Saturday, January 7, 2017

End of Year Reading Round-Up

I'm a bit behind on this, but that's ok.  My Goodread's goal for 2016 was 150 books and I missed my goal by 4 books, not bad.

I'll list some of my favorite books of the year in no particular order and write a little about why they made my list.

1. by Khalid Hosseini
 The Kite Runner
This one had been on my TBR list for quite some time and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.  Such a sad story and so full of self-discovery, who we are and who we thought we were.  The story set in Afghanistan and California will be with me for a good long while and remind me to think of how I treat others.

2. Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier

Another book about discovering who we are and how one simple act can change our world.

3.  The Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Sort of a cookbook, but so much more, telling the story of Eva who has the palate of a lifetime and becomes a world class cook and the people she meets through the years.

4.  Commonwealth by Anne Patchatt
What can I say, I love her writing and this is one of her best.  A kiss at a christening party affects a dozen lives.

5.  Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
What we don't tell others is often more devastating than what we do tell.  Growing up a mixed race family Chinese/Anglo  is harder than it looks and family expectations can destroy us.

6.  Be Frank With Me  by Julia Claiborne Johnson
What a great little book, I did not want it to end!  She works for a publisher in New York City, a reclusive author Mimi,  think of a female J.D. Salinger, must finally write a new novel, but she needs someone to run her house and take care of her son Frank while she does it so her publisher sends her Alice.  Frank is a joy, so Fred Astaire and Errol Flynn and so much more.

7.  Sacred Hearts by Sarah Durant
Imagine being put into a convent in Italy in 1570 against your will, how could you get out.  Fascinating story.

8.  She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Another great book by him.

9.  The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Slow going, but so worth it.

It was not a banner year for books, many I just read, lots of mysteries that though they're good will probably never make my best list.
Hoping for more good books in 2017.


  1. Thank you for the great book list! I read 'The Kite Runner' a couple of years ago and it was such a great book. I've read two others by this author and they are all wonderful and deeply moving. I'll be putting these selections in my 'To read' list! x Karen

  2. Everything I never told you looks like a great read. I must put it on my list for 2017. JX

  3. I love how you can put a book in a few sentences. Not many can do that. You are truly a reader. Enjoyed hearing about each one.

    I haven't got a book list for 2017 yet. Trying to stay on top of reading through the Bible again, and some of my devotionals...will get on to my fun reading and novels soon. Thanks for all the reading encouragement.

  4. I am ashamed to say that reading was not a priority for me in 2016, I seemed to be so busy with other things. I intend to take a slower pace and enjoy more reading this year.

  5. 146 books, I am impressed! I loved the night train to Lisbon. It is written by a fellow Swiss, which is why I picked it up in the first place. Here's to another fantastic reading year. x

  6. I haven't read any of those, they look good. Many thanks :)

  7. The only one I've read isSacred Hearts and I thought it was very interesting. Didn't know the author has a new one out. I'll have to see if I can get it.

  8. I haven't read any on your list. I did borrow the audio book of The Kite Runner. I found it disturbing, didn't finish listening. I might have done better with it as a regular book--something I could put down for a breather when it got too intense and graphic.

  9. That's a lot of books! Really an impressive goal and just half would've been tremendous. Sadly, I seem to be collecting them to read in my old age I guess. Better get going as time flies and they won't read themselves.

  10. I've read the Kite Runner and She Came Undone. Hadn't heard of the others. I've read a lot of books in 2016. Some were very noteworthy. Enjoyed "The Last Telegram" by Liz Trenow, "The Ruins of Us" by Keija Perssinew, "The Secrets we Left Behind" by Susan Elliot Wright within the past month. In this particular season of my life, I needed to find books with a lot of conflict in them; helped to keep my mind off my problems. These all fit the bill.

    The important thing is, we are reading, right?


  11. Oh, so nice to know you are a passionate reader too! I read last year 142 books, but set a Goodreads goal now at ONLY 100 :) Of those you mentioned I have read Mercier's Night train to Lisbon and found it really good. There is also a movie based on the book, Jeremy Irons in the leading role...

  12. Wow, that's a lot of books, well done. I haven't read any of those on your list so some might just make it on to my to read list.

  13. I loved both the film and the book of The Kite Runner. It made me realise how beautiful Afghanistan must have been in its heyday, and how sadly now it has all but disappeared.

  14. What an amazing number of books you've read, and a great selection too.

    All the best Jan

  15. Despite the number of books I read last year, I haven't read any of these!

  16. My! 146 books! That's amazing, like a book every other day? I am impressed, Janet. I am a slackard when it comes to reading, especially novels. They just don't interest me like they used to. So my reading focuses on "work"--storytelling, folklore, glass identification, and occasionally poetry and anthologies of short stories. But your post makes me want to pick up a novel again.

  17. You definitely read a lot last year! The Kite Runner and Everything I Never Told You are both on my to-read list. Maybe I'll get to them this year.


                               GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS Anyone who blogged with Janet knew she was a huge livelong fan of ...