Must Read in 2016, A Final Review

Photo published for #MustReadin2016

Today, I will finish the last book that I was able to read in the Must-read-in-2016 session. The Invention of Hugo Cabret will be my 49th of the 73 books on my original list. This is about 2/3 of the books on the list. After the first three months I thought 50-60 of these books would be an easy reach but the distractions really piled up over the last half of the year (many really great distractions, some less so) and I have reached the conclusion that one is likely to be quite focused early in the year, and not so later on.

It was an exciting project and big thanks to Carrie Gelson at There’s a Book For That for hosting. I plan to shorten my 2017 list just a little bit, and I hope to read more than 2/3 of the books on the new list. Here are the final ten that I read since September. I finished the last three just this week, which raises the question, “What was I doing in November?” I think my current position provides a bit more of a challenge this year to my reading time, but that is the way it goes in teaching.

A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1) The next two in this series will be one of the distractions that keeps me from the books on my 2017 list.

All American Boys I kept waiting to see this in a library and I never did. I finally just bought it. Not for class, not for a library that I work at. Just for me. Totally worth it. One of the only books I read this year that I had no plans to pass on immediately after reading. Which usually means it ends up in my wife’s TBR pile.

Home of the Brave After reading Long Walk to Water this year and Fish last year for Global Read Aloud this was a given. Every bit as sweet as I thought it would be. I had a student who does not read many novels take this one out. I think the smaller amounts or print but a meaningful story were a perfect match for him and a pairing he does not often find.

Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #2)  I read six Mercy Watson books and two Tales from Deckawoo Drive with my five/six year old this year. We really enjoyed this story of courage and redemption.

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1) This title was influenced by my other daughter. She loves this series so much and had been pestering my wife and me to read it. I am adding the second to my Must-Read in 2017 list partially as an act of appeasement, but also because I enjoyed this book.

The Thief Lord I really can’t believe I hadn’t read this book. My neighbor at school loves it and taught it really well to some students I ended up teaching, who also raved about it. I have read many other books by Cornelia Funke. I have been to Venice and really wish I could go back. I finally got to this one and it is really good.

The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1) This was another book that I inherited as a librarian and felt I should read to see what it was all about. I like to read the first book in as many series as I can to help match readers with things they might like. I enjoyed the mystery, and I am sucker for books that include the group that comes up late in the book. The voice reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate Events which was a series that I liked, but not enough to continue after the second book. That will likely be true for me in this case.

The Peripheral I may have picked the worst/best time to read this book in light of world politics. There are so many things explained in this book that are just ahead of the curve of our changing world. A lot of tech and a lot of speculative fiction, and the latter is my favourite type of “adult” book to read. I loved/hated the truth of this book. One example is when a character explains what happened in the past to another, “Reality television? It merged with politics.” A few years ago when this was written we might not have felt the impact of this line quite so much.

An Event in Autumn (Kurt Wallander, #9.5) I am sucker for all Kurt Wallander novels and I missed this novella when it originally came out. It is officially number 9.5 in the series. If you have ever been a fan, there is a note from the author that explains a lot about the character and why he writes with him. It was really interesting. The book itself is a nice, short tidy mystery with the consistently great insights and characters that make me miss Henning Mankell.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret I am including this book even though I am not actually finished it yet (I have about twenty pages left and it is a very quick read). I have not watched the movie and have never read a Brian Selznick book. They are so different from much of what I read that I really felt compelled to give it a try. It is a good book. I really need to finish to understand why Hugo is so untrusting and untruthful to the other characters (I wrote that sentence with 100 pages left, but I think I see where we are going now).

Thanks for reading my list. I am off to finish Hugo Cabret before the Canada-USA World Junior Hockey Tournament Game (long a holiday tradition for me). Happy Reading to all in 2017!

4 thoughts on “Must Read in 2016, A Final Review

  1. Congratulations on completing so many of the books on your list. I took me a while to get through your post since I was running over to goodreads to add some of these titles to my list. I have added Home of the Brave to my 2017 must read list. I’m also a Kurt Wallander fan, but have only watched the tv series. Perhaps this year I will try reading the books… It’s been such a long time since I read any William Gibson. I appreciate how you have articulated the relationship between real life and our reading experiences.


  2. A lot of people have talked about Lockwood and Co. One day I’ll try those out!
    You did have an ambitious list! Good for you for getting so many in! I tried to be less ambitious this year and I still didn’t finish 🙂


  3. I, too, found that I read a lot more of my list in the first half of the year than during the end of the year! For me it was both distractions and a desire to read all the best 2016 books before the year ended. I am very impressed by the huge number of books you did manage to read!


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