12 Books In 2016

Once upon a time, in junior high through college, I was a huge reader. I’d often have four or five books going at once & loved most books. Heck, I was even in the “advanced reading club” for most of elementary school (hello: nerd alert!) I still have a very soft spot for all things book-related & it made me sad that, as an adult, I had basically stopped reading things that weren’t online. So last year, I challenged myself to read 12 books – one per month should be do-able, right? Well, I had to cram at the end & barely made it. This year, I vowed to do better.

And boy have I! Largely thanks to the Kindle Paperweight that B got me for Christmas (I had resisted an e-reader for so long!), I have been reading up a storm & have already finished ten books this year. This was greatly helped along by our cruise, where I read three & a half books in 10 days. I’m also happy to report that I have a few other books going at the same time right now (biographies of Andrew Jackson & Hamilton, a collection of Nora Ephron essays & a book about introverts).

Here’s what I’ve read so far in 2016 – any recommendations on what to add to my list for the rest of the year?

PS You can follow my project along on Instagram using the hashtag #12booksfor2016!

book1Book 1: The Martian
by Andy Weir.

This is probably the first sci-fi book I’ve read since Ender’s Game was forced upon me in 8th grade. And I loved every single minute of it! Sure, I didn’t understand half the science stuff that was going on, but I was absolutely riveted by it. No, I haven’t seen the movie & don’t plan to, as I have heard the book is better… but it was still fun picturing Matt Damon the entire time I was reading.


Book 2: Dead Wake
by Erik Larson

LOVED this book. Probably my favorite I’ve read so far this year. It was also the first book I read on my e-reader, although I don’t think the two things are correlated. You’ll find yourself actually rooting for the passengers of the Lusitania, even though you know how it’s going to end. I understand from others that all of Erik Larson’s books are like this, so I’ve added a few of them to my “read next” list.


Book 3: Girls Waits With Gun
by Amy Stewart

I never in a million years would have picked up this book had I not joined a book club this spring! It was a quick 400 pages of fiction, based loosely on the true story of America’s first female deputy sheriff. Confession: I was so into this book at one point that one day, as I was running early for work, I stopped in a Starbucks & read for 20 minutes.


Book 4: Playing for Pizza
by John Grisham

I had never even heard of this book, which was published in 2007, before a friend recommended it to me. I actually read a ton of John Grisham crime thrillers in high school, so I was surprised at how non-Grisham-like this book is. It’s the first book I finished on our cruise &, despite being in the middle of the Caribbean, it had me dreaming of Italy & the crisp fall days which accompany football season.


Book 5: Life & Other Near Death Experiences
by Camille Pagan

I didn’t love this book (probably my least favorite out of those I’ve finished), but it was the Princess Cruises book club selection for my voyage (yes, that’s really a thing & yes, it’s fabulous) & it was an easy read. The epilogue alone could have been a book in itself…


Book 6: The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

The only other physical, non-e-reader book I’ve read so far this year, I picked this up in the Princess on-board library (I love ship & hotel libraries for this very reason!) I read the book in one day – staying up until 2am one morning to finish it! I was totally captivated by it, although I didn’t love the main character. I see now that it’s being turned into a movie with Emily Blunt (who I love)… maybe she’ll make me change my mind about the main character!


Book 7: All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Who hasn’t read this book? Somehow I missed it last year when it came out, which made me woefully unprepared for how heavy it would be. Like most people, I skimmed parts that weren’t essential to the plot line & fell in love with other parts. It’s definitely the fastest I’ve ever read 500 pages – & the Biscoff didn’t hurt either!


Book 8: Gratitude
by Oliver Sacks

After All the Light, I kind of hit a wall. I didn’t like my book club selections two months in a row (didn’t get more than a quarter of the way into them) & felt like everything I picked up was blah. I read this book in one sitting: 42 pages on my morning bus commute. It was rejuvenating & refreshing & is a great reminder that the little things in life really do matter.


Book 9: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
by David Sedaris

Still in a bit of a book funk, I knew that Mr. Sedaris’s incredible wit & sarcasm would be exactly what I needed to pull me out. He’s probably the only author who I regularly actually laugh out loud to!


Book 10: The Art Forger
by B.A. Shapiro

Another book I never would have picked up if it hadn’t popped up in my local library’s list of “popular” e-books. If you love art or museums or mysteries, this is a good one.

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About christina

Christina is a 30-something D.I.N.K. travel writer & photographer who travels the world often wedged into the middle seat. Follow her on Twitter & Facebook.


4 Responses to 12 Books In 2016

  1. Andrea Anastasiou May 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these! I have read some of them, but I’m always on the look out for new book recommendations so I’ll be returning to this list once I’ve made my way through the many books that are stacking up in my living room!

    • christina May 19, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

      Any books in your stack I should add to my list?


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