of The Naughtiest Girl in the School to compare the text between editions.

Somehow I thought I would have read more Blytons, though! Of course I read several books that related to Blyton in one way or another. 

There are four with her name on the cover even though she had nothing to do with them:

And another which everywhere I looked has the author as Enid Blyton despite being published nearly 40 years after her death:

Plus I read a few books that I would recommend for Blyton fans:

Not to forget Five Go Feasting, the recipe book based on the food of the Famous Five books.

What did your year in books look like?


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3 Responses to My 2019 in books and Blyton

  1. chrissie777 says:

    My year in books looked like this: 45 re-reads and 36 new books, 81 books total.
    Usually I read close to 120 books per year, but after my heart attack in late January 2019 I didn’t read for close to 40 days at all, it was too strenuous to read, so I only watched all 514 episodes from “Peyton Place” in order to keep my mind from brooding too much. And when I finally started reading again, it was lots of re-reads/comfort reads like “Dancing at the Harvest Moon” by K. C. McKinnon, “Heimlich im Kalten Krieg” by Christina Heimlich (an autobiography on Berlin and the post war years and how she immigrated to the US in the early 1950’s) and “The Secret Island” by Blyton.
    The only other Blyton books I’ve read last year were “The Circus of Adventure” in German, “Five on a Secret Trail” in English and in German, comparing chapter by chapter. And I read “The Secret of Spiggy Holes” in English plus Ilsa’s continuation story “The Broads of Adventure”.

    I also read several children’s books like “The Secret Motor Car” by Norman Dale, the French Robert Guez trilogy which was filmed by French TV around 1960 (La déesse d’or) and a trilogy by Kit Preston on two British siblings in WW II who get send for the duration of the war to Toronto, Canada (this one was great!).
    Then I read two more sequels of Elinor Lyon’s Ian & Sovra series taking place in the Scottish Highlands (We daren’t go a-hunting, Runaway Home). Vol. 1 is “The House in Hiding” (1950). Lyon was not too thrilled with reading the Swallows and Amazons books (neither was I) by Arthur Ransome and thought she could do better. And her first book is definitely a lot more compelling I thought.

    Then I re-read a German series of 8 books called “Hummelchen” (Little Bumble Bee) by Kaethe Theuermeister which I loved to read as a child and have re-read 3 or 4 times ever since.
    Re-read my favorite Paul-Jacques Bonzon book “The Runaway Flying Horse”.
    Read two biographies on Gregory Peck’s life, (auto)biographies on Anne LaBastille (she built a cabin in the Adirondacks), Richard Proennecke (he built a cabin in Alaska), Patricia Highsmith, Anne Frank, Otto Frank and Victor Kugler, Jane Fonda (Prime Time).
    Devoured the next 4 Peter Robinson DCI Banks sequels (I read two on every flight), 9 Joy Fielding novels and my favorite novel of all times, “The Pursuit of Happiness” by Douglas Kennedy which takes place in post war Manhattan.
    Several non-fiction books on WW II as that interests me for more than 40 years.
    The most exciting discovery of new books in 2019 was the Marseille trilogy by Jean-Claude Izzo (I’m now reading “Solea”, the last part).

    I hope this was not too long and thanks for reading. 🙂


    • fiona says:

      No, that was really interesting. Thanks, Chrissie. I totally understand the need for comfort reads after your heart attack. There’s nothing better than a safe old favourite when you’ve been ill.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read a mystery for ninepence or at the very least I remember the cover. That said the children’s books of that era had a certain look about them.


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