What I read in 2016

This is my third year aiming to read 26 books. Happy to report I hit my goal again this year, with three weeks to spare! There’s still time for me to slip in another book or two, but here’s the list as it stands today.

  1. We Were Liars
  2. The Girl With No Past
  3. What Alice Forgot
  4. Big Little Lies
  5. A Reunion of Ghosts
  6. My name is Lucy Barton
  7. How to be Single
  8. Euphoria
  9. The Widow
  10. The Nest
  11. One Plus One
  12. Black Eyed Susans
  13. All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
  14. The Girls
  15. Reconstructing Amelia
  16. Find Her
  17. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  18. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
  19. The Hopefuls
  20. Good as Gone
  21. With Malice
  22. The Wonder
  23. Everything We Keep
  24. Wintergirls
  25. Bad Feminist
  26. The Royal We

Check out my lists from 2014 and 2015 and let me know in the comments what I should line up for 2017!

What I read in 2015

Last year, I participated in the Read 26 Indy challenge and decided to make it an annual goal. Here’s what I ended up reading in 2015:

  1. The House at Riverton
  2. Audience
  3. Unbroken
  4. The Silkworm
  5. The Girl on the Train
  6. Wild
  7. The Maze Runner
  8. The Scorch Trials
  9. The Death Cure
  10. The Kill Order
  11. Purge: Rehab Diaries
  12. Heartburn
  13. All the Light We Cannot See
  14. Sprinkles
  15. Indy Writes Books
  16. Modern Romance
  17. What I Did While You Were Breeding
  18. London Holiday
  19. The Bell Jar
  20. Room
  21. Career of Evil
  22. Behind the Cloud
  23. Why Not Me
  24. Creativity, Inc.
  25. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
  26. Circling the Sun

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What was your favorite book this year? What should I get on my list for 2016?

Read 26 Indy

When I was 10, my Papa Charlie and I were out shopping and came across one of the thickest books I’d seen up to that point: The Book of Virtues by William Bennett. Clocking in at 800+ pages, he joked about how no one could finish a book that long and I defiantly stated that I could. We left the store and I thought no more of it.

Read26IndyFast forward to Christmas that year when Papa Charlie hands me a heavy present: The Book of Virtues. Wide-eyed and excited, I immediately started reading and was finished within days.

Read26Indy papa

I’ve always been a voracious reader. If it’s a particularly good book, I will completely immerse myself in the story, only occasionally coming up for air. There’s just something about a good book that takes you away from this world. I love movies too but it’s different. Maybe it’s because the characters and scenes can materialize in a number of ways in your mind while reading a book, whereas you are forced into one interpretation while watching a movie.

As much as I love reading, it’s become more and more difficult to carve time out of my day for it. That’s why I was excited to learn about the #Read26Indy challenge and use it as motivation to make reading a priority again.

The goal was simple enough: Read 26 books by the end of the year. I learned a few things on my adventure through 26 (well, 27) books in 2014:

  1. I wish I would have kept a running list of books I’ve read throughout my life. I can’t even imagine how long it would be, not including the books I’ve read multiple times.
  2. I’ve also started a running list of books I want to read next and ones recommended by friends – something I also wish I would have started a long time ago.
  3. When I find an author I like, I tend to read everything by them. (ex: Kate Morton, John Green)
  4. I know there’s a lot of debate among purists about the Kindle. I have an overflowing bookcase in my bedroom and love it. But the Kindle is just too convenient, especially when traveling. For my part, I did a mix of both in 2014. Indy Reads Books is a fantastic shop on Mass Ave that supplied more than a few of my selections.
  5. For the first time that I can remember, I gave up on a book. I got about 100 pages into Anna Karenina, which is on almost every “must read classics” list, before realizing I was forcing myself to get through each page. Reading should be fun, not work. Unless it’s literally for school or work of course. Sorry, Leo.
  6. I didn’t love everything I read (see above) but the challenge reminded me how much I love and miss reading. In my limited free time, mindless Netflix marathons can take over (and are so necessary sometimes) but I need to keep reading a priority.

So, onto the list. If there’s anything you want recommendations on, drop a note in the comments and I’ll let you know my thoughts.

  1. Allegiant
  2. If I Stay
  3. The Husband’s Secret
  4. Where She Went
  5. The Distant Hours
  6. One More Thing
  7. Looking for Alaska
  8. The Corporate Creative
  9. Honey Do You Need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner
  10. The Complete Graphic Designer
  11. Graphic Design Solutions
  12. The Mill River Recluse
  13. The Secret Keeper
  14. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  15. My Sister’s Keeper
  16. Black Chalk
  17. A Life Without Limits
  18. Mrs. Dalloway’s Party
  19. The Awakening
  20. Madame Bovary
  21. This Is Where I Leave You
  22. The Forgotten Garden
  23. The Children Act
  24. Yes Please
  25. Paper Towns
  26. Rain Girl
  27. The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch

Did you participate in #Read26Indy? What did you take away from the experience? What was the best book you read this year? The worst? Have you ever given up on a book?