2019 Reading Intentions

I know we are three-quarters of the way through January! I had meant to do this closer to the beginning of the month and even prepared a list of things to write about, but with one thing and another meant that I couldn’t get to it. So here we go.

I only managed to read eight books last year for my The World From My Armchair Challenge which was pathetic. I have though been accumulating books that I am fully intending on reading towards it this year, and have managed two so far in January. Still one of the greatest pleasures of the challenge is finding the books to match against a country, especially when you find an out of print book in a second-hand bookshop. Ones on the list to read this year include:

Facing the Congo
Red Tape and White Knuckles: One Woman’s Motorcycle Journey Through Africa
The Nomad’s Path: Travels in the Sahel
Desert Travels: Motorbike Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa
Warriors: Life And Death Among The Somalis
The Places in Between
Not a Hazardous Sport: Misadventures of an Anthropologist in Indonesia
Hokkaido Highway Blues
In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared
Gatecrashing Paradise: Adventures in the Maldives
Finding George Orwell in Burma
White Mountain: Real and Imagined Journeys in the Himalayas
Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka
Slow Train to Guantanamo
The Traveller’s Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands
The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas
Bitter Lemons of Cyprus
Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece
Stamping Grounds: Exploring Liechtenstein and its World Cup Dream
Journey Through Europe
The Way Of The World: Two Men In A Car From Geneva To The Khyber Pass
Sacred Sierra: A Year on a Spanish Mountain
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind The Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
Between River and Sea, Encounters in Israel and Palestine
Mirror to Damascus
Voyageur: Across the Rocky Mountains in a Birchbark Canoe
A Pattern of Islands
A Footnote to History Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa
Trawler: A Journey Through the North Atlantic
Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons
The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe
Amber, Furs and Cockleshells: Bike Rides with Pilgrims and Merchants
Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Adventure, Danger and Survival
An Englishman in Patagonia
Living Poor: An American’s Encounter With Ecuador

Staying on the subject of travel books though, I am almost halfway through the shortlists for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. This year I am an actual judge so have to finish them before a meeting with the other judges on the 15th February. Need to get a wriggle on!

Last year around 35% of my reading was by female authors and this year I would like to get it closer to 40%, so far it is going well.

I am intending on reading a poetry book each and every month

I want to read more BAME authors this year because we all should and if more people are reading them, then publishers will start to look at their work. A good place to start, especially if you like nature writing, is https://www.thewillowherbreview.com

Shortlists and longlists to read:


Royal Society,


Ballie Gifford

Arthur C Clarke

Way back in 2017 I had intended to read the remaining Discworld books that I hadn’t read so far. Failed again to do this in 2018, so this year I will be definitely be completing the Discworld ones that I haven’t read, starting with The Last Hero, and then going onto these:

The Wee Free Men
A Hat Full of Sky
Unseen Academicals
I Shall Wear Midnight
Raising Steam
The Shepherd’s Crown

Please feel free to pester me to remind me that I haven’t read any.

I am grateful for every book I receive through the post from publishers, thank you to you all. But I am so behind on my review copies and after I have finished the Standford shortlists aim to make inroads into the seriously large backlog. Also library books, I have far too many, but this is a precious resource that this government seems to be hell-bent on destroying so I feel that we need to use them as much as possible before we lose them. It is my intention to get down to a sensible number of library books (Note, I may have a different number in mind to what Sarah thinks is a sensible number). I really need to read more of my own books that I have bought as I only read 18 in total last year. (Major Tsundoku around the house at the moment!! )

I only read seven science fiction in 2018. That will change as I have a large pile to get through! And some steampunk! This year. I promise. I have even bought two.

Somewhere in the middle of that lot, I will work, play games, watch some telly and even head to the pub every now and again.

What are you reading intentions?

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  1. nickimags

    Good luck and happy reading!

    • admin

      Thanks, Nicki


    All the best for your reading year ahead!! Good luck with the judging too!

    • admin

      Thanks, Karen

  3. NancyElin

    Well, #WorldFromMyArmchair….I managed to read 13 in 2018.
    I am very grateful for you list of book suggestions to read for this challenge!
    Poetry? I enjoyed Shane McCrae (In the Language of My Captors) – Katie Ford (Blood Lyrics) and of course Seamus Heaney (Field Work)!
    I should read some short listed books for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards…thanks for reminding me!

    • admin

      No problem at all, Nancy

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