Update: I finished one more book after I published this so my graphic is now sort of correct again because I finished 2016 having read 27 books after all.
It’s coming down to those final days of 2016 and the odds of me finishing another book before I ring in the new year are getting decidedly smaller so I’m going to call it now and say that I read 26 books this year and if a miracle happens and I read one more, we’ll deal with that then, mkay?
My “reading goal” for the year was 50 books but I pretty much knew I wouldn’t get anywhere near that so I’m not too concerned. I average about 30ish books a year so I’m really pretty much on target yet again, if a tiny bit low?
Goodreads.com just put out their Year in Books for all their users with every stat you could imagine about your reading habits.
Here’s what 2016 looked like for me:
Note: They listed 27 books incorrectly because for some reason one of the books is in there twice. I didn’t notice it until I had already edited all the graphics and I’m too lazy to do it again.
Those are the highlights. These are the books I read this year and a little review of each book:
- REALLY LIKED Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia – Finished Jan. 17th – It took me awhile to warm up this one, largely because I had to get used to each narrator and accept the fact that the author doesn’t always tell the truth right away sometimes even in the same sentence it seemed she would write in one direction and then be like jk that didn’t happen. But eventually the characters began to find little corners of my heart to nestle themselves in and the mystery itself became enticing enough that I found myself wanting to follow it through to the other side and I was pleasantly surprised when I found that NONE of my suspicions were correct and the author had managed to write a mystery that I could not predict the outcome to. JANUARY BOOK CLUB *
- REALLY LIKED The Royal We by Heather Cocks – Finished Jan. 29th – This book was kind of a major undertaking – spanning the course of ten years in the courting, dating, breaking up and getting married of Prince Nicholas and Rebecca – who are basically a fictional Kate Middleton and Prince William. This story should have been ridiculously cheesy from premise alone, but the writing is so compelling and the characters are so well written that I found myself cheering for them from the start and rooting all the way to the finish line. *
- LOVED Winter by Marissa Meyer – Finished Feb. 23rd – This book was such an undertaking – each book in the series seems to get bigger as it goes and more characters are introduced. This book felt like the fireworks finale that it should be with #allthefeels all over the place. Every moment you were waiting for finally happens and Meyer only tries to break your heart eleventy billion times so it’s all good. I’ve already got Stars Above waiting for me to crack into. *
- LIKED Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson – Finished Feb. 24th – I wasn’t sure I would finish this one in time for the book club discussion, if at all, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Although many of the chapters felt excessively long at times and filled to the brim with information that might be fascinating for some people (not me), there were a lot of golden nuggets inside. The story this book tells is incredible especially because it’s a true story – and the people within the book have a lot to say. Lots of life lessons to be learned and everything you ever wanted to know about deep sea diving, shipwrecks and U Boats. FEBRUARY BOOK CLUB
- REALLY LIKED Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick – Finished Feb. 27th – I’m a fan of Amber’s blog and this book was like a sweetened condensed version of that. My only complaints would be that some of the stories felt abruptly cut short and the book itself seemed to end so soon! I want more!
- REALLY LIKED Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle – Finished Feb. 29th – This book is kind of like that high school English assignment where you write a chapter and then one of your classmates writes the next chapter and so on. Except the three authors each wrote one short story – about 10 chapters – and all their stories linked up and eventually featured most if not all of the same characters. I’ve read several John Green books before but the other two authors were new to me. All have a fairly similar vibe but the different characters in each story were all very unique and different from each other. I think Maureen Johnson’s story and characters might have been my favorite of the three so now I’m adding all her books to my wish list.
- LIKED Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Campbell Bartoletti – Finished March 14th – I thought this was extremely well written and engaging for a nonfiction title, the author did a good job at breathing life and wit into an old story and kept it from getting to try. MARCH BOOK CLUB
- REALLY LIKED 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – Finished March 18th – I loved the premise of this book. The plot lagged occasionally but overall I really enjoyed it and downloaded book two pretty much immediately after finishing this one. *
- LOVED The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson – Finished March 20th – I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one.
- REALLY LIKED Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling – Finished March 23rd – I think I liked this book even more than the original. It was funny, informative, dishy and inspiring jut like Mindy. *
- LIKED Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay – Finished March 28th – It took awhile to warm up to this book. Initially I was irritated by the main character and the whole thing was too similar to Daddy Long Legs (which I loved) but the book picked up in the second half and I ended up enjoying it.
- REALLY LIKED Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – Finished March 30th – Short but sweet. I enjoyed it but was kind of bummed when it was over. I’d gladly read a full novel about these characters.
- LIKED The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – Finished April 14th – It took me a little while to get into this book but once the plot started to pick up and I got to know all the characters I found myself reading in larger and larger chunks until the last two nights when I stayed up WAY to late to finish. I found the premise interesting if at times a bit unrealistic but a few of the characters tugged at my heart strings enough that I suspended my disbelief long enough to enjoy the ride. Still, I always felt slightly at arms length away from everyone. For a book full of internal dialogue, it still felt like it was slightly emotionally removed and the end of the book wrapped up almost too quickly and left me feeling unresolved even though all the plot points were mostly tied up. A good book but not quite great. APRIL BOOK CLUB
- REALLY LIKED Night Film by Marisha Pessl – Finished May 25th – I think I’d only give about 3 stars to the first half of this book, but somewhere around the middle the plot picks up and the mystery starts to get a little bit more intriguing, making me more inclined to read a few more chapters each night than I was reading before. The last 150 pages I read in basically one day. There are a few characters and plot developments that I had problems with and I do think the book bordered on TOO LONG but over all, I did really enjoy it and I found the overall story to be really fascinating and the pictures and clippings were a nice touch. I was kind of disappointed that the google play app at least doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Unless Cordova got to it. MAY BOOK CLUB
- REALLY LIKED Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – Finished June 7th – I’m a sucker for Pride and Prejudice adaptations and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Sittenfeld took some interesting departures from the original but overall I think it was an excellent modernization. I would imagine some people might not enjoy a few liberties taken, especially P & P purists, but I thought it was a lot of fun.
- REALLY LIKED Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst – Finished June 24th – I live in Wisconsin so it was a lot of fun reading a murder mystery that takes place in my state. Lots of local references to enjoy. Additionally, it’s a good and compelling story that took awhile to build but kept my interest and then consumed my interest in the second half. It ends on a cliff hanger that led to me immediately downloading the next book.
- LIKED The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Finished June 29th – I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this as much as I was hoping too. I think the hype got the better of me. Something about the book kept me at arm’s length and I wasn’t able to really lose myself to the story. But it ended with a lot of questions still unanswered that have me considering reading the next book at some point. I liked a lot of aspects of this book, I just didn’t quite love it. *
- REALLY LIKED Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – Finished July 18th – I really enjoyed this. One of the rare instances where having seen the movie first did not deter me from reading the book later – definitely planning to read book 2! *
- LIKED The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett – Finished July 26th – This book was such an undertaking to read and parts of it I really enjoyed but the book bordered on being both too realistic and too absurd much of the time. I don’t think there is a better way that Barnett could have written this – the whole Sliding Doors aspect is tricky and complex and she handled that well but it was still hard work to read through and keep all the versions separate. As the story progressed, each of the versions became very heavy and that heaviness took awhile to wade through. It really deserves more than 3 stars in many ways but doesn’t quite earn 4 stars for me. AUGUST BOOK CLUB
- LOVED My Lady Jane by coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – Finished Aug. 19th – I honestly loved everything about this book from the premise to the characters to the writing style. Hysterical and well written with several characters that you will root for and an incredible story to boot!
- REALLY LIKED Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella – Finished Aug. 31st – I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read this one and it was definitely worth the wait. After just a few chapters in, I found myself carrying this book with me everywhere I went so I could sneak in a few more pages here and there until it was done. A sweet love story, an honest and up close peek at social anxiety at it’s worst and a surprisingly funny tale of family life and coming of age.
- LOVED Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Finished Sept. 13th – I got sucked into this story really quickly. The main character, Emily, is extremely shy and totally oblivious but you love and root for her anyway and Frank is just allllll the things. I loved this book. The list of items that Sloane left for Emily to do really made for a funny and interesting book and the characters are all very fleshed out. I liked that the book felt real and honest – characters felt authentic even when you sometimes wished they wouldn’t.
- LIKED Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway – Finished Sept. 27th – I liked this one but didn’t quite love it. Although the plot was interesting and the characters were pretty well fleshed out, I couldn’t really lose myself in this one. I kept relating to the parents in the book instead of the teenagers which doesn’t happen often with YA novels for me as I have a tendency to get swept up in books and kind of forget myself as a reader. So good – but not quite great.
- REALLY LIKED Circling The Sun by Paula McClain – Finished Oct. 26th – I really enjoyed this. I could relate to Beryl in a lot of ways, especially with her early family life – and I found myself rooting for her from cover to cover. She led a fascinating life that was both difficult and admirable. McLain’s story is well written and absorbing. OCTOBER BOOK CLUB
- REALLY LIKED Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – Finished Nov. 24th – I thought this was a really interesting look at modern romance and how it compares to dating before the technological advances of this day. It was a good blend of sociological information and Ansari’s trademark humor. NOVEMBER BOOK CLUB
- REALLY LIKED Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Finished Dec. 23rd – It took me awhile to get into this one. Probably a case of having my hopes up a bit too high given how madly in love I am with the Lunar Chronicles series. But around the second half of the book, the plot definitely picks up and all the little plotlings that the author had developed all start to tie together and blossom. It’s hard to really emotionally invest in a book that you know isn’t going to have a happy ending, but eventually I couldn’t help but fall for everyone and half hope that they might have a different ending than I’d expect.
- REALLY LIKED A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig – Finished Dec. 30th – This was a really cute book. I liked Haig’s take on the origin of Santa Claus a lot and thought it had some great life lessons for kids to soak up – not to mention some awesome illustrations.
*Owned Before 2016 (or more than 6 months before reading)
And if you feel like stalking my reading habits…