what i’ve been reading in 2016

I thought it would be fun to try to capture the essence of each of the books I’ve read this year in as few words as possible.

  1. Extraordinary Means (fiction, by Robyn Schneider): medical ethics explored through young adult fiction in an alternate reality
  2. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (fiction, by Jan-Philipp Sendker): transporting epic love story
  3. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (non-fiction, illustrated edition, by Michael Pollan): sensible eating with fun pictures
  4. The Beach House (fiction, by Mary Alice Monroe): mothers, daughters, turtles
  5. Made You Up (fiction, by Francesca Zappia): lovable mentally ill protagonist surviving  high school
  6. The Magicians (fiction, by Lev Grossman): Harry Potter meets Narnia, but more cynical and with some R-rated content
  7. A Man Called Ove (fiction, by Fredrik Backman): love and death, laughter and tears
  8. The Risk Pool (fiction, by Richard Russo): fathers, sons, small-town upstate New York
  9. Bewteen the World and Me (non-fiction, by Ta-Nehisi Coates): poetic description of life in a black body
  10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (fiction, by Neil Gaiman): a spooky little fairy tale
  11. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (non-fiction, by Rebecca Skloot): the woman whose cervical cells revolutionized biomedical research, unfortunately without informed consent
  12. Best Boy (fiction, by Eli Gottlieb): dramatic times at an assisted living center, from the perspective of a homesick autistic man
  13. The Forgotten Sister: Mary Bennet’s Pride and Prejudice (fiction, by Jennifer Paynter): the story of Mary, the Bennet sister that is left out of most of the action in Pride and Prejudice
  14. Americanah (fiction, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie): an outspoken young Nigerian woman moves to the US (where she loves, blogs, and encounters racism), and years later, returns to Nigeria

Some books on deck for 2017 are Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik), The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak), Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (by Trevor Noah), All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood (by Jennifer Senior), and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (by Fredrik Backman).

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