A Year in Books: What I Read in 2016

Reading is very important to me, so every year I set a reading goal and keep track of what I’ve read. This year, I surpassed my goal of reading 52 books– I read 61 books. This is 23 more books than I read in 2015 (which was 38 books, for those who are less math savvy). Here is a list of the books I read and their genres, as well as my top 10 favorites with a brief review.

 

Books Read

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (re-read; children’s lit)
2. Simon v. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli (YA lit)
3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (I actually read this twice this past year; YA lit)
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA lit)
5. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (mystery)
6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (YA lit)
7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (YA lit)
8. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (mystery)
9. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (memoir)
10. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (historical nonfiction)
11. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (fiction)
12. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (mystery)
13. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie (self-development)
14. When We Collided by Emery Lord (YA lit)
15. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (YA lit)
16. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (children’s lit)
17. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (fiction)
18. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (self-development)
19. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (YA lit)
20. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod (self-development)
21. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (self-development)
22. Conversion by Katherine Howe (YA lit)
23. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (self-development)
24. The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass (YA lit)
25. Mosquitoland by David Arnold (YA lit)
26. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (YA lit)
27. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (fiction)
28. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (YA lit)
29. Cracked by K.M. Walton (YA lit)
30. The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (play)
31. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (YA lit)
32. Rising Strong by Brene Brown (self-development)
33. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (YA lit)
34. Understanding Disney by Janet Wasko (non-fiction)
35. Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein (non-fiction)
36. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (children’s/YA lit)
37. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (children’s lit)
38. The Jungle Book (Scholastic edition) by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines-Stephens (children’s lit)
39. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (children’s lit)
40. Good Girls & Wicked Witches by Amy Davis (non-fiction)
41. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (self-development)
42. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (YA lit)
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (YA lit)
44. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (YA lit)
45. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (children’s/YA lit)
46. Opening Minds by Peter Johnston (non-fiction)
47. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (children’s lit)
48. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (YA lit/graphic novel)
49. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (YA lit)
50. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (YA lit)
51. Radical Change by Eliza T. Dresang (non-fiction)
52. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (YA lit)
53. Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser (YA lit)
54. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (YA lit)
55. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (reread; YA lit)
56. History is All You Left Me by Adam Rivera (early release; YA lit)
57. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (YA lit)
58. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu (YA lit)
59. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (YA lit)
60. All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (YA lit)
61. OCD, The Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn (YA lit)

For those interested in numbers, that is:
YA Lit: 33 books
Self-Development: 7 books
Non-Fiction: 6 books
Fiction: 6 books
Children’s: 4 books
Memoir: 1 book
Play: 1 book

Those don’t add up, so I’m sure I miscounted somewhere– but you get the idea!

And, -drum roll please- here are my top ten books of 2016 (clarification: I read these books in 2016… they weren’t necessarily published in 2016, although some were). I will choose books I read for the first time in 2016 (which means I am excluding Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from my list, which is my favorite book of all-time). These are in no specific order:

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
A great self-development book that I plan on re-reading this year. Seriously. Love it.
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson 
A really good, yet really sad, YA novel. Good for people interested in LGBTQ+ fiction and aliens. 
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
I don’t do this practice as much as I would like (although I hope to do it more next year), but this book really impacted my thoughts on self-care. Also, I learned about affirmations through it. (Fun story: after reading this book, I did the affirmation “money comes in abundance to me” as part of my MM routine one day. Later that day I had an unexpected $500 medical refund in my bank account. !!!)
All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
A great YA novel written from two perspectives (one black high schooler, one white high schooler) about police brutality. Very well-written and significant.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
The third book in the Cormoran Strike series. This is actually written by J.K. Rowling. These books are excellent, and this one is my favorite of the three. Good mysteries, but even better characters. 
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
This is one of my favorite YA books (which may be why I read it twice this year– it’s also relevant to my thesis). This is good for people interested in dystopian fiction but want a different take on it. It also portrays mental health issues extraordinarily well.
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
This book may be beating other YA texts I read earlier this year simply because I read it recently and remember it best. However, in addition to an enjoyable story, this book does an excellent job at character representation in regards to race, gender, and sexuality. 
Radical Change by Eliza T. Dresang
I read this book for class, and I really loved it. It is a bit dated, but a lot of the ideas are still applicable and will probably shape what I look for in YA texts for the rest of my life. 
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
A great YA book! Interesting characters, unexpected plot, a realistic portrayal of depression.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
I don’t read historical non-fiction often. This book was written really well (it didn’t seem like non-fiction at times), and I learned a lot of interesting facts from it. I have always had a difficult time picturing what history was like, and this helped me get a better idea of that time period.

For 2017, I think 52 books is still a good number to strive for! As a graduate student, I read quite a bit so I don’t think this is going to be a problem. It is sad when I don’t have time to read books of my choice, but it is also cool to be exposed to books that I normally wouldn’t choose.

What were the best books you read in 2016? What are you looking forward to reading in 2017? Let me know in the comments! 

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