My Books of 2016

These are the books I read in 2016. If I recommend it, I put an * in front of it. They are listed by date read, not preference.

  1. *City of Thieves – David Benioff
  2. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
  3. *The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters
  4. *Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes – Jules Moulin
  5. Silver Bay – Jojo Moyes
  6. Fast Women – Jennifer Crusie
  7. *Cold-Hearted Rake – Lisa Kleypas
  8. The Dinner – Herman Koch
  9. The Hypnotist’s Love Story – Liane Moriarty
  10. The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
  11. *The Nightengale – Kristin Hannah
  12. The Swans of Fifth Avenue – Melanie Benjamin
  13. *Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
  14. Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  15. *Maybe in Another Life – Taylor Jenkins Reid
  16. Heart of Fire – Linda Howard
  17. Troublemaker – Linda Howard
  18. *The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty
  19. Tangled – Emma Chase
  20. *The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  21. The Girls – Emma Cline
  22. *Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty
  23. *Darkness – Karen Robards
  24. *Sweetbitter – Stephanie Danler
  25. The Vegetarian – Han Kang
  26. Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty
  27. The Valley of the Moon – Melanie Gideon
  28. *First Star I See Tonight – Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  29. *A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman
  30. *Fool Me Once – Harlan Coben
  31. *When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  32. *You’ll Grow Out of It – Jessi Klein
  33. *The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer
  34. *The Stranger – Harlan Coben
  35. Paris For One – Jojo Moyes
  36. *Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain

Some of the books I didn’t put an asterisk by are on other publications’ “Best Of” lists. What can I say? It’s not (always) that I think it’s poorly written or bad, I just can’t think of to whom I’d recommend it.

My top 5 from this list are:

  1. When Breath Becomes Air
  2. A Man Called Ove
  3. City of Thieves
  4. Three Wishes
  5. (tie) The Paying Guests & Sweetbitter

The books at #5 are not easy reads. While reading The Paying Guests, I had to put the book down, get up and walk around to shake it off because it is unnerving and tense at times while other moments I would marvel at how beautiful a sentence was. Sweetbitter is about the wild and indulgent life of a waitress. I was a waitress and my life was nothing like that, but I thought it was interesting.

On a lighter note, I just finished Amy Schumer’s, The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo. There were parts that had me laughing to tears, she really is funny and very readable. It’s definitely raunchy and she curses a ton (Dad, you won’t like it) but she mixes her humor with stories from her life, as well sobering topics like MS and gun control, thus making her very real and likable. I thought it was terrific.

TV

I have kept two new dramas from the fall on my rotation, and sadly I think one of them isn’t coming back.

I, and a lot of America, love “This Is Us.” It has certainly filled the hole that “Parenthood” left. Each week I can’t get over how well the writers are doing. Things don’t go the way you think they will so it’s surprising enough to keep me guessing. I think the acting is terrific and I’m SOOOO happy Milo is back on tv.   : )

My other show is “Pitch.” It’s about the first female professional baseball player and I really, really hope it isn’t already canceled even though I’m apparently 1 of 5 people watching it. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is in it and, though I was not a “Saved By the Bell” girl, I am impressed and am enjoying his performance.

(Side note, I’m on episode 7 of “Westworld” and 4 of “The Crown.” I’m just not ready to comment.)

I’m also enjoying the new comedies “Speechless,” “The Good Place” and “People of Earth.” Are they mind-blowing?  No, but they are sweet and funny which is good, too.

Other than that, my queue is mostly comedies. Here’s what I’m watching:

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Younger,” “Blackish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Mom” (This show is deep; very serious yet very funny.  Allison Janney and Anna Faris are fantastic.  Plus an old neighbor of mine from NY is sometimes on it so that’s fun.), “Life in Pieces,” “Modern Family,” “The Real O’Neals,” “New Girl,” and “Superstore.”

Again, if you haven’t watched “Catastrophe” on Amazon Prime, please do. So funny.

That’s about it for now, no song of the blog today.  Happy New Year!

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4 thoughts on “My Books of 2016

  1. Kim Hockstein

    Great blog! Just copied and pasted your book list onto mine – I always love your recommendations. Don’t know if you like dramas but Ken and I loved Goliath on Amazon streaming. It stars Billy Bob Thornton and he just won the Golden Globe for it. It’s terrific.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Larry

    I like your list. I would add a few more from my list (in no order, I do not write them down so this is from memory): Before the Fall, the Girl in Cabin 10, Underground Railroad (disturbing), Small Great Things, My grandmother asked me to tell you she is sorry, Born to Run (too long), The Undoing Project (not just for nerds), Truly Madly Guilty, Commonwealth (very hard to keep track of everyone), The Widow, Lilac Girls, and a few others I can’t remember!

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  3. julieflevine Post author

    I have Commonwealth on my counter – can’t wait to read it. I didn’t like Truly Madly Guilty actually which I was disappointed about. Before the Fall and My Grandmother are on my queue at the library. I’m gearing up for Underground Railroad. The rest I will look into – thanks Larry!

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