Northwest Native: Show Us Your Books - 2016 In Review

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Show Us Your Books - 2016 In Review

I'm super late to the party, but this is my first time ever linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana! I always love to read other people's posts (but also kind of hate it because my TBR is super long as it is), so I thought I'd start off now with an overview of what I read in 2016. Then maybe I'll actually make it a monthly thing in 2017.

First things first: add me on Goodreads! I didn't really utilize Goodreads as a social network before blogging, only to keep track of my reading (and I took a hiatus of a few years in between) so I don't have very many GR friends.

I set my Goodreads challenge at 30 books this year, because I underestimated myself. I upped it to 40 once I reached 30, and ended up at 63! However, two of those were short stories, so I'll count those two as one, but I also read the first four Harry Potter books and didn't count them since I'd read them before, so they were already rated. So if I add four and subtract one, that puts me at 66. My goal for next year will start out at 52. (It's mind-blowing to me that I was able to read more than a book a week averaged out. That seems like so many!)

Since I didn't do posts about books I read throughout the year, the ones freshest in my mind are the ones I read most recently. But I'll try to break it down into favorites and least favorites over the year.
Life According to Steph


The Secrets of Midwives - Sally Hepworth // I couldn't really tell you what happens in this now, since I read it at the beginning of the year. Books are like that for me, I basically completely forget them (with a few exceptions) shortly after I read them. And yet, I haven't read many books more than once. Not only did I love this book, I won it free in a Goodreads book giveaway, so that was exciting.

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes // Me and the rest of the world.

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion // I held off on reading the sequel, The Rosie Effect because of Erin's not-so-glowing review. Should I read it, or no?

A Dog's Purpose - W. Bruce Cameron // I came about this book by accident. Last Christmas, Michael's mom was going to put it in for the White Elephant exchange, but I said I wanted it so she let me have it instead. :) Anyway, I bawled like five separate times. But it's so good. And it's being made into a may have seen a trailer for it.

The Royal We - Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan // I'm not even into the royal family, so I didn't think I'd love this so much, but I really did.

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty // This is one of my favorite Moriarty books now.

Inside the O'Briens - Lisa Genova // I've loved all four of Genova's books. She's one of my favorite authors and I hope she writes a billion more books.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin // Can't explain it, but this book was SO. GOOD.

Larger Than Life & Leaving Time - Jodi Picoult // Larger Than Life is a novella that introduces one of the main characters in the novel Leaving Time and both of them were so much better than I was expecting. Jodi Picoult is another of my favorite authors, so I usually expect a lot out of her novels, but for some reason when I read the description I was like, "Elephants?" Also, you don't have to read both for the other to make sense.

The Thing About Jellyfish - Ali Benajmin // This is a super young adult book, but I loved it so much I read it in one day. I adored the main character, Suzy.

A Hundred Summers - Beatriz Williams // I just loved this story. As my review on Goodreads says, movies are never as good as the books, but I think this should absolutely be made into a movie.

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy - Sue Klebold // Just gonna copy and paste my Goodreads review here: "So much to say. This was emotional, gripping, and insightful. I always hate when parents are judged so harshly for their children's actions. The Klebold family sounds like any other family. There were even facets of Dylan's personality/experience that could describe myself or my brothers. Sue is now an advocate for brain health (her reasoning for using that term instead of mental health is in the book and I'd never considered it before, but I do believe that's a better term) and all of the proceeds of this book are going to research. Obviously this country still has major issues with brain illness and there's a stigma attached. Hopefully this book can help people try to understand that it's not something to be ashamed of or try to hide and face on your own, or help parents, friends, teachers, etc. identify often overlooked symptoms of depression and other brain illnesses in others before it's too late."

Oh, and I can't forget...ALL of the Harry Potter books, including the ones I had already read. :)


After You - Jojo Moyes // You just can't really follow up Me Before You in a very satisfying way.

You & Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes // I rated You four stars, but it was just so hyped up that it fell kind of flat for me. Also, I really hated Joe. Everyone said he was a likable psychopath, but I didn't get that at all. And lots of people didn't really enjoy Hidden Bodies, so no surprise there.

The Kind Worth Killing - Peter Swanson // Meh. It was fine. But everyone and their mother had read it or added to to their TBR list so I was expecting more.

Luckiest Girl Alive - Jessica Knoll // Some people loved this book, some couldn't get past their dislike of the main character. I definitely disliked Ani, but disliking the main character doesn't always mean I'll hate the book. With all the hype, I had expected more like four stars, but I'm not mad I read it.

All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven // Again, so much hype. I loved the characters, but as I was reading I kind of was thinking, "What is the point of this book?" until towards the end. (I know, there isn't necessarily a "point" of novels except to entertain. But hopefully you know what I mean.)

Second Glance - Jodi Picoult // This was my least favorite Jodi Picoult book by far. It was just...too much. I can't decide if I would like it more or less if it was written by someone other than JP (more because I didn't have such high expectations, or less because I'm so attached to JP's writing).

No One Knows - J.T. Ellison // I was so excited to read this, and the beginning was nice and suspenseful and mysterious, but as you learned more details it got less exciting, and a little over the top. And then at the high point of the action, it was like watching a cheesy action movie to me. I did like how the epilogue turned out though.

Winter Street & Winter Stroll - Elin Hilderbrand // I didn't have super high expectations for these, because I know Hilderbrand writes beach reads that some people love and some people won't touch. And...yeah. I'm sorry, Ava is so annoying. I pride myself on not letting my dislike of a character ruin the book/story for me, and this tested me. She wasn't the only thing I didn't like, though. I just thought Winter Street was kind of over the top (so much drama) and while Stroll was slightly better, I still didn't think it deserved three stars.

I may have finished another book or two by the time this is published (I'm finishing it up on the 22nd), but here is (just about) everything I read in 2016:

Mattie's bookshelf: read

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
Between the World and Me
A Hundred Summers
Winter Stroll
The Thing About Jellyfish
No One Knows
Winter Street
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
The Light Between Oceans
Second Glance
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Truly Madly Guilty
All the Bright Places
Leaving Time
Larger Than Life
The Girl Before
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Mattie Dulka's favorite books »

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  1. Ahhh so many of my favorites...Big Little Lies, Me Before You, The Storied Life of AJ Fickry...yes!!! I read more books than my goal this year too...go us!!!! Oh, and a completely different note...our Lush shirt is on sale!!! I noticed it last night!

  2. You did such an awesome job-- literally doubling your original goal! I think you should totally count the rereads of HP. I don't know if it would bug you, but I've heard of some people rating a different edition so they can essentially rerate it and add it to their list for that year. I'm so annoyed my library doesn't have A Hundred Summers, it seems like too popular of a book for them not to have, haha, but hopefully they'll get it at some point next year because I keep hearing how good it is! I just commented on another post about how I want to read You, but I have no idea if I'll like it, for some reason I relate it to Colleen Hoover books (which I've really disliked), so I'm afraid going into it with that mindset will just cause me not to like it, even though I could be totally wrong. I've never read anything by Genova, but now I really want to & just realized I have 2 of her books on my TBR list already. Do you have a favorite?

  3. I enjoyed The Rosie Project but haven't moved forward either. Although I loved You...haven't made up my mind about Hidden Bodies yet. The author has said we will get more Joe in the future so I think it really depend on the overall series arc.

  4. I'm glad you linked up today, Mattie! My first time linking this with series was last month so I'm going to try to be better about it in 2017, too!
    I really want to read A Dog's Purpose, although I know it will wreck me. Also, I enjoyed The Royal We even though I didn't think I would!

  5. good job on all your reading girl!
    i totally count re-reads as reads.. if that makes sense. you can choose which edition you read (ebook, paperback, etc etc) and i just choose a different edition when i re-read. of course, i could just not count it, but i re-read a lot and i want them to count! haha.
    i 100% vote NO on the sequel to Rosie. I read it, didn't *hate* it, but it wasn't very good and kind of tainted my love for the first one, if that makes sense. so skip for sure!
    i had a dogs purpose on my list, but i'm not sure if i want to read it. i'm just going to cry like a maniac, and at least the movie is a shorter period of crying than a book, you know? even if its not sad, i cry like the entire time i am reading about animals, so that's a lot of crying at least with a movie it's only 1 or 2 hours. haha.
    i'm glad you loved the royal we :) i loved it so much and feel like re-reading it again! and yes, AJ Fikry. SO GOOD.
    and um YES. A Hundred Summers would be a FABULOUS movie. who do we need to talk to make that happen?!
    i agree about After You. I liked it, but nowhere near as much as Me Before You, but I had like a year or something in between them, so my expectations weren't crazy high. Bummer about the kind worth killing - it is in my massive library pile.

  6. Way to go on your totally kicking your reading goal's butt this year! That's so awesome! I think that if you can read more than a book a week that's pretty stellar! I'm adding The Secret Lives of Midwives and The O'Briens to my list because they both sound so interesting! I also need to get started on reading The Royal We and The Storied Life of AJ Fickery because I've heard such great things about them!

  7. You got through a lot of books this year! My reading habits tapered off majorly in the second half of the year, unfortunately. I just couldn't find a book that really grabbed my attention, and everything's been a slow crawl. I should revisit the Harry Potter books again at some point.

  8. You couldnt pay me enough money to read A Dog's Purpose... nor see the movie. Nope... not in a thousand years.

  9. I love The Royal We too! I really need to read AJ Fikry. Everyone loves it, and I can't believe I haven't gotten to it yet. I really liked The Secrets of Midwives and Inside the O'Briens too.

  10. I hyped up You to my SIL and she read it and was like "um why did you like that so much?" Oops! The Rosie Effect was pretty meh for me. Not a must read but it wasn't awful. I just started a Lisa Genova book last night - Left Neglected. I read the Huntington's one already and thought it was very good. I'm just prepared to be sad!

  11. Many of your underwhelming ones are some of my favorites and vice versa.

    I read Sue Klebold's book as well and have very strong, very mixed feelings about it. I found it to be more of a defense of her parenting and blaming Eric Harris than actually owning her own son's role in Columbine. And the brain health terminology infuriated me. However, I'm glad she wrote the book. Gives a different perspective, especially as it pertains to how we think and feel about the parents and families of the shooters.

  12. I really should keep better track of the books I read, at the start of the year I am all over it by the middle of the year not so much by the end of year I have forgotten all about the list

  13. I loved a lot of these books too including Big Little Lies, AJ Fikry, The Royal We, and Me Before You. Totally understand the underwhelmed feeling - I hate it when that happens :(

  14. Congrats on reading more than your original goal! I did too! It's awesome, isn't it? I still need to read YOU, but I did love Me Before You...and I want to read AJ Fikry! These lists are great for ideas.

    And yay Harry Potter,


  15. I absolutely adored A Hundred Summers when I read it a few years back and recommended it to everyone I knew. It remains my favorite book of hers.

    I also loved AJ Fikry & Me Before You, along with the rest of the world. LOL

  16. I read the first four Harry Potter books this year as rereads as well. I loved Me Before You and Big Little Lies. I thought The Royal We was okay. Inside the O'Briens and The Secrets of Midwives are already on my to read list.

  17. I'm holding off on reading After You for the same reasons. It sucks when you love the first one and are underwhelmed by the second. I'm reading The Rosie Project now!

  18. Loved Big Little Lies and The Storied Life. Was COMPLETELY underwhelmed by After You (and Me Before You, to be honest) and You.
    I can't read books about dogs (A Dog's Purpose) because I'll just cry.

  19. Harry Potter! I reread them almost every year. :D Like you, I'm not a big follower of the royals so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Royal We. And I was sincerely underwhelmed and disappointed in You. I expected to love it, but never "got" Joe and seriously hated Beck. The A.J. Fikry book has been on my TBR for a long time and it has been mentioned several times in this link-up, I need to bump it up! I have a love/hate relationship with books about animals. I love them but ugly cry forever afterwards! I haven't read anything by Lisa Genova and it sounds like I need to remedy that.

  20. I never remember books after I read them either. I just remember how I felt when I read them.

  21. I thought Luckiest Girl Alive was ok as well. I did like No One Knows though. The epilogue did save it for sure.

  22. BIG LITTLE LIES. YASSSSSS. My favorite, too! Also, you read so much!!! I'm so slow and feel like I never have the time for it....

  23. Can I get an Amen Sista!!! I thought I Was the only one that didn't like Ani in Luckiest Girt Alive!! Many of your favs were mine too and Husband got me three new books for Christmas I am excited to dig into!! Happy New Year doll!!

  24. So impressive. I think I finished one book this year, maybe? lol whoops

  25. I can never remember a book either! Unless it REALLY sticks out to me. The only one I have read from your list is Leaving Time which I enjoyed. I had no idea about her other book though! That book about Columbine sounds super interesting. I'm fascinated by the psychology behind what makes someone do something that extreme. I think I need to check out Goodreads now for some more recommendations!

  26. yay for an awesome year of books! I didn't meet my reading goal this year, BUT i blame it on planning a wedding, which is surprisingly very time consuming.. (and expensive!)

  27. I hate that I missed this linkup! hehe I have so many of these on my TBR. I picked The Rosie Project as one of my 2015 favorites. :) I started the sequel but did not finish. May go back to it sometime in the future. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things