Ah, Goodreads, what would life be without you? If you know books, you are very likely to know about Goodreads, and you probably know what I mean. Anyway, one of my favorite things about Goodreads is its yearly reading challenge which is very simple: you just enter the number of books you want to read each year and whenever you finish a book you enter it to Goodreads and you have a countdown towards your reading goal.
Well, since 2011 I have entered numbers into this system. I failed miserably trying to read 52 books in 2011 and 2012, so I opted for 30 books in 2013. I read 31 books. Thus, I became more confident and put in 52 again in 2014. This time around, I read 59 books! YAY! So for 2015 I had 60 books. I barely made it through that, but I succeeded. And so at the beginning of 2016 I thought… let’s do 100 books! I have no idea what possessed me.
But here’s the thing: I’m very VERY close to actually reaching that goal! Just three books away. I might just reach it if I opt to read some short books, books for kids or maybe middle grade. I sure hope I will, although well, as you can see instead of reading I’m currently writing this. Huh. Oh well. It’s still crazy: I’ve read 97 books this year! And that’s not even counting the Japanese mangas (though I only read Detective Conan these days), although a lot of them are in fact quite short. So how was my year in books? Again, Goodreads to the rescue with this handy graphic.
And here are my five-star books of the year (disclaimer – contains affiliate links):
Matt Haig is my favorite writer of the year. I first read Reasons to Stay Alive and it touched my heart, so when I saw that Haig had written a middle-grade book for Christmas I jumped right in, and it was magic. I’m saving the sequel for next year though!
These two books are crazy good! The creative presentation leaves me at awe, but also the story itself is brilliant, equal parts engaging and mysterious. I’m SO looking forward to the next book.
- Inteligensi Embun Pagi by Dee Lestari
The final book in an Indonesian series I’ve been following since high school (that’s umm… 13 years ago?) and it was amazing. I hope the series gets translated into English because people NEED to read it. The first book is available in English, though, it’s called Supernova.
- Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved by Jalaluddin Rumi
I bought this little book in Istanbul on layover and read it on the plane. A lady sitting next to me saw me reading and gave me a keychain that had Rumi charms on it. Definitely one of my fave moments of 2016. As for the book itself, well, it’s Rumi. It’s beautiful.
- Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
This little book is actually a collection of quotes from Strayed’s other works but it’s poignant and powerful, not to mention beautiful.
- Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics
I was randomly browsing through a bookstore as I always do when I saw this book. I picked it up then put it back on the shelf. Browsed some more, but couldn’t take my mind off what I just read. So I ended up buying the book, and loving it. The end.
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Funny story: despite having heard about Wonder a lot, I never really wanted to read it. Until Aggy mentioned it, and I bought it for her because it was cheaper at the bookstore near my house, but then she changed her mind about it. So I ended up reading it. And loving it to bits.
- PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God by Frank Warren
I’ve been a fan of PostSecret since the very first book. When this book first came out though, it was just way too expensive for my budget. So I never got around to buying it, until I finally got a second hand copy from Better World Books for my birthday. As expected, it’s the best PostSecret book yet.
- The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
Can’t remember where I saw this book being promoted, possibly in some sort of reading list on Pinterest, but I decided to purchase the e-book and started reading and I couldn’t stop. I loved every story. They are all different but with a similar feel. They kept me on edge. Some stories made me shiver at how true it could become. A few months later when I decided I wanted to buy something from Shakespeare & Co., I saw that they had a signed copy of this book and I just KNEW I had to buy it. And that’s how much I loved this book. Ask anyone, I’m not one to buy a book twice — unless by accident — but I bought this book twice, and that says a lot.
There are some other books that I actually really enjoyed reading but unfortunately didn’t get the “coveted” five-stars. LOL. I tend to hesitate a lot with my ratings, anyway.
How was your year in books? How many books did you read and what were your favorites? Also, have you read any of the books I mentioned? I’d love to know.