Reverb16: Best Book

(For the past six years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts to give myself a question to answer every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources, and created my own month-and- a-bit of questions.)

Best Book. What’s the best book you read in the past 12 months?

I challenged myself to read 100 books this year. As of this post, I’ve read 92. I’m going to make it! (I’ll update this post later with all 100.) I’ll list all the books, but I thought I’d also pull out the best of the bunch:

Best Non Fiction: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Best Fiction: Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

Best Poetry: Digest by Gregory Pardo

I learned a bit about myself in this exercise. First, 100 is too many in a year. I finished things I wouldn’t have otherwise and life is too short to finish bad books. I also stayed away from big books because they would take too long. That’s not good. It did mean that I read more poetry – which is awesome. I read a lot of fluff, too. Chick lit, not literature. It’s ok, but I was much more satisfied by the ‘serious’ books. Also, it’s a lot of white people.

So next year the goal is 52 real books. At least 26 of those books should be written by people of color. Poetry is welcome, and will balance out the big books I’d like to read – Shogun, and the Signature of All Things, etc…

So, without further ado …What I Read 2016, A Mostly Complete List:

  • Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
  • We the Animals by Justin Torres
  • Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (*also great)
  • Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
  • The Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream by Katherine Norbury
  • Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich
  • A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (a re-read)
  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore (a sequel)
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (*also great)
  • The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (*also great)
  • The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard
  • The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
  • The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer
  • The Borrower by Rebecca makkai
  • Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia by Richard Cytowic and David Eagleman
  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani
  • The Nakesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (a sequel)
  • Verdant Gnosis: Cultivating the Green Path edited by Catamara Rosarium and Jenn Zahrt PHd
  • The White Magic Five and Dime by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco
  • God on Your Own by Joseph disposa
  • Fool Me Once by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco (a sequel) 
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck (*also great)
  • Firestarter Sessions by Daniel LaPorte
  • Instagram Power by Jason Miles
  • The Girls Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Caitlin Friedman Kimberly Yorio
  • The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark
  • Deck of Spells: Hoodoo Playing Card Magic in Rootwork and Conjure by Professor Charles Porterfeild
  • Financial Sorcery by Jason Miller
  • The 19th wife by David Ebershoff
  • Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (*also great)
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (*also great)
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (*also great)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Nurture Shock : New Thinking About Children by Po Bryson and Ashley Merryman
  • The Border of Paradise Esme Wejun Wang
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt
  • Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (*also great)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine E Robins
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Huston
  • Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
  • Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
  • Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler
  • Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff (*also great)
  • How to Haiku by Bruce Ross
  • Writing and Enjoying Haiku by Jane Reichold
  • Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • Don’t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller 
  • The Little friend by Donna Tartt
  • Dressed for Death by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • Sleepwalking by Meg Wolitzer 
  • Death and Judgment by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • Acqua Alta by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • House of Velvet and Glass by Kath Howe
  • The Runner’s Brain by Jeff Brown and Liz Neporent
  • The Ultimate Treadmill Workout by David Silk 
  • The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee 
  • The Death of Faith by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • The Vacationers by Emma Straub
  • Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham 
  • Sixty Odd, New Poems by Ursula Le Guin 
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin 
  • A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau 
  • Fatal Remedies by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • Digest by Gregory Pardo (poetry) 
  • One Heart, Many Gods: An Absolute Beginners Guide to Devotional Polytheism by Lucy Valunos 
  • Miss Minimalist by Francine Jay
  • The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder (*also great)
  • Friends in High Places by Donna Leon (mystery series)
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • What Belongs to You by Gareth Greenwell 
  • Body in Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care by Maria Noel Groves  (*also great)
  • This Is Water by David Foster Wallace 
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles  (*also great)
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie 
  • Americanah by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie 
  • Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok 
  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver  (*also great)
  • The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
  • Red Suitcase: Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye
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