2016 in Books

The last few years, I’ve set myself a reading goal, something that I would be challenging but achievable, and each of the last 2 years, I’ve missed it. So I decided not to set a number goal for books this year, and just read.

Well, I read 52 books this year. It’s the most I’ve read in the last few years, and while I was sort of hoping for more, I feel pretty happy with that number. There were a few months where I didn’t pick up a book at all, so if I can eliminate those dry months next year, I bet I can bump that number up a bit more.

In 2017, I’d like to read one non-fiction book a month on a topic I’d like to learn more about (I have a couple fields in mind), and try to push that 52 to at least 60. We’ll see how that goes (you can always follow me on Goodreads if you want to take a look at what I’ve been reading).

I wanted to share some of my favourite books of the year with you, in case you need some inspiration for 2017! (Think of these as sort of a highlight; I read some great books this year, and this list is hardly exhaustive.)

Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng

This is the last book I finished this year, and it was one of my favourites. Beautifully written, this book tackles topics such as race and interracial marriage in the 1970s, family dynamics, and the crushing weight of parental expectations. Equal parts haunting and redemptive. Absolutely stunning.

The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon

This was another late-year read that skyrocketed to the top of my favourites list. I’m not the biggest YA fan, but the depth of this novel was fantastic. I love novels that focus on the complexity of relationships, and this book does that fabulously well. I thought the ending was really well done, and I loved the way Yoon worked in a number of different points of view, giving such a richness to the story and characters.

Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton

Melton’s second book did not disappoint. She tells a compelling story with honesty and vulnerability, and such grace. There is pain and beauty and redemption and love in this book, and knowing how her life has changed even since publication sheds new light on this book and the journey she has taken. Such a profound book.

All of the Inspector Gamache books, Louise Penny

I went on a reading binge when I got a hold of these books in the early summer. Penny’s writing is breathtaking, her descriptions of the small Quebec town made me ache. They’re mystery novels, but not gory and with profoundly layered and flawed characters. In fact, it’s the people who kept me coming back for more, the mysteries themselves an added bonus. I read all of these books in short order, something I hadn’t done since the Harry Potter series. So, so good. (that’s a link to the most recent one above)

The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Do we sense a theme? Troubled faily dynamics? I’m there. Cannot get enough of these kinds of these books, and Sweeney wrote this one so well. Characters I hated one second, loved the next. Characters I was rooting for and rooting against, almost at the same time. It was a little dark, a little hopeful, and so interesting. I couldn’t put this book down.

Rising Strong, Brene Brown

I feel like everyone’s heard of this one, and I don’t know that I can add anything that hasn’t already been said, but I appreciate Brene Brown’s voice so much, and this book was no exception.

Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark, Addie Zierman

I love Addie’s writing so much; her blog remains one of my favourite things to read, and I loved her first memoir, When We Were on Fire. For Christians who grew up evangelical in the 90s, her words ring so very true. I appreciated the honesty and transparency in this book as she struggled with her faith, wrestled with big questions, and I loved the premise of doing it on a road trip with her boys. There was no red bow at the end, neatly tying everything together, and I think I loved that most of all. This book is so beautiful and hopeful and honest. I loved it.

Like I said, that’s hardly an exhaustive list. Some other books that I really enjoyed this year are Americanah, Searching for Sunday, Between the World and Me, The Year of Yes and The Lake House.

If you’ve got anything for me to add to my list for 2017, lemme know!

Happy, happy new year friends!

 

 

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