2016 book list


my current bedside table

Following are the books I’ve read so far in 2016. Around December 1st, I will write in detail about the 5 or 6 books from this list that I think would make great holiday gifts.

I have put a single asterisk next to any book that I heartily recommend. This designation means I enjoyed the book immensely. If it has two stars, it means it was at the very top of my list, that it’s a book I keep thinking about, and is likely a book I will recommend for years to come.

If you have a question about a particular book, ask. Most of the books without stars are still fine books, but for one reason or another, did not rise to the level of favorite.

Books I’ve Read in 2016

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (fiction)

*Blue Nights by Joan Didion (memoir)

** All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (fiction)

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (fiction)

**Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (fiction)

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (fiction)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (nonfiction)

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton (memoir)

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (nonfiction)

Poetry for Young People: William Butler Yeats (poetry)

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (nonfiction)

**The Leaf and the Cloud by Mary Oliver (poetry)

Lydia’s Party by Margaret Hawkins (fiction)

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Feed by M. T. Anderson (fiction, YA)

*A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (fiction, YA)

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman (historical fiction, YA)

*Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (nonfiction, medical)

Looking for Alaska by John Green (fiction, YA)

**The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (fiction, YA)

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (fiction, YA)

*Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (fiction, YA, graphic novel)

Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn (fiction, middle grade)

The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton (fiction, YA)

**El Deafo by Cece Bell (fiction, YA, graphic novel)

Neverhome by Laird Hunt (historical fiction)

*The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (fiction, YA)

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (fiction)

**Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (fiction, connected short stories)

Smash Cut by Brad Gooch (memoir)

*Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon (nonfiction, travel)

The Conscious Cleanse by Jo Schaalman (nonfiction, health)

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (fiction)

From Tickfaw to Shingaloo by Dixon Hearn (fiction)

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (nonfiction)

*Byrd by Kim Church (fiction)

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

*An Innocent Abroad (nonfiction, short travel essays by various authors)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

**The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (fiction)

*The Whys and Wherefores of Littabelle Lee by Vera Cleaver (fiction, YA)

The Laws of Medicine by Siddhartha Mukherjee (nonfiction, medical)

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (nonfiction)

Extreme Medicine by Kevin Fong, MD (nonfiction, medical)

**Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (nonfiction, medical, death studies)

Best Short Stories from The Post, 2016 (fiction, short stories)


3 thoughts on “2016 book list

    • Well, it’s not on this list but one of my favorite recent books is called The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. I think JP would love that. If he doesn’t know Mary Oliver, I think he would love the poetry book by her called The Leaf and the Cloud, and he’d probably get a big kick out of the travel book called Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon, a classic in the genre with a quiet, wry wit.


      • And Steve Summa, I just started another book that JP will LOVE. It’s called The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Erudite, takes place in Paris (so far). It has JP written all over it


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