This is my second 'catch-up' post of 2016, as I type with my head held low, but since my last post I have consumed 10 (for the most part) fantastic reads that I want to bust through all at once. What a beautiful problem to have; reading too quickly for my hobby-blog to maintain. If you are a GoodReads-Annual-Goal-Obsessor like me, you will know the stress of the final 8 weeks of any year you are trying to reach your reading goal (I am currently on 42/50!) and the ambition of your New Years dreams start dwindling down to reality. Alas, the last 10 reads (in order of date read, not favorite) of 2016 + quick thoughts on each.
No 1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Giaman
This was technically mostly on audiobook (is this the right platform to debate if that counts as reading or not?) but was super quick, entertaining, and a sweet story. It's narrated by Mr. Gaiman himself- fortunately he has a fantastic voice. The tale follows a young boy growing up with a wild imagination who encounters a neighborhood girl who doesn't age, adventure awaits.
No 2. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
There is a mass amount of hype around this book right now, and considering it just won the National Book Award for Fiction, I am going to shy away from oversharing my opinion and review of it. I enjoyed it, but wasn't moved + touched as much as apparently the rest of every single person who has read it was. The characters were beautifully developed and the plot moved in a fascinating way, but I didn't miss it when I was done. (Sorry! Trust me, I feel terrible for not loving it more, but it skipped over me.)
No. 3 The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison
Doy! I read this in 48 hours and while I don't think I would gift it to anyone with a large stamp that says READ THIS!!!!- I still really enjoyed it. A great murder mystery with deception and secrets always drags me in. It was to the point, entertaining, and a generally great October read. If you are riding the train of 'The Next Gone Girl!' you actually will like this one.
No. 4 The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
I read (audiobook, again) this with my work (FRIENDS, REALLY) bookclub and it was fantastic. Amy is hilarious, her memoirs are so raw + ridiculous, and I genuinly really enjoyed it. She narrates the audiobook and I highly suggest it. **Side note** The week after I finished it, I saw her perform at Madison Square Garden and it was the perfect bookish/comedy timing and moment.
No. 5 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
OMG everyone that is hating on this- please stop. It took three hours to consume, it pulled in all Hogwarts narration into an odd screenplay with a twist on characters, and it is such a treat to have more about the wizarding world grace our presence. I loved it. But I WILL say that I was annoyed with it being so beefy from a physical standpoint- to carry around a screenplay that could have been 50 pages paperback but was instead 200+ hardback was unnecessary, but obviously would gladly throw some dollars at J.K. Rowling.
No. 6 The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
I had never even heard of this book (and actually, a few months later + I still haven't met anyone else who has read it yet, either) but got it on Kindle on a whim and am glad I did. It is a fantastic and creepy thriller with some Stockholm Syndrome shit with complex villain action going on. I couldn't put it down and it was unlike most of its kind. If you are looking to be creeped out to the point of not having nightmares but are slightly uncomfortable, this is for you!
No. 7 All the Missing Girls by Miranda Megan
This is also part of 'The Next Gone Girl!' phenomenon and unfortunately, fell short for me. A murder 20+ years ago is told backwards in present day, which was interesting and unique, but seemed fairly obvious to me and was lacking build-up. Harsh, I know, but probably the roughest to get through on this list.
No. 8 A Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
I am not going to defend myself here, but let me say one thing: Lemony Snicket is one of the wittiest authors around and this is my attempt at screaming it from the mountain top. Netflix is making an original series based on this series, Series of Unfortunate Events, releasing in February of 2017 + I gotta get through em' all before then. 3/12 down, can't wait for the rest! I love following these three siblings through ridiculous scenarios. and I just heard that Tim Curry narrates the audiobooks- DREAMY!
No. 9 Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
This was one of my Book of the Month picks that I dove into a few months late (my TBR is piling up more now than ever!) and I will forever remember it because it was the book I was reading during the election and it happens to also be based around immigrants living in NYC, right before Obama was first elected. It's a fantastic read; well developed, unique, interesting, and has wonderfully complex characters. Feeling blue after the election? This is a great pick-me-up.
No. 10 The Vegetarian by Han Kang
I picked this one up about a year ago right when it came out, with strong intent of reading it right away, so when I finally got to it a solid 12 months later- I was stoked that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I could not put it down and finished it before the second day closed, taking longer Subway routes to get more reading time. It was unconventional and a bit haunting- which has been difficult to describe when I keep trying to pass it on as a suggestion to others, but it was fantastic! The story follows a woman who starts having haunting dreams about meat and quickly becomes a vegetarian, then her life starts to get even more odd.
I wont let my last 10 books of the year pile up, but I got goals to finish! If you are on GoodReads, let's be friends!