One of my 2016 New Year Resolutions was to read more. In 2016, I read 30 books not including comic books, fan fiction, articles, and things I read for work/school. Honestly, 30 is not a high number, but compared to the measly nine in 2015, it was a big improvement and my only successful resolution last year. I think the reason why I was reading more was because I started buying books online instead of waiting for free time to visit the few bookstores in Japan that sells English books. It wasn’t like they were near anyways, and I can afford shipping now. Yay, adulating! Another reason why was because I began carrying a book with me whenever I went out. Therefore, I was reading during long train rides and random quiet moments. Let’s take a look back at the books I finished reading during 2016.
My favorite stand-alone book: Fangirl by: Rainbow Rowell
This was my first Rainbow Rowell’s book, and it definitely was not my last. I love this book so much that I plan on buying the other cover as well just to have in my collection. I could totally relate to the interest of the main character, and I thought the author captured the emotions of a college student well. I lent the book to my cousin to read and will be buying a copy for a friend of mine soon.
My favorite series: Harry Potter by: J.K. Rowling
This should not need any justification. In 2015, I decided to re-read/finish reading the entire Harry Potter series. It took me until 2016 because there was a period I wasn’t buying books in 2015, but I’m super happy that I finally accomplished this goal. Though, I wasn’t a fan of “The Cursed Child”, I was thoroughly pleased by the movie, “Fantastic Beast”, and will be buying the script/book soon.
My favorite new author: Kazuo Ishiguro
I borrowed Never Let Me Go because I remembered the movie trailer looked interesting, and it blew me away. I was in love and needed more. I bought The Remain of the Day online, read that immediately, and knew I wanted even more. However, I will be moving soon, so I have stopped buying things presently. Once I am settled, I will definitely try reading all his books.
What made me cry the most: Me before You by: Jojo Moyes
If you’ve read my other posts, you will know that I am a movie trailer watching addict. I saw the movie trailer for “Me before you” and felt so moved. Gosh, that Ed Sheeran song was too perfect. I bought the book and read it together with a friend. It was fun having a reading buddy to discuss the book with after and during the reading process. I even lent the book to my aunt who enjoyed the fact that I bought the UK version for her to practice her British English. I don’t know if I will read the sequel; I bought it for my aunt just in case she wanted to read it, so I do have it within reach. However, I think it is difficult to repeat that emotional impact. I thought the movie fell short (just a little) of that as well.
What I would like to see become a movie or TV series: Gallagher Girls series by: Ally Carter
I remember seeing and possibly reading the first book ages ago when I still went to the public library as a small child. I never knew it was part of a six book series until I saw it at a random bookstore in Nagoya. Truthfully, I liked some of the books in the series more than others, but overall, it had a fun plot, cool characters, and a great message to young girls. Also, the covers are absolutely adorable, and the titles are quite witty.
What was the hardest to read: Lolita by: Vladimir Nabdkov
I was perusing a bookstore in Fukuoka while waiting on a friend. The title and pretty cover caught my attention. It took me quite a long time to finish this book, but I’m glad that I did. I heard that there are two movie adaptations, but I’m not interested. I like the images I have conjured up in my imagination.
My least favorite stand-alone book: The Girl on the Train by: Paula Hawkins
When the characters are all despicable with no redeeming qualities especially the women and the ending was easily figured out right before halfway… I don’t understand why I pushed myself to read to the end. I was hoping for something different, but it never came. Gone Girl and this book got compared together a lot. This means that I will not be reading Gone Girl or watching either movie.
My least favorite series: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by: Ann Brashares
Even when a book is difficult or I am already starting to dislike it, I always try to force myself finish. You can’t truly judge something unless you have read/seen it from beginning to end. However, after reading the first book in this series, I was done and over it. It was crazy because I actually bought the entire series on whim and ending up just donating it all. Maybe, one day, I will give it another chance but not right now. I think one of the problems was that it just didn’t age well, but the movie was decent.
If you are interested, here is the ‘full’ list of books I read in 2016. As for 2017, I hope to read a bit more. However, it is a bit difficult since I am on a buying ban due to my plans of moving back home to the US this year. Anyways, I also would like to finish the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy this year along with reading more Kazuo Ishiguro, Rainbow Rowell, Ally Carter, and the supplementary Harry Potter books.
- Teen Idol – Meg Cabot
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
- Me before You – Jojo Moyes
- Lolita – Vladimir Nabdkov
- Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
- City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments series) – Cassandra Clare
- The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
- Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
- The Selection (The Selection series) – Kiera Cass
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar – Ransom Riggs
- Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling
- One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiments – Mei Fong
- Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
- City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Series)– Cassandra Clare
- I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls series) – Ally Carter
- The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
- Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls series) – Ally Carter
- Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls series) – Ally Carter
- The Elite (The Selection series) – Kiera Cass
- Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls series) – Ally Carter
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind (Gallagher Girls series) – Ally Carter
- United We Spy (Gallagher Girls series) – Ally Carter
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares
- Insatiable: Porn A Love Story – Asa Akira
- The Great Gilly Hopkins – Katherine Paterson
- The One (The Selection series) – Kiera Cass
- Confessions of a Yakuza – Junichi Saga
After typing out my 2016 list, I thought I might as well type up my short 2015 list. It’s cool seeing all these titles again. I like my there is a bit of an array though it is mostly books in the YA category.
- Emma – Jane Austen
- Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
- All Too Perfect Japanese – Yoji Yamakuse
- Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
- Gang Leader for a Day – Sudhir Venkatesh
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling