Books · Reading · Writing

2016 in Reading

For the second year in a row, I was unable to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Even though I’d lowered my goal instead of going higher – as is customary for me – I just did not have the time to get to all the books I wanted to read. I tried to do too much… way too much… that I barely left time for myself to sleep. And it still wasn’t enough.

Yet I kept adding to my TBR pile, going nuts with my bookstore “raids”. In fact, my bookcase has really filled up compared to last year. And become so much more beautiful, if  I do say so myself.

Still keeping up the colour synchronisation! And look at all those creatures that have found a home between the books. :D
Still keeping up the colour synchronisation! And look at all those creatures that have found a home between the books. 😀

Still, can’t go (further) into the new year without a wrap-up list!

On the bookish resolution front, I think I’ve failed in almost every aspect. The ones I’ve stuck to are in bold.

  1. I did not read 40 books this year; I only read 32, out of which 4 were for work purposes.
  2. I did not read a single children’s novel.
  3. I did not read any classics.
  4. I did not stop reading books… though I’ve paused them indefinitely (that totally counts!)
  5. I did not read any indie books.
  6. Not only have I spent quite a bit on paperbacks, I’ve also started branching out to hardcovers quite a bit. Sigh.
  7. I did write a review for every book I’ve read. 
  8. I was lured by pretty covers and glowing reviews.

This is so bad. SO BAD. Even when I was buried under mountains of work, I still made time to read, and it breaks my heart that I’m moving backwards instead of forwards. The books on my shelves stare at me accusingly, particularly those I’ve bought more than 3 years ago and have yet to read. And I am going to. I promise I am. Maybe there needs to be an extra hour during the day that I can dedicate to reading.

allow-of-lawAs was the case last year, my favourite read of 2016 was written by Brandon Sanderson – The Alloy of Law. It is an extension of the Mistborn trilogy, and it still has all the elements that made me fall in love with Sanderson’s writing, with the added perks of steampunk and guns and superb new characters. It also helps that I met the author around the time I was reading it, and he signed my copy! Exciting stuff.

patrick-nessOn the other hand, the worst read of 2016 was The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I was taken by how pretty the book looked (beneath that navy jacket we had a bright yellow hardcover with blue-lined pages!) and its completely unique concept, but it was beyond disappointing. It was pointless. So pointless it should not have been written. This was not a good introduction to Patrick Ness.

harry-potterThe most disappointing award goes to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. After waiting for so long and staying up till early hours of the morning to get my hands on this book, I was really disappointed to find that it was simply glorified fanfiction. Of course I was happy to be reunited with all my favourite characters, but the story itself was quite underwhelming. I guess that makes sense since Rowling didn’t even write it, but oh well.

ba4e99718435f314bb0c93f36060cbd9_xlThe books that made me laugh the most were Barakamon (volumes 1 – 12) by Satsuki Yoshino. It’s no secret that I adore manga, and this series is just the best. I bought all the volumes that have been released to date and just breezed through them. So much light-hearted humour and fun and life wisdom… and with every volume I feel like I’m revisiting old friends.

doctor-whoA honourable mention goes to Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell. This year I developed quite the obsession with Doctor Who, after avoiding the show for years and years. Naturally I had to pick up the literature when I ran out of episodes, and this book is beyond great. It captures everything I love about this show and more (and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it features my favourite doctor, haha), and I recommend it to everyone, Doctor Who lovers and otherwise.

And now we’ve come to 2017… and you know what? Aside from a goal of (a measly) 20 books this year, I am not going to make any resolutions. It’s just too much pressure, and I’ve already got plenty on my plate without guilt-tripping myself over not meeting my reading goals. God knows I’ll probably fail in fulfilling my other, non-reading related goals. Plus, I really, really want to try and finish writing (and perhaps publishing?) a book this year, and I think I’ll be mostly focusing on that.

Though perhaps I’ll try harder to restrain myself from buying even more books, haha.

How many books did you read in 2016? What were your best/worst reads? How many are you planning to read in 2017? 


25 thoughts on “2016 in Reading

  1. Uhhah, I only read 9 books this past 2016 though I had to read 12. What a failure. This year I made it my goal to read 8 because taking stock I need to face it I just don’t have time to read anymore.

  2. Agh, I need to read the Mistborn extensions. Loved the original trilogy. I didn’t want to read Harry Potter Unofficial 8. Seemed too good to be true, and too unnecessary. On a side note, is that an Ouran High School Host Club collection on your shelf or is my picture fuzzy?

    1. I’ve only read the first one (Alloy of Law) and it’s brilliant. Bought the second one over the weekend and I can’t wait to dig in! Avoid HP 8 and give yourself the peace of mind. And yes! Yes it is. I absolutely adore Ouran.

  3. As long as you read, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. No resolutions is the best way to read more! 😉
    I had planned to read 42 books, but ended up with 31. Which is good. and bad. Because I don’t think I can remember them all… Worst and Best? I don’t think I have any because I enjoyed them all at some level, I guess. I got fed up with Bridget Jones’ “About a boy,” though… But she always drives me crazy after a few pages… I loved reading about thru-hiking true experiences as I went on my own 37-day hike last September and just LOVE reading about other walks…

    And you know I love Britt’s novels so I’ll patiently wait for the next one to come out… 😉

    Happy reading in 2017!

    1. Oh hey, we read nearly the same number of books! High-five!

      I wonder if it’s a bad thing that you can’t remember any of them… but maybe that’s just me. I love it when books make a lasting impression, good or bad, because they help shape my reading tastes. 🙂 This is the first time I hear the term thru-hiking! Thank you for introducing me to it.

      I have not finished any of Britt’s novels yet! I feel so bad. I’m such a terrible friend. 😦

      Happy reading to you too!

      1. I feel bad for not remembering most of my readings… but I still know what I enjoy more and what I do not. I have read a lot of young adults, fantasy, fiction and non-fiction. It’s pretty much all I read anyway.
        I hope you’ll enjoy some thru-hiking tales too maybe! 😉
        Happy reading!

        1. I have! And I love it. Though I must say, I didn’t quite like the art direction the manga-ka took towards the middle of the series. 😦

  4. Oh my gosh. I agree with HP & the Cursed Child. It was underwhelming and I was so excited when it was released and I had to get one immediately! It was okay, but well….not as good as the original novels. I guess it makes sense since Cursed Child is a play but still…

    1. Oh I dunno. I mean… JKR still wrote the script for Fantastic Beasts and I thought it was really good! So maybe it’s a matter of the author?

      1. Maybe…oh well. Cursed Child was still enjoyable, not on par with the original books, though. I wish I could have watched the play live. Maybe I’ll like it better? I don’t know.

  5. I managed to meet a few goals EXCEPT the list of 25 books that I was supposed to read by the end of the year, lol. OH WELL.

    I really need to read the Mistborn extensions at some point, but then again I always say this about a Sanderson book every. single. time.

    Sorry you didn’t like HP & Cursed Child! Well, actually I’m not surprised, because halfway through the book I had to rewire my brain and ended up enjoying it for what it was, which was pretty good fanfiction. That said, there was a great deal of copping out by the end of it, so yeah, it was a bit disappointing considering how friggin’ excited I was just to get a copy.

    Also, that is a LOVELY Ouran book set. I might have to find myself one, too…

    1. I find it difficult to bind myself to certain titles. New books are always being released and you keep having to find room for them in your TBR pile!

      Oh you should. I mean I’ve only read the one, but it’s so so good.

      As for Cursed Child, I guess I couldn’t deal with the disappointment of having stayed up all night to get the book and then for it to turn out the way it did… I wanted more. 😦

      It is lovely! I’ve always wanted it, and I was frankly broke when I finally found it, but I still got it anyway, haha.

  6. I am sorry to hear that you haven’t reached your goals for two years in a row. Reading the beginning of your post, I could feel your disappointment. So, I have some good news.

    I think I can help you reach that goal of 40 books! I write book reviews over biographies, classics, and nonfiction books on my blog. I’m just starting out, but I post two reviews every week. I think that it might help you to look forward to reading a kind of book you aren’t used to if you knew what to expect from it, so please stop by my page.

    I hope that you reach your goal this year, or sooner.

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