Friday, December 30, 2016

Best of 2016: Books

2016 was an okay reading year. I thought it was better than it was, but I was a little surprised when I looked back over the list of books I'd read this year...I had a hard time picking my favorites. And not because there were so many of them. While I really liked a lot of the books I read, there weren't many that stood out as ones I loved or new favorites.

Best book: I had two favorites this year. The first was Far From the Madding Crowd (book and film discussion here), which means that I will be seeking out more Thomas Hardy in 2017. And then there was A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside, which is probably my favorite travel book ever (so far).

Worst book: I didn't read any incredibly terrible books, but The Picture of Dorian Gray was pretty bad.

Biggest surprise: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. This book won't be for's a memoir written by a woman who has worked at funeral homes and crematories, and it's about that whole industry and how our society views death in general. It was incredibly interesting, though dark and gross at times. One particular part made me queasy, but it still managed to make my list of favorites this year, so I'm not sure what that says about me?

Biggest disappointment: The Graveyard Book. I wanted to love this book. I want to love Neil Gaiman's stories, because they sound right up my alley. But I really struggled with it and was left disappointed.

I had a goal of reading 60 books, which I did. I only had 5 rereads this year, though two of them were Jane Austen so that was good. I read beginnings or installments of series, but I didn't read any complete series unless you count Susan Branch's three memoirs. Here are my reading resolutions for 2016 and how I did with them:

-Read 60 books. Yes!

-Drastically reduce my number of owned-but-unread books. No, I failed completely at this. It amazes me, because I read exclusively from my own shelves this year...I didn't go to the library at all and only borrowed a few books from other people. And still, at the end of the year, the number of books on this list is almost exactly the same as it was last year.

-Reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy. No. It's my tradition to make this a resolution every year, and apparently it's my tradition to never actually do it.
What were your favorite or least favorite books of 2016?

P.S. I'm going to be skipping my usual Best of 2016: Movies, TV, and Music post this year. I've seen so many movies this year, but I can't for the life of me remember which ones were 2016 releases. The only movie I saw in theaters was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was pretty good and very enjoyable, though lacking in the classic Harry Potter magic. I didn't find any new music this year (the Avett Brothers always!), and I'm way too disorganized with my movies/TV to post about them.


  1. My absolute worst book of this year has to be The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley, so very very boring. I quite liked The Picture of Dorian Grey.xx

    1. I haven't heard of that one, but now I don't think I'll be seeking it out! :) I liked the basic plot of The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I just felt like it was buried under so much other stuff that I really didn't enjoy.

  2. I think I've left a comment about this before, but I always love the synopsis of Neil Gaiman's books, but I don't like his writing style at all.

    1. I'm the same way! I feel bad for not liking them because I feel like I should. But then, so far I've only tried his children's books.

  3. I love these kinds of posts! Loved hearing about what you liked/disliked this year book-wise. Well done on reading so many books!!


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