Books of 2016 (Q1)

Three days after a goal race seems like the right time for a post almost devoid of anything running related.

I only read 28 books in 2015, which is a bit sad because I really love reading.  I’m hoping to read at least 50 this year and it looks like I’m mostly on pace to meet that goal.  We’re going to Miami in May to watch my little brother get married (!) and use some vacation time, so I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of reading on planes and at the beach.

  1. The Marriage Plot: Unlike most of the top Amazon reviewers, I really liked this.  I haven’t read Middlesex (though it’s on my nightstand!).  If The Marriage Plot is a huge letdown after Middlesex like a lot of the reviewers saw, I guess I’ll be in for a major treat!
  2. Blame: For whatever reason I just did not care about any of the characters in this book.  And the pacing was much slower than I’d expected for a book with “compulsive pleasures of a page turner” on the cover.
  3. The Family Fang: This was definitely weird but overall a really enjoyable read.  One of the reviews compares it to The Royal Tenenbaums and…yeah, this should be a Wes Anderson movie.
  4. Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement:  Time for some light reading!  Kidding.  I found this in a new books shelf at the library and read it in an attempt to better understand current events.  It helped some in that regard but I wish it had been organized more chronologically. Do not recommend reading before bed.
  5. The Girl on the Train:  I liked the dark, unreliable narration by Rachel (the alcoholic with frequent blackouts) but didn’t find the story as thrilling as expected.  Maybe all of the comparisons to Gone Girl gave me unreasonable expectations.
  6. Girl Through Glass: The writing is fantastic.  But there were parts of this that were deeply disturbing, along the lines of Lolita and Black Swan.  I found it hard to put down this book and it’s one that I will have a hard time forgetting.
  7. The Grownup: This barely qualifies as a book since it’s a 60-something page short story republished as a standalone.  It’s a nice quick read, though I thought the ending was weak.
  8. The Life and Death of Sophie Stark: I really liked how each chapter of this book is narrated by a different person who knew the main character (Sophie Stark).  It reminded me of watching a documentary, which is appropriate since Sophie  is a filmmaker.  However, this is another one where I thought the ending was weak.  Everything was wrapped up too nicely.
  9. My Misspent Youth: I think I originally heard saw this book on a Buzzfeed list of “20 books that are OMG perfect depictions of your 20s” or something like that.  Aside from the title essay, I didn’t care much for this book.
  10. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: I loved this.  It struck me as an especially good book for high schoolers.  The prose is beautiful but not exactly challenging and the social and racial issues are certainly relevant.
  11. White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of MedicineThis was a very, very tricky read for me.  I don’t dispute that health care and medical research in the US has flaws but there were sections of this book that do not reflect my professional experience.  I’ll leave it at that.
  12. The Silence of Great Distance: Full review here.
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3 Responses to Books of 2016 (Q1)

  1. Angela says:

    Will have to add some of those to my list! I loved Middlesex so I’ll have to check out The Marriage Plot.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Books of 2016 (Q2) | Rungry

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