Reading, 2016 style

06 January 2016

06 January 2016


If you haven't noticed around these parts yet, I'm a big reader. Always have been, and provided my eyes don't go out from overuse early, always will be.

2015 saw me read over my goal of 25 books. From my Goodreads account, I have a fairly accurate picture of all I read last year, so I thought I'd detail it out, before I get to my 2016 goals. Because I'm crazy, I gave each book a grade. My favorite favorites of the year are marked with bold.

(The links to each book below are to their listing on Amazon (affiliate), but I found most of them at the library -- which I will always 100% recommend. :))

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
B. Amy is fascinating on TV but her book came off a little too mismatched, too crazy, and actually kind of made me like her a little less. But it was hilarious. 
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
C, maybe a D+. Quick easy read with nothing but fluff. Actually not risque contrary to what the title might imply.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
B+. Got this for Christmas last year from my brother and really enjoyed it. Books about dogs are always sad though, you know?
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
A-. Thrilling, exciting, everything you'd want from a Moriarty novel (this was my first of hers). 
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
A-. Great plot and idea, but drug on just a tad too long for me to give it any higher than an A-. Nonetheless definitely worth the read.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
A. Gladwell killed it again with this one. If you've not read any of them, I highly recommend him.
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
B. I thought this was the worst of the Cather novels I've read -- and I took a class on her in college (yes just her) so I've read a lot of them. Maybe it deserves a reread because I hear a lot of praise for it, but it just didn't grab me like her others have.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
C+. I understand why this won the Pulitzer, but gosh the ending was just so bad. It couldn't redeem the rest of the book for me, that's how bad the ending was. So I would not recommend it.
Harry Potter #1-7 by J.K. Rowling (obviously a re-read)
A+. Just as magical this time around...which by the way is probably my 10th time all the way through the series, although most of those other 10 were not with the 7th book included so it was nice to read start to finish without waiting for a book release.
Roses by Leila Meacham
A-. Great historial novel a la Gone with the Wind, about the south and plantations and family drama. Really compelling, I finished it very very quickly.
Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
B+. All of Picoult's novels have this tendency to grab me within 5 pages of the beginning, and then when I'm done I'm emotionally exhausted but don't feel like I read anything all *that* great. This was the same, but I couldn't put it down once I started.
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
B-. Depressing subject matter but see explanation for Picoult novels above. ;)
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
A+. Great novel by Rowell -- who's from Nebraska! Highly recommend. Simple, elegant, normal -- all the things I love in a good novel.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
B. The book everyone talked about in 2014 that I finally read in 2015. Great plot but the writing left a little to be desired.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
A. Always a good one to revisit - and this is probably the 6th or 7th time reading Anne. She is just one of those characters that sticks with a girl, and I love remembering her and watching her grow up again and again. 
The Stranger by Harlan Coben
A. SO GOOD. I don't want to say anything about the plot to not spoil it for you but definitely read it. 
Kristin Lavransdatter, The Wreath and The Wife by Sigrid Undset (one and two in the series of the GOOD translation)
A+. I haven't finished the series yet -- I got caught up in Game of Thrones -- but these are some of the best novels I've read in a very very long time. It's nice to read quality literature once in awhile (ahem, look at my year of low-brow chick lit and rereads, ahem).
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
A-. Another great Moriarty, one I finished in about 4 hours one afternoon.
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
A. Couldn't stop reading Anne once I got started, you feel me?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
B. After reading blog post after blog post about this book (who didn't?), I thought I needed to read the book to get the full effect. And I did. And then...I don't know, it didn't grab me like I thought it would? I don't know. I might need to revisit next time I get in a cleaning mood but overall I wasn't too impressed and could have gotten her method without reading the actual book. (But disclaimer, we didn't actually try her methods so maybe that's the flipping switch?)
The Martian by Andy Weir
A+. So so SO much better than the movie. The movie was great (Matt Damon and space are just a natural fit, I guess?) but the book is so much more dramatic, so much funnier, so much more everything. As they usually are, right?
Trim Healthy Mama by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison
A...? I have a hard time grading a health book like this one. But this was super informative and I'm back on the THM bandwagon after Christmas right now so obviously it's sticking somewhat?
The Thyroid Diet Revolution by Mary J. Shomon
B...? Again, hard to judge. A lot of this book was just reaffirming things that people who suffer with thyroid problems go through so it was kind of a waste of time. But it was interesting at certain parts.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
A. I'm ashamed of myself a little of how much I grew to become obsessed with Game of Thrones in the last few months. I try to skip over the racy bits as much as I can but it is definitely NOT reading for the faint of heart. Lots of violence, cursing, etc. -- which is why I had avoided it for so long but once I started the plot just got to me and I couldn't stop!
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
A+. Mindy is a queen and I'm pretty much in love with her. Her last book was hilarious and this was equally so -- so good, so funny, so relatable. Highly recommend. 
A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
A-. Not as good as GoT, but still good. See previous description.
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
A. Again, see previous descriptions about GoT. This one had some great twists!!
35 books in total, and over 16,000 pages according to Goodreads! Which translates to a lot of late nights reading that I mostly regretted in the morning buuuuut also didn't. A pretty good year, looking back on it now.

I have a goal this year to read 35 books, which now seeing that I actually read 35 in 2015 when shooting for 25 sounds less impressive. Oh well, I can always top my goal by 10 books again if I need to.

My to-read list for 2016 looks like this:
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness by Warren Carroll
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
I'm not setting any more rigorous lists than that, because I like to read where the wind takes me...or get distracted by epically long fantasy series, for example...I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Tell me -- what did you read in 2015 that I need to add to my list?? What are you reading in 2016? I would really love to hear if I'm missing any great ones!
HG

6 comments

  1. Ooo! I'm going to add the Harlan Coban one to my list. I like his stuff. Everything I Never Told You is on my list too :)

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  2. This is a great list! My resolution for 2016 is 20 books, so I'm definitely book marking this list. I read 15 last year pretty easily (probably even 20), but I struggled at times to find a book that I was excited to read. Definitely bookmarking this one!

    http://anotheryearanothercity.blogspot.com

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  3. If I were to make a reading resolution, it would probably have to be to focus on things like laundry instead of reading. :) I read 75ish books in 2015.
    In This House of Brede is a-maz-ing. One of my favorites.

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  4. Girl look at you go! You are reading goals for sure. I'm reading Big Little Lies now as my first Moriarty book and I like it a lot! I can't wait to read the rest of hers and also Rainbow Rowell's. Aaaaand I need to read Mindy's newest book. Her first was hilarious! Great list and thanks for the grades and mini reviews ;)

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  5. "What Alice Forgot" and "The Martian" were two of my favorite reads this year! I also fell in love with Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Whimsey novels.

    If you're looking for more fantasy, have you read "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss? I loved it. It's the first of a trilogy, and the second book was really good as well ("The Wise Man's Fear") but the third book hasn't been published yet. I generally refuse to get involved in a series that is still in progress but I got completely sucked into these books :)

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  6. There's a chance you're eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

    ReplyDelete

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