Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review 2016

This year I updated my Goodreads account. That sparked my interest in reading and I went hog wild this year. HOG WILD! Between my three book clubs and the books I read in between, I ended up reading 58 books. That is 19 more than the 39 I read last year which was a personal record for me. I don't even know where I found the time to read so much. And I've had to rework this post, because I don't want to put pictures of 58 books. Instead, I will list my top ten favorites with pics to follow and then all the books I read for the year.

But first some fun statistics from Goodreads. (I really do love that site.) And a couple of my own.

Books: 58

Pages: 19,414

Shortest Book: Interference - 178 pages

Longest Book: Echo - 587 pages

Average Length: 335 pages

Most Popular: The Hobbit

Highest Rating on Goodreads: Cress

Most Read Month: February - 9 books

Least Read Month: November and December - 2 books (Darn those holidays)

Two Stars: The Royal We, The Sisters Brothers, The Neverending Story, Crimson Bound (I don't recommend any of these books.)

Fun huh? It is kind of cool to look back and realize how much time I have ignored my children and lived in another world. (I jest, but only slightly.)

Now for my top 10 eleven.

Seriously, this is hard.

I can't put these in order of liking, so I will just list them all, with pictures to follow.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown - If I had a favorite, it would probably be this one. I love historical narrative. This story was so amazing and well told that even though I knew how it ended, I was still biting my nails as they came to the finish line!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - This was a story of the Lithuania people and the tragedies they suffered during WWII. I knew little of their story and was appalled at the cruelty while being awed by the endurance of people.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - This is simply one of those books that makes you consider at the end. Would you have done the same? Set in modern times with flash backs to war times. Surprise ending which I sort of guessed.

Left to Tell by Ilibagiza Immaculee - I guess many of my picks are books that show the indomitable spirit of man (or woman in this case). This is the true story of a woman who lived in a closet for months as her people were killed around her. Inspiring and hard to read.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer - This is another thinking book. A boy grows up only to find he is a clone. Is he his own person? Does he have his own soul? I loved the character development in this one.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins - Before she wrote Hunger Games, she wrote this series. The whole thing was fantastic. I loved every book, although some more than others of course. The characters were great. I loved the world underneath ours. I especially loved the bats. Not the rats, although one rat was my favorite character. Highly recommend for kids as well.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan - This book was beautiful. Three war stories brought together with a single Harmonica. It was hard to leave one character's story to enter another, but I loved each narrative. Possibly my second favorite of the year.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - This book was eye opening and frightening. It really gave you a clear picture of what Alzheimer's patients endure. It was frightening because when you start reading, you feel like you exhibit all the symptoms. At least I did with my swiss cheese memory.

Interference by Amelie Antoine - Shortest read, but so intriguing. It was like a mini soap opera with twists in it. Strange, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Maybe I shouldn't have.) This was a free book off my Kindle.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - This was a series June got me hooked on. I had to read all three to feel complete. They were highly dramatic in places, but the overall story was enticing and I totally called the ending. Loved them.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt - Had to make room for this last one. This is such a feel good book, with lovable characters and allusions to Shakespeare that keep you laughing and sighing all at once. I want to read this one again.

Phew. And now for the complete list. It was a great year of reading and I am already looking forward to lots of new books in my 3 groups. (We did lose Tim and Ivory in our family group, but both are rejoining in 2017. Woot!)

Go Set a WatchmanHarper Lee
The Adventures of a South Pole PigChris Kurtz
CressMarissa Meyer
Master Toni Sorenson
Spell for ChameleonPiers Anthony
The Vanishing Act of Esme LennoxMaggie O'Farrell
ScarletMarissa Meyer
A Gift of MagicLois Duncan
The Boys in the BoatDaniel James Brown
Daring Greatly Brene Brown
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost StoriesRoald Dahl
The Tale of Emily WindsnapLiz Kessler
The Time Travelers (Gideon the Cutpurse)Linda Buckley-Archer
The Winner's KissMarie Rutkoski
Auggie & MeR. J. Palacio
The Winner's CrimeMarie Rutkoski
Cinder Marissa Meyer
The Winner's CurseMarie Rutkoski
InterferenceAmelie Antoine
A Desperate FortuneSusanna Kearsley
The Bronze BowElizabeth George Speare
The Magician's NephewC.S. Lewis
Help! I'm a Classroom GamblerPete Johnson
Mrs. MikeBenedict Freedman
El DeafoCece Bell
The Royal WeHeather Cocks, Jessica Morgan
A World Without Heroes (Beyonders)Brandon Mull
Gregor and the Code of ClawSuzanne Collins
NogginJohn Corey Whaley
Numbers IgniteRebecca Rode
Gregor and the Marks of SecretSuzanne Collins
Masterminds: Criminal DestinyGordon Korman
Gregor and the Curse of the WarmbloodsSuzanne Collins
Still AliceLisa Genova
The Wednesday WarsGary Schmidt
Gregor and the Prophecy of BaneSuzanne Collins
EchoPam Munoz Ryan
The Girl on the TrainPaula Hawkins
Gregor the OverlanderSuzanne Collins
The Neverending StoryMichael Ende
The House of the ScorpionNancy Farmer
Renegade Magic Stephanie Burgis
The Sisters BrothersPatrick deWitt
AlienatedMelissa Landers
Left to TellImmaculee Ilibagiza
Be a Genie in Six Easy StepsLinda Chapman and Steve Cole
The BFGRoald Dahl
JackpotGordon Korman
The StorytellerJodi Picoult
Crimson BoundRosamund Hodge
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?Mindy Kaling
The HobbitJ.R.R.Tolkien
HideoutGordon Korman
Between Shades of GrayRuta Sepetys
Confessions of a Molly MormonElona K. Shelley
My Very Own FairyMegan Dargan
A Single ShardLinda Sue Park
Counting by 7sHolly Goldberg Sloan

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