2016 Reading Recap

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I read 73 books in 2016, out of my arbitrarily set goal of 76. (I read 75 last year, so I upped it by one.) Looking back over the list on Goodreads, I don’t think that my rating system really works for me. Some of the ones I marked as 4 stars haven’t stuck with me, while some of the 3 star reads seem, in further removed hindsight, like they deserve better. My average rating of all my books for the year was 2.9, which strikes me as a bit sad, but I don’t feel sad thinking back on my 2016 reading life on the whole.

Rankings

I had two five star reads:

This book, like one of last year’s favorites Wonder, deftly handled a very sensitive topic. If there is anyone in your life, child or adult, who has questions about what it means to be transgender, I would highly recommend sending George their way!

I don’t do a lot of re-reading (so many books, so little time!), but in order to call a book a favorite I’ve decided I need to read it more than once. I started with Fangirl and it was as wonderful as a remembered.

Half of a Yellow Sun, Ready Player One, and What Alice Forgot were other favorites from the year.

Musings

I read very little non-fiction in 2016, which is perhaps why I was able to read so many books. I would so much rather curl up with a good novel, or even a bad one, than most non-fiction. However, I did read a few good ones, like Modern Romance, Big Magic, and The Year of Living Danishly.

2016 is the year I discovered Liane Moriarty and the joy of reading a new-to-me author’s backlist. I also read a number of books that either have or will soon have a sequel, which is delightful. Outlander and the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels were my favorite series discoveries that would keep me in books for quite some time, even if I read nothing else.

I distilled and embraced some types of books and authors I like: sweeping, epic novels with some romance; British chick lit writers; smart and sexy romances. No shame in any of that.

My Year in Books on Goodreads has fun statistics like total page count, shortest and longest books, and also the full list, so click through if that strikes your fancy.

Book Club

2016 was a disappointing year for book club, with really inconsistent meetings and a dwindling number of members. I need to re-group for 2017, as I don’t want to let it fall apart, but I can’t keep doing it the way I have been.

I only tagged 7 books onto my Book Club Reads shelf on Goodreads:

  • January: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
  • February: Lizzy and Jane by Kathering Reay
  • March: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • April: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • August: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
  • September: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
  • October: Quen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

We also went to see Me Before You at the movie theatre. Of the books were read, 13 Ways and Lizzy and Jane were the least-liked.

This Year

I haven’t decided yet whether I want to tackle a reading challenge this year, like the one from Modern Mrs. Darcy or Book Riot. I did neither in 2016 but was still relatively pleased with the breadth and diversity of what I read, which seems to me to be the point of those challenges. I am trying to consciously pick books written by non-white authors or featuring non-white protagonists.

I’m hoping to read one book per month for work, so that will up my non-fiction count. I have a list of books for professional development on Amazon and add to it frequently.

I’d like to be more consistent with my rankings on Goodreads so that I can remember things better. And I may do a few more re-reads so I can better answer when someone asks me what my favorite book is.

Happy reading, bookish friends!

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