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My Year in Books - 2016 - Thoughts and Stuff

My Year in Books – 2016


I started this year on a book high. I was so pumped I would read a book in a few days, despite work and all. Eventually I was going to burn out, and burn out I did. You will notice a trend, but here goes the books I loved in 2016 and those that I gave up on in the end.

The Girl With No PastThe Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whoa. At some point I thought this was not going to make sense now that the past details were kept from the reader for so long, I got tired. Then everything made sense. Good read, save for the many repetitions.

I began with a psychological thriller, of course. Kindle store has this cool section it recommends current Kindle bestsellers. I was not disappointed with Kathryn Croft. Mostly because it reminded me of Girl on the Train but also because it is set in London. I noticed a trend, all the psychological thrillers I read in 2016 are set in London.

The Short Drop (Gibson Vaughn, #1)The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Not the ending I was looking for but when a book disrupts my sleep and even gives me nightmares, I think that is a good book. I think it is my partly the reason I couldn’t sleep last night. Kindle best-sellers are the best, I can now confirm.

This was also a Kindle recommendation. Fast-paced. American. Crazy twist.

Before I Go to SleepBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great book. I could not stop turning the pages, just to know what happened and who was telling the truth. I felt like I was the one losing my memory everyday and could not wait to find out if my husband was really the good one. I am definitely reading S.J. Watson again.

Another psychological thriller in London. I devoured it.

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hilarious. Easy. Yet deep. And in Australia for a difference!

This one was very different. The author is the kind of person who writes about very normal situations that end up blowing your mind because you did not see whatever it is coming. Plus she has written Truly Madly Guilty, the Goodreads best book of the year 2016 in the fiction category. To be read soon.

To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1)To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked in the morning.” Sigh. I actually turned the page, thinking that was not the end. Now I understand why everyone would talk about this book. I cried twice. I guess I was meant to finish today. RIP, Harper Lee.

This was a book and a half. I am telling you there is nothing like reading a book that is apparently from a child’s perspective. The innocence makes it a very beautiful read. No wonder everyone and their mother has read it. It’s about the US in the South back in the early 1930s. You need to read this book if you haven’t already.

The WidowThe Widow by Fiona Barton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was not as awesome as other psychological thrillers, but it was readable. It was a bit of a drag here and there. I admit the only reason I got it was because they claimed it was fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.

This was nice, but not super nice. A husband dies and a wife decides to find out what really happened to a girl that disappeared.

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The four children are pulled back into Narnia to help Prince Caspian battle his way into his rightful position as king of Narnia. It’s good old fashioned English and mystical creatures that would probably amaze me if I were a kid. I had decided to read the entire chronicles to encourage my baby sister to do it too but I think I got lazy at some point. I like to think about the meaning of the stories beyond just the children story.

The Girl You LostThe Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I did not like how this ended at all. I did not also enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first book I read from Kathryn earlier in the year, but it’s a good story.

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sigh. :'( Still beautiful. Where’s the movie at?

So in the middle of the book, I went like “Oh my! Best. Thing. I. Am. Reading. In. 2016. :’)” Because it really was the most beautiful thing I read even though it broke me at the end. I cried like a baby.

The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not see that ending coming at all. Of course the title should have given it away, I think. Nice read.

Mean unfair ending. So there’s that.

After You (Me Before You, #2)After You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved it! Not quite Me Before You, but I still love it!

Anything that makes me cry, be it a book or a movie, is still good. Let’s hope there is no “After Me” or something. That will be taking it too far.

We Need New NamesWe Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an easy read. Flowing. Even without the usual conversation punctuation, you still understand what’s happening. Great sense of humour especially if you’re African and understand the beauty of direct translation. And even more striking is the fact that you understand she’s talking about Zimbabwe and Mugabe without her mentioning the country’s name even once in the book!

This is the point I started reading books from TBC Book club. They pick very nice books. I love that all the books of the month have been African so I am now finally reading African books and learning so much. I am always behind when the meetups happen, but hopefully in 2017, I will attend one of those sessions at KNT.

A General Theory of OblivionA General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. At first, I didn’t think this was a great book and that’s why I took over a month with it, but then I got to the part where she bricked herself in the apartment and I knew this was going to be a survival story, a more believable version of The Martian. Makes you think this is based on a story that actually happened.

To be honest, I have learnt so much about Angola from this book. I had little knowledge of the independence story before that. I thought, because the book is translated from Portuguese, it would not be awesome. It is. The book is divided into short chapters that are so poignant, you have to think twice before you continue. You feel like you are missing a deepness that José intended you to feel and touch. And the way the stories of different people converge throughout the book — breathtaking. Beautiful storytelling. Great book about life and love. Would totally read it again.

Need I say more? Another on TBC Book club’s list.

The CuratorThe Curator by Jacques Strauss

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Strange, strange book. That’s all I am going to say for now.

This left a very bad taste in my mouth, yet I kept reading. It is set in South Africa in the 70s. The black and white divide. Some messed up relationships. It’s just a strange book.

UnashamedUnashamed by Lecrae Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is beyond eye-opening. Like it answered so many questions and made me realise how not serious I have become with my faith. This is a man who knows exactly what he is doing. Lecrae has fought long and hard to get to where he is and I can only hope to be that salt and light to people around me too. Time to get on that biblical worldview.

You know me and Lecrae. I borrowed this from a fellow Lecrae fan that I have not even met. The thing about this book is that it is so deep, it makes you question why you do what you do as a Christian. And why you were even questioning Lecrae’s move in the first place. He mentions so many books that have shaped his faith and decisions, I want to read them all.

After AnnaAfter Anna by Alex Lake

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am not the biggest fan of this book, now that I put it away for months after starting it. All the same, the twist at the end is worth it. I felt it dragged out a bit too long to be thrilling enough.

Not the best thriller in my books, to be honest. I only finished it because I now have free time. Otherwise I would not have got it if I knew it was going to be such a piece of work.
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Those are the books I read cover to cover, mostly because I loved them. Now there were many books I gave up on. Many. For different reasons.

The Poisonwood Bible – I got lazy. A friend loved it though.
The Color Purple – Bad taste in mouth. Hid it deep in my shelf then gave it away.
Cross – Ati I was trying to see what James Patterson is all about. Never again. It’s like watching a low budget movie.
Go Set a Watchman – So I thought I’d enjoy the Harper Lee sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Nope. Gave it away immediately.
My Life in Crime – There is no real reason why I stopped reading this classic. 😀
The Time Traveler’s Wife – I was really excited about this one, but something was off somewhere.
The Goldfinch – I feel guilty about giving up on this one. Makes me look shallow. But I did. 🙁 That’s why I give books second chances.
Naira Power – I got bored.
Elon Musk: Inventing the Future – Well. I don’t know. Maybe when I buy a Tesla one day, I will get renewed energy for the book.
Finders Keepers – This is a sequel to Mr Mercedes, I book I enjoyed last year from Stephen King. I just gave up on this one.
The Lunatic Express: An Entertainment in Imperialism – I did not give up on this tome of a book. It is too huge, to be consumed slowly.
If I Stay – What can I say? I think I have outgrown Young Adult Fiction. But I will still finish it.

I am currently reading Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty, another lovely book written from a child’s perspective in Congo, the one that is not DRC. And then I will open Homegoing, a book I had been looking for like for half of this year, only to find it recently.

I think I now prefer the African books. They make me happy. Let’s see how 2017 will look like.

2 thoughts on “My Year in Books – 2016

  1. I watched the movie “Me before you” , I think you will like it.
    Now planning to read the Unashamed book, not heard of any reviews until today.

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