Tuesday, January 3, 2017

203 Books of 2016

I read more books than usual this past year.  203!  My eye muscles are tired.  It's hard to pick a favorite when you read so many, but I've made a collage of a few that really stood out.  In no particular order:
1. Running Girl by Simon Mason.  I won an advanced reader of this Young Adult mystery on Goodreads.  It was engaging and amusing.  Enough so that I'm hoping the author writes a sequel.  Please note that if you are buying this for a young adult in your life, it does have drug use.

2.  Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan.  This is a hilarious and authentic memoir of a woman who works in a high paced office for a senator in DC.  She ends up moving home to help out her dad's small town medical practice when her mother has a heart attack. 

3.  The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford.  Historical fiction exploring the legend of mermaids (and incorporating a real medical condition as explanation).  Intriguing writing that made it hard to put down, even in the slower parts.

4.  The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White.  A story about a distant dad who has to take over the needs of his highly functioning but autistic son when his wife is hospitalized long term for a heart condition.  Bittersweet and at times quite funny, this was an excellent read.

5.  The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman.  I'm not certain who gave me this book.  It had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years.  I picked it up and was immediately drawn in to family secrets and dynamics, and a lost painting.  I recommended it to several people, who all loved it too.

6.  Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.  I have read every book Picoult has written.  I love her ability to take ethical dilemmas and make you see every side of them.  But this book?  She outdid herself with this book!  Some have been calling it "To Kill a Mockingbird for the 21st Century" and I'd have to say that's an excellent phrase to sum it up. 

7. The Magician King by Lev Grossman.  This is the second book in a trilogy and I read them all, after finding the first on a list of books for adult fans of Harry Potter.  This book was my favorite of the three, but you should read the first one first.

8.  Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer.  This is another book that had been on my shelves for years.  If I'd known how good it was, I would have read it sooner.  Each chapter has a different angle on neuroscience combined with insights from classic literature and art.  I know, it seems an unlikely combination, but it is so well done and fascinating.

9.  The Disaster Diaries by Sam Sheridan - the author has been worrying about the apocalypse for years, and finally decides to do something about it.  So he takes each aspect of survival preparation and seeks out an expert in that field for training (how to live off the land, how to defend oneself, etc.).  A unique perspective with a lot of useful information.

And two last books that I loved (but read after I made the collage):

A Man Called Ove was recommended by a friend, and I think it was my favorite book I read all year.  And my mom recommended The Mad Woman Upstairs, which was also excellent reading.  Well, that does it!  Readers, do you have a favorite book you read last year?

25 comments:

Tom said...

Good for you, I wish that I was a reader!

Karen Ann said...

Surprisingly I haven't read any of these! Now I have a list, thank you! I jut finished the Woman in Cabin 10, that was a decent read.

Out on the prairie said...

Proust of course caught my eye. I just completed the works of Elmore Leonard and now am working on James W. Hall

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

I'm going to have to check out some of these books! I don't think I have a favorite book from 2016, but many of the ones I read were quite entertaining.

Ginny Hartzler said...

The Mad Woman Upstairs makes me think of Jane Eyre. The two that I want to read are "The Sea House" and "The Perfect son". But they all look so good! Here is my favorite book: "One Hundred Years of Solitude". It is a classic by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I have read lots of his his books and they never fail. Thanks for this post! I just loved reading through your list! I think I will copy these down for future reference. When I was younger, for many years I read a book a day. My library got so huge that I had to get rid of many, but I still have lots. I divided them up into ones I have read and ones I haven't! It would be cool for you do do a book review every once in awhile.

Michelle said...

I still have The Magicians on my "to read" list.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Wow, I'm impressed. I probably bought that many books for my Kindle app. and haven't read even one. I must make a change in my life because books are amazing and take you to places you have never been before. (I get a lot of free Christian stories that a friend of my posts)

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Wow, you were busy reading! I loved loved loved The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; The Thing about Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin; and Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. They are all "middle grade novels," but enjoyable for adults too. I even asked for The War That Saved My Life for Christmas. I read it as a library book, but I wanted my own copy. It's that good.

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

I am so impressed! I used to be able to read that many books in a year before I had kids. Now...not so much! One of my goals is to read more this year, so I will add a few of your favorites to my list!

alissa apel said...

The Gravity of Birds looks like a great read to me. You read a lot. That's great!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I find myself researching things and not actually reading for fun these days. You are setting a great example for your boys, they pick up on things like seeing you read.

Lin said...

I haven't read much this year, but I did read "A Man called Ove" and loved it as well.

I need to read more in 2017.

DMS said...

Wow! You did a ton of reading in 2016! Loved hearing about your favorites. I have heard great things about Small Great Things and A Man Called Ove. I look forward to checking them both out in 2017.

Wishing that 2017 is a happy and healthy one for you and your family. :)
~Jess

Tanya Breese said...

Wow I am impressed! I started off strong reading but lagged the past few months 😯 happy new year!

Carolyn Jourdan said...

Thank you!! : )
Carolyn Jourdan

Carolyn Jourdan said...

Thanks!! : )
Carolyn Jourdan

Heather said...

That is amazing! I think I ended up around 85 books this year, but I didn't really count books that I read the kids besides the really long ones. I am definitely going to look up The Disaster Diaries - I love Apocalypse type books :-) And if this one has something to be learned in it, all the better!

Sandra Morris said...

Wow-I am impressed, that is a lot of books. I was disappointed with how little reading (books) I did this last year. Thanks for sharing your list!

Crystal Collier said...

203? That's crazy epic. You must totally kick my trash on reading speeds. I'm pretty happy with my recorded 60 for the year, even though there were a good 20 or so I didn't record. I never count books I reread, or the ones that I don't feel like I should share with my YA or clean reads audience--since I keep track of everything on Goodreads. Now I've got a few new books to go check out. =)

indah nuria Savitri said...

Wooow...that's a lot of book indeed, Lisa. I read a lot as well this year but not that much. I had tons of UN documents to read, though LOL. Happy New Year..

mail4rosey said...

Congrats on reading so many. Reading is def. one of my most favorite past times.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I always enjoy other people's book lists. Fredrik Backman is my new favorite writer! ALL his books are fabulous.

Annette said...

Thanks for these interesting book suggestions; I tend to read more "how to" and non-fiction books. In fact, I have one about mindfulness sitting on my desk at work. I do miss the days of locking myself in the house on a cold winter day and spending it reading a book from cover to cover. Maybe I can start doing this once I get Lewie used to reading on his own. (Right now, he still needs my help.)

Betty Crow said...

203 books! WOW! I am impressed. I retired a few months ago so am hoping to read more this week. I have a couple of these on my kindle so good to hear they are good ones.

Anne Payne said...

203 books...Impressive!!! I haven't read any of those but a couple of them have me intrigued. I'll be going to the library now. ;-)