Thursday, January 5, 2017

Books of 2016

The wonderful Leigh Kramer did a couple of posts of her favorite fiction and non-fiction books read in 2016, and I've been inspired to share a few of my own favorites. For a complete list of books I read last year, check out my Goodreads challenge.

Favorite Fiction

  • Eleanor & Park, Carry On, and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ~ All three of these books were SO good! I cannot distinguish which one is my favorite. I will tell you that I finished both Eleanor & Park and Attachments in one day, and I was sad when they ended. I got the audio version of Carry On and by gosh, by golly, it was lovely to have a British accent in my car. All the swoons for Baz and Simon. 
  • The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon ~ A tad confusing in the beginning, but then it clicks and oh my goodness this is a fascinating, suspenseful read. Highly recommend it, and I encourage readers to stick through the first 100 pages... that was when it really grabbed me. 
  • Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike mysteries {aka J.K. Rowling writes detective stories for adults} ~ I loved these books. I audio-booked them all, and the narrator was fabulous. I loved how the characters developed over the three books {I hear rumors of a fourth - fingers crossed!}, and I love mysteries. So good. 
  • Speaking of J.K. Rowling, my 2016 list would not be complete without Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Lots of thoughts and feelings here, but no spoilers. It was fun to jump back to Harry's world, even if it was different on a stage. And fun fact: I finished The Cursed Child exactly one year after I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Morning Star by Pierce Brown ~ This is the final installment of the Red Rising Trilogy, and ohmygod it did not disappoint. I put off reading it for a while because I wanted to re-read Golden Son {book two} first, and I'm glad I did. For an entire weekend, I could not put this book down. I angry-texted my sister, I wept, I screamed, I yelled, I scared my flatmate and her friend, and then at the very end, I wanted to start all over. If you have not jumped into this series, let 2017 be your year!
  • Ok, last one by J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy ~ Creepy, well-woven, sad, intense, and brilliant, of course. I audio-booked this one, and our dearly beloved Tom Hollander was the narrator! Such fun. 

Favorite Non-fiction
  • Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther ~ I devoured Esther's memoir of growing up in a cult and then escaping from it and rebuilding her life. The very first paragraph made me laugh, and then I kept reading and my laughter disappeared. It was a haunting story, and Esther is beautiful and strong to share it. 
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander ~ Truly eye-opening! I appreciated all the research and fact-finding Alexander did to argue that incarceration really is the new Jim Crow. Highly recommend this to all. 
  • All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister ~ Oh how I loved reading this. For anyone out there thinking "the struggle is real," this is for you. Friendships and cities and education and choices... lots to discuss!
  • Night Driving by Addie Zierman ~ Zierman's first book was so valuable to me in 2015, and I was not disappointed by her second. This is a delicate questioning and a desperate exploration of what "light" looks like in the middle of life's dark winters. 
  • Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham ~ "Gilmore Girls" fans, rejoice! Graham's book is just like her - hilarious, sincere, enjoyable, and genuine. Bonus: Graham narrates the audiobook herself :)
  • Ghost Belly by Elizabeth Heineman ~ This was a book I read for one of my doula trainings, and it made me cry tears of sadness, understanding, and frustration. Heineman did a beautiful job describing the pain and confusion she and her family faced after a stillbirth. Her writing is lovely, blunt, and vulnerable. 
This year, my Goodreads challenge/goal is to read 70 books. What about you?

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