Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016 In Review: The Books

photograph by me

2017. A new year, a new me. And insert all those cliched sayings that capture how most of us feel at the start of a new year. I have many goals I would like to fulfill in 2017, but first I want to recap 2016.


Reading wise, 2016 was a little of a disappointment for me. I did not reach my Goodreads reading goal in 2016 or surpass my previous reading record. I only made it to 25 books. However, I did discover new authors and was blown away yet again by old favorites.

If I had to make a list of top five reads it would probably be:

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. This is a book every bibliophile needs to read. It is like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but actually a true story. Enough said. Go forth and read it. Goodreads review.

The Warden by Anthony Trollope. My introduction to Anthony Trollope and the first book in his Chronicles of Barsetshire series, the plot of the book failed to completely engross me but I have fallen in love with his authorial voice and satire. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series Barchester Towers. Goodreads review.

Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney. Unflinching and vivid are two words that describe this translation of the famous Anglo-Saxon epic poem. You can read further gushing here.

Resist by Emily Ann Putzke. High expectations were fulfilled when I read this piece of historical fiction based on a true story. Hans and Sophie Scholl and the rest of the White Rose came to vivid life. I have a more complete review here.

Sundown Slim by Henry Herbert Knibbs. There was something different about this story in comparison to other westerns I have read (admittedly, I have not read many). The relatively soft-spoken hero thrust into a cattle rancher vs. sheep herder conflict made for a memorable read.

Okay, scratch five, we are going to make it a tied for sixth with an honorable mention.

Pendragon’s Heir by Suzannah Rowntree. An epic, time traveling retelling of the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, this full length novel by Rowntree built upon all the things I love about her fairytale novellas. I cannot wait for her Crusader epic Outremer. Yes, I realize I probably have a long wait.

Storming by K.M. Weiland. This book was pure fun. I fell in love with the characters, and while I will admit it has its faults, it has become one of the few books I actually fangirl over with family members who have read it.

And honorable mention actually goes to Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. The notorious prequel/sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, this was a different read for me because of its controversy. I read TKaM during a summer vacation to California in 2014 and it was my favorite read of that year. To Kill a Mockingbird is a well deserved classic and I loved it to proverbial bits. While, Go Set A Watchman does not quite match up to its predecessor in quality and suffers from a little bit of choppiness, it still has its author’s distinct voice (and also remember, it is the untouched first draft). Nonetheless, I thought Go Set a Watchman provided food for thought and let Scout grow up. I am glad I read it and as I write this, I become more and more convinced I need to reread both books.

And three more honorable mentions because I cannot write a post about the books I read in 2016 without them: The Bells of Paradise by Suzannah Rowntree, The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron, and The Legend of Sam Miracle (Book 1 in the Outlaws of Time series) by N.D. Wilson.

Okay, I am going to end this now.

P.S. Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon.

Alright, I am actually finished this time. This post was originally going to include a list of my top favorite films watched in 2016, but because of how lengthy both sections became I divided it into two posts. So be on the lookout for that film post sometime next week.

Now, what were your favorite reads last year?


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you liked my stories ^_^

    Is not Trollope a lovesome writer? You're only going to love him more with each book, I confidently predict!

    1. I'm so glad you write stories! I have been very blessed by them. Thank you.

      I love Trollope! And I cannot wait to start Barchester Towers!

  2. I approve of this list. :) Totally agree about 84, Charing Cross Road and both of Suzannah's books—and yes, the next books in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series just get better. Neat to see Knibbs on there too!

    1. Thank you! 84, Charing Cross Road is so good! I basically go around recommending it to everyone! I even bought my sister a copy for Christmas. :)

      Sundown Slim was a bit of an impulse buy that went beautifully well. I am pretty sure there was another of his books that you recommended to me. Do you know of any other good ones he wrote?

    2. Overland Red and The Ridin' Kid From Powder River were my two favorites by Knibbs, though I've pretty much enjoyed all his books to varying degrees. (I can't recall if you ever mentioned having an e-reader, but they're free on Kindle, Gutenberg, etc.)

  3. I've been meaning to read Trollope for the longest time. Maybe this year :) Last year, I really enjoyed "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman, "Fierce Convictions" by Karen Swallow Prior, and "11/22/63" by Stephen King. Love your blog! Will be visiting more often :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Patricia! And I definitely encourage you to pick up Trollope this year.

      I have "Fierce Convictions" on my TBR stack. I have heard so many good things about it!

      I have to confess I've never heard of "Einstein's Dreams", so I am going to have to look that one up. That title is intriguing. :)

  4. I didn't read nearly as many books as I wanted to in 2016, either. There are times I don't want to read books. I know it's really weird and ESPECIALLY weird for me because I love to read so much. Maybe it's just a midlife crisis thing. Ha!

    I think my favorite read of 2016 was the Clara Vine series from Jane Thynne. I read all four and enjoyed them a lot. The fifth one will be published this year and I can't wait!

    1. Thank for you stopping by, Melissa! I understand what you mean by having times when you don't want to read. It's a weird place to be as bookworm.

      I have never heard of that series before. I'll have to look it up!


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