2016 in Review

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It’s been quite a year. I am rushing to finish up book #117 (The Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee). When 2015 ended a year ago, I never imagined I would read so many books in the upcoming year. I ended last year with a total of 58, and thus set my reading goal for 2016 at 60 books. There are three major reasons that I almost doubled that number.

  1. My young children are now two and four years old. I have been having a massive reading slump since 2011. Pregnancy gives me an aversion to reading. I have no idea why. And then adjusting to two children in two years also affected my reading. We are finally in a longstanding routine and they are becoming more independent, which has all equaled out to more reading time.
  2. I discovered Litsy in June. If you haven’t heard of Litsy, I urge you to check it out. It’s a social media platform that combines Goodreads and Instagram. I can be hit or miss with social media, and I didn’t really see the point of Litsy when I first heard about it, but once I joined, I instantly got sucked up into the culture. It’s an amazing place–if you’re over there, my username is @reviewsbylola.
  3. I also discovered Book of the Month. BOTM was another thing that I was like eh, I don’t really need this. It’s a subscription service for books, and every month five new releases are handpicked by the judges. You get to choose which book you want them to send you for that month (or you can skip) and you can add on up to two additional books for $9.99 apiece. My thing was, five books sounds kind of limiting–I like choosing my own books, la la la la la. But I decided to get my mom a gift subscription for Mother’s Day and then two of my sisters and I got subscriptions as well, and we ended up become diehard devotees. I can’t even tell you the anticipation I feel on the first of every month when the new selections are released.

All of those reasons added up to being the best reading year I have ever had. I’m not talking quantity (although I am pretty sure this is my best year numbers wise too). I literally mean that this is the year when reading really came back to me. I feel like I found my place again, and my comfort. I also brought this blog back to life and discovered the Serial Reader app . . . I honestly don’t even know how 2017 can live up to this year but I’m excited to find out.

And last but not least, here are some of my favorite titles that I read in 2016.

  • Hellhound on His Trail, Hampton Sides
  • Working Stiff, Judy Melinek
  • A Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold
  • Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon
  • Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, Faye Resnick
  • Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld
  • I Let You Go, Clare Makintosh
  • Enchanted Islands, Allison Amend
  • Circling the Sun, Paula McLain
  • Flight of Dreams, Ariel Lawhon
  • Miller’s Valley, Anna Quindlen
  • Morgue, Vincent DiMaio
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Bryn Greenwood
  • Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue
  • Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
  • Siracusa, Delia Ephron
  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
  • The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, James Carnac
  • The Trespasser, Tana French
  • The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
  • The Fall Guy, James Lasdun
  • The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon

I’d love to hear how everyone else’s year was!

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4 Responses

  1. I loved Miller’s Valley, which made my list of favorites, too. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was one I enjoyed…it didn’t make my Top Ten, but only because there were so many contenders for that honor.

    I read (and loved) I Let You Go…last year.

    Congrats on your reading year. Dark Matter is one I’m eyeing for the New Year.

  2. Wow, you read some awesome books in 2016! Great job!

    Happy New Year

  3. I loved Miller’s Valley, too! Can’t wait to get my hands on the new Tana French. What’s the monthly cost for BOTM? I can’t find it anywhere on their site without setting up an account. It’s kind of a key point I want to know before I agree since I generally don’t spend a lot on books between Netgalley, books for review and the daily ebook deals.

  4. I just looked you up and added you on Litsy 🙂 Every time I hear about BOTM I’m jealous because they don’t ship to Canada! The only books on your list which I’ve read are the two by Yoon and When Breath Becomes Air – loved all of those though, so clearly I’ll have to look up others on your list. I’m glad to hear that you found your way back to reading this year 🙂

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