2016 Reading Wrap-up – Part 2

Hi all,

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

51uowvadeylI’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

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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

P1070048I 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.P1060453.

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

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_special_rehearsal_edition_book_cover

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 reviewP1070067

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 2017.51be6sbnrol-_sx318_bo1204203200_

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

P1050760After 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).

P1070320

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

412bfwk3td9l-_sy344_bo1204203200_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.

Toodles,

Pow.

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