While these are not books that were necessarily released in 2016, they were books that I read and loved in 2016! As always I went through valleys and peaks with my reading- I will go from “I can’t put this book down and will spend every spare moment reading” to “nothing appeals to me and I just feel like listening to podcasts” in about a week’s time. I set a lower goal for myself this year with only 52 books (as opposed to my 100 book goal for 2015), but I still made it to over 75 books! These five books were my favourites from 2016, and I would recommend every single one of these without hesitation. So, which books made the cut?
Notorious RBG, Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik
I listened to this audiobook at the end of November, and it certainly made me want to start reading/listening to audiobooks again! Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an incredible woman and although I am sure that a full length biography of her would probably be about 25 hours of listening, it may be overwhelming for someone such as myself who is not overly familiar with the US justice system. This not only gets to the meat of RBG’s story but doesn’t overwhelm you with legal information and decisions. (I understand that that legal info is her life but it would be a little much up front…) We need more books that like this that bring otherwise “distant” figures to the forefront!
Stately Pursuits, Katie Fforde
Chick lit that takes place in a stately home in the English countryside with not a lot of sex? This checked every box on my chick-lit checklist (say that seven times fast), and it was one of those “I can’t put it down” books! While there are reading snobs who dismiss chick-lit as worthless fluff, I would argue it is the fiction equivalent of a sitcom. Sure, it’s not making a life altering statement but it allows for escape and relaxation. Katie Fforde is skilled at providing an escape for you that feels comfortable and welcoming without boring you. If you are a fiction reader, I would recommend trying one of Katie’s novels!
Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
I resisted Crazy Rich Asians for years because the glittery cover turned me off- it gave no indication as to what the storyline is or any specifics. However, Kobo had some sort of super sale in the spring and it was under $5, the cover wasn’t pure glitter and pink with nothing else, so I took a chance. This is about the super rich Chinese who live in Singapore, and the entirely next-level lives that they lead. It’s the kind of crazy that Robin Leech wouldn’t even understand how to narrate (whatever happened to The Fabulous Life of…? Does it still exist? If not, why?). This is another novel that is simply fun and doesn’t require anything of you other than a few hours and a willingness to witness pure insanity due to money.
Matriarch: Queen Mary and the House of Windsor, Anne Edwards
If you are at all interested in the House of Windsor, you will most likely know of Queen Mary and that she was the consort of King George V, but that is probably it. However, she witnessed the reigns of Victoria, Edward VIII, George V, Edward IX, George VI, and Elizabeth II and was a repository of advice and information for her husband, sons, and granddaughter. George V was a fairly quiet monarch, despite reigning for almost twenty six years. Mary and George were no nonsense, to the point people but led some of the most fascinating lives. This is a must read for any royalist, and I hope that more biographers take up Mary’s story!
I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, Judy Greer
Judy Greer is the go-to best friend, girlfriend, and evil co-worker of Hollywood. It’s not a bad gig when you consider that essentially every romantic comedy on tv and in film needs one of these characters. While I have read most every celebrity comedy-memoir that has come out in the last few years, Judy actually makes you believe that she is a regular human being. Not, “I eat fries all the time, I am alllllways late” regular but rather “kids have to be taken to school and awkward moments are a daily occurrence” regular that most of us normal humans face. She is honest and funny and you will probably recognise quite a few scenarios from your own life while you read or listen to this. I would recommend the audiobook, Judy narrates it herself!
So, what were your favourite books of 2016? What books should I be putting on my “2017 to-read” list?