2016 reads (mostly fiction)

I continue to be terrible at keeping up with posting about the books I read, but here goes, anyway.

(And I know I owe the world an update about the books I’m writing, but this is part of my productive procrastination method in which I write about one thing to avoid writing about something else. The end result is that I’ve written about one of the things I wasn’t writing about before, so it’s a net gain.)

This is what I’ve read so far this year, in January and February 2016.

Fiction

Other than The Martian, which I read after watching the movie because I enjoyed the main character so much, the rest of my fiction reading comes directly from the Bookish Trivia reading list.

The trivia competition was moved from its original date (I think it was in February sometime) to the end of April. So now I’ve read all the books and probably won’t remember anything about them by the time the grand night occurs. Oh well. They were good books.

Americanah, in particular, blew my mind. It not only shifted some of my perspectives on race, but it echoed my own experiences moving to America. Where’d You Go, Bernadette was a quirky read, well-written and interesting.

  • The World to Come: A Novel by Dara Horn
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple
  • The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

YA Fiction

For the most part, my reading has been centered on YA fiction lately (and I now realize YA isn’t truly a genre of its own, thanks to Chuck Wendig’s lovely rantings on the subject of YA as a genre, but I’m not up for further categorizing my reading into fantasy, sci-fi, realistic, romance, etc.)

First, I finished the (somewhat dreadful) Life As We Knew It series. I’d already read the first two books, why not read the last two? They were quick reads and This World We Live In wasn’t bad, although the characters began to grate on me. But then, I’ve never lived through starving times without electricity (oh wait, yes I have, actually, it’s just the rest of my community wasn’t doing it at the same time). The last book, though, made me want to yell at it. I read it anyway.

Then it was on to another Bookish Trivia book, John Green’s Looking for Alaska, which was a good read.

My lovely husband gave me Carry On as a birthday gift, which I’d put off buying based on reviews (and purchased Landline, instead). But it turns out that I seem to love everything Rainbow Rowell writes. I found Carry On awesome, hilarious and just about perfect, hitting all the right notes. I also realized that the lack of fanfic in my list means I’ve missed out on so much good stuff.

The last of the Maze Runner books wrapped up my young adult meanderings through dystopian futures, gritty boarding school realism, fantasy and sci-fi over the last two months. I’m clearly a sucker for a series, even if I don’t want to read it anymore. I generally liked this series but was glad the story was done when it was. I was happy enough with its conclusion and could let them go on living their fictional lives.

  • This World We Live In (Life As We Knew It Series Book 3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • The Shade of the Moon (Life As We Knew It Series Book 4) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, Book 3) by James Dashner

Memoir

I’m not reading much memoir these days, because I’m not writing it, but this book is the story of the mother of one of my husband’s long-time work friends. It was an interesting look at her life and I wish her peace as she continues her journey into Spirit.

  • Tell Me You Love Me: A Sharecropper’s Daughter Tells Her Story by Loretta Miller Mehl

Inspirational

Look a new category: inspirational. It’s just non-fiction, really. Here are the non-fiction titles I have started this year, but not yet finished (and may never…?) but that were inspirational, all the same.

As you can see, I failed in my quest to finished Brené Brown’s I Thought It Was Just Me. As excellent as it was, I was distracted by fiction once again and my library borrow expired. And you can’t renew e-books, which sucks.

I will eventually learn my lesson and just buy the non-fiction titles I want to read, like I did with Structuring Your Novel, which I’m wading through and will finish. I will. It’s very useful for the project I’m working on at the moment (I really will write about it soon).

FYI, I read the astral travel book because one of the kids wants to learn how to do it, so I read along with him throughout most of it (all the instructions, so I could help him). He hasn’t achieved success on his quest yet and hopefully won’t get into too much mischief once he does. It’d make vacations cheaper, though (just send your astral self).

  • Astral Travel for Beginners by Richard Webster
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” by Brené Brown
  • Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K.M. Weiland