126 books in 2017

I read 90 books in 2016, so that means I read 38% more books in 2017! Want to see what I read?

books2017_1

books2017_2

(I think that’s only 125 covers, but I remembered another book later that I forgot to record, but it was really a novella so it’s okay. Maybe I should say I read 125.5 books this year?)

In any case, this year I’m going to be more organized and instead of just saving screenshots of the covers (since 99% of the books I read are on my phone) I’ll use Goodreads like I should have all along. (I used Goodreads to generate these graphics, btw.) (You can follow me here, if you like.)

The books are shown in the order I read them in so you can see that sometimes I’ll find an author that I enjoy, and then read the crap out of whatever the library has. Some authors I devoured everything I could get my hands on either because I loved their books (Tana French, Jenny Han) or because I couldn’t find anything better to read (Nancy Thayer, Sarah Morgan.)

I read a lot of YA this year (Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, Geekerella.) I was surprised at how much better The Nightingale was than most of Kristen Hannah‘s other books, though many of them were very enjoyable. But I mean, what, did she take a writing class before writing that?

I also read a surprising (to me, when I look back over the year) number of memoirs. Probably the first half of Shrill was my favorite. I spent most of Cat Marnell’s book on edge and feeling very nervous for her.

You can also see that I read a lot of fluff (unapologetically) which probably explains why I can read 126 books in 365 days. I’m also happy to say I think I purchased only one of these books, and it was the aforementioned novella, and the proceeds went to charity. Libraries FTW!

High points:

Low points:

  • All the books that I know I read but can’t recall at all.
  • The two Danielle Steel books that are the books I am ashamed of reading. They were just so terrible. I get these from the library when desperate. But they’re the only two books I’m embarrassed for you to see here. I should have stopped reading three pages in.
  • The latter of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series that I read. I enjoyed the first one, but my enjoyment lessened the further I got into the series. They were kind of a slog to read, but I was desperate for more dark mysteries after I’d finished the Tana French books.
  • A book you won’t see listed – Into the Water. I just could not get into it. I hate not finishing books (see Danielle Steel, above), but life’s too short.

Overall, though, it was a good year for reading. On to 2018! I don’t have any quantity goals but I’d be happy to match 2017. I’m currently on book #8, so I’m on my way!

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Ninety books in 2016

I’ve never kept track of the books I’ve read, but last year I decided to, just because I was curious just how many books I read in a typical year. Well, that kind of backfired because by keeping a list, I made myself read more.

I assumed it was around 100 books a year, and I wasn’t too far off. By New Year’s Eve, I’d finished 90. I’ll bet my actual yearly average is closer to 75.

 

What were some standouts? In order of when I read them, though I should warn you that I don’t remember the ones from the beginning of the year so much. So don’t ask why I liked the first third of the list.

Also, I was going to link to all of these on Amazon, but man, I’m kind of lazy. I really need to use GoodReads instead this year.

  1. Kitchens of the Great Midwest – I don’t remember why I liked it, I just remember that I did.
  2. A Homemade Life – I love food memoirs. This one by Molly Wizenberg is great, in the manner of Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone, which I could read over and over again. Also you need to start listening to her podcast, Spilled Milk.
  3. Delancey – see above
  4. The Improbability of Love – I also can’t remember exactly why I loved this one, but I do remember looking at the author’s other books afterwards, so I must’ve liked it a lot.
  5. The Lake House – I really enjoyed the twist at the end of this one. You may notice I read several books by Kate Morton after this. I basically plowed through her catalog, but with diminishing returns. Some of them were kind of heavy, and they all seemed to have some kind of twist. And a twist isn’t really a twist if you’re looking for it.
  6. Eleanor and Park – A reread. I absolutely adore this book. I wasn’t sure if I could count rereads, but Elizabeth assured me it’s okay.
  7. Orphan Train – You know, just a good read. (In other words, I don’t remember it very much.)
  8. The Shift – A really interesting nonfiction book about one single shift in the life of a nurse. Neat to read. Also exhausting. Nurses FTW!
  9. Ready Player One – A cool sci-fi book about Virtual Reality.
  10. I’ll Give You the Sun – This is a YA book that Megan recommended. It was kind of weird, but I totally fell in love with it.
  11. The Nest – I enjoyed this. It was the hot book earlier this year.
  12. Eligible – Loved this retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld. I read a bunch of her books this year.
  13. The Very Picture of You – I have a thing about popular British fiction (I’m avoiding saying chick lit.) It’s very comforting and appeals to the Anglophile in me. I know it’s not great literature. And I’m not going to apologize for it. But you can tell I’m feeling defensive, eh? I need to get over it.
  14. The One You Really Want – See #13.
  15. Wild Designs – See #13
  16. Lab Girl – A lovely memoir about a female scientist. You’ll learn a lot about trees.
  17. The City of Mirrors – The third book in The Passage trilogy and by far my favorite.
  18. Pillow Talk – See #13
  19. American Wife – I was in love with this book, and then about 75% into it, I realized it was a loosely fictionalized version of Laura Bush. I felt kind of foolish, but I still liked it a lot.
  20. A Place for Us – See #13
  21. The Nightingale – I’m not a big history buff, but this was a really interesting story that took place during WWII. I learned a lot about what happened in France. And I sobbed like a damn baby at the end.
  22. Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildWell of course.
  23. Truly Madly Guilty – Another reliably good Liane Moriarty book.
  24. Sushi for Beginners – See #13 (another re-read. I love Marian Keyes.)
  25. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Actually an audio book. Does that count? Well, I’m convinced it was 1000x more enjoyable to hear Amy Schumer read it to me anyway. Plus, my library only had the audiobook. Annoying.
  26. Who Do You Love – I got into a Jennifer Weiner kick after re-reading some of her older stuff. I liked this one.
  27. The Light Between Oceans – I was told I was going to sob at this one, but I didn’t. Which is good because I thought the ending was going to be devastatingly sad, but it was okay. Whew. I tried to watch the movie on the plane but I just couldn’t get into it, though. Also I didn’t really want to watch this story.
  28. Brooklyn – Now I want to watch the movie.
  29. Hungry Heart – Essays by Jennifer Weiner. I like her.
  30. Paris for One – Short stories by Jojo Moyes. A quick read. I love her books.
  31. Before the Fall – I read this before we flew home from England. It’s about a plane crash. But, you know, a small plane crash, so that’s okay.

Well look at that. I must love you after all. I added links to Amazon. And I don’t even get referral fees for that. So you are very welcome.

Some more notes:

  • Back in July, I wrote this post about books I’d enjoyed over the course of the first half of the year. There are more books listed there.
  • I don’t think I bought any of these books. Maybe one or two. Yay for our library having ebook lending!

What were your favorite books that you read in 2016? Obviously, lots of my books were written before 2016, so feel free to recommend older stuff.

 

Wednesday (day 3)

I’d planned for my gym schedule to be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but I went this morning instead of tomorrow. I’m having dinner with work people tonight and I am pretty sure I’ll want to “sleep in” (you know, til 6:30) tomorrow morning.

My Achilles tendon (or something at the back of my left ankle) was a little sore yesterday so I decided to cross train today. My gym got some of those old-school stair climbers (like tiny escalators) so I spent a bit of time on that (14 minutes climbing stairs is a long time!) and then did some strength training, then got on the elliptical for a little while (booorrrring) and then more strength training.

Okay, enough of that. Other things I’ve been meaning to write about:

– 2/3 of the boys had their first sleepover last week! Big milestone, and especially since Miles actually made it through the night. I was pretty shocked. Linus chose not to stay, though. It was kind of fun having one kid. It was very quiet.

– I’m reading this book right now. It’s set in Baton Rouge, and it takes place in 1991, when the main character is 16. I grew up in Baton Rouge, and I was 16 in 1991, so it’s kind of fascinating. Some of the setting is fictional, but enough of it is not to keep me enthralled.

When people ask me if I’m from here (New Orleans), I always have a hard time answering. Baton Rouge is a totally different world from New Orleans, and it’s so hard to describe. But this book nailed it.

You have to understand. When people think of Louisiana, they think exclusively of New Orleans. We are okay with that. New Orleans has the culture, the allure. They are The Big Easy. The Crescent City. The Birthplace of Jazz. The people of Baton Rouge don’t even have accents. Our parades, when compared to New Orleans, are amateur hour. Even our most raucous bars close at two o’clock in the morning. Theirs don’t close down at all. So, whenever people in Baton Rouge feel wild, we drive the sixty miles to New Orleans. We stay in upscale hotels and spend gobs of money. We drink beer on the street and make bad decisions. We take wrong turns at intersections and feel perpetually lost, and when we wake up in the morning, regretful and satisfied, we go back home saying, “It’s a fun place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

From My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

Well, I guess I did decide to live here, but growing up, I never had any desire to. Anyway, if you’re looking for a good read, I recommend you pick this up. (Even though I haven’t finished it yet.)

– I ended up signing up for that race on Sunday. I really really hope it’s cool and overcast. Hmmph.

– Last week, I got a box from HelloFresh. It’s one of those companies that’s cropping up that sends you the ingredients for meals and the recipe cards, and all you have to do is put them together. I got three meals, two of which were excellent (the third was good, but not outstanding.) We had a pasta bolognese one night, squash with quinoa another night, and chicken and potatoes another night. (The first two were the excellent ones.) (No, the boys didn’t eat this.) (Actually, George didn’t eat the squash one either. More for me!)

Anyway, I loved that I can make these again, because none of the ingredients were particularly unusual. It wasn’t like I’d have to buy from that company, you know? Just some more meal ideas.

If you want to try it and get $40 off your first box, you can use this referral code: R7KT4K (Yeah, it’s not cheap, but great for special meals, and the portion sizes mean you have enough for leftovers.)