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2019 Year End Review (Door 22: New Year’s Eve: Task 2)





What a year! The city is going through a difficult time with serious oppression and human rights violation. 


Books have provided the necessary relief and escape from it all. So far, I've read 90 books, 10 books short from the ideal, but have well passed the minimum goal of 40. 


I have only read a few stinker this year. The average rating is 4.4 stars.  Which either means I didn't venture far enough or I was pretty lucky. I didn't go out of my reading comfort zone to read for the Halloween bingo and the Festive book tasks. Thank you for organizers. 


My statistic to come.... but first look at this picture of all the 90 books read. 







Still reading a lot of crimes and mystery books, followed by fantasy. I didn't read a lot of non-fiction this year. I like non-fiction, but couldn't really focus for long as there is too much going on in life. 


As a reader, this is probably a leisure to be able to buy all the books I like to read or want to read. Censorship is something that the horrible government wanted to do, as  reading books do lead to more thinking, and beyond what communist government control. 


I hope to continue reading, and have the freedom to choose my reading. Many books couldn't even cross the border into China because of one ridiculous reason or another. Anyone who tell you China is better is either ignorant of the real situation or a liar. Choosing what to read is a right and I hope to continue to exercise this rights. And hope this right is extended to everyone on Earth. 


Top 3 books this year 


No 1. The Perks of being a Wallflower. It is about friendship, and how to get through hard time. This is beautifully written and it is just such a rich and lovely book that it is most likely to be re-read if gotten the chance. 


The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky  The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky  


No 2. The Four Horsemen. This would never happened again with the passing of the witty Christopher Hitchens. It is lovely conversation about some really serious matter. It is sad that the world is still not getting rid of religion, which is completely nonsense. The automatic respect for those con men and con women making a living off religion is a so wrong. Resource is being wasted on religious bullshit while people with real need stay hungry. Religion was invented long ago to make feeling better about this life, about the hardship they are facing. To give them a bit of extra courage like a feature for Dumbo. But for the modern age, people should have realized that life is sometimes hard and it need real people doing actual helpful things like driving to the market and get some extra food to be redistributed to their neighbors who are still hungry. People could do that and do religious things but why bother wasting time doing religious things when they could do good and go hope and read, or watch some Netflix. 



The Four Horsemen: The Discussion that Sparked an Atheist Revolution Foreword by Stephen Fry - Stephen King,Charlaine Harris,Christopher Hitchens,Daniel C. Dennett,Richard Dawkins  The Four Horsemen: The Discussion that Sparked an Atheist Revolution Foreword by Stephen Fry - Stephen King,Charlaine Harris,Christopher Hitchens,Daniel C. Dennett,Richard Dawkins  


No. 3. El Deafo. A graphic novel on the experience of a girl who has to wear hearing aid. This is still a foreign concept to me until one day, I lost hearing on one side. It is the weekend, and the doctor office is not opened. Followed by dizziness that ended me a trip to the hospital. Deaf become really real when I have experienced it first hand, even for a two days it is enough to scare me. The story reminds me how adaptive persons with disabilities really are in real life. They have to adapt as the world is not that user friendly when one has one or more form of disabilities. I like the humor in this one as the girl think her hearing aid gives her superpower. And she transformed into someone special. The joy she felt to have upgraded her gear is super. 



El Deafo - Cece Bell  El Deafo - Cece Bell  



Happy reading. More highlight to come later. 


Themis-Athena just reminded me that this fits into Door 22:  New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day Task 2. 

Task 2: The reading year in review: How did you fare – what was good, what wasn’t?


This year, I didn't get to read all the books I have planned to read because of what's going on in the city. The police had used over ten thousands unit on the people in the past six months. All my favorite cafe near my place were found to be of the same organizing that encourage police brutality as because we demands basic freedom and democracy. 


I'm thankful for the people that are suffering together because of an ideal, that people deserve to live free. 


I'm thankful for the community in the Booklikes community, offering me a good resting place, a good enough distraction from the stressful situation. It keep me reading, and broaden my usual comfort reading genre a bit. The feeling is more like taking in a breath of fresh air after swimming in an abyss. The relief however temporal, is still important to me. 



Reading a lot of Vince Flynn this year. He was pretty good as a writer. The idea of recruiting young professional athlete into CIA is not new, but to have this agent recognized that his rule is to be an assassin is something else. The story is engaging enough to keep reading. As a habit, I either like or dislike a writer from the first book, and Vince Flynn falls into the "like" category. 


The Last Man (The Mitch Rapp Series) - Vince Flynn  Pursuit of Honor - Vince Flynn  Extreme Measures - Vince Flynn  Protect and Defend - Vince Flynn  Act of Treason - Vince Flynn  Consent to Kill - Vince Flynn  Memorial Day - Vince Flynn  Executive Power - Vince Flynn  Separation of Power - Vince Flynn  The Third Option - Vince Flynn  Transfer of Power - Vince Flynn  Kill Shot - Vince Flynn  American Assassin - Vince Flynn  



Another good one is Jo Nesbo children books, fun read.  


Reading Patrick Ness however, is more emotional taxing. He is a very skill writer to set up very emotional and powerful scenes. 


Not a bad year in reading. Wishing for an even better year in 2020.