BOOKS I READ IN 2016

A comprehensive, chronological list.
  1. THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING // Melissa Bank
    8/10. This was a breeze to read and fun without being dumb.
  2. THE SECRET HISTORY // Donna Tartt
    10/10. So fucking good, you guys. I could write a whole list comparing this to The Goldfinch, but I will just say that though the characterization of the narrator was weaker here, this is BY FAR Tartt's best work. The world building, the storytelling, the detail - it's all SO GOOD
  3. Step Aside, Pops // Kate Beaton
    9/10. I've loved Kate Beaton for years and this is a humorous collection of comics inspired by literature and history. I liked this more than her earlier collection (Hark! A Vagrant) but honestly Kate can really do no wrong.
  4. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE // Anthony Doerr
    3/10. I didn't like this, you guys. I don't understand the hype. It was boring.
  5. THE LAST SHOT // Darcy Frey
    7/10. I read this for a class last semester and got to Skype with Frey bc he's a friend of my professor. This is about high school kids trying to make it into the NBA and out of the inner city. It has a lot of heart and it's well-written, and it didn't matter that I've never seen a whole basketball game in my life bc that's not really what this book is about.
  6. JUST KIDS // Patti Smith
    2/10. Read for the same class. Insufferable. Just a bunch of name dropping and doing drugs. Only interesting if you know who Patti Smith/Robert Mapplethorpe are and care to know more, which I did not.
  7. ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14 // Blaine Harden
    8/10. Solid writing and research. I liked that he didn't try to sugarcoat how his life turned out at the end.
  8. AFTER BIRTH // Elisa Albert
    5/10. This was a quick read but it was kind of strange and hard to get your footing in it. I can't remember if there was even any main conflict in it.
  9. EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU // Celeste Ng
    8/10. This was really well written and it made me cry and it had a lot of heart but wasn't happy-go-lucky.
  10. BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME // Ta-Nehisi Coates
    9/10. When Morrison says that something is required reading, you listen. This gave me shivers and made me cry and taught me so much.
  11. RESURRECTION SCIENCE // M.R. O'Connor
    7/10. I'm allllll about de-extinction (which is bringing back extinct species via genomics). It's on the verge of happening for several species, as this book highlights, and it's insanely interesting and well-researched and well-written.
  12. ME BEFORE YOU // Jojo Moyes
    2/10. If you've managed to avoid this book so far, please continue to do so.
  13. FATES AND FURIES // Lauren Groff
    6/10. This was good but it took me forever to read. If you ask me it doesn't live up to the hype - it feels like we're building and building to something huge and then you just never get there.
  14. THE CLASP // Sloane Crosley
    6/10. I LOVE Crosley's essays and so I gave this a whirl but didn't like it as much. It's solid writing that's rich and descriptive but I felt like the stakes weren't high enough. Kind of like a poor man's version of Tartt's The Goldfinch.
  15. THE BLOODY CHAMBER // Angela Carter
    7/10. Not all of the stories in this are solid but the title story is SO GOOD and there's a stellar retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
  16. DEPT. OF SPECULATION // Jenny Offill
    10/10. This was my favorite book of 2015 and so I reread it this year. Still just as good.
  17. THE GOLDFINCH // Donna Tartt
    10/10. Such a solid adventure story. I said above that I liked The Secret History so much better, but when push comes to shove I can't give Donna anything below a perfect score. She's just that good.
  18. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE // JK Rowling
    10/10. Duh. I haven't reread these since middle school and it feels so comforting and cozy to revisit them, especially in the middle of winter. I'll be reading the rest in 2017.
  19. There you have it! Every year I set out to read 50 books and this year I hit 18 (one of my lowest ever, but in my defense I read a lot of textbooks/articles for classes).