2016 Reading Challenge

Welp, I failed my reading challenge once again. Another year has come and gone. I did a bit better than  2015, which gives me confidence that I will be able to handle 40 books in 2017. But for the time being, it looks like I can’t update my About Me page just yet.

Just like last year’s post, I’ll give you a list of the books I’ve read with a slightly sarcastic but very brief review. I had a bit of a dry spell. There were many books I read last year that I didn’t particularly enjoy. With that said, feel free to suggest any books I should read. And I’m talking about books I should read before I suddenly drop dead because they are so life changing that it could alter how I view the world, everyone in it, and myself.

1. The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*** by Sarah Knight

Image result for the life changing magic of not givingThis book is a game changer. I thank Sarah Knight for my departure from Facebook. And being okay with not liking quinoa.

2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Image result for station elevenIf you love apocalyptic books, you should read this one! It’s centered around the Toronto area years into the future after a nasty epidemic takes over the world. A band of merrily theater folks move from town to town to continue entertaining those who are still alive while trying to defeat an evil man acting like he’s Jesus.

3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Image result for Me Before YouAnother predictable love story. You can’t help but love it because…Emilia Clarke.

4. Home Is Burning by Dan Marshall

Image result for Home is burningThe prologue of this book is absolutely hilarious and worth the read. The rest? Not so much.

5. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran-Foer

Image result for everything is illuminatedI get a strong sense that if I were to ever meet Jonathan Safran-Foer, I probably wouldn’t like him. His writing is not my cup of tea. First and foremost, this novel is based around the main character named Jonathan Safran-Foer. Yeah…you read that right. Secondly, his writing comes off as jargon(y) and almost condescending. If I have to look up a new word with each sentence, it’s going to annoy me rather than make me feel smarter.

6. The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich

Image result for the last girlfriend on earthA collection of short stories about love. It doesn’t sound all that interesting until you come across a short story that’s in the point of view of a condom.

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Image result for me and earl and the dying girlI’ve heard the movie is better than the book, and I don’t doubt it.

 8. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Image result for wedding night sophie kinsellaI know I keep telling you all how much I love Sophie Kinsella, but please avoid this book. It’s not her best. Girl wants to marry boy, boy does not want to get married, they break up, she meets up with ex-boyfriend, and elopes with him just a week later.

9. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Image result for the art of fielding book coverIf you like baseball, you might like this book. I’m not really sure. A pet peeve of mine is when things just happen without an explanation as to how it happened, which this book is filled with these moments. I need things to be realistic in a world when it’s supposed to be realistic.

10. Essays of E.B. White by E.B. White

Image result for essays of E.B. WhiteDeath of a Pig is amazing.

11. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler

Image result for z a novel of zelda fitzgeraldThis is one of the most interesting books I’ve read this year. I’m a big fan of The Great Gatsby but I knew nothing about Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of one of the most famous writers in history. Even though this book is fiction, it makes you wonder just how grossly controlling F. Scott Fitzgerald may have been during his time with Zelda.

12. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Image result for the particular sadness of lemon cakeOne of my favorite books I’ve read this year! At the age of nine, Rose discovers that she has a secret power to feel the emotions in food. Her mother bakes her a lemon cake for her birthday, and she can instantly feel her mother’s sadness and depression from the piece of cake. I got to the end completely horrified that I stood in my shower and stared at the wall.

13. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Image result for wuthering heightsI personally enjoyed Charlotte Bronte more.

14. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

Image result for the unfortunate importance of beautyI hated every second of this book that thirty pages in, I tossed it at the wall. It started out strong. The main character is supposedly drop dead gorgeous but she wants to meet the man of her dreams in an ugly costume because she wants to be accepted by her inner beauty instead. Love the concept, hate the execution. She’s also an Oscar winning costume designer for major motion pictures, and each of her friends are equally successful, one of them being a Nobel Piece Prize winner for a novel, the other being a famous cellist in a New York City orchestra. And none of them are older than 26. Yeah…okay.

15. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Image result for the picture of dorian grayI absolutely loved this book. It’s creepy, vain, and a little sadistic. I don’t suggest watching the movie starring Colin Firth though. It’s full of orgies, and I don’t think that is entirely what Oscar Wilde had in mind.

16. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Image result for to the lighthouseThis was my third attempt at reading To The Lighthouse, and each time I found myself on page 50, and not able to recap anything that had happened.

17. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Image result for one hundred years of solitudeA lot of superstition, some light incest, and a couple of executions, all in this teeny tiny town in Colombia.

18. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Image result for the helpI recommend this book to everyone. Eugenia Phelan is my hero.

19. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Image result for the girl on the trainI’m pretty sure this was my first murder mystery novel I’ve read and it was quite the page turner. And my personality matched the victim’s personality almost perfectly. I’m just not as promiscuous.

20. Me, My Hair, and I by Elizabeth Benedict

Image result for me, my hair and iA book of essays strictly around hair.

21.) All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Image result for all the light we cannot seeI’ve already discussed this book before, so I won’t go into great detail about it. The author’s imagery is stunning and memorable.

22.) Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Image result for landline rainbow rowellI’ve heard great things about Rainbow Rowell so I was really excited to read this book. The main character Georgie is having marital problems, and her husband sounds like a douchenozzle who doesn’t support her success/career. She finds an old telephone in her bedroom and realizes she’s able to call her husband in the past, before they were married, which gives her the opportunity to fix everything. Once again, her husband is a douchenozzle.

23.) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Image result for harry potter and the cursed childI have much to say about this book. Number one, it was not necessary. Number two, I hated that it was written out like a stage play, mostly because it actually was a play in London. Number three, it was disgustingly cheesy. I gave the book three stars but seriously, don’t waste your time.

24.) Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

dfdsfsIf you want to know the true horrors of how a body decomposes, this is your book.

25.) Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler

fdAmy is probably one of the coolest celebrities to read about.

26.) The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

rerPeople either love Amy Schumer, or they hate her. I’m one of the people who love her. I found her memoir to be surprising in many ways. For instance, she’s not this raunchy, one-night stand kind of girl as she is perceived through her stand-up and even in her movie, Trainwreck. She struggled quite a bit to be a comedian, which made me respect her even more. I personally think you get the real Amy Schumer when you read her book. But don’t get me wrong, she’s no literary genius.

27.) Room by Emma Donoghue

srIt’s not everyday that you read an adult novel narrated by a five-year-old. But it’s certainly fascinating. The movie is just as wonderful as the book.

28.) Against Joie de Vivre by Phillip Lopate

gdI don’t quite remember this book sooooooo…

29.) Looking For Alaska by John Green

gfdI wanted to punch Alaska in the face. Not the state, the character. She was this trashy little teenager who flirted with EVERYONE, and I’m sorry, but did she wear clothes? Ever? Yet, every teenage boy had a crush on her. WHAT A SHOCKER.

30.) The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

dfgfAn entire book happened in the first ten pages. It was too much for me.

31.) Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

fsI only ever thought about Gilmore Girls when Max gave it to Lorelai to read and she pretended she finished.

32.) Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

aHe covers everything from the Winchester Mystery House to the Salem Witch Trials. I really love ghost stories, and this guy ruined them for me. It was like watching Ghost Adventures if Zak Bagans were condescending.

33.) Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

dfIt’s about a marriage I didn’t particularly care about.

34.) Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

dsSuch a bizarre book that I didn’t quite understand.

35.) The BFG by Roald Dahl

erewI can’t believe I haven’t read this book until now. I want a big, friendly giant to come to my window and blow dreams into my room with his trumpet. It sounds pleasant.

36.) M Train by Patti Smith

drfShe drinks a shit ton of black coffee.