Reading: The Books I read and listened in 2016

Yes, I’m that person who keeps a spreadsheet of all the fiction books (and a few sprinkled non-fiction) I have read since 1991. I love reading, but ever since I became a mother 17 years ago, I realized that reading became another item on my balance scale. I had to constantly negotiate my adored sleeping time with the hours of page turning.  However, I have finally embraced the AUDIOBOOKthe one thing I was most thankful for in 2016. Of course I’m thankful for family, children, friends….but what I was excitedly most thankful for: THE AUDIOBOOK!

For a multi-tasking, curious, and easily distracted adult, I have found the cure to the boredom of the endless unloading and re-loading of the dishwasher. I have found a companion to my pathetically unyielding labour at my garden and a much needed encouragement on my walk/runs.  The audiobook has allowed me to keep up and maintain a rhythm of the pages I read before I go to bed.  The next morning I keep going where I left off.  I am a convert and most books of 2016 were read in combination with the audio.

Major shoutout goes to my wonderful friends who suggest great books to me, and of course the beloved Westbank Library that has such a wonderful collection of both versions of the book.

It was a good year of books, as I loved most of them.

Runaway Munro, Alice Lovely. One of the first books I read in conjunction with its audio version. Loved listening to these women’s stories, felt like listening to a friend on the phone.
A Little Life Yanagihara, Hanya Haunting. No audiobook for this one, but what a wonderful read. Tough material for most people, but the characters have stayed with me for a long time. One of my faves.
Of Mice and Men Steinbeck, John A classic for a reason. Read this right before watching the Austin Lyric Opera’s production. Also available on audiobook, read by Gary Sinise.  Wonderful development of characters.
The Old Man and the Sea Hemingway, Ernest Wanted to read for a while. After reading the previous ones, I just felt underwhelmed.
My Brilliant Friend Ferrante, Elena Love-Hate relationship with this one. Wanted to find out more, but I hated both main characters.
When Breath Becomes Air Kalanithi, Paul So sad.
The Son Meyer, Phillipp I think the audiobook is superb, read by three different voices. I can see why they made it into a tv miniseries.
For Whom the Bell Tolls Hemingway, Ernest Felt a bit slow, but interesting take on the Spanish Civil War. Had trouble with Campbell Scott’s pronunciation of Spanish words and now hear his voice every time I hear the expression “que va”.
The Nightingale Hannah, Kristin Easy and page turning read. A story of the nazi occupation in France, told from a female and french point of view.
The Story of a New Name Ferrante, Elena I started the first, needed to continue with the series.
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Ferrante, Elena This one was my favorite of the series
The Story of the Lost Child Ferrante, Elena
Middlesex Eugenedis, Jeffrey If there ever was a book that was meant to be listened to is this one, if only for the scene at the car assembly line. Fantastic book. A fave.
Crazy Rich Asians Kwan, Kevin funny beach read
Crazy Rich Girlfriend Kwan, Kevin good palate cleansers after very heavy books
All The Light We Cannot See Doerr, Anthony so so. I have started and stopped this book so many times. After reading the Nightingale found this one a bit blah.
Life After Life Atkinson, Kate Loved, loved, what a surprise. Thanks to my friend Alex W. I have become a fan.
Fates and Furies Groff, Lauren Can I say hate? Just did not like either of the characters and found it so pretentious.
Luckiest Girl Alive Knoll, Jessica Perhaps I disliked this one even more.
My Name is Lucy Barton Strout, Elizabeth Loved. Again, Strout can tell fascinating stories of the mundane. So simple and so good.
The Life we Bury Eskens, Allen Ok
A confederacy of the Dunces Toole, John Kennedy Thought I was going to love it, then I thought I was going to hate it, and now I can see the humor of it. The character definitely is one to remember.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette Semple, Maria Read as a preparation to our upcoming trip to Seattle. Easy fun read from a fellow Barnard Alumn.
Today Will Be Different Semple, Maria The adult version of A Terrible, No Good, Bad Day.