2016 in Books

10 is such a satisfying number.

Since starting this blog, I’ve done a year-in-books post every year, whether it’s before Jan 1st or after. Every year, the first thing I do when I log on to Goodreads.com in the beginning of the year is set up the reading challenge. Usually, people put in a number a bit higher than the previous year. I do something different. I put in 10.

Here’s why I do that. I don’t exactly consciously think Hey I need to read this many books this year. (I bet no one does that.) But 10 is like a rudimentary number. I know that if I don’t clear a challenge as simple as that I’ve either had a really bad year or I’m a huge disappointment.

And besides, when I finish the 20th book, and log that in, the reading challenge percentage becomes 200. Isn’t that just so satisfying?

Last year, I read all of these books:

  1. 39 Clues, Cahills vs Vespers, #4: Shatterproof
  2. 39 Clues, Cahills vs Vespers, #5: Trust No One
  3. 39 Clues, Cahills vs Vespers, #6: Day of Doom
  4. A Tale of Two Cities
  5. Lord of the Flies
  6. Animal Farm
  7. The Prince and the Pauper
  8. Wuthering Heights
  9. Ella Enchanted
  10. Pride and Prejudice
  11. Northanger Abbey
  12. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  13. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  14. The Martian
  15. Diary of an AssCan: A Mark Watney Short Story
  16. Dune Messiah
  17. Interpreter of Maladies
  18. The Wide Window (ASOUE #3)
  19. 39 Clues, Unstoppable, #1: Nowhere to Run
  20. 39 Clues, Unstoppable, #2: Breakaway
  21. 39 Clues, Unstoppable, #3: Countdown
  22. 39 Clues, Unstoppable, #4: Flashpoint
  23. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  24. Stars Above
  25. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
  26. There is a Generation
  27. Keep Me Posted
  28. Dove
  29. A Stolen Kiss
  30. Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
  31. A Wizard’s Forge
  32. Fangirl
  33. Eleanor & Park

In no particular order.

I’ve read more classics in 2016 than before, and all of them in almost a continuous streak. To say that I read them because they’re classics wouldn’t be entirely true. As I went from word to word, page to page, the stories became their own reward. Wuthering Heights left a feeling of emptiness after all of the shock and the incredible pacing. A Tale of Two Cities had me on my toes, wondering what would go wrong, and when it did how wrong it could go. Northanger Abbey was pleasantly humorous; Isabella’s character was suspect from the very start. The Prince and The Pauper had me all but rolling on the floor in laughter. Lord of the Flies was at times maddening and at others sad. And if two legs is better, I’m not really complaining.

Pride and Prejudice was the first Austen novel I read, and so it has a special place in my heart. I reread it this year because I felt the need to get reacquainted with the characters.

The 39 clues series has been a favorite ever since I started it last year. So it turns out, I started the year with 39 clues, and ended it with 39 clues also. That is something my grandmother might joke about, if she cared about what I read.

Last year, I signed up on NetGalley.com for ARCs. I’ve read seven ARCs since (#24-#30). IT was thrilling to know that I was reading something that still wasn’t out in the market, and could quiet possibly help make it grand. I most enjoyed Keep Me Posted and Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. One is about letters and social media highs and lows, and the other, a reboot of the old classic by Nathaniel Hawthorne in Manga format.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies opened my eyes to possibilities. The anthology of short stories has inspired me to write an anthology of my own, and I am currently working on the plots for the short stories.

In 2015, Dune took me on an adventure ride, but it was a brilliant work as a standalone, so it took me a while to get to the sequel. The writing is still exquisite, but I can understand where the 1 star reviews on goodreads came from. Dune Messiah leaves something to be fixed, something gone awry. It throws a lot of the things we took for granted in Dune into chaos.

The Martian had me turning pages, holding my breath, hoping against hope that Watney would survive. I might have fallen in love with him just a tiny bit (come on, I can’t be the only one who thinks “let’s grow potatoes on Mars together” is a good pickup line). Things that couldn’t happen happened. It was beyond exhilarating. It was scary. It was lonely, at times. It was the whole wide world coming together to help save one life.

Rainbow Rowell. Where, oh, where do I start?

Fangirl gave me conscience in the middle of my fanfiction stupor. I still haven’t been able to come out of it completely, but I’m getting there. I never thought anyone or anything could understand my problem to the very core the way Fangirl, and I guess by default Rainbow herself, did.

I cried more with Eleanor and Park than with my own heartbreak.

But let’s end this on a happy note. Gail Carson Levine’s retelling of Cinderella has earned a place in my favorites list. And rightly so. Her presentation of Ella, the world building, everything left me awe-inspired.

Everything I read this year has instilled in me a desire to do better than I have so far.

Happy New Year! May 2017 bring happiness and contentment. (And more books to read. Yay!)

How has your 2016 gone, in books or otherwise? I’d love to know in the comments!

11 thoughts on “2016 in Books”

  1. That’s a lot of books. Until this July, I read a lot of classics and best-sellers.
    Then I stumbled upon One Hundred Years of Solitude which slowed down my pace (it took me more than 4 months to complete it). Since then I’ve been reading pretty slowly.
    Happy Reading in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a story of seven generations with similar as well as repetitive names. Even though I noted each character, I got confused at times and had to go back again. I had to read every sentence carefully. So it took a lot of time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You have some great books on that list! I went through a period of reading many, many classic, including Jane Austin (though it has been a while). Recently I read Jane and the Stillroom Maid, which is part of a mystery series with a fictionalized Jane Austin as protagonist. Great fun! I’ve never heard of the 39 Clues series. I’ll have to look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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