Best of 2016

2016 Reading Wrap-Up

The end of the year is here, and I promised you one more blog post. Before Christmas, I shared my Top Ten Reads of 2016—check them out if you're looking to lose yourself in a wonderful book! This post's a little more nuts and bolts: I've tallied the final stats from my year-in-reading, and I've made pie charts! Yay, pie charts. 

First things first: my grand total for 2016 is... 93 books! I think that makes this my third most productive reading year ever, after last year (117 books, which will probably never happen again) and 2014 (94 books). Even better than the number: I enjoyed just about everything I read, which means all those hours were completely worth it. 

Here's the breakdown by age level: 

2016 books age breakdown.png

In last year's wrap-up post, I shared that I wanted to read more adult books in 2016. I beat last year's percentage by just a tiny bit, but I don't think I can really count that goal as met. So I'm setting it again for 2017! More adult books. Also, I plan to read a lot more middle-grade, as I dig into revising (and hopefully submitting) a middle-grade manuscript of my own. Expect the chart to be not quite so YA-heavy a year from now. 

Meanwhile, here's the genre breakdown from 2016: 

Last year, I lumped a lot of those smaller categories together, but this year it just didn't seem fair. Obviously, I still read a lot of straight contemporary, but look at what happens if you merge fantasy, historical fantasy, magical realism, and sci-fi! Probably close to a third of what I read this year was "genre" fiction. Maybe I can do even better next year. (That middle-grade manuscript I mentioned above is magical, so I'll need some inspiration...) 

Finally, in an effort to curb my book-buying habits, I returned to my shelves for a lot of rereads this year—16.1%, up from only 6% in 2015: 

Also tallied, but not with a chart: of the 93 books I completed this year, only seven had male authors. Sorry, dudes. It was the ladies' year. 

Do you keep a running list of what you read and how it adds up? Do you use it to help you set goals for the following year? Share in the comments! Meanwhile, I'll be back in January with an update on my blogging plans, and more. 

Happy New Year! 


Top Ten Reads of 2016

The end is near! The end of 2016, that is. 

This has been a year filled with ups and downs (and downs, and downs, and downs...)—but one area that was absolutely overflowing with ups was my reading life. As of writing this post, I've read 88 books since January 1. It's no match for last year's total, but still a pretty respectable sum. The best part: a lot of those books were truly amazing. 

Out of the 88, I picked my top ten for the year for this post. (I will, of course, issue an update if I read another stunner in the next week and a half!) My only eligibility criteria: regardless of year of publication, I had to read this book for the first time in 2016. Rereads of beloved favorites don't count. (Curious about my reread versus new-read ratio, and other 2016 reading stats? I'll be back with one more blog post before the end of the year with all the reading data you love!) 

So without further ado: My Top Ten Reads of 2016! 

This list really does encompass the entire year. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE was the first book I read in 2016—a strong start!—and I finished THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR in early December. As for demographic, there are two adult books and eight YAs, which is honestly pretty representative of my reading patterns as a whole. And then there's genre: one historical, two (very different) fantasies, one magical realism, and six realistic stories, ranging from happy-ending romance to epic emotional journeys. Not bad! 

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE: A blind French girl and a German boy try to survive the devastation of World War II. Gorgeous prose, and filled with short vignettes that interconnect in surprising ways. 

THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY: After escaping from the cult that took her childhood and her hands, seventeen-year-old Minnow is in juvenile detention, debating whether to open up to a detective about the circumstances that put her behind bars. 

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC: There are multiple Londons—grey, red, white, and black—and Kell is one of the only people who can travel between them. In Grey London, Kell meets Delilah Bard, a thief and unlikely ally who convinces him to take her home to Red London with him. Meanwhile, a dark magic is brewing that will threaten each world...

UP TO THIS POINTE: An unexpected letdown sends ballet dancer Harper fleeing to Antarctica's McMurdo Station, where she comes to terms with her past and begins embracing her future during a cold, dark winter. 

THE SERPENT KING: Three outcasts in rural Tennessee—the son of a disgraced snake-handling preacher, an ambitious teen fashion blogger, and an epic fantasy nerd—face senior year together. Warning: this one's a tear-jerker. 

CHALLENGER DEEP: A before-and-after-and-during story about a high-schooler's descent into mental illness, where nothing is really as it seems. This is a compelling and harrowing portrayal of schizophrenia through the eyes of a person experiencing it in real time. 

ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES: Aspen Quick is part of a magical family that prevents the cliff that overhangs his small town from falling. Aspen also has the ability to steal things from people: memories, emotions, scars. In one summer, he'll learn the uncomfortable truths about his family and his gift. 

GEORGIA PEACHES & OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT: When Joanna's radio evangelist father remarries and moves the family from Atlanta to a small north Georgia town, Joanna agrees to keep her sexuality a secret in exchange for her own radio show about teens and faith. Then, she meets a girl...

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS: Miel grows roses from her wrists. Sam paints moons to hang in the trees. Together, they hide secrets about their respective pasts. Over the course of this lushly written, magical book, they each make peace with who they really are—and who they love. 

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR: It's Natasha's last day in the United States: she's being deported to Jamaica. It's the day that's supposed to launch Daniel's future: he's interviewing for a college program his Korean parents want more than he does. Natasha doesn't believe in love. Daniel's a romantic and a poet. In one New York City day, they find and fall for each other. 

What were your favorite reads of 2016? Share in the comments!