Due to several months of unemployment, I ended up reading quite a bit in 2016. I read 125 books last year, but that number is heavily padded with graphic novels. Of the 125 books, 21 were novels, 3 were short story collections, 28 were poetry books, 15 were nonfiction, 2 were plays, and 56 were graphic novels. If you want to see everything I read, click here.
I’m not going to attempt to rank my favorite books, or even limit the number I write about in this post. Instead, I’ll split it up into different sections. Today, I’ll write about my favorite novels. I’ll write about my favorite poetry books, nonfiction books, and graphic novels in other posts. Also, all titles are linked to their Goodreads descriptions.
I never expected to love this book as much as I do. I was definitely in the right mood when I read this. I wanted to read something funny and light because I just didn’t have the concentration to read anything dense. This book was perfect for that. It is written in epistolary style, making it perfect to read a little bit at a time. Not that I wanted to stop reading. It was so funny. Bernadette’s emails made me laugh out loud. The plot – from Bernadette’s encounters with the private school mothers to her disappearance to Antarctica – are a bit ridiculous, but I love that about it. This book tackled important issues like phobias and social anxiety while staying funny and light. It was funny, self-aware, and sincere. Not bad for “chick-lit.”
Another funny one, but a different kind of a funny. This book is an American in London, and not just any American, but a woman who calls herself Honey Flood, one of the most scheming and craziest characters I’ve ever encountered in literature. And I loved her. She narrates the book with such wit that I couldn’t help cheering her on as she attempted to seduce and swindle an old man out of his money. You wouldn’t think, but this book has a few plot twists that make your jaw drop. I was hooked from the beginning. Honey Flood’s voice was consistent from start to finish even as she was unraveling. I could go on in inarticulate gushings, but I’ll leave it here. Just read the book. Oh, and might I just add that the ending is perfect.
I read this for an Irish Lit course, and we analyzed it through the lens of drug abuse, which I think was far more interesting than reading it through the lens of sex (as it might have been intended). This is an another epistolary, but unlike the first book mentioned, is not funny. In fact, it can be downright horrifying. The epistolary style heightens the suspense and horror. The images in this novel are so vivid, especially in the first part of the novel when Jonathan Harker is in Count Dracula’s castle. I love the atmosphere in gothic novels, so this was joy to read.