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Book #89 and year-end wrap-up

My final book of the year, #89, was "Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes. Mayes lives a high-profile rushed life in Los Angeles, but after the dissolution of her long marriage, she and her new boyfriend decide to buy an Italian villa and restore it to use as a summer/vacation home. She tells about the remodeling process, the history of the Tuscan country-side, and the best peasant dishes she learns to make. It has been compared to "A Year in Provence," and there are superficial similarities, but Mayes book is heavy on sensual descriptions that surely must spring from her years as a published poet. I really enjoyed the sensual delights of this book, full of tasty recipes and descriptions of sun-soaked Italian olive terraces while reading it at the start of Michigan's long, cold winter. If you like books that give you insight into life in another country, accompanied by recipes, you might like this book a great deal. Don't judge the book based solely on the movie adaptation, either -- I haven't seen it, but it's my understanding they forced a romance subplot that isn't in the book and it looks kinda cheesy.

This is the most books I've read in a year since I started tracking on LiveJournal in 2006 (though I was reading similar amounts, if not more, when I was in my teens). I had a summer job that allowed me to read when things were slow, so that was a huge contributor to this year's total.

My reading goals were stated in January of this year: My goals for 2016 are simply to read at least 50 books and to read for pleasure. I have typically set quotas for how many books by POC authors or disabled authors or LGBT authors, etc. I do still plan to read diversely, but I want to give myself a year of pretty much reading whatever strikes my fancy at the time, to read purely for pleasure.

That is part of the reason that my percentage of nonfiction was down a bit this year, but I still read quite diversely this year. I've had a book of poetry as one of my 50 before, but this was the first year since 2006 that I had two books of poetry on my list for the year, for instance.

Other statistics:
Female authors: 45 (approx. 50 percent) This total counts an essay collection with men, women and non-binary authors as well as a novella with one male author and one female author
LGBT authors: 9 (10 percent)
POC authors: 16 (18 percent)
Disabled authors: 3 (3 percent) Plus one book about disability not by a disabled author .
Audiobooks: 22 (25 percent) I used to limit myself to no more than 20 percent audiobooks, but considering I would have read well over 50 books even if I subtracted out all my audiobooks this year, I am ok with this total!
Nonfiction: 24 (27 percent) I normally shoot for around 1/3 nonfiction, but 27 percent wasn't too far off. I am not beating myself up about this.
Poetry: 2 (2 percent)
Classics: 7 (8 percent)
Re-reads: 1 (I'm fairly certain, though not 100 percent, that I read the Jose Farmer collection when I was in high school)

My favorite nonfiction reads of 2016:
1. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family - Lisa See
2. My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir - Noelle Hancock
3. Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life - Harriet McBryde Johnson
4. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex- Mary Roach
5. Bicycle Diaries - David Byrne
6. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard
7. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence - John Hockenberry
8. Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity [collected essays]- ed. Matt (Matilda) Bernstein Sycamore

My favorite fiction reads of 2016:
1. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
2. House of Sand and Fog - Andre Dubus III
3. The Summer Prince - Alaya Dawn Johnson
4. Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem
5. The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker
6. Lock In - John Scalzi
7. Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
8. Ash - Malinda Lo
9. The Comfort of Strangers - Ian McEwan
10. Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
11. One Kick - Chelsea Cain
12. Will Grayson, Will Grayson - David Levithan and John Green

Favorite series:
-The Radch/Ancillary trilogy by Ann Leckie
-The Raven Boys four-book series by Maggie Stiefvater. I can't stop raving about this series. It was seriously SO good. My favorite of the four was the second in the series, "The Dream Thieves."
-Tana French's Dublin detectives novels. Each one is different but all are of high quality.

Favorite "classic" novels:
-The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
-Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

Favorite graphic novel or graphic nonfiction:
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage [mix of fiction & nonfiction/graphic novel]- Sydney Padua

1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time" [nonfiction]- David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson (unabridged audiobook)
2. The Detroit Electric Scheme [fiction]- D.E. Johnson
3. Classic Philip Jose Farmer 1964-1973 (Volume 5 in the Classics of Modern Science Fiction series) [fiction/short stories]- PJ Farmer
4. "The Aspern Papers" and "The Turn of the Screw" (omnibus volume with notes and commentary) [fiction]- Henry James
5. Ever After (11th in "The Hollows" series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
6. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family [nonfiction]- Lisa See
7. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama [nonfiction/ graphic memoir]- written and illustrated by Alison Bechdel
8. My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir [nonfiction/memoir]- Noelle Hancock
9. House of Leaves [fiction]- Mark Z. Danielewski
10. Ready Player One [fiction]- Ernest Cline (unabridged audiobook)
11. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America [nonfiction]- Barbara Ehrenreich
12. Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life [nonfiction/memoir]- Harriet McBryde Johnson
13. The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
14. Ivanhoe [fiction]- Sir Walter Scott
15. Ancillary Justice [fiction]- Ann Leckie
16. Beauty Queens [fiction]- Libba Bray (unabridged audiobook)
17. Burnt Mountain [fiction]- Anne Rivers Siddons
18. Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia [nonfiction]- David Greene
19. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex [nonfiction]- Mary Roach (unabridged audiobook)
20. The Likeness [fiction]- Tana French
21. Atonement [fiction]- Ian McEwan
22. The Westing Game [fiction]- Ellen Raskin (unabridged audiobook)
23. Nappy Edges [poetry]- Ntozake Shange
24. Childhood's End [fiction]- Arthur C. Clarke
25. Tartuffe [play/drama]- Moliere, translated and with introduction by Richard Wilbur
26. Bicycle Diaries [nonfiction]- David Byrne
27. Cotton Comes to Harlem [fiction]- Chester Himes
28. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
29. House of Sand and Fog [fiction]- Andre Dubus III
30. Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes [nonfiction]- Maria Konnikova
31. Blood Colony [fiction]- Tannarive Due
32. All the Light We Cannot See [fiction]- Anthony Doerr (unabridged audiobook)
33. The Summer Prince [fiction]- Alaya Dawn Johnson
34. The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science [nonfiction]- Douglass Starr
35. The Three-Body Problem [fiction]- Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
36. Daisy Miller [ficiton/novella]- Henry James
37. Raven Boys [fiction]- Maggie Stiefvater (unabridged audiobook)
38. Faithful Place [fiction]- Tana French
39. Babyji [fiction]- Abha Dawesar
40. Motherless Brooklyn [fiction]- Jonathan Lethem
41. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? [nonfiction/memoir]- Jeanette Winterson (unabridged audiobook)
42. Unbound (third in the "Magic Ex Libris" series) [fiction]- Jim Hines
43. The Undead Pool (the Hollows series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
44. On Such a Full Sea [fiction]- Chang-Rae Lee
45. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek [nonfiction]- Annie Dillard
46. A Widow for One Year [fiction]- John Irving
47. The Broken Cord [nonfiction]- Michael Dorris
48. The Count of Monte Cristo [fiction]- Alexandre Dumas (unabridged audiobook)
49. The Dark Forest (second in the The Three-Body Problem trilogy) [fiction]- Cixin Liu
50. The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family [nonfiction/memoir/graphic nonfiction]- Paul Karasik (author/illustrator) and Judy Karasik (author)
51. Bossypants [nonfiction/memoir]- Tina Fey (unabridged audiobook)
52. The Golem and the Jinni [fiction]- Helene Wecker
53. Lock In [fiction]- John Scalzi
54. Broken Harbor [fiction]- Tana French
55. The Buddha of Suburbia [fiction]- Hanif Kureishi
56. Something Wicked This Way Comes [fiction]- Ray Bradbury
57. The Dream Thieves (2nd in the Raven Cycle) [fiction]- Maggie Stiefvater (unabridged audiobook)
58. The Shadowed Sun [fiction]- N.K. Jemisin
59. Ancillary Sword (2nd in the Imperial Radch trilogy) [fiction]- Ann Leckie
60. Roadside Picnic [fiction]- Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
61. Orlando [fiction]- Virginia Woolf
62. Wakulla Springs [fiction]- Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages
63. Desert Solitaire [nonfiction]- Edward Abbey
64. The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures [nonfiction]- Christine Kenneally (unabridged audiobook)
65. A Gathering of Old Men [fiction]- Ernest J. Gaines
66. Ancillary Mercy (3rd in the Imperial Radch trilogy) [fiction]- Ann Leckie
67. Ash [fiction]- Malinda Lo
68. The Female Man [fiction]- Joanna Russ
69. Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater (3rd book in The Raven Cycle) (unabridged audiobook)
70. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence [nonfiction]- John Hockenberry
71. The Windup Girl [fiction]- Paolo Bacigalupi
72. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage [mix of fiction & nonfiction/graphic novel]- Sydney Padua
73. Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
74. The Comfort of Strangers [fiction]- Ian McEwan
75. Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity [collected essays]- ed. Matt (Matilda) Bernstein Sycamore
76. Cold Comfort Farm [fiction]- Stella Gibbons
77. The Raven King (4th book in the Raven Cycle) [fiction]- Maggie Stiefvater (unabridged audiobook)
78. Station Eleven [fiction]- Emily St. John Mandel
79. The Secret History [fiction]- Donna Tartt
80. Mississippi Sissy [nonfiction/memoir]- Kevin Sessums
81. California [fiction]- Edan Lepucki (unabridged audiobook)
82. Foucault's Pendulum [fiction]- Umberto Eco
83. The Conference of the Birds [poetry]- Farid ud-din Attar
84. One Kick [fiction]- Chelsea Cain
85. Will Grayson, Will Grayson [fiction]- David Levithan and John Green (unabridged audiobook)
86. Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel [nonfiction]- Michio Kaku
87. Dead Souls [fiction]- Nikolai Gogol
88. Flight [fiction]- Sherman Alexie (unabridged audiobook)

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