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December booklist + yearly reading wrap-up

December books:

1.  The Pearl Thief, Elizabeth Wein

Oh, how beautiful to see Julie as she was before we meet her in Code Name Verity. Beautiful - and heartbreaking, because we know what's coming.

2. Etiquette and Espionage, Gail Carriger

Sometimes it's not the book - it's just the timing, or even the format. Years ago I tried to read this and couldn't get past the first chapter. This time I listened to the audio book, and I found it delightful.

3. The World According to Bertie, Alexander McCall Smith

4. Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick

I would like to be Anna Kendrick's friend, please and thanks.

5. The Gate to Women's Country, Sheri Tepper

Calamity has happened, and society has been destroyed and reformed with people divided into two main camps: men living in warrior encampments, mostly uneducated and focusing only on warrior-things, and civilized cities made up of women, who preserve knowledge and art and do all the practical things like practice medicine and grow crops.

The best thing about this book was reading all the one-star comments on goodreads, left almost exclusively by men.

6. A Train in Winter, Caroline Moorehead

Absolutely gutting and heartbreaking. This details both the activties of women in the French Resistance during the occupation in WWII, and their inhuman treatment in concentration camps after capture.

7. The Outlaws of Sherwood, Robin McKinley


And now, the year in review:

I read 65 books (20,363 pages) in 2016. I'm not ashamed of this number, although it's a mere 64% of what I read last year. But I don't like it and I hope to up that number for 2017.

56% was fiction, which is up a smidge from last year, when fiction and non-fiction were roughly equal. A full 32% (21 books) were directly related to my Scottish adventure: either travel guides, books set in places I was visiting, or just Scottish literature in general to get me in the mood.

While the number of audiobooks I listened to remained exactly the same as last year, they made up a larger percentage of my overall reading: 15%.

The author I read most was Alexander McCall Smith,
particularly his 44 Scotland Street series. I read a total of 6 of his books in 2016.

The absolute standout titles this year were:

How to Be a Tudor, Ruth Goodman. No dry history, this. She's walked the walk - living as authentic a 15th century life as is possible for up to 6 months at a time.

First Bite, Bee Wilson. A thoughtful and delightful look at food and how our tastes are formed ... and whether or not we can change them.

The Pearl Thief, Elizabeth Wein. Obviously this was going to make the list. <3 <3 <3

Honorable Mentions:

Crosstalk, Connie Willis. Her missed-connections scifi/romance style doesn't please everyone, but it pushes all my buttons. This was delightful.

Dogsbody, Diana Wynne Jones. I'm a late bloomer. This was the first DWJ book I've ever read. I laughed, I cried, and immediately found more of her books to read.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2017 08:13 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh so glad you've discovered DWJ. Please read Fire and Hemlock. It is one of my favorite books of all time.
Jan. 7th, 2017 04:34 pm (UTC)
I'll look for it - thanks!
Jan. 3rd, 2017 11:07 am (UTC)
Lots of books to add to my library request list! Thanks for posting this! I'm so excited about a new Elizabeth Wein book but it might just bring up feelings of jealousy that you got to hang out with her ;).
Jan. 7th, 2017 04:34 pm (UTC)
It will be worth it. :D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )