Books I read in 2016

I read 34 books for pleasure in 2016, the most I’ve read in one year since 2009.

Bold = faves (doesn’t include rereads)
* = rereads

  • A Long Way Gone (Ishmael Beah)
  • All the Birds, Singing (Evie Wyld)
  • Bats of the Republic (Zachary Thomas Dodson)
  • Beowulf (Seamus Heaney trans.)*
  • Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)
  • Dept. of Speculation (Jenny Offill)
  • Dublin Murder Squad series:
    • The Likeness (Tana French)
    • The Secret Place (Tana French)
    • The Trespasser (Tana French)
  • Edinburgh (Alexander Chee)
  • Harry Potter series:
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)*
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)*
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling)*
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)*
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)*
    • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany)
  • Kindred (Olivia Butler)
  • L’Arabe du Futur (Riad Sattouf)
  • Leaving the Atocha Station (Ben Lerner)
  • Neapolitan Novels:
    • My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante)*
    • The Story of a New Name (Elena Ferrante)*
    • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Elena Ferrante)*
    • The Story of the Lost Child (Elena Ferrante)*
  • Oryx and Crake (Margaret Atwood)
  • Queen of the Night (Alexander Chee)
  • Red doc> (Anne Carson)
  • The Fifth Season (N.K. Jemisin)
  • The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)
  • The Girls (Emma Cline)
  • The Golden Compass (Phillip Pullman)
  • The Inimitable Jeeves (P.G. Wodehouse)
  • The Sellout (Paul Beatty)
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Vol. 1) (Ryan North)
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Vol. 2) (Ryan North)

Rereads: I finished my Linguistics MA in the spring, so summer was a joyous time of revisiting favorite series: rereading Harry Potter plus the new one, enjoying again the torment of the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, and finishing the rest of the Dublin Murder Squad novels by Tana French. Due to these, and continuing last year’s resolution, I read more novels by women than by men for (only) the second year in a row.

Best books I read this year: Edinburgh and Dept. of Speculation were both sparkling, crushing, funny, painful reads.

Disappointment: Bats of the Republic was beautifully designed, but overindulgent. I probably skipped 50 pages and felt fine about it.

No comment on: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

What took me so long: For a self-professed lover of witty British novels of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, I can’t believe I just read my first Wodehouse novel.

Formats: I read mostly bound books. But I finished my first ever audiobook (The Golden Compass), which was a lovely 10 hours with a full cast. I read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl in the comiXology app on my iPad. I read all the Harry Potters in ebooks on my Kindle and iPhone. Nearly half of the books were library books. One was an ILL book (L’arabe du futur).

Best cookbook: I don’t count cookbooks in my read-for-pleasure lists, but dang, Small Victories by Julia Turshen is the best! It’s what finally convinced me to make my own chicken stock, which means I’ve read many of the above books over many a bowl of delicious soup.

Next up: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.

Previously: Books I read in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009