So that was 2016

What a year. In a way, with all the retreating from reality I’ve felt compelled to do, I’m not surprised that I read 106 books over the last 12 months.

On Instagram, there’s a Best 9 meme. I did a best 9 books that I read last year.


The Magic Toyshop just nudged Wild out of that selection, but it was close between them.

My longest read was Parade’s End at 912 pages. It’s not one I’d recommend wholeheartedly. The shortest was A Geisha for the American Consul, Lesley Downer’s delightful short story, which was only 56 pages but packed a good amount in.

The worst books I read were The Museum of Things Left Behind and Comrades in Miami, which I threw in the bin after I’d finished it, because it made me so angry.

I gave 13 books 5 stars and only the two above a 1 star rating.

51 of the books I read were by women. I made an effort to only read books by women in October and discovered that I prefer a mix of voices in my reading.

I read plenty of books I would never have picked up, thanks to the reading challenges run by The Reader’s Room. The Olympic Challenge they set led to some creative reading, with plenty borrowed from the library.

I tried to diversify my reading to include more books by or about differently abled people, something I found really difficult. I discovered that I don’t know how to search for books that fulfill that as a criterion. If anyone has any tips, please leave a comment below.

Parade’s End was 2016’s World War One book. In 2017, I plan to read Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy as part of my personal challenge to read a Great War book for each centenary year.

I also intend to blitz my TBR this year. I was shocked to calculate that I had 123 on the list in November. In December I managed to read seven books I already own, but then got books for Christmas which cancelled a few of those out, so the list is still 121 strong. One of the books my husband bought me for Christmas was Susan Hill’s Howard’s End is on the Landing, which is inspiration for reading more from the pile before I buy any more. I wish myself luck with with that, yes.

How did you do last year? What were your highlights? Which books did you wish had never darkened your door?

2 thoughts on “So that was 2016

  1. Happy New Years! 🙂
    I failed to reach my reading goal and only read 30 books this year. At first I gave myself a lot of hard time because of that but then decided there was no point and rolled up my sleeves to do more reading in 2017. I seem to stop reading during summer months, there is just so much to do..
    The two Lithuanian books I read for The Reader’s Room must be my highlights, even though I was not able to rate them. It was just.. too hard for me, so I gave up.
    GR says these were the 6 best books of the year:
    1. Louise Erdrich – The Painted Drum
    2. Isabel Allende – Daughter of Fortune
    3. Sebastian Barry – The Secret Scripture
    4. Gerbrand Bakker – The Twin
    5. J.K. Rowling – The Casual Vacancy
    6. Ian McEwan – Atonement
    I soured the end of my year a tad with Bukowski’s Women. There were things I liked about it but generally it was rather distasteful. Also, I failed to appreciate Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse :O
    How do you choose what to read next from your TBR?
    Oh, and do you have a GR profile or instagram? 🙂


    1. Happy New Year, Inga!
      Sometimes it is difficult to rate books, I know. Occasionally I give an arbitrary rating just for the sake of it, and then months later I wonder why. Sometimes the book has stayed with me for longer and deserves a higher rating. Other times I’ve forgotten why I enjoyed it so much at the time.
      30 books is a good haul. I read instead of watching tv, which is why my tally is pretty high. I used to think 50 was a lot of books. This year has been a year of retreating into literature, which is another reason my count is high.
      I hated To The Lighthouse. I struggle with Virginia Woolf. The only thing by her I’ve enjoyed has been The Waves, purely because it was unlike anything else I’ve read.
      I like Bukowski, though. In spite of his distastefulness. I know what you mean. His attitude is appalling. But I like his writing style, and I like how women are strong in his books, regardless of how he sees them.
      At the moment, my TBR choices are governed by The Reader’s Room Winter Challenge. Outside of that, I look at my LibraryThing list and see what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes it’s page length, other times it’s author, other times it’s random.
      I do have a GR profile but I’m rarely on there. I prefer LibraryThing. On Instagram I’m missizhicks.

      Liked by 1 person

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