Election? Whatever. Let’s talk books.
I read a lot. All the time. I am never without a book, and in fact I get edgy if I finish a book and don’t immediately have another one to start. I am the opposite of a book snob – a book slut? – and will read just about anything.
In the last few years, I have started tracking my reading on Goodreads. I’ve also joined three book clubs – one through church, one parent-student group at the middle school, and one just for fun. I thought fifty books would be a challenging goal to read in 2016.
I sailed through book #50 around November 1. In reviewing my list, however, I noted that one book was a skimmer (the enormous, textbook-like Decoration of Houses) and one was a re-read (Carry On, Warrior). So, just to make things completely fair, I am reporting 52 books to complete my 2016 goal.
Of these, I only purchased two books – To Marry an English Lord and Grounded. The rest were library books, gifted, or borrowed. Ten of the 52 are non-fiction. I feel like I’m supposed to say I’ll read more non-fiction next year, but meh. There are so many glorious books out there.
Here’s my list, with some notes:
52. Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen – Very funny. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Hiaasen novel, and I think that helped.
51. Days of Blood and Starlight, Laini Taylor – This is the sequel to #49, and I really enjoyed it.
50. Club Dead, Charmaine Harris – More delicious fluff.
49. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor – I love, love, love this series. The world-building feels complete, but the author does not belabor the minutiae of the fictional world.
48. Losing it, Emma Rathbone – I did not love this book, mostly because I wanted to shake the main character.
47. Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson – Good middle school read.
46. Mistress of the Art of Death, Arianna Franklin – Read while traveling. Glad I didn’t buy it.
45. Living Dead in Dallas, Charlaine Harris – Palate cleanser!
44. Lineage of Grace, Francine Rivers – Church book club selection. Well-written but repetetive.
43. The Blessings of a B-Minus, by Wendy Mogel – Parenting book, which I enjoyed.
42. The Nightingale, Kristen Hannah – GREAT. Could not put it down.
41. Carry On, Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton (re-read)
40. Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris – The book equivalent of sherbet.
39. The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware – Good, suspenseful.
38. Paper Towns, John Green – Well-done but I feel I am too old for John Green novels. I was never that cool in high school.
37. Imagine me Gone, Adam Haslitt – Well done but soulless.
37. The Decoration of Houses, Alexandra Stoddard (I skimmed this one.)
36. I Let You Go, Claire MacKintosh – This one was a great thriller.
35. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan – Quick in all senses of the word.
34. Grounded, Diana Butler Bass – To quote the woman who picked it, “I wish it had been better.”
33. The Girl in the Ice, Robert Bryndza – Picked-up-at-the-library mystery.
32. The Paper Magician, Charlie Holmberg – Good, but not enough to get me to read the rest of the trilogy.
31. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel – Outstanding.
30. Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt – Also outstanding.
29. Sundays at Tiffany’s, James Patterson – Not great.
28. Edible Estates, Fritz Haeg – This book wanted to be revolutionary, but failed.
27. The Loved One, Evelyn Waugh – Sharp British satire.
26. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford – A very nice read.
25. The Gates of Evangeline, Hester Young – This one surprised me by how good it was.
24. The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis – Classic.
23. The Girl in the Spider’s Web, David Lagercrantz – Good for what it was, but not as good as the original Millennium trilogy.
22. Orphan Train, Catherine Kline – Good, if sappy.
21. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Bachman – Excellent. Thought about this one for days.
20. The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days, Michele Weber Hurwitz – Sunshine State book for middle schoolers.
19. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry – Despite not being the kind of person who loves Westerns, I loved this book.
18. Midwives, Chris Bohjalian – My favorite Bohjalian so far.
17. To Marry an English Lord, Carol McColl – Intensely interesting.
16. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff – I had incredibly high hopes for this one. The writing was beautiful, but it didn’t grab me like her previous books.
15. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs – Love this series.
14. Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith – I liked Galbraith’s first two novels better.
13. Faithful Place, Tana French – Good gripping read.
12. Deception Point, Dan Brown – Browntastic!
11. The Black Death and the Transformation of the West, David Herlihy – Short but informative book on the plague.
10. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie – Another classic. It has held up well.
9. Airborn, Ken Oppel – Middle school read, but I really enjoyed it.
8. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin – Aggressively fine.
7. Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson – I take all memoirs with a grain of sand, but this was an interesting read.
6. Gateways, F. Paul Wilson – It’s a thriller with a whiff of the supernatural. Good series.
5. Flat Water Tuesday, Ron Irwin – Probably good for rowers and non-rowers alike, but better for rowers.
4. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doer – SO GOOD.
3. In the Dark, Dark Woods, Ruth Ware – Suspenseful and awesome.
2. At the Water’s Edge, Sarah Gruen – Also suspenseful and awesome.
1. The Haunted Air, F. Paul Wilson – Repairman Jack is a great character, and this series is a fun read.