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Monday, December 26, 2016

My Year in Books

 Dear Readers, It's been a stellar year in books for me.  According to my Goodreads site,  I should hit the 50 mark by the end of the week. We are going on a family trip tomorrow and I hope to read two more books by the end of the week. I'm currently reading S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders for the first time ever. My dear friend Evelyn gave me a 50th Anniversary signed copy for Christmas and I'm ashamed I've never read it. My older daughter adores that book and taught it to her eighth graders last year. So I will finish it before 2016 ends. I'm concurrently reading the sixth of the Canadian author Louise Penny's mystery novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. These books have been a real delight to me and I have at least six more in the series! They are my late-night-don't-turn-on-the-light reads on my Kindle Paperwhite.

But today I want to share my highest rated books of the year. My five star books this year were: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (my reviewThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (my review), When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr.  

My four star books included all The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante (my review), A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Miss Jane by Brad Watson, Arcadia by Lauren Groff, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant, Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, and a few more. 

The longest book I read was A Little Life and the shortest book was Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Both were equally rewarding.  Jon Michaud, reviewing A Little Life in the New Yorker, said: "Yanagihara’s novel can also drive you mad, consume you, and take over your life. Like the axiom of equality, 'A Little Life' feels elemental, irreducible—and, dark and disturbing though it is, there is beauty in it." This book draws you into the story of a post graduate friendship between four men in New York City. The story travels forward as the men grow older and one character's past becomes to reveal itself and you are already hooked on the book and can't stop reading even as the story grows dark. Now that I think about this book, I'm not sure why I didn't give it five stars.

A Little Life is an amazing work of fiction. So add that to my five star list! Who knows, I might even have one more before this year ends.