How can I be so tired of this year when it seems to have gone by so fast? Out with the old, hooray! But first, a quick, nerdy look back at this year’s reading.
Best Books in 2016
1. Best book you read In 2016?
- Fiction – It’s a tie between The Golem and the Jinni (Helene Wecker) and Blood of Elves (Andrzej Sapkowksi)
- Non-fiction – The Wicked Boy, by Kate Summerscale
2. What was a book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
Definitely Sorrow’s Knot. The world building was just so disappointing.
3. What was the most surprising (in a good way!) book of the year?
I didn’t expect to enjoy Croak as much as I did. A surprisingly original story.
4. What book did you read and recommended to people most?
The Wicked Boy. Have you read it yet? Why not? Stop reading this and go read that right now!
5. What’s the best series you discovered?
I didn’t do much serial reading this year. But I’m interested in seeing where the The Golem and the Jinni series goes. The next book comes out in 2018, though, so it’ll be a bit of a wait.
6. Who’s your favorite new author you discovered?
Torn between Kate Summerscale (The Wicked Boy, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher) and Andrzej Sapkowksi (the Witcher series). I love the level of detail both authors put into their books.
7. What was the best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I was nervous about Vermilion. I don’t reach much Steampunk, and the book ended up being more violent than I like. But it gave me all kinds of interesting feelings, so I enjoyed it.
8. What was the most thrilling, unputdownable book of the year?
9. What book did you read this year that you are most likely to re-read next year?
Probably The Wicked Boy. I’m still trying to decide whether or not I agree with the author’s theory that his mother’s abuse is what led Robert Coombes to murder his mother.
10. What’s your favorite cover of a book you read?
11. Who’s the most memorable character you met this year?
Robert Coombes from The Wicked Boy. What led him to murder his own mother? And how can a person who commits such a crime go on to become a war hero?
12. What’s the most beautifully written book you read?
Meet the Austins was a lovely, quiet read. Madeleine L’Engle writes from childrens’ perspectives so well. The book reminded me of Wilder’s Little House series, which has always been a favorite.
13. What book had the greatest impact on you?
I really enjoyed Lincoln’s Battle with God. It gave me even more insight into and appreciated for a man I’ve respected for several years.
14. What book do you can’t believe you waited until this year to finally read?
I’ve always found Craig Ferguson hysterical, and couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of his book, American on Purpose, until this year. He’s done a lot of interesting — and stupid — things, and I like his views on life.
15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read?
I loved this quote from Studs Terkel’s Working:
The white-collar guy is scared he may be replaced by the computer. The schoolteacher is asked not to teach but to babysit. God help you if you teach. The minister is trapped by the congregation that’s out of touch with him. He spends his life violating the credo that led him into the ministry. The policeman has no relationship to the people he’s supposed to protect. So he oppresses. The fireman who wants to fight fires ends up fighting a war. People become afraid of each other. They’re convinced there’s not a damn thing they can do.
And I love Craig Ferguson’s maxim from American on Purpose:
Between safety and adventure, I choose adventure.
16. Shortest & longest book you read?
- Shortest – Selfridge: The Life and Times of Harry Gordon Selfridge, by Fergus Mason (108 pages)
- Longest – The Invention of Murder, by Judith Flanders (596 pages)
17. What book had a scene in it that left you reeling and dying to talk to somebody?
The Winter People was a total nail-biter!
18. What’s your favorite relationship from a book you read this year (be it romantic, friendship, etc.)?
I really enjoyed the relationship between Geralt and his ward Ciri in Blood of Elves. It’s a cross between a father-daughter and mentor-mentee relationship. Both characters are smart, stubborn, and powerful. And they enjoy needling each other.
19. What’s your favorite book you read this year from an author you’ve read previously?
I’ve loved Clive Cussler for a long time, and that love affair continued this year with The Kingdom. Fun book, and narrator Scott Brick is one of my favorites.
20. What’s the best book you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else?
21. What genre did you read the most from this year?
Tie between Mystery/Thriller and History.
22. Who’s your newest fictional crush from a book you read?
Geralt from Blood of Elves! He’d make a terrible boyfriend/husband, so it’s probably best that he’s not real.
23. What’s the best 2016 debut you read?
The Wicked Boy, for sure! Author Kate Summerscale has other great books too.
24. Which book you read this year had the most vivid world/imagery?
Blood of Elves. Fantasy authors are the best at world building, period.
25. What book was the most fun to read?
Heroes Are My Weakness. Modern gothic romance!
26. What book made you cry or nearly cry in 2016?
Half the Sky. It made me cry, and it made me so angry.
27. What book did you read that you think got overlooked this year (or the year it came out)?
Why are there people in the universe who haven’t read The Wicked Boy?!
1. What’s one book you didn’t get to in 2016 that will be your biggest priority in 2017?
My lovely family usually gives me lots of books for Christmas, so I imagine I’ll have a look through those and see what strikes my fancy in the moment. I don’t have any priorities right now.
2. What book you are most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?
At this exact moment? Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners (Therese Oneill) and Witches of America (Alex Mar).
3. What 2017 debut do you anticipate most?
I don’t pay much attention to debut dates.
4. Which series ending in 2016 do you anticipate most?
I don’t pay much attention to this either. I am hoping to finish out Rachel Aaron’s The Legend of Eli Monpress series.
5. What’s one thing you hope to accomplish in your reading/blogging in 2017?
Same as always: to read interesting things by interesting people, and talk about them with other readers.
How did your 2016 reading shake out? What are your reading goals for next year? Let’s talk!