Reading Habits


I've seen this blog post topic on a few blogs recently and thought it was fun way to recap my 2016 reads so far. If you want to see full reviews of these books that I posted on the blog already, read this post and this post.

Fiction vs. Nonfiction
12 fiction vs. 4 nonfiction

I read only print copies! I am an ebook holdout, and I don't really like audio books that much, although I have listened to them in the past.

I'm kind of all over the place with my reads. Jordan loves history, so since meeting him I've gotten into more historical fiction and nonfiction books. I also enjoy the occasional nonfiction book on different topics. The only genres I can't get into are horror/scary (think Stephen King), straight romance (like mainstream romance novels), or anything with werewolves and zombies and stuff like that (ahem, Twilight).

5 stars - 2 books
Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers
What Alice Forgot by Laine Moriarty

4 stars - 8 books
Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
The Lake House by Kate Morton
This Is Your Brain on Sports by L. Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Secret Place by Tana French
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

3 stars - 5 books
Popular by Maya Van Wagenen
Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Big Little Lies by Laine Moriarty
The Dark Ferret Society by Emily Humphreys
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

2 stars - 1 book
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Best in fiction
Echo in the Darkness (I've read this book probably 10 times at least. Love it!) and What Alice Forgot

Best in nonfiction
This is Your Brain on Sports

Biggest surprise
The Secret Place

This is the fifth Tana French book I read, and the last two were blah to the blah. But I checked this one out from the library because I might be slightly insane for intentionally starting a 400+-page book I wasn't sure would be any good. But I did and it was, so everything turned out okay in the end.

Biggest disappointment
The Royal We

I have seen multiple 5-star ratings on this one, so I was all excited to read it but it just fell flat. It was long and stupid and I just didn't like it. Sorry.

Most memorable character
Ove in A Man Called Ove

This grumpy old man stole my heart a little bit.

Most thought-provoking
What Alice Forgot

It just made me think about my marriage and my life and the choices I've made and where I might end up in twenty years.

Top recommendation
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This book was so interesting and had surprising character depth that I didn't expect given the fact that each chapter rotates point of view between four different people. It is based on a true story that happened during WWII, and I can't believe I hadn't heard of this event before.

Currently reading: Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Your Turn:
What has been your most surprising read so far this year? 
What has been your most disappointing?
What are you currently reading?
Audrey Louise said...

I'm currently reading The Royal We and I have a feeling I'm not going to be one of those 5-star folks... but I'll wait and give it 'til the end. Lol

Victoria said...

Love this post!!! Even though our tastes SOUND the same, but are drastically different, I love it when we have the same feelings about a book. Ove caught meby surprise. Have you read the other book by Backman? I haven't read The Royal We and your review reminded me why. I'm adding Salt to the sea to my list...Is it fiction or non?

Victoria said...

To answer your question..

1. I think I'm going to go with Jane Eyre. I expected it to be dark and depressing and allllll about life in an orphanage, but it was sooooo much more. I loved it!

2. Either The Mare by Mary Gaitskill OR A Moveable Feast. Gaitskill's one that came highly recommended and that I had been looking forwar to reading. I didn't even finish it because of language/content. And Hemingway's was in my head as a novel which I expected to be about Paris during an especially glorious time. In a way, I'm glad that it was essays, but I was still dissapointed that it wasn't a novel.

3. Great Expectations. I keep thinking I'm going to finish it, but I just haven't had time. So far so good. I'm laughing out loud soooo much. I'm not a huge Dickens fan, but this might change that! :)

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

This is such a fun way to layout the post! I want to do one too!

Erika @ All Things E said...

This is a fun post! Happy to see your honest review on The Royal We. I've seen lots of praise for that book but even the summary sounded boring to me. Going to skip it based on my trust in your good taste.

My answers to your questions:

1. City of Thieves by David Benioff (if you like history books, this was such a good one!)
2. I feel like I'm on a long string of disappointing reads lately. I can't remember the name of the most recent one but it was so irritating that I had to stop 40 pages in. I hate when that happens!
3. I'm currently re-reading The Power of Habit, which is the #1 self help book I like to tell people about because it's more interesting stories about habit than it is about how to change your own habits.

Nadine said...

I am not a fan of horror/scary books either. I love love love What Alice Forgot and it was my favorite of her books. I enjoyed Big Little Lies too. I am reading The Nightingale right now. I didn't have any desire to read The Royal We but so many of my book friends loved it but I think I would feel the same way you did.

Rebecca Jo said...

I always swore I'd never go to an e-reader... till I got one for a gift & now I love it :) My eyes get worse with every year of age so I love I can make the print bigger :) #oldladyproblems
I adored What Alice Forgot too

The Lady Okie said...

It's historical fiction. Totally based on a real event, but the characters aren't real.

The Lady Okie said...

Yes, see what you think! I thought it could have been half the size. Just too long and blah personally.

The Lady Okie said...

Just added City of Thieves to my list! Thanks!

Amy @ A Desert Girl said...

Biggest surprise was Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. I usually like her books but I found that one to be HILARIOUS. A pleasant surprise. Biggest disappointment was After You by Jojo Moyes. (I didn't like The Royal We either. I just kept thinking, "Um, end already," and "This girl is NOT Kate Middleton. Stop pretending.")

Currently (STILL) reading The Bully Pulpit. I'm over halfway done! Only 300 pages to go. So, progress.

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

Ooooo what is your brain on sports about? sounds fascinating! Although I only read on breaks now, I started reading Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller (I know, a little late to that party). I didn't finish it before I had to start school again but plan on picking it up again on my next break. Seriously LOVED every line of it- if I had read it before I got married (and I feel like I'm well versed in a lot of marriage books- or getting there at least), it would have saved me a lot of pain. I'll be giving it to everyone I know! Also... Idk how long it's been around butttttt I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new blog design!!

Ashley H said...

Love your reading posts because I always want to find good new books to read. Do I follow you on Good Reads? I'm adding some of these to my list. I'm a hold out for paper books too. I will NOT go to an e-reader. My mom wanted to buy me one for Christmas a while back and I said absolutely not. I still want to read Your Brain on Sports.

Ashley said...

Lol. I love that you're an eBook holdout. I used to be and then I got a Kindle and I loved it. Then when my husband needed a tablet to take to work (he's a firefighter, so he lives a at the station for 24 hours at a time), I let him have my Kindle... and I really haven't missed it at all! I bought several new books on our honeymoon, so I'm pretty satisfied for now. eBooks are definitely cheaper and more convenient at times, but I still like flipping pages...

Now, for your questions:
1. Around the World in Eighty Days. I was told that I wouldn't like Jules Verne's writing style and that I probably shouldn't bother with it, but I didn't listen and got the book anyway (I mean, it was on sale for $3, so why not???). Surprisingly, it ended up being my favorite read of the year!
2. I was really disappointed by One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I love the idea of 1,000 gifts (I'm trying to keep a list myself, now), but the writing just wasn't my cup of tea. Too flowery and why-are-you-telling-me-this-get-on-with-it... It disappointed me that the book disappointed me, if that makes sense, because I was looking SO forward to reading it! Oh well.
3. I'm currently reading The Wind in the Willows. I know its a children's book, but Grahame does amazing job of capturing human nature through his endearing little animal characters. It's one of my favorite books.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i loved the royal we :) but i am definitely a royal-romance-fairytale loving kinda gal, so i mean stick any of those 2 things in a book and i'm like 100% certain to love it. i'm so predictable it's ridiculous.
i loved what alice forgot. i love books like that, where people drift apart or change or whatever. very thought provoking indeed!

Carolann Chambers said...

This is a great post. Salt to the Sea is next on my list -- it's sitting right next to me right now. I can't wait to read it. Once in a while I will read an ebook if that's the only way I can get it from my library, but I really don't like them. I don't want to have to worry about another battery to charge and it just doesn't feel the same as real books. A few times, I have started reading an ebook, only to decide that the book was so good that it deserved to be read in print. So then I had to stop reading it and go get a print copy. I'm crazy, I know. So now I don't bother with ebooks!

Rachel said...

It's really interesting to read about reading preferences, haha! I read a lot more fiction than non-fiction, although I've actually found most of the non-fiction books I've read this year to be very fascinating. My book choices are usually based on what I can find for free at our little library, and for myself, I lean towards choosing a lot of mystery (more the classic detective kind, not the scary/gory kind), historical fiction, fantasy, occasional sci-fi, or anything a little off-beat. Not much for romance unless it's romance happening in the midst of something else more interesting. The biggest surprise of this year was that I've read 3 Michael Crichton books and really loved them (The author of Jurassic Park)--they're borderline too gory for me, but the writer side of me really appreciates the research that writing scientific thrillers would take and each of the three books has made me pretty much useless to the rest of the world until I finished the book, which is why I'm avoiding reading any more by him for a while.

Torrie said...

Ha ha, sometimes it is uncanny how similar our reading tastes are--I'm also in the middle of Everyone Brave is Forgiven! I should finish it in the next day or two, but I've enjoyed it so far (mostly).

Jenny Evans said...

I keep hearing about What Alice Forgot. I'll have to read it - after the 10 (seriously, I counted) books that are stacked up on my nightstand right now. I apparently think I have a lot more time to read than I actually do.