2016 Reading Stats
- Number Of Books You Read: 105
- Number of Re-Reads: 2
- Genre You Read The Most From: Tie between Picture Books (30) and Graphic Novels (30)
Best in Books 2016:
- Best Book You Read In 2016?
Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Matt Phelan. I know it's an odd choice for an adult to choose a picture book, but it was hard to choose in the first place and this one just spoke to me.
- Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Three Women of Kintail by Mildred M. McBride. I love Scottish historical fiction, and this was set in my favorite Scottish village! I mean, check out my username! But I had such a hard time following the story with all its jumps. After finishing it, I'm not even sure who the three women were (there were more than a handful of women in the story who took leading roles at one time or another).
- Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2016?There are a few that really surprised me:
- Puzzle Island by Paul Adshead (a book I started when I was 11 and never finished. So amazed to finally figure out the answer!)
- We Found a Hat by John Klassen (the other two books in this series ended pretty much with a character being eaten, which is kind of shocking in a picture book, so I was prepared when reading this one. But nothing of the sort happened. Surprise!)
- Finders Keepers by Stephen King (I expected this series of his to be strictly mystery, no supernatural elements. And, yet, some supernatural elements showed up when I wasn't at all expecting them)
- Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2016?
Shark vs Train by Chris Barton. I bought it for a coworker's baby shower. But I also took a copy out of the library and forced it into the hands of at least 3 of my other coworkers, explaining that it's the best book ever and insisting they read it on the spot (they did). And I recommended it a new mommy at my Writers' Roundtable group as well.
- Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
- Started: The Diviners series by Libba Bray (LOVED them!)
- Ended: Ultimate Spider-man graphic novels by Brian Michael Bendis and others (there were over 30 of them, and it was a great run)
- Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
Sarah Vowell. I've only read the one from her so far, but I loved her voice and storytelling style, which was so engaging and personal, which is rare in a historical biography! My friends are raving about her other books, and I watched her talk at the National Book Festival this year. So I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
- Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
George Washington's Secret Six: the Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. I don't read a lot of nonfiction historical books, and even fewer nonfiction historical military books. It's just not my thing (or so I thought). But Hamilton made me fall in love with learning about the American Revolution, and this was an amazing book on the subject.
- Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
ROOM by Emma Donoghue. I was on the edge of my seat (figuratively; I was driving) the whole time while reading it. I even screamed out loud a few times. Definitely sucked me in and made me want to jump in the car to run unnecessary errands just so that I could listen to more of the story.
- Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. I loved it, but there are some parts I'd like to reread and make notes on because they set off my fanfiction writing bells and I have no idea what they were now because I didn't write down the bits the first time around.
- Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
Hard to choose, but The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan is just gorgeous:
- Most memorable character of 2016?
J.Lo the Boov (alien) in The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex was hilarious and adorable. I will not be forgetting him any time soon (especially if a read one of the other books in the series.
- Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
Beloved by Toni Morrison, especially with Toni Morrison reading the audio, it was like a thick blanket of gorgeous words just wrapping around me.
- Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?
There was a tie:
- March: Book 1 by John Lewis. I can't wait to read the other two books, but this one was informative and powerful and personal. Seeing first-hand the experiences of someone who helped lead the Civil Rights struggle and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has seen so much of the world change made for a great read.
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was equally powerful for me. Told from the perspective of a gorilla in a zoo in a mall, it's an accessible commentary on animal treatment and humanity.
- Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?
Beloved by Toni Morrison. I feel like it's one of those that everyone has to read in school, but it never came up in my classes. I'm so glad I read it finally!
- Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
I don't keep track of quotes (see above my need to re-read Lafayette in the Somewhat United States again). So I chose a book on my list and looked at the quotes on Goodreads. Here's a good one: "You could find beauty nearly anywhere if you stopped to look for it, but the battle to get through the days made it easy to forget that this totally cost-free luxury existed." from Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
- Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
- Shortest: Puckster Plays the Hockey Mascots and Puzzle Island (24 pages)
- Longest: Under the Dome by Stephen King (1,074 pages)
- Book That Shocked You The Most
I was going to say Beloved again, but actually I think the honor goes to Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig by Deborah Hopkinson. I associate Beatrix Potter with adorable, quirk little animal characters. And in this story, she borrows a guinea pig from a neighbor to draw it and then neglects it so that it dies! I was NOT prepared for that, even from the title!
- Favorite Romantic Relationship of the Year
Wow. I didn't read a lot of books with romances in them. I'm tempted to say Evie/Sam from Lair of Dreams even if it was a fake engagement for publicity, because Sam was totally into it and kind of adorable because of that.
- Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
- Hannah (young girl who's scared of dogs) and Sugar (a friend's dog) in Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube. Sugar goes missing and it's Hannah who finds the dog and understands dogs aren't scary after all.
- Simon's Cat & Simon's Kitten. I recently acquired a little kitten who is causing chaos in my home for my 4-year-old cat. So I could totally relate. And if these two learned how to get along, it gives me hope for mine!
- Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Hawkeye Volume 2 by Matt Fraction & others was an amazing collection concluding the series. It was great to see Clint being Clint, even if he's deaf and his brother's in a wheelchair and Kate left.
- Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns is a book that is haunting my friend to the extent that my friends and I buy up every copy we can find to give to her in creative ways. I've had about 50 copies of the book pass through my hands, but it wasn't until this year that I actually read the book. It was good. Sort of a YA book before YA was a genre.
- Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
I completely fell in love with Henry DuBois in The Diviners series (even though I have the wrong parts and wouldn't stand a chance with him, I still adore him).
- Best 2016 debut you read?
I'm not sure I read anything published in 2016 from a first-time author. So, this is a debut that I read in 2016, but it wasn't published in 2016. Close as I can come! Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman was well written for a first book (memoir). I still like the show better, but I definitely enjoyed seeing what really happened.
- Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber has a fantastic kingdom where clocks are frozen, mountains are high, and Goluxes impart advice. Kind of hard to beat that! Not just any book has a Golux, you know.
- Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham was hilarious! Moose wants so badly to be part of the alphabet book and can't wait for the letter M to come up.
- Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
First off, I cry at just about everything. I know I cried during The One and Only Ivan. I am certain I cried during Code Name Verity. Also Room, Beloved, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, The Invisible Boy. Oh, and Hark! A Vagrant made me cry from laughing so hard more than once.
- Hidden Gem Of The Year?
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. These letters between reader and bookstore clerk were such a delightful, charming read!
- Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was such a disappointment. After a great midnight release party and so much anticipation I get that?! There were some moments that were all right, but overall it killed a lot of hopes and headcanon.
- Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
How can I choose three books as "most unique?" Don't know, but I am:
- The Land of Lines by Victor Hussenot is a juvie graphic novel with no words, just geometric shapes, lines, and a limited amount of colors.
- Groot by Jeff Loveness is a graphic novel about the character from Marvel. Goot can only speak three words "I am Groot!" and, yet, the book manages to take him on a crazy, detailed adventure anyway.
- The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz is a continuation of the Millennium series, but written by a different author (after Stieg Larsson's death, there was a lot of legal debate about the series, and this book was the final result). It was interesting seeing a professional writer's take on another writer's characters.
- Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Dear Santa Claws should have been a cute series of letters from cats to Santa Claus. I anticipated a fun, light read. And while some of the letters were cute, there were a ton (even some back-to-back) where cats ask Santa to dispose of dogs or to find them a forever home with people kind to them. I found myself getting angry at the book and the world as well.
Looking Ahead to 2017
- One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
Hamilton: The Revolution. I've read the bulk of this already, but I started listening to the final part, where Lin-Manuel reads his notes about the script of the musical, and I stopped because I was listening in the car, without the script in front of me. I own a copy of the book, so I'd like to sit down soon and put on the audio and read along with the script, his handwritten pages, etc. as he reads the notes about various lines. Footnotes are great, but if you don't know what the footnotes refer to, it's a little meaningless!
- Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
The next Robert Galbraith book. I love Cormoron and Robin so much and can't wait for their next adventure from JKR!
- 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don't really know of any authors writing for the first time who have a book out. Maybe Diane Zinna, my coworker, whose book was picked up by Penguin last year and then dropped because her editor went to another publishing house? I desperately want to read her book (it sounds fantastic), and I hope it gets picked up and published in 2017! Does that count?
- Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare. Okay, this is a bit of cheat as the book was released in November of 2016, but it's not available on audio at my library, so to me it doesn't really exist yet. LOL
- One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?
Finish all of the library books I have checked out and return to the library to get rid of the guilt! There are some books I've had out, unread, for a year now! No one has holds on them, so I keep renewing them. But I really need to just get them read!
Here's my Goodreads 2016 in Books: https://www.goodreads.com/user/