My 2016 in Books*

For me there’s no debate between physical books and a Kindle. Under the most ideal circumstances, I would choose real books.

But this year, there was a dearth of ideal circumstances, i.e. quaint afternoons spent in cafes while sipping a warm latte and enjoying a view of trees or beaches. Because life in 2016 was, you know,  (there seems to be a consensus, LOL at our bandwagon sentimentality).

My heart will always crave books for their tactile pleasure. That’s what any self-righteous reader would say: that the joy of reading a physical volume can never be replaced by clutching a thin, flat plastic tablet.

Despite this presupposition, I read almost exclusively on my Kindle this year. To be quite frank, I didn’t miss flipping pages, nor the extra bag weight. It was different, but it still felt good. Because I got to read for pleasure, period.

In 2016 I read more than I’ve ever read in the last three years. I read in UV Express lines, while getting various pampering processes done, in between errands, in the toilet, before bed. I read to escape. I read to know new things. I read to get ideas and stay inspired. I read and read and read. And at the end of the day that was what mattered. That I got to enjoy a good chapter whenever I wanted to.

Anyway, this isn’t a love letter about my Kindle (although seriously guys I think it’s such a good investment). This note is about what I consider one of the most important milestones of this year – that I was able to read more books.

So here’s a list of places and stories I’ve been. In between memoirs and a brief nostalgic Nancy Drew spate, I read a lot of sci fi and spec. I failed to finish That Hideous Strength after repeated attempts. And I’m owning up that I’ve never actually finished a single Llosa book in my life.

My “Book Of The Year” would have to be SEVENEVES for its epicness. Nothing more fascinating than hard science fiction and a genesis account that covers almost the same timeline as the bible (please correct me if I am wrong on this one). My favorite author is Helen Oyeyemi for making me enjoy fairy tales, for her characters’ stream of consciousness, and for her skill in writing in so many diverse voices. Reading Patti Smith’s memoirs is like experiencing simultaneous deja vu and future visions – one of those writers who have already influenced how I will feel and think about things in the coming years.

This list is really for posterity so that I can be motivated to keep reading and to actually get back into actual books again in 2017 (but seriously you can highlight and make notes in a Kindle too and it’s so much easier to get your reader user data lolololol).

How can you utilize this list? I am underscoring recommendations.

*If you are a purist, sorry if my title is misleading :p

FINISHED (By order in which I finished them)
  1. In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
  2. Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
  3. Just Kids by Patti Smith
  4. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
  5. SEVENEVES by Neil Stephenson
  6. Nancy Drew and The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
  7. Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene
  8. Nancy Drew and The Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene
  9. Nancy Drew and The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene
  10. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  11. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
  12. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  13. Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
  14. A Tale for The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  15. Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame
  16. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  17. The Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
  18. Out Of The Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
  19. M Train by Patti Smith
  20. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
  21. Democracy by Joan Didion
  22. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and JK Rowling
  23. Infomocracy by Malka Older
  24. The Girls by Emma Cline
  25. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  26. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  27. Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
  28. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  29. The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay
  30. Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  31. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
NOT FINISHED
  1. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  2. Room by Emma Donoghue
  3. A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson
  4. The Fabric of The Cosmos by Brian Greene
  5. Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail
  6. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
  7. Feast of The Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA)
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