Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Books of 2016

I'm late with this annual post. No excuse apart from a life that I always seem to be running behind but not in a good way. I make great plans, go to the trouble of writing them down in number and point form and then lose hopeless track of my good intentions. I know I'm the only one on planet earth with this problem. Any helpful hints? I should abandon my lists but it's similar to my collection of "useless artifacts" which I will write about some day too. The dark underbelly of my life.

So here goes with the 2016 list.

(1)Puccini's Ghosts - Morag Joss****
(2)Dead Simple - Peter Robinson. dropped could not engage 0
(3)Plain Song - Nancy Huston***
(4)All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr*****
(5)The Mistress - Philippe Tapon*
(6)A Sudden Sun - Trudy Morgan-Coles****
(7)Eventide - Kent Haruf*****
(8)Burning Down The House - Russell Wangersky {BC}***
(9)The Night Following - Morag Joss*****
(10)England, England - Julian Barnes 0
(11)The Birdcage - Marcia Willett***
(12)Inside the O'Briens - Lisa Genova***
(13)And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini*****
(14)My Name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout*****
(15)The Girl in the Blue Dress - Gaynor Arnold {BC}**
(16)Among the Missing - Morag Joss****
(17)The Dipper - Marcia Willett**
(18)The Corrigan Women - M.T. Doheney
(19)Eve - Iris Johansen*
(20)A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway 5th(?)re-read*****
(21)A Crooked Heart - Lissa Evans*****
(22)The Piano Tuner - Daniel Mason (I'm struggling with this one 100 pages in)
(23)Settlers of the Marsh - Frederick Philip Grove ****
(24)Baggage - Jill Sooley ***
(25)Moments of Being - Virginia Woolf***
(26)The Neighbour - Lisa Gardner***
(27)Breathing Lessons - Anne Tyler *****
(28)The Old Jest - Jennifer Johnston *****
(29)The Illusionist - Jennifer Johnston ****
(30)A Sixpenny Song - Jennifer Johnston
(31)The Story of Lucy Gault - William Trevor {BC} a re-read for me*****
(32)How Many Miles to Babylon? - Jennifer Johnston*****
(33)What We Want - Trudy J. Morgan-Cole**
(34)This is Not a Novel - Jennifer Johnston*****
(35)The Captain and the Kings - Jennifer Johnston*****
(36)The Railway Station Man - Jennifer Johnston*****
(37)By the Lake - John McGahern*****
(38)Closer Home - Karen Anne King**
(39)Shadows on our Skin - Jennifer Johnston*****
(40)Love & Summer - William Trevor****
(41)Fool's Sanctuary - Jennifer Johnston****
(42)I Let You Go - Claire Mackintosh****
(43)The Lake House - Kate Morton (500 pages, 200 too much)***
(44)The Stone Angel - Margaret Laurence - 3rd re-read*****
(45)Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey - poor construction**
(46)A Badly Misunderstood Dog - Paul Rowe - *****
(47)The First Bad Man - Miranda July - she literally lost the plot - *
(48)The End of Your Life Bookclub - William Schwalbe*****
(49)Everyone Hates a Beauty Queen - Kenneth Harvey - Awful bilge, will not read him again*
(50)Save Me - Lisa Scottoline - cliché driven ***
(51)The Distant Hours - Kate Morton - challenging size, unsure
(52)The Ocean at My Door - Ken Pollett
(53)Perfect - Rachel Joyce*****
(54)Still Alice - Lisa Genova*****
(55)My Father's Tears - John Updike*****
(56)La Rose - Louise Erdrich****
(57)The Doctor's Wife - Brian Moore*****
(58)Thrice the Brindled Cat Had Mew'd - Alan Bradley***
(another Flavia De Luce but not so compelling)
(59)The Good Doctor - Paul Butler
(a few pages in and I'm tripping over edit-goofs and holy metaphors, batman!)
(60)People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks*** {BC}
(61)Miller's Valley - Anna Quindlen*****
(62)Ordinary Grace - William Kent Krueger
(63)The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein***** {BC}
(64)The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper - Phaedra Patrick****
(65)The Roncesvalles Pass - Paul Bowdring
(66)The Lizard Cage - Karen Connolly*****
(67)Lost and Found - Brooke Davis*****
(68)A Sport of Nature - Nadine Gortimer - dropped, couldn't.
(69)Continental Drift - Russell Banks - dropped, couldn't.
(70)My Secret Sister - Edmonds & Smith***
(71)Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore {BC}***

TOTAL TO DATE: 71{BC}=Book Club}
Ratings:0(awful) *(poor)**(fair)***(good)****(very good)*****(excellent)

Those I loved:
20 (about 6th or 7th reading, annual event!)
All of Jennifer Johnston I adore.

A good year of reading. I won't work at reading a boggy book anymore. My life's too short. I like immersion, good editing and grammar, engaging characters, thoughtful prose. I'm not asking too much, am I?


  1. Perhaps, but as you have pointed out, such tomes do exist...Happy reading!

  2. They do I need. I think it was a pretty spectacular year for reading.

    So is this one.


  3. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  4. That's a lot of books! I'm on my 23rd for this year.

    1. I think you're way ahead of me for this year 😎


  5. Seventy one books, that's impressive. I'm a slow reader and the best I can manage in a year is 40 plus. The only one of those I've read is All The Light We Cannot See, which I greatly enjoyed.

    1. Some are BC which I like as it takes me outside of the comfort zone at times. I adored The Light. I'd read it again.

  6. wow, this will help me with a list of what I'd like to read. I don't keep track but maybe I should.

  7. I keep a record as my head can be a sieve. I'd like to update my GoodReads more and use that perhaps.

  8. I've read The Story of Lucy Gault- thrilling and unsettling. And Elizabeth is Missing meant a lot to me as my mother-in-law had dimentia and I wanted to view it from her side. But I struck gold this year- I was off to Ecuador and The Galapagos and wanted some meaty and varied reading so I downloaded the Man Booker Shortlist, including the winner and loved every one of them. Being out of my comfort zone, hideous tropical climate and all, seemed to heighten my appreciation of each quite difficult book. xx

    1. Anne I think you'd enjoy Still Alice about dementia. I did. Much better than the movie.

      Good on you and the Man Booker list, challenging as you say.


  9. No, you are not asking too much. It is now time to read to be entertained and not to be provoked into thought! Try humour. I strongly recommend revisiting if you have already been exposed to him, P G Wodehouse.

    1. Yess I read many of PG's Bertie Wooster books. I think I'd have to be in a frivolous mood. And with so many books in the world re-reads for me are rare. I recently started on the Handmaid's Tale again, read it twice before but it is chilling in terms of today's political scene and women's rights on the butcher's block yet again.



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