Reading Roundup…Q4 2016

So, the lack of book posts during the last part of 2016 does not mean that there wasn’t reading happening – in fact, there was plenty of reading happening. Since my last book update, there were 14 flight segments and some vacation time in the midst of work to finish out the year – all of which meant reading time. Before 2017 gets too far underway, a quick check-in on what books filled my time as 2016 ran towards completion.

  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein was a fun young audience read that requires the characters to call upon children’s books and games to solve clues to win the great prize as a new library is being opened in town.
  • Books 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 in the James Rollins Sigma Force series – I’m enjoying this series…but to continue reading I will need to switch to picking up the actual book from the library for at least number 8. Really? Why aren’t full series available in the same format?
  • A return to Three Pines in A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny was a good way to pass the time and I continue to work my way through the series as books are available via Overdrive. This is a series where I tend to agree with the buzz in the blogsphere – there’s substance and not just hype.
  • I picked up Hillbilly Elegy: A Memory of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance in October and read it just before the election. It was one of my favorite reads of the year.
  • The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett was a fun combination of a modern day mystery about the provenance of Shakespearean works and flashbacks to what happened in the days of Shakespeare.
  • A modern day retelling of Sense & Sensibility by Joanne Trollope that had sat on my nightstand for far too long was finally finished. I first learned of this book in 2014 when I met up with a book club friend for dinner while I was in London for work – this series of modern day best selling authors taking on the Jane stories in The Austen Project is something I will continue to read along the way. I do wonder if this would be better just as a modern movie remake.
  • The Mackinac Incident was a “deal buy” – a so-so thriller about a terrorist plot to blow up the Mackinac bridge and an unlikely hero trying to thwart the attack; but I picked it up because it was set in the Michigan Upper Peninsula and I enjoyed the descriptions of the area in the story.
  • The Secret to Hummingbird Cake was a nice read focused on 3 friends in a small southern town and how life may not turn out as you plan but friends and cake can help the journey.
  • Hamilton: The Revolution was a good audio read and continued my appreciation of the Hamilton musical phenom.
  • Christmas on Jane Street: A True Story was a quick read to start the Christmas season. When I lived in Chicago, there were several years when I bought my tree from a corner lot similar to the one this author runs in NYC – it was fun to hear about life on the lot.
  • Meet Me at the Cupcake Café was a sweet story by Jenny Colgan – in a similar vein to her Little Street Bakery. The seasonally appropriate sequel Christmas at the Cupcake Café wasn’t quite as flavorful.
  • Letters from Santa was a free novella set in the cold war that was a cute read in the days leading up to Christmas.
  • In the days right after Christmas I finished my first “under the tree” read – The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Turner. As a cat family, Artisan Dad picked it out as a book for us all. In 9 chapters, it was a clever and fact filled read about cats and so much more. An engaging read and along the way there were quite a few tidbits to file away for trivia.

As 2016 reading came to a close, the Goodreads “your year in books” was a fun snapshot of my reading. I had set a challenge to read 44 books during the year and ended with 63 books complete. Of course, who knew that I would end up with so much travel time this year providing so much prime reading time. This is a fun snapshot of my 2016 in reading:

As I turn the page on the 2016 reading, a few observations: it was a year of several series and they will continue into 2017 as they are available via Overdrive; I need to continue to do a better job of balancing fiction with non-fiction as I read; once again, there were several “must read” books that I finally read in 2016 where I definitely felt like the hype wasn’t there for me.

What are you reading these days?
What are your reading goals for 2017? 

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for QuickLit.

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