My 2016 in Books

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In true 2016 fashion, my year in books was pretty bad. In 2015, I set a goal of reading 50 books, hit it in September, and tacked on another 25 at the end. My ambition inflated by that success, I set a goal of 100 books this year. And I failed miserably.

As usual, I started off the year with a bunch of kids’ books as part of the Global Reading Challenge. My reading dropped down to one or two books per month when my freelance business took off and I found myself working crazy hours all spring. A summer full of travel and child care – and more work than last year – kept the rate low until I got sick in October. Apparently, I didn’t read a single book in October. In November, I read Egil’s Saga three times, but since I read Egil’s Saga years ago, I couldn’t add it to my Goodreads total.
Then, I got my Goodreads report in the middle of December and thought, “No fair, the year isn’t over yet!” I delayed sharing it so that I could squeeze at least one more book in. But I am reading Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter right now, and it just goes on forever. I’m not sure, but if I finish before New Years, it might dislodge Shantaram as my longest read of the year.
The worst part, though, is that as few books as I read this year, I don’t remember quite a few of them at all. The only ray of light in this bleak report is that I read a couple of books this year that have changed my way of seeing the world forever, and that I am finally, finally, discovering the powerful, amazing, rich, brilliant, erudite, and insightful world of African-American literature.

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The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock

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60 pages
The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabin…
by Nick Bantock
936 pages
by Gregory David Roberts
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
281 pages

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
HIGHEST RATED ON GOODREADS (and for fucking good reason, go read it now!)
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by Ta-Nehisi Coates
4.38 average

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Tua and the Elephant by R.P. Harris
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Hana's Suitcase on Stage by Karen Levin
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
it was amazing
How Tia Lola Saved the Summer by Julia Alvarez
The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary L. Blackwood
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
it was amazing
Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
The Fur Country by Jules Verne
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock
26 Songs in 30 Days by Greg Vandy
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Iceland, Defrosted by Edward Hancox
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Vikings by William W. Fitzhugh
Bukowski in a Sundress by Kim Addonizio
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
it was amazing
Monster White Lies by Kimberly Ann Freel
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream by Wade Rouse
Ivory Vikings by Nancy Marie Brown
Gnarr by Jón Gnarr
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Never Mind the Bullocks by Vanessa Able
The Last First Day by Carrie Brown
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
An Illustrated Viking Voyage by Russell Kaye
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
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You read 34 out of 75 books.
45% (sigh)
On digital bookshelves and in meatspace, may we all have a better 2017.

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