Books I read in 2016, organized by category and then alphabetically by author:
Non-Fiction—Memoir, Autobiography, Biography:
Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself, Julie Barton
Honest story about depression and a dog. Some weepy bits.
How to Lose Your Wife to Another Woman, James Chapman
This is fascinating in a trainwrecky sort of way. It’s a husband’s story of a marriage falling apart purportedly due to the wife being gay but there were definitely other issues at play. I was surprised that the author included so much of his own drug use and homophobia and social awkwardness.
How We Sleep at Night, Sara Cunningham
I was interested in how a conservative Christian parent came around to accept her gay son. I don’t feel like I got that understanding.
The Last Englishman: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail, Keith Foskett
Found it refreshing that he hiked without all the elaborate planning ahead for food and supplies I’ve come to expect from thru-hike books.
The Naked Unicyclist, Cary Gray
I was expecting something more linear than what I got. There are flashbacks and tangents and some sections that seemed like they were still in draft form.
Diary of a Shanghai Showgirl, Amelia Kallman
Could have used more/better editing, as in the sentence describing a building in Shanghai that had six commas when two would have sufficed or the it’s/its and other homonym errors scattered about. Could have also used less self-congratulatory language in some spots, or maybe that’s just my cranky side coming out, as I have a bad reaction to people who brag about being VIPs. It does shed some light on doing business in China, at least from this one couple’s perspective.
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail, David Miller
I keep reading these thru-hiking books; not sure if I’m trying to talk myself into or out of doing one myself.
The Dumbest Kid in Gifted Class, Dan Ryckert
The blurb for this informed me that the author is well known in some circles, but I don’t travel in those circles, so had no context for this autobiography. Some of the pranks described made my stomach hurt. The guy can write, though, no doubt about that.
Torn Trousers: A True Story of Courage and Adventure, Andrew St. Pierre White and Gywnn White
As much about workplace conflicts as anything. I was hoping for more adventure than that.
Diary of a Hoarder’s Daughter, Izabelle Winter
This appears to be another blog-to-book conversion, and suffers from the typical problem of not enough editing and additional writing done to turn blog posts into a cohesive, non-repetitive, complete book. That said, the subject matter is interesting and the emotions described are raw and honest.
The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge, Pia Edberg
I’d managed to not know about the Danish concept of hygge before I found this book. I’m not entirely sure I get the concept entirely after reading it, but I’m intrigued enough to learn more.
Ice and Bone: Tracking an Alaskan Serial Killer , Monte Francis
Well researched. Some upsetting content for sure, given the subject matter.
Fiction—Paranormal, Romance, Erotica:
Cut from the Same Cloth, Kathleen Baldwin
Fun, light historical romance with some intrigue thrown in.
Keegan’s Bride, Kathleen Ball
This is book two of a series; I haven’t read book one, but I didn’t feel hampered by that. A pleasant read though does have some frustrating miscommunication. Didn’t stick with me after I read it.
Christmas in the Country, Jill Barry
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a romance set in this time period (1925). This was actually two romances in one, though the second was not as developed, which worked fine in the context of the story. Very cozy read for the holiday season.
A Christmas Code, Jacki Delecki
I didn’t read the first book in this series, but started with this novella, which is the second. I don’t feel like I missed too much. This was a quick read, verging on too quick, as a lot happens and there’s not as much time for character development as I’d like (maybe that’s where reading the first book would come in).
CADE (Le Beau Brothers, Book 1), V. A. Dold
On Amazon, this is subtitled “New Orleans Billionaire Wolf Shifters with plus sized BBWfor mates”, which should have warned me. But I’d just been in New Orleans and was hoping for some nice spice here, but I got too much Mary Sue and too much drama and gratuitous vampires and wonder if maybe I’ve lost my taste for paranormal romance.
Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison (RR)
I needed some comfort, so re-read this old favorite.
Dirty, Lucia Jordan
Contemporary BDSM romance on a film set. The BDSM is bad, with poor negotiation upfront and renegotiating midscene. The editing/proofreading is not great. This is one of those incomplete serial novels, which didn’t even annoy me in this case because I don’t care what happens next.
The Deal (Off Campus Book 1), Elle Kennedy
An okay read. Probably would have grabbed me more if I were closer in age to the characters.
30 Days, K. Larsen
Hello, cliffhanger. I’m very tired of cliffhangers in romance novelettes.
Boundary Crossed, Melissa F. Olson
Loved this. Sure, maybe there is a whiff of Mary Sue around the heroine, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this new world one bit.
Boundary Lines, Melissa F. Olson
Still enjoying this series. There was one really big coincidence in the plot that just made me go whoa and the big bad here was a bit much to take but still, enjoyed and will read the next one.
Zane, Jo Raven
Tyler, Jo Raven
Asher, Jo Raven
I read all three of these only because I got them as a virtual box set and felt like I needed to finish the whole set before I opined on them. Now that I have, I can say I found the heros and heroines too young for the things they were doing, the plots filled with too much drama and angst, and the sex scenes not filled with enough hotness (though given the ages of the characters, I’m just as glad about that).
Harmony Black, Craig Schaefer
Witchcraft paranormal which I picked up because it’s set in Detroit and Michigan.
Ghost Gifts, Laura Spinella
The paranormal aspects of this were stronger than the romance elements.
A Real Cowboy Never Says No, Stephanie Rowe
Since Wyoming is practically next door to me now, I figured this would be a good one to read. Liked it enough that I might continue the series one day.
The Last Woman Standing, Thelma Adams
Liked that this historical novel was told from the point of view of one of the women, not the more famous lawmen involved.
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, Rebekah Crane
Really liked this YA novel. Perhaps the ending was too neat, but I didn’t care; I felt good after finishing this.
Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
I know this is a modern classic. I know a lot of my friends like this series. I thought it was just okay, very slow to unfold. I did like it enough to finish it, so that’s something. Maybe I’ll try again when I’m in a different emotional state.
Mistletoe at Moonglow, Deborah Garner
Picked this up because it’s set in Montana (one of my neighboring states), and I was looking for a pleasant holiday read. I got that from this. I wished for a less abrupt ending, but that happens with novellas sometimes. There are some cookie recipes in the back of the book that made me want to try them.
The Eagle Tree, Ned Hayes
Autistic hero that read as believable to me. Ending wasn’t what I thought it would be, and I like that in a book.
Daughter of Sand and Stone, Libbie Hawker
I wasn’t familiar with the historical figure this was based on. Enjoyed the strong heroine, and the unexpected ending.
A House for Happy Mothers, Amulya Malladi
Appreciated this window into a situation I’ll never experience.
Out of Sorts, Aurélie Valognes, translated by Wendeline A. Hardenberg
Unlikable hero, somewhat confusing timeline.
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