Bookish Discussions

2019 Reading Challenge:


It’s that time of year again. I’m here to discuss my 2019 reading challenge! I don’t think I’ll be selecting as many books as last year, despite getting through most of them. I want to keep it quite simple as my university schedule is so crazy. I need some sort of calm in my life at the minute.

Anyway, below are five books that I’m dying to get to in the new year – series I need to finish, lost manuscripts, a series I want to re-visit, a classic I should have read last year, and a completely new and spontaneous buy. Here’s my 2019 TBR…

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare:

I am dying to finish this series! Cassandra Clare is one of those authors that I’ll never tire of. I lived for the Shadowhunter world when I was in sixth form, and any moment I can spend in it is a moment well spent as far as I’m concerned. I also can’t wait to get my hands on Chain of Gold this year. I’ve been patiently waiting for it, so I pray to GOD that Will Herondale makes an appearance (I miss him a lot)!

Anyway, to avoid any spoilers, I’ll give you a synopsis of the first book in the trilogy, Lady Midnight: in a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word. A parabatai is your partner in battle. It is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love. This trilogy follows Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, parabatai, along their journey in the Shadowhunter world. P.S. it’s amazing.

The Lost Manuscripts by Charlotte Brontë:

When I heard that the Brontë Parsonage had found some of Charlotte’s lost juvenilia I nearly lost my mind. I read some of her childhood writing earlier this year. I must admit, it’s not my favourite thing to read (I much prefer to read her mature works, like Jane Eyre and Shirley), but I’m eager to give this a go. It’s not everyday that I’m given something new by my favourite author who has been dead for 160 years!

Anyway, it’s the remarkable story of a shipwreck and buried treasure. It begins in 1810 when Maria Branwell obtained a copy of a book, The Remains of Henry Kirke White, in her native Cornwall. Two years later she moved to Yorkshire, and the book was among her possessions believed to be lost at sea. But it was recovered intact and became a treasured possession of the Brontë family, not only read but annotated by the surviving family.

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling:

This needs no introduction or synopsis but let me tell you: I am dying to re-read the Harry Potter series after discovering Chloe (Books with Chloe)’s YouTube channel. Her admiration for the series is so infectious, and it’s left me with a desperate need to re-visit the series. As with Chloe, I want to annotate one of my editions (I’ve got the newest UK set, the illustrated editions, one Slytherin edition, and two Ravenclaw editions which I’ll continue to collect from here-on-out, so it’s a hard choice)!

I haven’t read this series since 2014, the same year I travelled down to Watford to visit the studio tours (twice! in two months!). I think summer will be the perfect time, even though it feels more Christmassy, because I won’t have a uni reading list to conquer (just a 15,000 word dissertation to write instead). I’m most excited to re-visit the later books as I know the first three inside out!

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen:

You may have already seen this on a reading challenge before. In fact, you definitely have. It made an appearance on my 2018 reading challenge and, unfortunately, I didn’t get to it. However, I am making it a priority this year. It’s the final Austen book I have left to read. For some reason, I think I’ll hate this book, but I don’t actually know until I’ve tried it.

Mansfield Park is a subtle, moving examination of the contrast between superficial charm and true integrity. It tells the story of shy, vulnerable Fanny Price, brought up by rich relations at Mansfield Park. When a glamorous couple arrive from London, their charisma and reckless taste for flirtation dazzle everyone except Fanny, putting her strength of character to the greatest test (Penguin English Library).

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale:

I was looking in the history, specifically Victorian England, section in Waterstones, Manchester, when I stumbled across Summerscale’s book based on true events. Both the cover and the blurb sold it to me. I couldn’t leave the shop without picking up a copy, specifically the new Bloomsbury Paperbacks edition.

In the summer of 1860, the Kent family lies sound asleep in their detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. Doesn’t that sound, err, fascinating?

…and those are the book I want to get to next year. A little different from last year’s challenge, considering they were all classics. I have this need to get back to the basics – my first loves. Re-reading Harry Potter will be such a treat, and being back in the Shadowhunter world will be so special. I can’t wait!

What are you dying to read in 2019? Let me know – I might end up adding it to my own TBR!

Thanks for reading, Lauren X

2 thoughts on “2019 Reading Challenge:

  1. Mansfield Park was the first Austen book I ever read and it really got me into reading the classics.

    I’m also dying to get my hands on Charlotte’s juvenilia too. That and a collection of Branwell’s writing.


    1. Ah, that’s good to hear about Austen. I’m not as anxious now as I was – hopefully I’ll love it!

      You can buy a collection from Oxford World’s Classics with a selection of all the Bronte juvenilia in if you’re interested! I would definitely recommend it 🙂


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