2016, if you go by my Goodreads Reading Challenge (currently at 32/50), was a year of thrillers and non-fiction. Along the way I read a lot of lackluster crime novels and many biographical gems. The following are my favourites reads for 2016. These are items I read in 2016, but were not necessarily were published in 2016.
Author: Sierra DeMulder It’s great to see one of my favourite poets come out with another published collection. She sings to my heart with her rumination on life as a modern, flawed woman.
Fiction: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter A fast-paced and complex thriller showing how insidious criminals can be. The two main female protagonists were dimensional and captivating. I listened to this on Audible and the voice actors really made it.
Poetry Collection: Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
My favourite poems in particular are ‘The Seven Layers of Hell’ and ‘Exodus 33:20’. The poems on dementia and eating disorders were touching, and her reflections on her romantic relationships engaging. DeMulder is my favourite modern poet.
This year I decided to take part in the Goodreads Challenge. Namely, reading 50 books in one year. As a friend pointed out to me, that’s just more than one book per week.
This realisation filled me with trepidation. I am a full time teacher, and so my life is filled with school during the week….then marking and planning most weekends. Add a social life, exercise and managing a chronic illness to that…. how was I going to manage?
The first thing I did when taking part in this challenge was vow not to beat myself up if I don’t reach the 50 books goal. Last year, I read 17. But regardless, whatever number I reach at the finish line will be a job well done.
Secondly, I decided I would listen to audiobooks. This was because after work, my eyes are way too tired to focus on a book or screen. Being able to flop on my bed and listen to a story is paradise. This also means I can clock in more ‘reading’ time by listening to an audiobook on the commute to work.
So far, I’ve had a few hits and misses with the books I’ve read for this challenge. I like to read a broad range. My faves so far have been Ellyn Saks’ memoir of living with schizophrenia, The Centre Cannot Hold and Philip K Dick’s alternate WW2 universe The Man In The High Castle. I have to say that Stars Over Sunset Boulevard deeply disappointed me, but that’s no one’s fault but mine as I miatakenly read too much into the blurb and thought it was a lesbian romance. Spoiler: it was not!