Reading for Pleasure – 2016

Oof. I did not end up meeting my reading goals in 2016. An extensive job search took up the first third of the year, preparing to move and then moving took up the summer, and then settling in to a new state and a new job took up the rest. But I did manage to get some books in! And since moving I’ve joined a for-fun book club with other ladies new to Orange County, as well as a social justice-themed book club at work. So hopefully 2017 will be better (and start with more realistic goals)!

I ended up reading a total of 9 books and 2,778 pages. Genres/formats explored included: YA, sci-fi, historical fiction, classics, and non-fiction.

Here are the books I read in 2016 (for full reviews, see my Goodreads page) (as always my must-read favorites are marked with *’s):

  1. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams
    Listened to the audio-book, read by Martin Freeman, which was very entertaining! Good if you enjoy Adams’ specific brand of humor.
  2. Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult
    Fairly easy to follow timelines and satisfying ending. Picoult is predictably entertaining.
  3. A Tale of Two Cities*, Charles Dickens
    Finally gave this classic the time it deserves. A slow starter, but really loved the way the gothic threads weave together. Unexpected bits of humor here and there. My only issue is with the lack of dimension in the female characters.
  4. Golden Boy, Tara Sullivan
    Quick YA novel about a young albino boy in Tanzania – very interesting and heartfelt.
  5. Ready Player One*, Ernest Cline
    Loved this! Fun sci-fi with video game and 80s culture references galore!
  6. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, Susannah Cahalan
    Fascinating and terrifying non-fiction about a brain illness; also explores women’s mental health, US healthcare system, etc.
  7. Next, Michael Crichton
    Interesting novel about the advent of genetic modification and predictions about the legal, ethical, and moral quandries that ensue.
  8. Shopgirl, Steve Martin
    Listened to Martin narrate the audio-book (his voice is super soothing). Some lovely observations mixed with a handful of predictable tropes.
  9. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
    Well-written historical fiction loosely based on true events; very sad though…

Goals for 2017: Be more realistic, especially now that I don’t have as much time to read (e.g. on the bus, which I don’t ride anymore, and at lunch, when I’m usually doing other things). So hopefully 15 books or 5,000 pages, whichever comes first. Continuing my commitment to a variety of genres, especially graphic novels and memoirs, which I didn’t get to this past year. Happy reading, everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Reading for Pleasure – 2016

  1. I often check your Goodreads account when I’m looking for a new read. You always have great recommendations and reviews! Also, I know “Brain on Fire” was on the NYT Bestsellers list and I briefly considered reading it, but given my past Web-MD adventures I ultimately decided against it.

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