Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 Books

I read 108 books in 2016, which surprised me because I was crazy busy at work last year, including moving our office, which added turmoil. Here is the list, in the order I read them.

Take the stars with a big grain of salt. Five stars go only to a very few all-time favorites. Four stars go to books I think are really good or would recommend to anyone. I rate a book a 3 if I liked it personally, but wouldn't think of recommending it. Most books get 3.5, which means that I liked it and would recommend it to people who like that genre or type of book. See this post for details.

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (4/5)

More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself by Nick Hornby (3.5/5)

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz (4/5)

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (3/5)

Mike by P. G. Wodehouse (3/5)

A New Lease of Death by Ruth Rendell (3.5/5)

A Little Dinner Before the Play by Agnes Jekyll (reviewed here; 3.5/5)

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (3.5/5)

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (3.5/5)

The Big Seven by Jim Harrison (3.5/5)

The Fur Person by Mary Sarton (3/5)

Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess (4/5)

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (4/5)

Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price (2.5/5)

Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo (3.5/5)

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (3/5)

I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections by Nora Ephron (3.5/5)

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (4/5)

Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark (4/5)

Here Kitty Kitty by Mallory McInnis (3/5)

Fallen into the Pit by Peter Ellis (3.5/5)

The Complete Short Stories, Vol. I, East and West by W. Somerset Maugham (5/5)

The Bell by Iris Murdoch (4/5)

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (3.5/5)

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (Booker Prize winner; 3.5/5)

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (3.5/5)

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson (3.5/5)

Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George (3.5/5)

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (3.5/5)

Bech is Back by John Updike (4/5)

Wild Horses by Dick Francis (3.5/5)

Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols (4/5)

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (4.5/5)

The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope (4.5/5)

Morte D'Urban by J. F. Powers (National Book Award winner; 3.5/5)

Family Album by Penelope Lively (3.5/5)

The British Museum is Falling Down by David Lodge (3.5/5)

The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell (3.5/5)

Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley (3/5)

Miles Gone By by William F. Buckley, Jr. (4/5)

Death and the Joyful Woman by Ellis Peters (3.5/5)

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (3/5)

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck (3/5)

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (2/5)

Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson (4/5)

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes (3.5/5)

The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan (3.5/5)

Afternoon Men by Anthony Powell (3.5/5)

Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk (4/5)

The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison (3.5/5)

Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton (3/5)

A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (3.5/5)

Devices and Desires by P. D. James (4/5)

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby (4/5)

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (3.5/5)

Orlando by Virginia Woolf (2.5/5)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bailey's Prize winner; 3/5)

Ten North Frederick by John O'Hara (National Book Award winner; 3.5/5)

The Old Men at the Zoo by Angus Wilson (Anthony Burgess' Top 99; 4.5/5)

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (4/5)

Winter and Night by S. J. Rozan, (Edgar Award winner; 3.5/5)

You & Me by Padgett Powell (James Tait Black Prize winner; 3.5/5)

Missing Justice by Alafair Burke (3/5)

Shaken and Stirred: Through the Martini Glass and Other Drinking Adventures by William L. Hamilton (3/5)

Think Like a Lawyer Don't Act Like One: The Essential Rules for the Smart Negotiator by Aernoud Bourdrez (3/5)

A Brief History of Seven Killings by James Marlon (Booker Prize winner; 2/5)

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (5/5)

The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Pulitzer Prize winner; National Book Critics Circle Award winner; 3/5)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (3.5/5)

One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant (3.5/5)

The King's English : A Guide to Modern Usage by Kingsley Amis (4/5)

Mr. White's Confession by Robert Clark (Edgar Award winner; 3.5/5)

Missing Person by Patrick Modiano (Nobel laureate; 3/5)

Bettyville by George Hodgman (3/5)

Don't Point That Thing at Me by Kyril Bonfiglioli (3.5/5)

Psmith in the City by P. G. Wodehouse (3/5)

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (3.5/5)

The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy (4/5)

Nobody Move by Denis Johnson (3/5)

A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone (BOMC's Well Stocked Bookcase; 2.5/5)

Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe (5/5)

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald (3.5/5)

Laughter on the Stairs by Beverley Nichols (3.5/5)

Sunlight on the Lawn by Beverley Nichols (3.5/5)

After You with the Pistol by Kyril Bonfiglioli (3.5/5)

Something Nasty in the Woodshed by Kyril Bonfiglioli (3/5)

Miss Mapp by E. F. Benson (3.5/5)

The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton (4/5)

Be Cool by Elmore Leonard (3.5/5)

A Writer's People by V. S. Naipaul (3/5)

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder (3.5/5)

All the Little Live Things by Wallace Stegner (3.5/5)

The Light and the Dark by C. P. Snow (3/5)

Billingsgate Shoal by Rick Boyer (Edgar Award winner; 3.5/5)

Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh (3.5/5)

Nutshell by Ian McEwan (4/5)

Secondhand Smoke by M. Louis (3.5/5)

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders (3/5)

Library of Luminaries: Coco Chanel by Zena Alkayat (3.5/5)

Lucia in London by E. F. Benson (3.5/5)

The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge (3/5)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (5/5)

Glamorous Powers by Susan Howatch (3.5/5)

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (3.5/5)

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris (3/5)

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (4/5)

Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (3.5/5)

Never Flirt with Puppy Killers: And Other Better Book Titles by Dan Wilbur (3.5/5)


  1. Nice list, Gilion. I'm inspired. Read several of them myself, over time. Thank you for sharing! Judy

  2. I managed to read about 40 books last year, which was way up from the immediate past. I used to be a voracious book reader, but all the screen time at work has taken a toll on my patience for evening reading over the years. I made a conscious effort in 2016 to "read whole books," and it's really paid off. I'm enjoying being my old whole-book-reading self!


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