Books Read in 2016

Surprise! I like to read! Books! Books I hold in my hands! Books with pages that need to be turned! Here’s a list of stand-out books I’ve read this past year. There are more that I’ve read, but these resonated with me and I don’t want to potentially point you in the wrong direction. I took screenshots from the publishers’ websites and linked to those sites. You figure out how to acquire them, whether you purchase them or borrow from your library. (I love libraries!)



Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. One of the best novels I read this year. I don’t know why. It’s not particularly exciting. It’s set in the UK and it’s kind of long. Maybe it’s has that long Victorian novel vibe that I like so much. (Hi, Jane Eyre!)


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. This book had come up a couple of times within a week or so. I took it as a sign from the Universe that I needed to read it. There’s a touch of magical realism, which is unusual for me to like (see, Wizards and Shit), but I really liked this book. Also, it helps that the author lives in the same area of Alaska where I grew up—I remember seeing her picture in the local newspaper she wrote for.



It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort. She talks a lot about death. Mostly because her father died and shortly after, and I mean right after, her husband died. I’m keeping my eye on this author, because I think she’s only going to get better and better and I say that because she’s already a great writer.


What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas. This is a good contrast to “It’s Okay.” Death is a common theme, but Abigail Thomas has a wiser, more experienced, (older?) voice. This memoir also has a unique format that makes it irresistible to read.


Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller. So many truths in this book. I identified with a lot in this book, which was both sad and reassuring. Obviously, I loved this book for how sincere and honest the author is.


Running: A Love Story: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life-Changing Sport by Jen A. Miller. Once again, I identified with this book, mostly the act of running (I’ve never trained for anything longer than 10K) and being a writer. I started following the author on Instagram and subscribed to her newsletter. I love that she’s unapologetically political in her newsletter, which is something to admire right now.



Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being and Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington. This book validated a lot of things I have been seeing and feeling in my work life. I could write a whole essay on it, but I won’t right here. I found this book in the “business section” of the Dewey decimal system. The title reads almost like a self-help book, but it does belong in in business. Everyone on the organizational pyramid should read it.


The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less by Peter Bowerman. Just about as slick as the title reads. But, sometimes you need that slickness to inspire you to get things rolling.


Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley. Exactly what the title says it is. Even though I’ve been writing for pay for several years now, it doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally need a refresher or some tips and tricks to make my writing better. It’s also has an easily digestible format—great for reading here and there.

Alright, folks, you know how this works. Now you have to tell me what you read this year that you really liked. You know how to use the comment field below.

Here’s to a new year filled with great books!


The Year In Books

Let’s take a look at 2011 by reviewing some of the books I read (or listened to on my commute) this past year. I’ve been logging them by pinning the covers to one of my Pinterest boards.

Let’s start here:

Thow Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke: This pretty much walks you through decluttering your home and thus your life. This was the perfect book to read during a transitional year (I made 2 moves within 5 months–yikes!).

There were a few good outdoorsy/environmental/sustainability books I read. These are perfect for big-picture thinking, but also small-step-taking to a greener outlook on life:

Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart: Good starter book. And, after reading this you’ll start to see and recognize the Cradle to Cradle certification on products and trust what it stands for.

Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows: This one is a little cerebral, but it’s worth working your way through. There are a lot of good ideas in this that are relevant to the environment and other aspects of life.

The Necessary Revolution by P.N. Senge et al: Reading this is like reading Thinking In Systems with an environmental spin. Again, a cerebral read, but worth it.

A couple about food that will change the way you see your dinner plate and inspire you to at least make incremental changes to your food habits:

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

For those who had life-changing moments (read:  bad things happened), these books are comforting in that they are stories of other people who had crap happen and how they either overcame or simply dealt with it:

The Bag Lady Papers by Alexandra Penney and Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon and The Late Bloomer’s Revolution by Amy Cohen

And, finally, I love memoirs. These were my favorites:

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern and Bossypants by Tina Fey and A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. (I have to say that Kimmel is an excellent reader. I listened to this book and this woman knows how to read and tell a good story.)

Well, folks, those are the highlights of my 2011 reading. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012 filled with good books!