The Books of 2016

So many books, so little time—part ten.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the tenth year we’ve done this.

My favorite books of 2016 were probably You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott, a mystery-thriller set in the world of women’s gymnastics; Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave, set in the world of wine-making; Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, which is about the restaurant business; Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes, a terrific collection of shot stories; and The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, who also wrote Fates and Furies, one of my favorite books I read last year.  

As usual, I tend to find an author I like and then read anything I can get my hands on. I adored Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple so much that I also read her two other novels, Today Will be Different (in development as a TV series with Julia Roberts) and This One is Mine, both of which I liked but didn’t LOVE the way I did Bernadette.

Anyway, I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake Anna Quindlen
Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling
Boys & Girls Together William Goldman
Fun Home Allison Bechdel
Precious Gifts Danielle Steel
23 Degrees South Neal Rabin
Last One Home Debbie Macomber
Feel This Ben Stiller & Janeane Garofalo
A Whole New Light Sandra Brown
All Fall Down Jennifer Weiner
The Children Act Ian McEwan
Purity Jonathan Franzen
Crooked Little Lies Barbara Taylor Sissel
The Rumor Elin Hildebrand
The Truth About Alice Jennifer Mathieu
Girl Tripping Gina Iamanna
Everything’s Relative Jenna McCarthy
The Clasp Sloane Crosley
The Guestbook Andrea Hurst
The Art of Peeling an Orange Victoria Avilan
What Alice Forgot Liane Moriarty
Bettyville George Hodgman
Between the Lines Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer
Miss Adventure Geralyn Corcillo
Who Do You Love? Jennifer Weiner
Girl Waits With Gun Amy Stewart
The Tender Bar J.R. Moehringer
The Monsters of Templeton Lauren Groff
Connect the Stars Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
Barbara the Slut and Other People Lauren Holmes
The Moon and More Sarah Dessen
The Apartment Danielle Steel
Dead of Night J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan and Mary Kay McComas
The Swans of Fifth Avenue Melanie Benjamin
Lizzie Bennett Diaries Bernie Su and Kate Noble
The List Siobhan Vivan
One Plus One JoJo Moyes
Nora Roberts Land Miles Ava
Windfallen JoJo Moyes
Dear Mr. You Mary Louise Parker
The Sleuth Sisters Maggie Pill
Fireside Susan Wiggs
Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler
Tiny Pretty Things Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
My Favorite Husband Pam McCutcheon
The Fixer Upper Mary Kay Andrews
The Inn at Rose Harbor Debbie Macomber
I Was Told There Would be Cake Sloane Crosley
A Girl’s Guide to Moving on Debbie Macomber
Drinking Closer to Home Jessica Anya Blau
Identical Scott Turrow
If I Stay Gayle Forman
Euphoria Lily King
Eight Hundred Grapes Laura Dave
In the Unlikely Event Judy Blume
Remembrance Meg Cabot
Innocents & Others: A Novel Dana Spiotta
Calling Invisible Women Jeanne Ray
Royal Wedding Meg Cabot
Eligible Curtis Sittenfeld
The Man of the House Stephen McCauley
Be Frank With Me Julia Claiborne Johnson
Fallen in Love Lauren Kate
Four of a Kind Valerie Frankel
The Bridge Ladies Betsy Lerner
The Goodbye Quilt Susan Wiggs
French Roast Ava Miles
Behind Closed Doors B.A. Paris
Heat & Light Jennifer Haigh
The Grand Opening Ava Miles
Paris for One & Other Stories JoJo Moyes
My Kind of Perfect Hannah Ellis
Heroes Have Always Been My Weakness Susan Elizabeth Phillips
You Will Know Me Megan Abbott
The History of Love Nicole Krauss
Today Will Be Different Maria Semple
This One is Mine Maria Semple

The Books of 2011

Let the Great World SpinSo many books, so little time—part five.

This was the year I embraced technology in earnest and had a number of different books going on various devices. I also experimented with going back and forth between reading and audio books, and found I liked it with some books, particularly nonfiction when the author read their own work.

I loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann, both of which were book club picks. Henrietta Lacks was also the Santa Barbara Reads pick this year, and Skloot was an amazing speaker at UCSB’s free event. This started a book club tradition that we continue to try to follow by reading the SB Reads books and attending the author talks.

Ironically before I read Let the Great World Spin,  I read a bit of it aloud at the Read-a-thon for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (a great nonprofit that no longer exists). It peaked my interest and that was part of why I picked it up after that and recommended to our book club.

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials Wiseman Rosalind
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress Janzen Rhoda
Committed Gilbert Elizabeth
Crazy for You Cruisie Julie
Before I Fall Oliver Lauren
Girl 15, Charming But Insane Limb Sue
Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog Scottoline Lisa
Freedom Franzen Jonathan
Dirty Sugar Cookies Halliday Ayun
I Remember Nothing Ephron Nora
Lipstick Jungle Bushnell Candice
Confessions of a Shoe Addict Harbison Beth
Between a Rock and a Hot Place Jackson Tracey
There Will Never Be Another You See Carolyn
Let the Great World Spin McCann Colum
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Skloot  Rebecca
Making Toast Rosenblatt Roger
Smooth Talking Stranger Kleypass Lisa
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner Meyer Stephenie
The Middle Place Corrigan Kelly
Devil’s Corner Scottoline Lisa
Stones Into Schools Mortensen Greg
Batlle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Chua Amy
Perfect Timing Mansell Jill
Lifeguard Patterson James
The Camelot Conspiracy Vincent E. Duke
Insatiable Cabot Meg
Self-Help Moore Lorrie
Courting Trouble Scottoline Lisa
Too Big to Miss Jafarian Sue Ann
As Husbands Go Isaacs Susan
I Love You More Gardner Lisa
Call Me Irresistable Philips Susan Elizabeth
Family Affair Macomber Debbie
Fly Away Home Weiner Jennifer
My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space Scottoline Lisa
Dead Ringer Scottoline Lisa
Bossy Pants Fey Tina
The Book Thief Zusak Markus
Daddy’s Little Helper Macomber Debbie
If Looks Could Kill White Kate
Think Twice Scottoline Lisa
Orchard Valley Grooms Macomber Debbie
Steps to the Altar Fowler Earlene
Deep Dish Andrews Mary Kay
The Elegance of the Hedgehog Barbery Muriel
The Paris Wife McLain Paula
The Fixer Upper Andrews Mary Kay
Still Life Fielding Joy
Ocotillo Dreams Palacio Melinda
I Think I Love You Pearson Allison
13 Reasons Why Asher Jay
16 Lighthouse Road Macomber Debbie
Run Patchett Ann
The Card Turner Sachar Louis
92 Pacific Boulevard Macomber Debbie
Sisterhood Everlasting Brashears Ann
Indulgence in Death Robb J.D.
Vendetta Defense Scottoline Lisa
Not My Daughter Delinsky Barbara
Durable Goods Berg Elizabeth
Say When Berg Elizabeth
The Other Side Robb J.D.
Savannah Breeze Andrews Mary Kay
Home Safe Berg Elizabeth
Loop Group McMurtry Larry
The Art of Mending Berg Elizabeth
If It Was Easy, They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon McCarthy Jenna
Sing You Home Piccoult Jodi
Promises to Keep Green Jane
Everywhere That Mary Went Scottoline Lisa
The Post-Birthday World Shriver Lionel
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Kaling Mindy
Flirting With Pete Delinsky Barbara
The Next Always Roberts Nora
A Christmas Carol Dickens Charles
The Year of Pleasures Berg Elizabeth
While My Sister Sleeps Delinsky Barbara

Originally posted January 4, 2012.

Click to read The Books of 2010.

Click to read The Books of 2009.

Click to read The Books of 2008.

Click to read The Books of 2007.