The Year in Books

Some years ago — at least a dozen or so, in fact — I began the habit of recording every book I read. Upon finishing one, I write its title and author in a small, hardback journal adorned with a rosy finch ¬†perched on a lavender thistle. As many would agree, 2016 has largely been a real bitch of a year for a myriad of reasons I honestly don’t have the energy to discuss here. Instead, I’ll just leave my Year in Books.

I do recommend most of them with varying levels of enthusiasm, but you can catch up on the best of the best in some of my previous posts here, here, and here, or just look for stars next to choice titles. My top seven are in bold, too.

For the most part, the theme of the year was escapism, so these are mostly fiction with a few non-fiction, poetry, and graphic novels in the mix.


The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing — Kevin Young
*Lab Girl — Hope Jahren
*Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude — Ross Gay
The Bone Clocks — David Mitchell
*Station Eleven — Emily St. John Mandel
*Behind the Beautiful Forevers — Katherine Boo
*The Magicians — Lev Grossman
*The Magician’s King — Lev Grossman
*The Magician’s Land — Lev Grossman
First Bad Man — Miranda July
Boy, Snow, Bird — Helen Oyeyemi
*Ready Player One — Ernest Cline
The Museum of Extraordinary Things — Alice Hoffman
*The Lowland — Jhumpa Lahiri
*Blankets — Craig Thompson
*Between the World and Me — Ta-Nehisi Coates
*Gold, Fame, Citrus — Claire Vaye Watkins
*Euphoria — Lily King
Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern
The Nest — Cynthia Sweeney
*Elfquest (Books 1-8) — Wendy and Richard Pini
*Dune — Frank Herbert
M Train — Patti Smith
*Annihilation — Jeff Vandermeer
*Authority — Jeff Vandermeer
*Acceptance — Jeff Vandermeer
*Dear Mr. You — Mary Louise Parker
Cat’s Cradle — Kurt Vonnegut
*Fun House — Alison Bechdel
Beautiful Ruins — Jess Walter
Fables (volumes 10-13) — Bill Willingham
*The Girls — Emma Cline
*Fool’s Crow — James Welsh
*Where’d You Go, Bernadette? — Maria Semple
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — JK Rowling, J Tiffany, J Thorne
Girl on the Train — Paula Hawkins
*Six of Crows — Leigh Bardugo
*Crooked Kingdom — Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone — Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm — Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising — Leigh Bardugo
Purity — Jonathan Franzen
*Little Terrarium — Hannah Fries
Big Magic — Elizabeth Gilbert
*The Wet Engine — Brian Doyle
*The Underground Railroad — Colson Whitehead¬†

Bonus: Notable Netflix shows:
Stranger Things (creepy 80s nostalgia!)
Black Sails (pirates!)
Peaky Blinders (post-WWI English gangsters!)
Catastrophe (Irreverent marriage/parenting)
The Americans (Soviet Spies!)
Vikings (awesome hairdos!)
Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell (Napoleon-era magicians)
Bob’s Burgers (animated family life)
The League (Assholes!)
Frankie and Grace (70-something women reinventing themselves)
Orange is the New Black (life in a women’s prison)
Miss Fisher’s Mysteries (fabulous clothes!)
The Red Road (reservation intrigue and Jason Momoa)
Game of Thrones (basically all of the above)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *