2016 Favorite Reading

I read 144 books in 2016.
That’s above my yearly goal of 104 (two per week). I rate books as I finish them, and here’s a list of the books I liked best. Most are “old”. They’re in no particular order, though I did group authors and editors. Please note, these are favorites, not “best books”.

  • stack_of_booksWait For Signs by Craig Johnson
  • Maltalbano’s First Case & other stories by Andrea Camilleri
  • The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman
  • Ink and Bone by Rachael Craine
  • Vermillion Drift by William Kent Krueger
  • Trickster’s Point by William Kent Krueger
  • Curtains for Three by Rex Stout
  • In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
  • Bodies Are Where You Find Them by Brett Halliday
  • Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel
  • A Time of Predators by Joe Gores
  • The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part V: Christmas Adventures edited by David Marcum
  • The Yellow Dog by Georges Simenon
  • The Hard-Boiled Detective – Stories from Black Mask Magazine 1920-1951 edited by Herbert Rhum
  • Murder At the Manor edited by Martin Edwards

There were many other books that I liked, just not as much. There were also, not counted in the total of books I read, a dozen or so books I didn’t finish, and were permanently set aside (aka sold or donated) or returned to the library.

My very favorite of all? That’s hard to decide, but it may have been The Blessing Way or Trickster’s Point or The Hard-Boiled Detective. Or, wait, maybe it was…

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Fantasy, Mystery, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to 2016 Favorite Reading

  1. I’ve read seven of the books on your list and own two others. You’ve exceeded your Normal Reading amount of books by a lot! Hope 2017 is a Good Year for you and all of us!

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Nice. I’ve actually read 9 of them! Good choices. I haven’t added it up yet but I’m guessing my total will not come close to yours (though I have two books close to completion.) I just waste (Not that there’s anything wrong with that) too much reading time online. Since the election is over I’ve cut back but things always pop up.

    I blame Bill Gates.

    Again, my favorites:

    Lou Berney, The Long and Faraway Gone
    Brian McGilloway, Little Girl Lost
    Rachel Caine, Ink and Bone
    Elliot Chaze, Black Wings Has My Angel
    Loren D. Estleman, Detroit is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen
    Gordon McAlpine, Woman With a Blue Pencil
    Adrian McKinty, Rain Dogs
    Patricia Abbott, Shot in Detroit
    Andrea Camilleri, Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories
    Ben H. Winters, Underground Airlines
    James Sallis, Others of My Kind
    Megan Abbott, You Will Know Me
    Michael Connelly, The Wrong Side of Goodbye
    Howard Waldrop, Things Will Never Be the Same: Stories 1980-2005
    Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters
    Robert Silverberg, Musings and Meditations
    Joyce Carol Oates, A Widow’s Story: A Memoir

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    Hard to say whether you or Jeff have read the most books this year. I am astonished.

  4. I read only 71 books this year, don’t know why I slowed down but NO EXCUSES! At any rate, I haven’t read any of the ones on your list but as I did with Patti’s list, I’m making note of your favorites Richard. Starting off the new year with a library binge!

  5. P.S. I’ve just realized that I actually read 75 books this year. Simply forgot to add a couple of titles I’d read on my Kindle. Oops. 🙂

    • Oops, I forgot to add in the Kindle books too. I need to start listing them along with the others. There weren’t many, though.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I added an “ebook” notation to my database – it’s the column where I note ‘pbo’ for paperback originals – and there are quite a lot of them this year, especially in the last couple of months.

        When we get home I’ll give you the totals.

        • Of course you’re more informationally organized than I am, Jeff. I use
          Author – Title – date read – Format – Type – Rating – reread – comment
          I put authors in last name first, Format is HC, TPB, PB, OS(over sized)HC, OSTP O(ther).
          Rating is 0-5, 0 being awful/didn’t finish and 5 being Excellent, don’t miss, book of a lifetime (aren’t many of those). Anything else, like position in a series, main character, etc. goes in comments.

          Still, sometimes I sit down at the desktop iMac and think, “what did I read?”. Now when I finish a book I email myself to remember when I’m on the computer with Word on it.

          • Jeff Meyerson says:

            I have author (last name first), title, then a column for other notes such as alternate title or “C & L Lost Classics” for Crippen & Landru books. Then “type” (f = fiction; m = mystery, etc. m /ss = mystery short story collection). Next is series character (if any). Then the ‘pbo’ category (now with ebook if relevant). Then date read Lastly I have categories where I can easily see books read by month, year to date total, non-fiction read that month (the non-fiction is a separate database, though there isn’t that much of it these days), followed by the total fiction + non-fiction to date at the end of each month.

            It looks like the total will probably be 53 ebooks for the year, including 10 read in Florida and another dozen the last two months of the year. And I guess I did beat the 144 total. Closing in on 150, which is OK, but I would really like to get it up to 200, a total I haven’t reached since 2001 and 2002 (so not very likely).

          • I forgot I have a column for date read. This should have been a separate post.

        • I need to keep track of ebooks, though my totals are small. I doubt I read more than 5 or 6 in 2016. In 2015 I tried keeping a list of short stories I read, but had trouble keeping it up. I have to find a handier way.

  6. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    I read 164 books this year. Only 3 on your list The Blessing Way by Hillerman which is one of his best, A Time of Predators by Gores and Simenon’s Yellow Dog. Probably read the Rex Stout years ago but can’t be sure.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I promised the short story breakdown so here it is.

    For the last three years, in addition to books read I’ve been keeping a notebook listing every short story I’ve read as well. As a rule I prefer single-author collections, though I’ve certainly read a lot of anthologies (I like the ones Martin Edwards is doing) as well as stories in magazines. The totals look like this:

    year — stories read — books of stories completed
    2014 — 760 — 52
    2015 — 789 — 50
    2016 — 786 — 56

    I may read a few more stories today. We’ll see.

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      Well, that isn’t that clear but you should be able to figure out the categories.

    • I added dashes, but not sure it helped. Still, I did know what you meant.

      Only one more day to read for the year! I have a book – an anthology – I already marked as read for the year that I have 60 pages to go. I’ll be skipping football today, or most of it, to finish up.

      Freezing fog again today. Everyone is worried about black ice. Later the fog will clear, but it will get colder, possibly into mid 20s. Another snow/ice storm may come Tuesday.

  8. Deb says:

    I wish I could be as dedicated to recording what I’ve read as Rick and Jeff, but the best I can do is a notebook (a new one each year) with author/title/date completed (or given up on)/and a few lines about my reaction to the book (or why I gave up). I read 97 books last year, with about 15 either unfinished or returned to the library never started (I think I’ll take your advice this year and keep a separate notation for books that just didn’t grab me versus books where I just ran out of time and had to return to the library without even cracking the spine). As I’ve posted elsewhere (maybe even here), my favorite book of 2016 was Michel Faber’s THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS, which I finished on January 1, 2016 (because, ya know, 2016 liked screwing with us). I’m about to finish Jenn Ashworth’s A KIND OF INTIMACY today. It’s a good book (with an unreliable narrator to end unreliable narrators), but I doubt it’ll be the best book I read all year.

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      I didn’t finish #150 after all, but 149 is OK. It’s up 10 from 2015. I read 786 short stories – down 3 – but read more short story collections (56, up from 50).

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        And my ebook total has gone from 14 to 26 to 53 this year. I’m seriously considering leaving all the books home and just taking the Kindle to Florida. After all, I have over 400 books on it.

        • Jeff Meyerson says:

          CORRECTION! I just checked and found I’d left off one of the non-fiction reads from the total, so I did make 150 after all.

          /end update

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Our theater going was way down this year, from 11 shows to 4. But of the 11 in 2015, only one was in the older, less comfortable Broadway theater while the rest were off-Broadway or elsewhere. This year 3 of 4 were on Broadway.

    But concerts (which cost us a lot more thanks to cheaper Theatre Development Fund tickets) were up from 10 in 2015 to 16 this year. We saw most of our favorite performers (other than John Fogerty, Michael McDonald, and Santana, who weren’t in the area).

  10. I’ve had years when I got close to that number. Not this year. Feels like you made at least a little dent in the pile, I imagine.

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