Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Year in Review

2016 was a better reading year than 2015, even though it wasn't an especially improved year for blogging. I read 23 books, which averages to nearly two a month, so I'm pretty proud of that. Like before, I'm having trouble finding books that truly excite and engross me. There were a few I really enjoyed, but far more that I finished without enthusiasm.

Books read in 2016:
Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Jan)
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link (Feb)
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Mar)
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel (Mar)
Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan  (April)
Euphoria by Lily King (May)
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (May)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (May)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (June)
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (June)
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (June)
Sex with Shakespeare by Jillian Keenan (July)
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (July)
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (Sept)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne (Oct)
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters (Oct)
The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oct)
Company Town by Madeline Ashby (Nov)
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Dec)
The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Dec)
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (Dec)
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (Dec)
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (Dec)

My favorite book was probably Underground Airlines, as it fit the incredibly-engrossing and thought-provoking category. I'd follow that up with Keenan's Sex with Shakespeare for its pure audacity. Her connections between Shakespeare and BDSM might have been stretched (she admits as much herself), but it was fascinating the whole way through.

Other books get a solid "decent" rating: Euphoria (for reinterpreting the life of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead); The Girl on the Train (for a decent but not that shocking mystery); The First Fifteen Lives...(for an interesting take on reincarnation); Everything I Never Told You (for a look at family through the lens of a dead sister); and Lab Girl (for making a science memoir pretty engrossing).

One of the downsides of not reviewing the books is that I'm quick to forget them afterwards. In fact, there's a couple books on the list that I can't remember a thing about. I'm not a resolution-maker, but I have started to rediscover the joy of writing, so I'll try to write more about my reading--or teaching or what have you--in 2017.

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