Yes, definitely goodbye and good riddance! 2016 has been one of the weirdest and most disturbing years I can remember and I'm definitely glad to see it moving along. It's also been one of the slowest reading years I've experienced in — well, years. Not only did I not make my 50-book goal (didn't even get to 40 books — pretty bad), but I also fell way behind in my reviewing and blogging. Don't know why I had such a hard time, but I'm looking forward to getting a nice fresh start in 2017.
So, anyway...time for some wrapping up, taking stock, and looking ahead.
I don't always rate books here on the blog, but I do over at Library Thing; and as I look back over the books I did get through, I realize there were quite a few 4-star books in this year's crop (no 5-stars, but I don't hand out that rating to very many books). And I suppose if I had to pick one favorite from the entire list, it would be Henry James's Daisy Miller. I guess you can't go wrong reading the classics.
And in the more recent group, I'd probably have to say my favorite was Kate DiCamillo's 2014 Newbery Winner, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Yes, I read kiddie lit, and don't mind admitting it! But Flora & Ulysses is really a treat for readers of any age.
From among the books published in 2016, I think my top picks would be Jonas Karlsson's The Invoice (although I believe it was originally issued in 2011), and Far From True, Linwood Barclay's second novel in his Promise Falls trilogy. Also very much enjoyed Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, The Girls by Emma Cline, Miller's Valley (which was my introduction to Anna Quindlen's work), and Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler.
So, even though I didn't read as much as I'd hoped, I did read some books I really enjoyed and discovered a few new authors. Guess I shouldn't be too disappointed with myself.
For the New Year, I've been trying to come up with a list of bookish resolutions, but it always seems to come down to "read more books" and "be a better blogger." Not very helpful. I've never been very good with resolutions, anyway. I've also been trying to come up with a First Book of the Year choice. Ideally it should be something short, and involving — a book that grabs me right from the first page and doesn't let me go until that final exquisite sentence. And I don't run into many like that these days. Maybe I'll just stick with the tried and true, and pick a book from one of the many mystery series I've got going — very possibly a Mrs. Malory novel (by Hazel Holt), I only have three more of those to finish the series. Hmmm.
OK, time to shut up now. Happy New Year, everyone! And happy reading in 2017!