Originally I set a goal to read 12 books in 2016; 1 book a month. I thought it would be hard and I thought I would fall off by mid-year (because that’s how resolutions go, sometimes) but I am actually, very surprised that I surpassed my goal. I started out one book at a time and things escalated from there.The good thing is that once you start reading one book, recommendations from the library and my co-workers started coming in from everywhere. They all helped keep the momentum going. So, here is my list of books that I read this year with a very short summary of how I felt about them:
The Girls by Emma Kline This book was a pretty chill but interesting read. I would recommend this as a vacation read, especially if you’re even a little bit into cults.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff I really loved reading this book. It was so raw and mysterious. I would definitely recommend this.
The Festival of the Greasy Pole by Rene Depestre I was tapping into my roots with this book and while it was interesting, it was kind of a difficult read for me. Due, in part, to the fact that it was translated to english 20+ years after it was written. Skip this one.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty I went into this book blindly only having heard a few things about it. I was pleasantly surprised at it’s relevance to America today and the honesty throughout. I see this as the perfect book club book for black males.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang Super quick read but very interesting. I’m not sure I understand what the heck happened but I finished it and I would read it again.
Liar’s Club by Mary Karr Another struggle book. This one is a memoir and it was a little traumatizing but very, very well written. A little witty and sarcastic to keep the tempo up but I wouldn’t say you have to read this one.
In the Woods by Tana French This book was goooooood super suspenseful, keeps you on your toes, takes a turn that wasn’t really a turn so you’re back at square one but still confused. Just wow. I would recommend this book but I think the ending was blah.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware Another interesting and mysterious read. I definitely enjoyed it but it doesn’t really stand out.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead Definitely not what I was expecting. I thought it would be more of a historical fiction but it was more like a fiction story that took place during slavery. I read this one for the culture and I guess you should too.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz I would skip this one. I think this is one of those books you get assigned to when you’re in high school. It wasn’t bad but, yea. Not in the top 5 at all.
The Mothers by Bria Bennett This book was cute. Skip it, though.
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware What is it with me and these woods, right? This book was pretty interesting. Took a crazy turn but ended pretty blah as well.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi I really enjoyed reading this book, especially after seeing straphanger after straphanger with this book in their hand. I would definitely say give this a go. It’s full of culture and humor and truth and struggle but it’s kind of uplifting.
The Nix by Nathan Hill READ THIS BOOK NO MATTER WHAT! This book I put off for a while because I wasn’t sure what it was about. When I did get an idea, I was just “meh” about it but WOW! This is my favorite book of 2016. I love the authenticity of one of the main characters, Faye. I love the sarcasm and wit and humor. The way the story developed was suspenseful and entertaining. Just do yourself the favor and buy this one. My copy was a loan but I will definitely be purchasing the hard copy. I LOVE this book!
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn I didn’t realize this book was a short story. I really enjoyed it and if you have a few hours, like on a 4-5 hour drive or flight, you should definitely take this one along.
I’m currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed and will be done with it by EOY so I’ll come back with my thoughts on that one soon.
What are some titles you been through this year? What is next on your list?