Thursday, January 26, 2017

2016 in Review: Favorite Books

I had a pretty slow year: 39 books total.  This is compared to 59, 52, 24(new baby!), 52, and 42 for years 2015-2011.  Part of this was health related.  Sometimes when I have thyroid issues, I develop what I can only assume must be temporary ADD or something similar.  Before, I never understood how people could have a hard time reading, but now I get it.  Sometimes, I get in the space where I just *can't* concentrate enough to follow a storyline for a few hundred pages.  The same is true for audio books.  During these moments, I consume information in short chunks like podcasts and blog posts.  This has been less of an issue lately (thank goodness!), but I found it challenging to go back to reading and listening for longer periods of time.  It was important to find the right book to suck me in. Luckily, there were some good ones.

I narrowed my favorites down to 10.  Not too difficult when I only read 39.

My Lady Jane: Such a wild, fun read.  It alters history a bit and adds a hint of fantastical to the story line.  So enjoyable!

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal: this was a book we read for book club.  Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own.  It was such a great, inspiring, true story.  The pacing is great and the descriptions really transport you.

Rules of Civility:  I read one review that gave this a few meager stars and called it a Great Gatsby knockoff.  I say, this is a thousand times more enjoyable to read than the Great Gatsby.  Set in the same time period with similar themes, but not full of despair and hopelessness like other Great American Novels.  I think the main difference, besides the lack of despair, is the likable characters. My credibility must now be shot.

Goodbye Stranger:  I love how this author writes YA.  So much YA can feel so over the top, you know?  And I guess some teenagers are like that.  But this author writes more along the lines of what I experienced: friendships and just trying to figure things out.  Oh, and my teenage heart just swoons for the likes of Sherman.

The Nightingale: A really great WWII novel.  Lots of feels in this book, but so worth it.

The Truth According to Us: I hear a lot of about finding books in your wheelhouse.  This book exemplifies the types of books I love: great character development, a bit of mysteriousness, likable characters (for the most part), historical fiction, and a smidgen of small-town America.

Still Alice: I put off this book a long time because.....depressing.  And sure, now I am forever paranoid that I am experiencing early-onset Alzheimers, but still, such a great book.

Mao's Last Dancer: Another bookclub pick.  The writing is a bit simplistic (perhaps due to English not be his primary language), but the story is awesome.  Of course, as a former dancer, I might be biased.

Ok.  And now, if I were to name my top favorite books of the year, it would be these last two:

Being Mortal: I swear my book club is so tired of me brining this up, but I can't stop thinking and talking about this book.  Seriously, everyone needs to read it.

A Man Called Ove: Like I said in my Goodreads review: I think I just have a thing for grumpy old men.  Maybe I have the soul of a grumpy old man, and so I can relate.  But I just loved how this was written--the layers of Ove slowly being exposed over the course of the novel.  So good.

That was me.  Already starting the year off with some good reads, so am hopeful for 2017.  What was your favorite book you read in 2016?

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Yes and Yes to Being Mortal and A Man Called Ove! I will have to check out the others on your list.


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