Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Fav Reads of 2016

In the spirit of looking back on the past year (and in putting off writing reviews a bit longer), as well as on the suggestion of a friend, I've decided to put together a BEST BOOKS of 2016 post.
These are the best books I read in 2016. I thought about looking through my spreadsheet (NERD!) and thinking long and hard about each of the books I read and what they mean to me at the end of the year and determined what are the best books.

Then I remembered that Goodreads does that for me, and shows me which books I marked as 5 stars and I am lazy so let's look at those! In order of when I read them, here are the 5 star books

1. Hamilton by Ron Chernow
I read this with a group at the beginning of the year when a bunch of us realized we all got it. This is a big book and had the possibility of being a very dry read so we needed the moral support. Luckily, Chernow has written an engaging biography, even if he lets his fanboyness come through a few times.

2. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
Let's keep the Hamilton good times rolling. Because really, the whole reason I read the first book is because of this show. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that this book, which is a history of the play, annotated lyrics, and beautiful photos, would also be a favorite.

3. My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
This book was so much fun. It's campy and scary and ALL ABOUT female friendship. There are high school insecurities and class insecurities and it's all bundled up in a neon '80s package. Thinking about the book makes me smile.

4. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
I love me some pop science, especially when it's a topic that maybe we don't think too much about and it's explained by an amateur whose enthusiasm is infectious. If anyone's going to make me want to learn more about spit, it's Roach. I feel like I should give an honorable mention to Grunt her book about military technologies, which I gave 4 stars yet loved as much and should perhaps re-evaluate the rating. This is why I hate rating systems.

5. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
This book. I was blown away by Gay's take on so many different women, focusing on themes of sex and race and assault and family and love. These were difficult women, because they were complex, because they dealt with difficult situations.

6. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Family and secrets and the things we don't tell each other. It's excellent and you should read it.

7. Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran
This was just a great book for the end of the year. The end of this year. It's a collection of her columns, some light hearted and ridiculous, the sort of thing that is great when you just want to escape. And then others are serious and make you realize some things are shit and you better get off your ass and do something to make it right.
Here's to even more 5 star reads in 2017.