Shaun Guimond

A blog for business, travel and technology.

My Favorites of 2019

2019 was a fantastic year of learning, challenges and successes. I read some new fantastic novels, I enjoyed new and old songs and learned a ton from some of my favorite podcasts. Please enjoy the list I have made of my favorites of 2019.

Books

For the last few years, I have been keeping track of all the books that I read or that I am interested in reading in Goodreads. I had a goal of reading 50 books this year, but unfortunately I failed. I only read 40 books, but of the books that I have read, many of them I now consider my favorite. Below are my favorite in different categories.

Favorite New Series

My favorite new series of the year is hands down The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. It is a fantasy novel, with incredible character development within a massively detailed world. As far as fantasy novels go, this is a must read and one of my favorite fantasy series.

The Way of Kings – Book One of The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson

Favorite Non-Fiction

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America;s Shining Women by Kate Moore

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore was published in 2017, but it is my favorite non-fiction of the year. This was a difficult category for me, as there are many books which I read this year which I believe are important books to read for us to understand our world today. That being said, the Radium Girls tells a tragic story of how corporate greed and misogyny created a hellish situation for America’s shining women. It is a book that leaves a scar, but also teaches an important lesson of fighting against injustice, corruption and the necessary role government and unions play in building a better world for everyone through oversight of corporations.

Favorite Fiction Novel

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a fantasy novel, based on true events. It is a heartbreaking tale which brings to light the atrocities that black children suffered in the United States during the Jim-Crow era. As the conversation of reparations to black communities in the United States grows, this is an important book to read as it highlights the terrible injustices and racism that continues to this day.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Honorable Mentions

The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making by Jared Yates Sexton
A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes The World by Melinda Gates
How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

You can find all of the books I read in 2019 on Goodreads.

Music

You can find all of my most listened to songs on my Spotify playlist. I really enjoyed different music types of music this year, but below are a few of my favorites.

Favorite Album

My favorite album of the year is a very easy choice. I listened to it when I was at the gym, I sang along to the songs in the car, and I had the opportunity to watch a live performance in London. My favorite album of the year was none other than the Hamilton soundtrack from the incredible play written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Favorite Song

It should come as no surprise that this year, my favorite song is also from the Hamilton Soundtrack. Wait for It sang by Leslie Odom Jr, is an incredible song which I simply love.

Favorite Instrumental Song

When I study, work or simply need to focus, I listen to video game soundtracks or movie soundtracks as I find that they help me focus at the task at hand. I created my own studying playlist of all my favorite songs, but the one I listened to most, is an old song from one of my favorite video games. The song named Guild Wars is named after the game and is my favorite instrumental song of the year.

Honorable Mentions

Podcast

My daily commute to work this year was 2 hours every day for most of the year. So to pass the time while driving, I would listen to many, many podcasts (and Audiobooks). If you don’t listen to podcast, I highly recommend it. They are a great way of learning new topics, listening to insightful stories and overall, just great entertainment.

The podcast I listened to most is Pod Save America. It is a podcast that highlights what is going on in American politics and the hosts clearly and concisely explain ongoing events with honesty and integrity. 1619 is a must listen to this year. It explores Slavery in the United States and the ongoing issues that black communities face such as racism. Philosophize This is my go to for a quick podcast to learn something new and to think more deeply. I highly recommend it for everyone who enjoys philosophy, or even those that don’t. Code Newbie is a great podcast for those learning to code, as the name implies, but it is also insightful, entertaining and well produced.

Movies

There were many blockbuster movies that came out this year. From the Lion King, to Star Wars. I haven’t watched as many movies this year as I would have hoped, but here are a few of my favorites.

Favorite Movie of 2019

My favorite movie of 2019 is Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. The story was very well written, the details and animations created by the crew were amazing and it had plenty of funny, and dramatic moments to create a great movie; especially for a lifetime fan of Pokemon.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu Trailer

Favorite Animated Movie

My choice for favorite animated movie of 2019 is a movie I never would have anticipated. I didn’t even want to watch it at first, but Caroline wanted to watch a Christmas movie together so I “settled” for Klaus. I am often wrong, though I don’t like to admit it (who does), but Klaus is a fantastic Christmas story and I can definitely see myself watching this movie every year.

Klaus Trailer

Shows

Watching a new show is a huge undertaking. This year, some of my favorite series came out, and thankfully they were just as good as I imagined. My favorite shows this year are the Mandalorian on Disney+ and The Witcher on Netflix. The Mandalorian is is Star Wars story with all the charm of the Star Wars franchise, but with none of the pressure to follow in the movies footsteps. It is a refreshing take and I highly recommend it to anyone. The Witcher is a show which is adapted from the books, but takes some cues from the incredible video game adaptations. The first season, which is on Netflix, is everything that I wished from the franchise and I am eagerly awaiting the next season’s release. Both of the shows were fantastic and I am looking forward to future seasons of both of them.

Articles

Every year, I read thousands of articles, from Medium, to The Washington Post. I have done a poor job in the last few years of keeping a record of all of the articles that I read, which is why it is one of my new years resolutions for 2020. Of the articles that I remember reading or saved for whatever reason, here are those that I recommend reading if you missed them.

Conclusion

I wrote this for myself to keep a record of my favorite content of 2019. Much of the content was inspiring, entertaining and/or insightful. Going over my favorites of the year allows me to think deeper on the content that I enjoyed and to remember the important information that make me who I am today. I hope that if you read through this, that you gain something from the content that I enjoyed this year and I wish you a happy new year!