2016 – A Year in Books

There is nothing like being in a library all day that makes you want to read. I started this year not really in to books – the first 5 titles on this list took me until May to read, but once I started my new job I couldn’t seem to read fast enough. Here are 28 reviews for your perusal:


Dead Mountain

I liked this book a lot, it was an excellent example of investigative journalism. The book tells the story of the unsolved deaths of nine Russian hikers. I could have done without the authors personal conjecture at the end – but his ideas certainly did not ruin the story.


The Potty Mouth at the Table

After the seriousness of Dead Mountain I decided to lighten things up with a little Laurie Notaro. I liked this book but not as much as her earlier works.



What the? This was the third book in a series by Margeret Atwood, the first was one of the best things I ever read, the second was just okay but this one I could barely get through… ugh.

fool-assassin Fool’s Assassin

I might be a nerd, but the day that Robin Hobb revived the story of Fitz Chivalry was a great day. For Hobb fans, this book did not disappoint.


Fool’s Quest

I tried so hard to space out these books to make them last longer, but I lack self control and devoured them in a weeks time. This is the second in the trilogy and now I have to wait until March to read the last one – look for it in next years review.


Coffee, Tea or Me

Totally fun and irreverent tale of two stewardesses in the 60’s. I picked this up for a quarter at a library book sale – it was totally worth it.



A very solid novel – I got this out of the book swap bin at work and enjoyed it enough to pass it along.


About a Boy

Excellent. I never read this because I wasn’t sure I could relate but found this (again) in the book swap bin at work and I’m very glad I picked it up. It was quick and sweet.


A Bear, a Backpack and Eight Crates of Vodka

Another excellent book, this is the true story of Lev Golinkin’s family fleeing Russia and immigrating to the US. This book was well written, it came across as both horrifying and humorous, I enjoyed it a lot.


Marley & Me

I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but it took me getting my own Marley to want to read it (I have a hard time with books about dogs, they always end the same way). I thought this was a great book and in the end when I cried myself to sleep I was able to wake up to a Marley puppy poking me in the butt to get out of bed.


Couldn’t Keep it all to myself

Another library sale find – I picked it up because of Wally Lamb, but it wasn’t written by him. This book contains essays written by the inmates of York correctional facility. It was okay, some where better than others, it was all very Orange is the New Black.


String too Short to Be Saved

Excellent, this book made me nostalgic for something I didn’t even know about. Well written, it’s like a delicious meal you want to keep eating.


The Dive from Clausen’s Pier

Sad. A quiet bittersweet novel- I liked it, I didn’t love it.


Imagined London

Not the book for me – this was a slim book about the London of classic literature and the London of today. Not ever having been to London  I was completely lost.


The Nightingale

Another excellent book, a page turner about world war II – it reminded me of All the Light We Cannot See which was one of my favorites from last year.


La Lacuna

The first novel from Kinsgsolver in 12 years. It took me a long time to get in to this novel – in the end I really enjoyed it. Maybe not as much as the The Poisonwood Bible.


Why Not Me?

I really enjoyed this book – you can read all about it here: https://stickyjamhands.com/2016/08/12/an-open-letter-to-mindy-kaling/


A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

This was a weird little book – it started out funny but didn’t stay that way. I kinda liked it – I didn’t really like it.


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

I really like David Sedaris and I really liked this book even despite the turtle chapter. You can read about it here: https://stickyjamhands.com/2016/12/02/an-open-letter-to-david-sedaris/


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

This book was okay, I read it in two days- I thought the premise was good but it lacked character development.



My second Notaro book this year, it was okay – have I mentioned I like her earlier stuff better?


What the What?

Excellent – everyone should read this book. A true story billed as a novel, eyeopening and enjoyable.


I Served the King of England

Preparing for my upcoming trip, I read this because it was recommended reading for visiting Prague. It was okay, a little bit weird and I’m not sure how it’s going to come in handy when I’m there.


The Killer Angels

I read this book as research for a trip I took to Gettysburg. It was very readable and by the time I got to the battlefield I was able to ask questions like I actually knew what I was talking about.


Postcards from the Edge

I read this well before Carrie Fisher died because I was looking for some comic relief after the civil war and it occurred to me I had read almost all of her books except this one. I will miss her greatly she was an excellent storyteller.


A Tale for the Time Being

Really excellent. If I had to pick my favorite book of the year this would probably be it. It took me a long time to get through it but was totally worth it.


The Good German

I read this to get a feel of what Berlin was like right at the end of World War II, I liked it more than I thought I would especially considering at it’s heart it was a murder mystery.


The Sellout

Still reading this book – it is dry and satirical and outrageous, I really really like it


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