Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Year In Review

2016 has come and gone and like most bloggers, I like to stop for a minute and take stock of my blog and reading.  I started this blog in 2008, mainly for my own purposes of documenting my reading.  Eight years later, I'm thrilled that others read about my reactions to what I've read, and I hope it helps someone find a great book to read.

It's been a busy year in our house.  Last year was senior year for our daughter with all the 'lasts' that brings.  We had a busy summer, going to Massachusetts for a technology/science conference and then a week at the beach.  I bought a new car and so did Rex.  There were multiple trips to Columbia, South Carolina for admitted students weekends and orientation and then in August our daughter started college at the University of South Carolina.  I love USC and it is a warm, caring place that is perfect for walking and learning to adult.

This year I read 112 books, far from my original goal of 150.  I'm disappointed, but I did accomplish some of my reading goals.  I went back and re-read and then read the last book in the George R. R. Martin epic Game Of Throne series.  I started listening to more books, mostly on long car trips and my daily visits to the gym.  I got sidetracked a bit as I discovered and fell into the world of podcasts, starting with Serial and then Undiscovered, then branching out to others.  I weeded my collection and gave away over five hundred books.  I discovered some great new authors.  I reviewed every book I read.

Of the books I read, these were the best:

1.  The Incantations by Susan Barker
2.  Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
3.  The Small Backs Of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch
4.  The Last Days Of Magic by Mark Thompkins
5.  A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin
6.  Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

These were all great books:

1.  Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
2.  Nutshell by Ian McEwan
3.  The Everman series by James Maxwell
4.  The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
5.  The North Water by Ian McGuire
6.  Lexicon by Max Barry
7.  The Fireman by Joe Hill
8.  The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell
9.  Free Men by Katy Simpson Smith
10.  The House of Rumour by Jake Arnott
11.  A Crucible Of Souls by Mitchell Hogan
12.  The Road To Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
13.  Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

For 2017, my reading goals are:

1.  I still need to hit 150 books so I'll keep that goal.
2.  I want to read at least three books by William Vollman
3.  Three books by Salman Rushdie
4.  I want to read the Wolf Hall series by Hiliary Mantell
5.  Ten books from the Man Booker and Bailey's Women Fiction lists, either past years or current

Happy Reading!

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