Favorite Books I Read Last Year

I usually write this post before the end of the year, but I had so many issues with my computer last month (thanks a lot, Windows 10!) that I had to set it aside. No worries, because when I looked back at my reading list, it wasn’t very impressive.

What did I spend all that time doing, anyway? Well, I worked on a new novel for the first half of 2016, and no, it’s nowhere near ready. Around June, I realized it wouldn’t be complete in time for the annual ARIA  Book Expo. And I do like to have something available every December for my local authors event. So I set to turning my grandfather’s journal into a little book. And it sold well!

Anyway, back to what I read. I didn’t want to title this “My Five Favorite 2016 Books,” because I’m usually late to reading bestsellers.

all-the-light

All the Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr was published in 2014. Best book I read in 2016, hands down. If you haven’t picked it up yet, make it a resolution for 2017!

carly

Boys in the Trees, a memoir by Carly Simon, was a favorite as well. She holds little back here, which made it difficult at times (her marriage to James Taylor).

sparrow

The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick. Her debut novel, and it was just lovely! A little bit of magic, a little more mystery.

oceans

The Light Between Oceans was published back in 2012. Honestly, I couldn’t remember if I read this book in 2015 or 2016, so I looked back at my end-of-2015 post, and the fact that I hadn’t included it in my favorite books list told me I must have read it this year. Because I definitely would have listed it in 2015. The book became a movie, but, unlike many books-turned-movies, the movie didn’t disappoint me. Still, read the book if you haven’t.

 

Now. There are many, many books on my to-be-read list. Here are the ones I resolve to read in 2017:

The Family Plot by one of my absolute favorite indie authors, Brea Brown. She never lets you down!

Fifty Ways to Make a Family by K.C. Wilder. The long-anticipated sequel to her brilliant Fifty Ways to Leave your Husband.

Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister. I’ve enjoyed all of Tracie’s previous books, so I downloaded this one as soon as it was released. Looking forward to getting mixed up in this one!

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close. Actually, I started reading this one back in the late summer, but had to set it aside. I so enjoyed her Girls in White Dresses, and I’m happy to have this book to finish.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon. I won this book and it’s on a side table, waiting for me to open it.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’m about four chapters in and loving it.

And finally, another book I’ve started and am really enjoying is The Pie Sisters by the writing team of Leigh Brown and Victoria Corliss. A sweet book about three sisters and their memories of long-ago summers.

So…I’ve got my work cut out for me! Writing, reading, editing. I hope that by December of this year, I’ll have a good list to present.

What book did you read in 2016 that was your absolute favorite? 

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15 Comments

Interesting list, Martha. I also came up with a list for my blog. My favorite was “Mischling,” by Affinity Konar. It’s not an easy read, but one not to be missed. 😍

All the Light was my fave read from last year too!! 🙂

I love Goodreads for keeping track of my books. I do their challenge as motivation. I read The Light Between Oceans, last year, too. Very memorable. And I agree the movie was well done.

I didn’t read as much as I wanted last year, but these are great recommendations, Martha, and I just might have to pick up “The Sparrow Sisters.” 🙂

I read All the Light.. when it came out on my cousin’s recommendation. Loved it. The Nightingale was also one of my favorites last year. I will put the Light Between Oceans on my TBR list.

Connie, thank you! I know you have a giant TBR pile!! – oh, for the time to read. I’m hoping that I can do some catching up during this writing retreat. A few hours of writing, a few hours of reading – there’s a balance! ❤

I need to start reading !!! You just gave me a lot to take in. I think I’m going to incorporate my, “Artist Date” with reading. My mind is so active, I just always forget to be still and sit down and read. Thanks for the list, I’m definitely going to start reading again ❤ Blessings

I have so many piles of books all over the place and keep re-prioritizing.
I read the first two on your list. “All the Light We Cannot See” is remarkable. Difficult going in the beginning, but once you figure out how it’s coming together it flies. I never saw the ending coming but it wasn’t just a “POW” moment, it fit seamlessly. That’s all I’ll say so as not to spoil it for others. Definitely warrants a re-read.

I liked the Carly Simon book, too, though I was more scandalized by her frank promiscuity than James’ character flaws. She didn’t hold back, but she didn’t trash him, either, which I respected. That is one messed up family.

I have a separate pile of books by ARIA authors, a pile which is growing very tall. So many good writers right here in our back yard. I’m itching to get at them. Time, life’s most precious commodity. Never enough.

I am nearly done reading Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” I’m going to write a review so I’ll just say I’m mesmerized, impressed by his many talents and that he is, basically, a good guy. Unless he’s snowing us all, which I doubt.

Before that I just finished David McCullough’s “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” which was fabulous. I learned so much, about the time (1830s-1900), society, and much about artist of all stripes about whom I knew little. McCullough is an engaging writer and his enthusiasm for his subjects always shines.

That’s scratching the surface of what I’ve read. I always enjoy reading other readers’ thoughts. I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying “The Nightingale.” It got such mixed reviews but it intrigues me. Definitely on my TBR list now.

Happy reading!

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