What I Read – October 2017

Bellevue Square – Michael Redhill (Doubleday Canada, 2017)

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles (Viking, 2016)

The End We Start From – Megan Hunter (Hamish Hamilton, 2017)

Ghost Warning – Kara Stanley (Caitlin Press, 2017)

Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin (A Harvest Book, 1983)

All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfect blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but as something that is. – Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

A Boys’ Treasury of Sea Stories (Paul Hamlyn, 1968)

Currently Reading:

The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf

The Lifters – Dave Eggers

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What I Read – September 2017

(My dad felt that my summer reading level had dropped off so I have done my best to boost my numbers this September. However, please keep your expectations low for October.)

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina – Kara LaReau (Amulet Books, 2017)

The Good People – Hannah Kent (Little, Brown, 2017)

The Wind is not a River – Brian Payton (Ecco, 2014)

How to Breathe Underwater – Julie Orringer (Vintage, 2003)

All We Leave Behind – Carol Off (Random House Canada, 2017)

Lost in September – Kathleen Winter (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2017)

Didn’t Finish:

The Wonderling Mira Bartok (Candlewick Press, 2017)

Currently Reading:

The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf

Bellevue Square – Michael Redhill

What I Read – August 2017

The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden (Del Rey, 2017)

Teardown – Clea Young (Free Hand Books, 2016)

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 – Naoki Higashida (Random House, 2017)

The Golden House Salman Rushdie (Random House, 2017)

Currently Reading:

The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf

The Wind is not a River – Brian Payton

The Wonderling – Mira Bartok

What I Read – July 2017

Woefully lately but in the interests of keeping track (for myself because I’m sure no one has been waiting with baited breath), here is what I read in July:

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill (Harper Collins Publishers, 2017)

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (Knopf, 2017)

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (Blumhouse Books, 2017)

Himself by Jess Kidd (Atria Books, 2017)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Hogarth, 2017)7

What I Read – June 2017

This felt like kind of a strange reading month for me. I started off by reading Alexie’s memoir and Verghese’ back-to-back, while also working my way through Chesterton’s autobiography. While I enjoyed each one, it also felt like a lot of male experiences and I was itching for some feminine perspective to balance it out. Something that hasn’t really happened to me before. I was eager to read Allende, an author I’ve also heard highly of but haven’t read before. A ferry ride and a night away on my own was the perfect opportunity. Then some Agatha Christie and I was ready to finish tackling Chesterton (reviews to come).

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me – Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown and Company, 2017)

The Tennis Partner – Abraham Verghese (Harper Collins, 1998)

The Japanese Lover – Isabel Allende (Atria Paperback, 2015)

Autobiography – G.K. Chesterton (Hamish Hamilton, 1986)

Re-Read:

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie (Cardinal Editions, 1960)

Didn’t Finish:

Gork, the Teenage Dragon – Gabe Hudson (Knopf, 2017)

Currently Reading:

The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Heather O’Neill

What I Read – April 2017

The Unwomanly Face of War – Svetlana Alexievich (Random House, 2017)

(translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Do Not Say We Have NothingMadeleine Thien (Knopf Canada, 2016)

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray, 2017)

A Manual for Cleaning Women – Lucia Berlin (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2015)

Currently Reading:

Silence – Shusaku Endo

The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman

What I Read – March 2017

I’ve fallen behind in reviewing books but am working to catch up and get some reviews posted next week. In the meantime, here’s what I read this month:

EileenOttessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press, 2015)

The Dark and Other Love Stories Deborah Willis (Hamish Hamilton, 2017)

She was glad that was done. What a relief. But then again, if she could, she’d do it all over. Everything. Her whole life. She’d live it again, just for the small but real pleasures of a donut and coffee, of holding her daughter in her arms, of making money, of sleeping late, of waking up.

  • Deborah Willis, “The Nap”

How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen – Joanna Faber & Julie King (Scribner, 2017)

The Break – Katherena Vermette (Anansi, 2016)

The Garden of Eden – Ernest Hemingway (Scribners, 1986)

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday, 2015)

…and he realizes that this is the way it is, the way it must be: you don’t visit the lost, you visit the people who search for the lost.

  • Hanya Yanagihara

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf Canada, 2017)

The Dinner Party and Other Stories – Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown, 2017)

Didn’t Finish:

The Travelers – Chris Pavone

What I Read – February 2017

The ConjoinedSookfong Jen Lee (ECW Press, 2016)

Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer (Hamish Hamilton, 2016)

Jacob was a man who withheld comfort but stood at thresholds long after others would have walked away. He always stood at the open front door until the car pool drove off. Just as he stood at the window until the back wheel of Sam’s bike disappeared around the corner. Just as he watched himself disappear.

Barrelling Forward – Eva Crocker (Anansi, 2017)

The Best Kind of People – Zoe Whittall (Anansi, 2016)

What is Not Your is Not Yours – Helen Oyeyemi (Hamish Hamilton, 2016)

Currently Reading:

Simply Christian – N.T. Wright

The Travelers – Chris Pavone

What I Read – January 2017

Read:

The Sellout – Paul Beatty (Picador, 2015)

Reflections on the Psalms – C.S. Lewis (A Harvest Book, 1958)

A vocation is a terrible thing. To be called out of nature into the supernatural life is at first (or perhaps not quite at first – the wrench of the parting may be felt later) a costly honour. Even to be called from one natural level to another is loss as well as gain. Man has difficulties and sorrows which the other primates escape.

  • C.S. Lewis

I Carried You Home – Alan Gibney (Patrick Crean Editions, 2016)

Beauty Plus Pity – Kevin Chong (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2011)

The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey (Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books, 2012)

In the light of day, her dreams were drained of their nightmarish quality, and they seemed whimsical and strange, but the taste of loss remained in her mouth.

  • Eowyn Ivey

When She Was ElectricAndrea MacPherson (Polestar, 2003)

Perfect Little World – Kevin Wilson (Harper Collins, 2017)

Let one person tell her she couldn’t have it and she would claw them into submission. Let one more person tell her what she could and could not have, and she would smile, nod, and, without apology, do whatever the hell she wanted.

  • Kevin Wilson

Such is My Beloved – Morley Callaghan (McClelland & Stewart, 1994)

Even a dream of social betterment usually is a bitter disappointment. We’ve got to accept the disappointment and go on. All of us must be terribly disappointing to God. By any standard of justice God might have abandoned us all long ago and left us to shift for ourselves as those girls are shifting now wherever they are, whatever they are doing.

  • Morley Callaghan

Fates & Furies – Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books, 2015)

Currently Reading:

Simply Christian – N.T. Wright

Birdie – Tracey Lindberg

What I Read in 2016

Here it is, the complete list! While I will likely never again reach the reading heights of 2015, this was a good year, book-wise. Hope it was the same for you!

Fiction:

Top Ten:

  1. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt (Back Bay Books, 2013)
  2. The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene (Penguin Books, 1981)
  3. Wenjack – Joseph Boyden (Hamish Hamilton, 2016)
  4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan (Vintage International, 2015)
  5. The High Mountains of Portugal – (Yann Martel (Knopf Canada, 2016)
  6. Commonwealth – Ann Patchett (Harper, 2016)
  7. Daydreams of Angels – Heather O’Neill (Harper Collins, 2015)
  8. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace (Back Bay Books, 2006)
  9. Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese (Vintage Canada, 2010)
  10. The Secret History – Donna Tartt (Vintage Contemporaries, 1992)

And the rest…(alphabetical by author’s last name)

11. Fifteen Dogs – André Alexis (Coach House Books, 2015)
12. A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson (Doubleday Canada, 2015)
13. The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday Canada, 2015)
14. The BellmanHeidi Barnes (Vireo Rare Bird Books, 2016)
15.The Secret Chord Geraldine Brooks (Viking, 2015
16. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes (Penguin Books, 2003)
(translated by John Rutherford)
17. The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix-Sweeney (Harper Avenue, 2016)
18. Waiting for the Cyclone – Leesa Dean (Brindle & Glass, 2016)
19. The Wonder – Emma Donoghue (Harper Collins, 2016)
20. A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (Anchor Books, 2010)
21. Swimming Lessons Claire Fuller (House of Anansi Press, 2017)
22. Paper Towns – John Green (Penguin Books, 2008)
23. The Humans – Matt Haig (Harper Collins, 2013)
24. Before I Fall – Noah Hawley (Grand Central Publishing, 2016)
25. His Whole Life –  Elizabeth Hay (Emblem Editions, 2015)
26. The Painted Kiss – Elizabeth Hickey (Atria Books, 2005)
27. A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby (Riverhead Books, 2005)
28. The Vegetarian – Han Kang (Portobello Books, 2015)
(translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith)
29. Trying to Save Piggy Sneed – John Irving (Arcade Publishing, 1996)
30. Flight Behavior – Barbara Kingsolver (Harper Perennial, 2012)
31. A Separate Peace – John Knowles (Bantam Books, 1998)
32. Music for Wartime – Rebecca Makkai (Viking, 2015)
33. A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon – Anthony Marra (Vintage Canada, 2014)
34. Transatlantic – Colum McCann (Harper Perennial, 2013)
35. Thirteen Ways of Looking –Colum McCann (Harper Collins, 2015)
36. The Company She Keeps – Mary McCarthy (Penguin Books, 1966)
37. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be – Farley Mowat (Pyramid Books, 1968)
38. The Little Red Chairs – Edna O’Brien (Little, Brown and Company, 2016)
39. By Gaslight – Steven Price (McClelland & Stewart, 2016)
40. Monkey Beach – Eden Robinson (Vintage Canada, 2001)
41. Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson (Harper Perennial, 2005)
42. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (Viking Canada, 1997)
43. Today Will Be Different – Maria Semple (Little Brown, 2016)
44. The Trees – Ali Shaw (Bloomsbury, 2016)
45. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith (Red Fox, 2001)
46. Missing, Presumed – Susie Steiner (Harper Collins, 2016)
47. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (Harper Avenue, 2014)
48. Modern Lovers – Emma Straub (Random House, 2016)
49. On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light – Cordelia Strube (ECW Press, 2016)
50. The Death of Ivan Ilyich & Other Stories – Leo Tolstoy (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
(translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky)
51. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist – Sunil Yapa (Lee Boudreau Books, 2016)
52. Revolutionary RoadRichard Yates (Vintage Contemporaries, 2008)

Non-Fiction:
(alphabetical by author’s last name)

53. Six Walks in the Fictional Wood – Umberto Eco (Harvard University Press, 1994)
54. A Tale of Three Kings – Gene Edwards (Tyndale House Publishers, 1992)
55. Prayer – Timothy Keller (Dutton, 2014)
56. Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson (Flatiron Books, 2015)
57. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer – C.S. Lewis (Mariner Books, 2012)
58. A Grief Observed – C.S. Lewis (Faber & Faber, 2013)
59. But You Did Not Come BackMarceline Loridan-Ivens (Penguin, 2016) (translated by Sandra Smith)
60. Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008)
61. The Dirty Life – Kristin Kimball (Scribner, 2010)
62. The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Elizabeth Pantley (McGraw Hill, 2005)
63. The Givenness of Things
– Marilynne Robinson (HarperCollins, 2015)
64. An Invisible ThreadLaura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski (Howard Books, 2011)
65. Half Broke HorsesJeannette Walls (Scribner, 2009)
66. Rumours of Another World – Philip Yancey (Zondervan, 2004)

Children’s:

67. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein (Yearling, 2014)
68. The Adventures of Miss Petitfour – Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block (Tundra Books, 2015)
69. Pax – Sara Pennypacker (illustrated by Jon Klassen) (Balzer + Bray, 2016)
70. At the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness – Andrew Peterson (Water Brook Press, 2008)
71. The Fox at the Manger – P.L. Travers (Virago Modern Classics, 2015)

Re-read:

72. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (An Airmont Classic, 1963)
73. A Tangled Web – L.M. Montgomery (Bantam Books, 1989)
74. The Blue Castle – L.M. Montgomery (McClelland & Stewart, 1989)
75. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books, 2014)
76. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut (Vintage, 2000)

The Year in Review:

  • As always, my fiction reading far outstrips my non-fiction. Only 18% of my 2016 reads were non-fiction
  • Only five of those non-fiction reads were theological/religious in nature. (Maybe six, if you include Marilynne Robinson’s essays.) This was less than previous years but based on my To Read list for 2017, that may look different next year.
  • 23% of my reads were from Canadian authors. Most of them were very good. We’re a country of good books.
  • My male to female author ratio was pretty even but female authors did win out this year.
  • I only read five books translated from other languages. This is something I continue to need to work on.
  • I read five books that would best be described as “tomes” (ie: 500+ pages). I’m happy to see that each was worth the time invested, for various reasons.
  • I reviewed 80% of my 2016 reads here on the blog. That’s definitely my best percentage since I started sharing book reviews and I hope to maintain and even increase that number in 2017.

What about you? What did 2016 look like for you in books? What was the best book you read this year? Or the worst? What have you read from my list and what are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

Happy New Year!