Saturday, December 31, 2016

Must Read in 2016 - Final Update

I really enjoy being a part of the #MustReadin... community. Reading is certainly the hobby that fills a vast part of my free time, and I love having a goal with a checkoff list. I thank Carrie Gelson for organizing this, sharing posts, and sending reminders. In the past two years that I have taken part, I have immediately begun the new year reading as many books from my list as I can get my hands on, only changing gears a bit when our state's new award lists are announced and I focus on those titles. 

This year, my goal was to read 40 books, and I started out strong. At the time of the April update, I was well on my way with 26 of the 40 read. The link to my update post is below:

I slowed down a little after that, with the end of school, a daughter graduating, but as summer began I enjoyed more free time being able to participate in #bookaday. On June 20, everything came to a screeching halt. Early that morning I received a call that my son, who was running with his cross country team, had been hit by a semi truck. Certainly our lives were turned upside down for the months to follow. Over a three month period he went through eight surgeries along with countless hours in the hospital and rehabilitation center over 120 miles from our home. We are very grateful that he continues down what is definitely a long road to recovery, and has returned to many of his normal activities.

Anyone who knows me would assume that I spent many of those hours of waiting with my head in a book, and I often tried, but I must say that I rarely moved more than a couple of pages, and then I wouldn't remember what I read. I fought it for a while, and finally realized the only reading that was happening for me during that time was picture books, so I did read picture books, and several of them, but I definitely took a long break from any type of novel. I also missed out on reading updates from others and taking part in many chats, book clubs, etc. I tried to stay in touch with a few contacts, but my time and focus was obviously spent elsewhere.

In September, I got back into my groove as life became somewhat more normal, and I began reading more like I normally do. It was interesting how many books became mirrors after the experiences of our summer that might not have been before. 

These two sets of books that I read in 2016. The first set includes new releases, and the second set was made up of books I had missed.
I added a new component to my 2016 goal, setting out to read four classics, three of which were rereads. This is where is just missed my goal! I read three of the four. The one I missed was Treasure Island, which is the one I had never read. I am hoping to get to it soon!

Many of these books I have listened to the audio version. While I believe I have always been more of a visual learner, I have become a huge fan of audio books and listen to one or two per week.

From the new releases, a few of my favorites are below:

Each of these five books had characters and stories that stayed with me. I would classify all of them as heartprint books for me. I had the awesome experience of skyping with Nora Raleigh Baskin along with some of my book club members from school. Talking to her about her work on Nine, Ten was truly an amazing experience for us! We are hosting Sarah Weeks at our school in April, and I cannot wait to hear her tell more about Save Me a Seat and her experiences in writing it with her co-author.

From the set of books I had missed reading, the one that stood out to me most was Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. I listened to the audio version, which was amazing, so I continued with trilogy, and was captivated by all of them. While I have read many books about slavery, I have not read hardly any from this time period.
Image result for chains forge ashes laurie halse anderson g

From the classics I read, Peter Pan was fun as it used to be a favorite of my own children. The one that stood out to me most was Heidi. Many years ago, I convinced my grandma to let me take her old copy of Heidi. I didn't read it for years, but I loved it when I finally did, and even more this time. I think Heidi is an absolutely delightful character.
Image result for peter pan bookHeidi

I have enjoyed looking back over my own reading, and am happy to report that I read 39 of the 40 titles. I look forward to seeing everyone else's updates before we begin 2017.


  1. I am very impressed and can't wait to see your 2017 list! Glad to see Perry T Cook was also a favourite for you! Listen, Slowly was another favourite for me.

    1. Thank you, Carrie. This is a great community of readers you have joined together. Happy 2017!

  2. Perry is one of my favourite characters from last year! I'm glad to read that your son is doing better Michelle.

    1. Thank you so much, Cheriee! I agree that Perry was awesome; so wise for his age. Happy New Year!

  3. First of all, I am glad to hear your son is recovering well! I am sure that was a very scary time for all of you. As I told Carrie, reading all these lists makes me realized how many books I need to add to this year's list! You read some great books this year! I also loved Pax and Nine, Ten! Happy Reading in 2107 to you!