Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Book Summary

I read 100 books exactly, fulfilling my Good Reads goal. This does not include DNF (did not finish) books.

Here are some random stats and lists:

  • Ratings from 1 star to 5 stars
    • 11 books earned 5 stars from me
    • 51 got 4 stars
    • 34 received 3 stars
    • 3 were allotted a mere 2
    • 1 sad book got the lowest rank with 1 star
  • The Five-Star Books for 2016
    • Circle of Friends (a re-read) by Maeve Binchy
    • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    • Anatomy of Evil: A Barker & Llewelyn Mystery by Will Thomas 
    • The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
    • The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
    • Emma by Jane Austen
    • The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston
    • Full Dark House: A Bryant & May Mystery by Christopher Fowler
    • Shady Characters: The secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols and Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston
    • The 42nd Parallel by John dos Passos
    • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  • Some Other Good Reads from the Four-Star Books
    • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
    • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
    • The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
    • Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
    • Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service by Devin Leonard
    • Masked: The Life of Anna Leonowens, Schoolmistress at the Court of Siam by Alfred Habegger
    • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
    • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
    • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
    • Lexicon by Max Barry

  • The One-Star Book of 2016
    • The Girls by Emma Cline
      • This would have been a DNF (see below) had it not been set in my current home town!

  • Book Type
    • 55 Fiction
    • 45 Non-fiction
      • I used to read tons of YA (young adult) novels and I definitely pick up fewer of that genre lately. This is partly due because so many YA books are series and I try not to pick them up until all books are out.
        • YA books are generally fast reads and can up the "total books read" figures.
        • I also notice that book 1 in a new series is not always identified as such. I actually read book 1 in a new series (The Thousandth Floor) and didn't realize it was a series until it ended on a cliffhanger.
  • DNF - Did Not Finish
    • It's not that I think these books are bad, just that I wasn't into them enough to keep reading. So many books, so little time. If it doesn't grab me I stop reading and move on to something else.
    • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
      • I have enjoyed 3 earlier books of hers but they all start in a predictable pattern.
      • There's ALWAYS a secret alluded to in the first chapters and then it goes back in time to set up and then reveal the secret. And the men are (mostly) scum.
      • This particular book starts with one of the main women characters thinking something like, "If only we hadn't gone to the barbecue then some mysterious issue wouldn't have happened." And then we start flashing back to before the barbecue. 
        • Which is so similar to how Big Little Lies starts: someone has been murdered but who? Let's flashback and find out!
          • That said, I am DYING to see the HBO adaptation next month!
          • The author is a good writer and her books are entertaining, don't get me wrong, but I've had enough for now.
    • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
      • I read as far as the escape from the plantation by the main character and her first safe house but then decided that I'd rather read non-fiction books on the subject of race relations instead. I'm sure it's a fine book --- Oprah says so! --- but reading about fictional slaves is not as compelling as reading about actual people and their lives as slaves.
    • Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
      • I read the first two books in the series, a tale of two young people of color during the Revolutionary War, and really liked both books but I just couldn't get into this one for whatever reason.
    • I am forgetting a few others. I will try to keep a better list going forward. 
So that wraps up 2016. Bring on 2017! I plan to read more classics this year so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. The bell curve of your star ratings is a little lopsided. You need to read more mediocre books.