It’s BOOK TIME!!!! My 2016 Reading List

Huzzah!  NPR has finally released their 2015 Book Concierge, a categorized and curated list of (in their opinion, which I usually share) the most notable, entertaining, relevant, important, well-written, etc. books of 2015, and for the fourth year in a row I’ve used it to create a reading list for myself for the coming year.

Before we get to that, though, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of my favorites (and not so favorites) from last year’s list.*  From the actual list itself, I think tied for favorite are All the Light We Cannot See and The Girls at the Kingfisher Club.  The second may seem a little silly–it’s a re-imagining of The Tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but I found it entertaining while also being a good examination of how economic inequality can completely paralyze women.  That money absolutely is power.  However, I think my hands-down, favorite book I read this year came from the “also-ran” list.  I thought David Shafer’s Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot was brilliant.  Funny, but also a chilling satire of our technology and culture.  I also thought Euphoria by Lily King was lovely, and Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey was honest and charming.  If I had to pick a “least-favorite” from the main list, it would probably be Lovers at the Chameleon Club.  It drug a bit, and (as I think I’ve noted before) I have a little trouble getting through books in which I don’t really like any of the characters.  I haven’t made it through all of the also-rans, but it took me a bit to get through Land of Love and Drowning for much the same reasons–characters I couldn’t relate to in any way.

Watson

As always, a picture of a library I’ve visited, this one many, many times–Watson Library at KU. I’m obviously grasping at straws here, but don’t worry. Next year’s photo will be envy-inducing.

So, there’s my two cents on books that most people probably read almost two years ago.  Now, let’s talk about the books I’m going to read in 2016 that everyone else read in 2015:

The 2016 Reading List

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell**

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman

The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden

Vermilion by Molly Tanzer

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Gunshot by Amelia Gray

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

The Just City by Jo Walton

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates

Strangers Drowning by Larissa MacFarquhar**

 

Of course, while perusing the list, I ran across several other titles that I thought sounded interesting, and so I’ll also try and get to Step Aside Pops by Kate Beaton, We Are Pirates  by Daniel Handler, Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny, Circling the Sun by Paula McLain, Girls Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato, and The Blondes by Emily Schultz.

Overall, I’m excited to get reading!  We’ve got memoir, politics, history, graphic novel, short stories, fantasy/sci-fi, thrillers, horror, humor.  I think it’s a nicely balanced list.  Also, Nick Hornby, which is always exciting, as he’s one of my favorite authors.  What are you reading next year?  Have you ready any of these?  What did you think?

Now, I’ll you’ll excuse me I must go listen to audio-samples to decide which books I’ll be physically reading and which ones I’ll be listening to.  Yes, I do choose most of my audio-titles based on the narrator’s voice, don’t judge.

 

*This is the first time in a couple years that I’ve actually finished the entire list before the end of the year, so you know, go me and all that.

**This author did not have a website, so the link goes to the New York Times review of the book.