2016 // What I Read in Q1

Saturday, December 31, 2016

While not necessarily a "New Year's Resolution" (I don't really do those anymore), I read more in 2016 than I have in many, many years, and I'm chronicling what I read this year in a series of posts by quarter. Read about the backstory here.

Q1 started off immediately with a book club meeting on January 4 (we're doing it again this year on January 3—we meet every 6-7 weeks and it's the perfect amount of time).

That book club selection was (mine) and it was a doozie:

- Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 by Charles Murray. Boy, I don't read books like this often (ever?) but this one was recommended by my dad and I took a chance on it and chose it for book club, craving the accountability to finish. We all agreed that reading this book was very timely, considering this year's presidential election and all that's been subsequently said/written about it. If you can get past all of the numbers/graphs at the beginning of the book (necessary as they are!), his analysis of what everything means in the back half of the book is indeed fascinating. Or, just read the final chapter and feel your mind stretch. This book won the superlative in our 1st annual book club ballot: "Book You Thought Most About Afterward."

- Still Life by Louise Penny (the first installment of the Inspector Gamache series). I really, really liked this book, but the pace of it wasn't super-quick. It was a more thoughtful mystery than I'd ever read before (I do adore the main character, Gamache). I'm currently listening to the second one on audiobook.

I think right before or after that (can't remember exactly, I wasn't faithfully using Goodreads yet!), I finished Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. It was a quick page-turner, and will make a good movie (I believe Reese Witherspoon's production company bought the rights to that book before it was even released).

I DEVOURED The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah in February. The writing wasn't super smooth to me (superfluous, if that description fits?) for the first half or so (especially compared to the true masterwork of All the Light We Cannot See), but the story was really, really good, and I was captivated in the end.

In March, our book club selection was Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, and I was super impressed. It's always refreshing to read something that feels brand-new—the writing was definitely singular, and the structure of the book itself into two distinct, almost self-contained halves provided so much interest to me.

I also really started getting into the swing of having an audiobook going all the time. I think (can't remember exactly back that far), but I listened to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (excellent) and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (LOVED LOVED LOVED and probably especially good on audio).

Be my friend on Goodreads and see what I rated everything!

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