Why I didn’t talk about books at all last year.

Something changed last year. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice. Not at first. But last year, I didn’t blog at all about what I was reading. No monthly posts. Not even a random check-in. Just simply no real mention of books.

Part of the factor is that I did not blog much at all this past year. 55 posts. I don’t necessarily feel bad about that number. Outside of the first few months of blogging, I tend to average about 10 posts a month, ish. Having blogged for 8 and half years now, it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that things have slowed down and closer to 4-ish posts a month. Especially given that last year I started my Master’s degree.

Yet, not writing about books did feel weird. I’d read my friends’ monthly posts about what they’ve read and think “man, I’m really not reading anything interesting right now.” That’s only half true though. Maybe less than half. Given how much I was reading for school, I just didn’t have the time or energy to really keep up with personal reading. When I did feel like reading, I was in the mood for something lighter, something that wouldn’t make me think too much. Essentially I just wanted easy escapism.

So for most of 2016, I read YA fantasy.

That’s not completely outside my realm of reading comfort zone. That’s probably why I retreated there. But the other part of why I didn’t really talk about my reading, was many that I simply did not read that much this year. 26 books. My business reading month was December. I read 4 books. All of which were after classes ended.

Of what I read, the ones I would recommend, in no particular order:

» The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman This was my second Gaiman novel. His writing is always beautiful and a bit haunting, and also not overly complicated. Definitely on my 5-starts list.

» The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble This is a story of love — sisterly love and romantic coming of age. The characters and the worlds will grab you, or at least they did me. However, possibly a spoiler, I sort of hate that so much was just wrapped up in a bow at the end. It was just maybe a bit too neatly done for me.

» Nimona by Noelle Stevenson A graphic novel that was just fun and endearing. A great story of self-discovery.

» The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey I really won’t say much about this book, because I was mad someone accidentally spoiled this book with just one word. I will say though, I kind of wanted more from it. It’s good though.

» Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake Is this a book that will change your life? No. But I found the concept interesting and I’m curious to see where this series is going. Three sisters, three queens — but only one can reign, or live. Sisters are turned against each other as they try to woo their citizens with their skill and powers.

» The Pastoral Clinic by Angela Garcia I have to read a lot for school. However, it’s not often that you come across something that’s written so accessibly, as if it’s not just words to puff up the author in front of other academics. Garcia wrote this for mass consumption, not just anthropologist. It is a very good ethnographic account of Garcia’s time working with heroin addicts in the Rio Grande.

I’m not really sure how 2017 will go for my pleasure reading. This is the year I start my thesis. I will be reading a ridiculous amount of academic works. But I’m starting off the year with a book that sort of intimidated me — Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I set my goal at 25 again, and I’m completely ok if some of those are pulled from my school readings. If I have to read so much for that, it might as well count as well.

What book, or books, from your 2016 reading would you recommend?

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