Saturday, December 31, 2016

And Good Riddance - Wrapping Up 2016

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!



11 comments:

  1. I sure hope 2017 is a better year. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too! I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you.

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  2. My first book of the year is going to be the one I am trying to finish tonight and probably won't! Are you reading more on your e-reader or physical books? I have been reading more books but am thinking about going back to the e-reader. It seems to be easier with tri-focals!

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    1. Yes, I have several I'm still working on -- I really haven't been able to do any reading at all this month. This year, I've read a lot more e-books than paper ones. Hoping to make it more of an even split next year -- I've got so many "real" books I need to read and get off my shelves. Yeah, I know what you mean about the glasses -- maybe I'd be better off just going over to audio-books. (Do you really have tri-focals?)

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    2. audio books are great if the narrator is good. If not, not so much! I listened to one that was narrated by the author and it was dreadful! That is sad! Yes, dear, I have had trifocals for years now. But this time I bought really trendy frames! I read that people with gray hair shouldn't buy tortoise shell frames and "mature" people shouldn't wear big, square frames as it is ageing - they should wear delicate, pastel frames. So, I bought the big square tortoise shell ones. Such a rebel!

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    3. Yes! I was thinking of going with big ROUND tortoise shell next time I get new glasses. But I'm also seriously considering going back to contacts. I am soooo fed up with constantly changing from reading to regular to reading to regular -- and then I need completely different ones for looking at the computer screen. Getting old is such a treat.

      I don't think I could really do audiobooks -- I like to hear my own voice in my head when I'm reading. Also, I have tinnitus in my left ear, which is a problem if I try to use headphones or earbuds for very long. Like I said, such a treat.

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  3. Hoping 2017 will be a good year. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you! And Happy New Year to you, too!

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  4. LibraryThing? I tried using that and it capped me at 200 books. Has that policy been discontinued?

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    1. Hi, Stephen. I think the free accounts are still limited to 200 books -- but the paid memberships aren't too expensive if you want to list more. I've got so many books, I really need something to help me keep track.

      Thanks for the visit, and happy reading in 2017!

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  5. I enjoyed The Girls, Miller's Valley, and Vinegar Girl...great minds think alike! LOL.

    I have been eyeing Dark Matter. Have a wonderful year, and I'm happy that 2016 is in the rear view mirror.

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