I’m finally sitting down (well I’m actually in bed but let’s pretend I’m not that lazy) to write the second part of my 2016 reading wrap-up. In this post, I’m going to talk a bit about the 23 books I read last year. I have decided to rank them from my least favourite to my favourite book of 2016. I could have just done it chronologically but I thought it would be easier for you to see what I liked and what I didn’t. Anyway, let’s get right to it cause it might take a while.
23: Just in time for Christmas – Kim Boykin
I’m the kind of person who gets really into the Christmas season. This year, I wanted to go the extra mile and read a Christmas book. There was a lot of free ebooks and I downloaded a bunch. Why I chose to read this one is beyond me. It was poorly written and edited to say the least, the characters were rich white people with a very weird vision of what love is and the overall plot was easy and overdone. I am rarely totally negative about a book but this one had, in my opinion, no redeeming qualities. Big no no for me. Next Christmas, I’ll know to stick to A Christmas Carol.
22: Who Moved my Cheese – Dr. Spencer Johnson
If you want to read my full review on this, click HERE. If not, just know that I really didn’t like it.
21: The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, reading this novel was a struggle. The plot lacked the usual Dickensian humor. Granted it was a heavy story but dark humor would have been appreciated.
20: The Signalman + The Boy at Mugby – Charles Dickens
I read this little book of two short stories in December to try and get back on track with my goal of reading more Dickens. Although they dealt with a similar theme, the two stories were completely different in terms of tone and atmosphere. I struggled with the language, especially in The Boy at Mugby, which made it harder to enjoy the stories.
19: This Raging Light – Estelle Laure
This is the only young adult title I read this year. Check out my review for a detailed account of my thoughts on it.
18: Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
I finished this novel right at the beginning of 2016. Therefore, my memory is a bit fuzzy on what it was all about but I remember that, although it was not my favourite Dickens’ novel, I did enjoy it. It is much less heavy than The Old Curiosity Shop and proved to be an easier read.
17: The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
16: Prince Caspian – C.S. Lewis
15: The Boy and His Horse – C.S. Lewis
14: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
I am not going to detail each of the above titles but while I was roaming around Ireland, I decided to read The Chronicles of Narnia. Seeing as C.S. Lewis was Irish, I thought it was only fitting. I had already read a few of these novels in French but it was ages ago and I couldn’t remember much of the plot. During my trip, I made it though four of the books and really liked them. The writing is especially brilliant.
13: Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
I read this novel when I was in need of a pick-me-up. It definitely did NOT do the trick but I enjoyed it anyway. I wrote a review if you want to know more.
12: Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
I anticipated reading this novel since its imminent publication was announced. There was a lot of polemic on its release as well as its content. I share my point of view in my review..
11: A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
Once again, George R.R. Martin did not disappoint. I loved this volume of the Song of Ice and Fire series because it dealt with my favourite characters. I’m a bit worried about A Dance with Dragons because I know that it’s set during the same period of time but tells of the characters I’m less interested in. Hopefully, I still find it engaging.
10: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1 and 2 – Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling
I debated reading this play for quite some time. I had not read a play in ages and although the story was about very familiar characters, it still felt a bit out of my comfort zone. I wrote a review detailing how I felt about the book, despite all the criticism that surrounded it.
9: Room – Emma Donoghue
A beautiful book on a disturbing story. I really loved Room, especially the character of Jack. I have not seen the movie yet as I am waiting to be mentally ready for it. It might never happen. More of my thoughts on this novel in my review.
8: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Another book, another review! This post is making me realise that I’ve been quite good at reviewing the books I read this year. Hope this continues in 2017.
7: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
6: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
One of my 2016 reading goals was to finish the Harry Potter series. It was an easy one to complete and I loved every minute of it.
5: The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
After my Irish trip, I wanted to read more Irish literature. I also signed up for a free online course on the life and works of Oscar Wilde. I had read The Picture of Dorian Gray when I went to visit my parents in Moscow about four years ago. I remembered loving it but I didn’t remember much else. I am so glad I reread it. The writing is absolutely perfect. I copied so much of the novel in my “quotes” notebook. A masterpiece!
4: Educated – Tara Westover
I read this novel as a manuscript and I was blown away. I think it is coming out early this year, not exactly sure when. This is a memoir and tells the journey of the author, from her sheltered unschooled childhood to her prestigious studies at Cambridge. An eye-opening book on the importance of education and the pressure of family relations. I recommend it 100%.
3: The Martian – Andy Weir
If you’re looking for a funny and suspenseful read, look no further. I wrote a full review of The Martian earlier this year and I have just finally seen the movie, not as good but pretty awesome too (love me some Matt Damon).
2: Chien Blanc – Romain Gary
The Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary is probably my favourite novel of all time. As I wanted to read more of his works, I stole my sister’s copy of Chien Blanc. Although the story is a difficult one of racism, the writing brings so much beauty to it. Much like Wilde, I had to retain myself from copying every sentence. Genius!
1: Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
I don’t know why I didn’t review this title but it was my favourite this year. In this memoir/self-help book, Matt Haig talks about his struggles with depression and anxiety, and how he copes with them. It was a fascinating experience to read someone else describing almost word for word what goes on in my brain when I’m having an anxiety attack, or the feelings I had when I was depressed. I can’t say anything negative about this book. It’s full of truth, hope and humor. Loved it!!!
Ranking all these books was not easy but I think I did alright. Hopefully this gives you a full view of my 2016 reading year. What was your favourite book of 2016? I would love to know.
Next on PowsCorner will be my reading and blogging goals for 2017.