If you were to ask Kris what something is that is very “me” he would likely say that I am always looking to try something new. Not in the sense of being fickle or taking on too much, but that if someone talks about a book that sounds good I’ll put it on my list. Same with podcasts, tv shows…
So I decided to compile a few posts compiling the best things I read, listened to, played, watched, whatevered in 2016. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have your own “to check out” lists open to add a few and if you do, please let me know in the comments.
Best Books I Read
If there is a buzzfeed or other list of books to read sent my way I drop everything, refresh my drink, open my very long “to read” list on Goodreads, and add. I read less in 2016 than other years (thanks, podcasts) but still came across some phenomenal books. They are here, in no particular order. Please note that the links included are to Goodreads. I cannot encourage you enough to skip Amazon and visit your local library or independent bookshop if you prefer to buy your books:
- In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware: I devoured this book. It is an intense snapshot of a weekend hen party (what Brits call a bachelorette party). Nora is surprised when Clare, whom she hasn’t spoken to since school, invites her to her hen out of the blue. As the weekend goes on, secrets from the past come to the surface and change everyone’s life forever.
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: I finally read these this year and they are just as good as everyone says. Also: the writing is absolutely perfect. After his parents are killed in a car crash Harry survives he lives with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousin who are nothing short of horrible. Then a letter arrives accepting Harry into Hogwart’s — the best school for witchcraft and wizardry in Britain — and the world of his parents. Harry finds himself and his history over the course of his time at school in one of the most beautiful tales of good vs. evil ever.
- The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes*: My friend, Suzanne, suggested this one. And when Suzanne recommends a book, I read it. Time travel, a serial killer, and a couple of journalists at the opposite place in their careers. The time travel is done really well. I promise.
- True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray by James Renner: Renner is going to appear in a number of my Best of 2016 posts. “Disgraced Journalist”, brilliant novelist, dad, husband, Ohioan, survivor… all of these facets of Renner’s being come together in this richly layered and complex work of nonfiction. I stumbled across Renner after wondering to my husband if real serial killers play as many fucked up games as those in books, movies and on Law & Order. The next morning Cracked shared this article on my timeline and I have been an avid fan of Renner’s since. After reading one post I started at the beginning and read it chronologically over a course of a few months. If you’ve never heard of Maura Murray you can learn more here.
I’ll add to this should I finish another killer book before 1 January. Please share your best reads during 2016 – I’m always looking for recommendations!
Minor Spoiler Alert Below. So leave this footnote area if you want to be completely surprised.
Okay, so there is one grueling scene in this book that came on while I was driving. I had to pull over. I did so at a Stewart’s where I hugged the Mugs for a good five minutes (offending her on a new level) and then treated myself to a butter roll and Diet Pepsi. The scene involved my non-negotiable.