Category: wrap-up

Fave books of 2016

So you know how I was going to do all these lovely categories of books that I loved this year? Well I’ve done two (plus my least favorite), and I can already feel myself wanting to double up on books in the other categories I haven’t written yet, so… I’m just going to skip ahead to my faves of the year. And what do you know, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is fave books of the year. I chose to include books I’ve read this year, not necessarily ones that were released this year.

These are not going to be in any sort of order, because that is just asking too much. I have some duplicates on here from the previous two lists (fave series and fave literary fiction)

faves-of-2016

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Favorite literary fiction of 2016

Continuing my posts of favorite books of the year… up next I decided to talk about literary fiction.

One of the main genres I tend toward is literary fiction, and that has been since my undergrad English lit major days. It’s more of a time investment for various reasons, but the perfect mix of character and prose can be so rewarding. Here are my favorite literary fiction books that I read in 2016 (also they all came out this year, but that was a coincidence). Five of the seven were either nominated for or won a literary prize this year.

lit-fiction-2016

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What I’ve Read – February 2016

First off, where did February go?! This past month I decided (too late in the month) that I would try to read more books by ethnically and racially diverse authors. Reading diversely is something I always try to do; according to my reading spreadsheet for this year so far I’m at 62% female authors so far this year, and that’s without really trying. But my reading of POC authors is a bit low, so I will slowly rectify that situation.

In February I read:

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January reading recap

Time to look back on everything I read in January! I’ve already talked about most of these books in previous posts, but total I read 20 books. My count will go way down now that the semester is back in full swing, but I plan on keeping up a decent pace. Here are the ones I haven’t discussed yet:

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Vacation reading is the best

Winter break is almost over and I have been such a good little reader. I’ve never had this schedule before, being salaried and having to work only while classes are actually in session*, so I have been going days without stepping outside. It’s kinda weird and while it’s very conducive to reading a lot, I have also forgotten what it’s like to be around people other than my husband and my cat.

I wrote an end-of-the-year TBR and I’ve done pretty well on it so far. I’ve read 7 of 17 books on that list, plus 14 others, and I’ll probably read one or two more before Tuesday. You’d think they were going to take all my books away from me or something.

I decided to write little blurbs about the books that stand out to me rather than separate reviews, with the exception of Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I have written a review of that and it will publish in the next week or two, I don’t remember when. So here goes:

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What I read in 2015

This past year has been quite a change of pace for me, reading-wise. I’ve always enjoyed reading; trips to the library are one of my fondest memories of the period before my parents’ divorce, before we moved half way across the country and blah, blah, blah. Long story short this caused a lot of changes, but reading remained central to my life.

I’ve written about this before, but in my teens I decided at some point that I would read only classics or books that were award/best of the year-worthy. While this sounds great and like I would be a very well-read person, after 14-ish years of sticking to those principles I became very tired of restricting myself to certain sections of the bookstore, and reading nothing but what amounted to literary fiction for more than half my life.

This past year I started branching out in what I would read, meaning I read books that were published this year (which I hardly ever did before), I read fantasy, I read YA, and I even read a graphic novel or two. I discovered that  I actually enjoy fantasy and graphic novels, though I am very torn on the whole YA thing, both in its quality (very hit-or-miss) and in its designation. I mean, what is it, even, why do some things get called YA (Uprooted) and others don’t (All the Light We Cannot See) even though they both have teenaged main characters? However, I don’t think that any other genre is any more or less hit-or-miss when it comes to quality, so perhaps my inner book snob is just making excuses for why I wouldn’t make a blanket statement of approval for the genre.

While I’ve been branching out in what I read I am still retaining a sense that my time is limited, that I should stick to the style of books that I have always loved. In fact, I recently found myself thinking that I should re-read The House of Mirth because I feel that I need to remind myself of what I love, of what incredibly beautiful writing looks like. I’ve never thought this before, but I feel like it will reset my reading, set me back at zero in a way. A palate cleanser.

Has anyone else felt that way?

It’s not that Edith Wharton is objective or neutral or anything like that, but in returning to one of my top five favorite books of all time, I will be reminding myself of who I am as a reader and perhaps stop myself from wandering down some path of “oh shiny book!” and wasting my time with books that I never would have even considered reading 5 years ago.

Clearly I am on break from school now because this sort of thing should not take that much thought.

I have read a total of 68 books this year (at the time of this writing – I’d love to make it a round number but I only have a couple of days left in the year). My goal was 50, which was raised a few times from something like 30. Evidently, my habits changed and I surprised myself this year. I don’t see my momentum slowing down any time soon so I think I am going to set my goal pretty high for 2016, participate in Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge, and probably have to buy more bookshelves.

I’ll be making some posts about 2016 reading plans soon, but in the meantime I was curious – has anyone else suddenly found their reading habits and tastes have changed after feeling like they were established?

I read some stuff!

In October I re-dedicated myself to reading for pleasure. This semester has been every bit as insane as I thought it would be, though it’s one thing to know it and another to experience it, to be ten weeks in and the only hope in sight is a month and a half away. But that’s ok. Reading for pleasure for perhaps an hour has become one of the only times during the week when I do what I want.

I did pretty well this month in reading things from my TBR, and I even kept with my creepy theme for the most part. I read:

  • Lila – Marilynne Robinson (7.5/10)
  • Bird Box – Josh Malerman (9/10)
  • The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson (9/10)
  • Through the Woods – Emily Carroll (9/10)
  • A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness (6.5/10)

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