The Books I’ve Read 2016.

It’s that time again! My favorite new year tradition is clearing out the small bookshelf where I put all the books I’ve read within a calendar year, make a post about them, and then eagerly anticipate filling it with more books in the current year. Even the bookshelf itself is special; I remember my uncle making this shelf for me when I was younger, and it’s been with me ever since, to several different homes and two different states. One day, when I actually accomplish the 100 books I shoot for every year, it’s not going to be big enough to hold them all, but, for now, it’s the perfect size, and I’m always looking forward to the annual purge and reset of its lovely shelves.

Before & After

This year, I managed to read 35 physical books. At the beginning to the year, I’d blown through quite a few ebooks on my Kindle, too, but they, unfortunately, will be lost to the mysteries of the universe, as my Kindle broke down about halfway through the year, so I can’t really access them right now in any convenient way that I’d be bothered with pursuing (as in, I’m sure there’s a way, but it doesn’t really matter enough to try right now, and I haven’t yet had the chance, i.e. money, to replace it at the moment). So this year, we’re just going to focus on the physical books.

Here’s the list, including my usual system of italics for books I’ve read before and bold for books I particularly liked and would recommend. In no particular order:

01. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
02. After Alice by Gregory Maguire
03. Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
04. The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin
05. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
06. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
07. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
08. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
09. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
10. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
11. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
12. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
13. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine l’Engle
14. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
15. Squirrel Meets Chipmunk by David Sedaris
16. Jane and the Ghosts of Netley by Stephanie Barron
17. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
18. The Big Swingers by Robert Fenton
19. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin
21. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
22. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
23. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
24. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
25. 2nd Chance by James Patterson
26. With a Single Spell by Lawrence Watt-Evans
27. Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
28. Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
29. Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
30. The Chatsfield: Rival’s Challenge by Abby Green
31. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
32. Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
33. Misery by Stephen King
34. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Books in Limbo (Started in 2016, but not finished before 2017, so they don’t count toward either list, but they should at least be mentioned)

-The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
-The Throne of Tara by John Desjarlais
-Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard
-It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
-Women of Wonder: The Classic Years edited by Pamela Sargent
-The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy by Leonard S. Marcus
-Potters Field 6 edited by Robert J. Krog
-Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson
-Bossypants by Tina Fey

So, a lot of new books this year, not many previously read ones at all. A lot of mediocrity, too. Most of these books I enjoyed, but not as many of them stood out. The ones that did stand out, though, oh, boy, they stood out big time. Flowers for Algernon is probably one of my new favorites, along with The Old Man and the Sea. A lot of “classics” this year, too, trying to get more of those Books You Should Read crossed off the list. A nice variety, too. Overall, it was a pretty good year for reading for me.

Did you read through a lot of books this year? Anything in common with my list? Anything on the list you also particularly enjoyed, or do you have any suggestions for me for 2017?

Happy reading!


    • They all go on the shelf! Nothing goes on that shelf except for books I’ve finished reading, so, at the end of the year, they’re all there and waiting. I clear it out, make a big stack, type out the titles into a list, and we start all over again with this year. I gets a little trickier if I factor in ebooks, which I didn’t this year, but it’s a really solid system I’ve been following for several years now.

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