Books + recap posts = YES. At the beginning of every year, I like to devote a handful of posts to recapping the previous year. I usually have more book-related recaps than anything else!
Today I’m going to tell you about all one hundred books I read in 2016.
P.S. To keep the length of this post from getting out of control, I’ve limited myself to listing just the title, author, and a one- or two-sentence remark about my opinion of the book. Enjoy!
2. Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith. Made me want to create an LGBTQ+ photoessay of my own, maybe of people from Iowa City!
3. Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton. Just as absorbing as scrolling through HUNY on Facebook always is!
4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. THIS BOOK BLEW MY MIND.
5. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. Oh my god this book was so fantastically creepy!
7. Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello. HECK YES WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ ABOUT WONDER WOMAN.
8. Wonder Woman, Vol. 2: Guts by Brian Azzarello. I love this series’ new take on Diana Prince: It’s even more heavily influenced by Greek mythology than the original! I think fans of Percy Jackson would enjoy this.
9. Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Iron by Brian Azzarello. I LOVE MY WONDER WIFE.
10. Alias, Vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis. Love reading about Jessica Jones!
11. Trench Town Rock by Edward Kamau Brathwaite. A very inventive book about Jamaica that I was assigned for my Travel Writing class!
12. Hyperbole and A Half by Allie Brosh. Funny and profound at the same time!
13. Marbles by Ellen Forney. A powerful graphic novel memoir about living with bipolar disorder.
15. Bone, Vol. 1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith. I swear to god that this is what you get when you cross Lord of the Rings with Calvin and Hobbes AND I LOVE IT.
16. Batwoman, Vol. 1: Hydrology by J.H. Williams III. I loooooove this superheroine SO. MUCH.
17. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Unfortunately I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would!
18. Desolation by Derek Landy. THIS SERIES IS SO ACTION-PACKED WHAT THE HECK.
19. The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. A truly bizarre novel I read for my Gothic Literature course. I appreciated the story-within-a-story-within-a-story aspect even if everything else about it was really weird.
20. Hildafolk by Luke Pearson. Such a cute little comic book!
21. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Can’t believe I waited so long to read this fun classic!
22. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky. Interesting, if slightly dry, book read for my summer Internet and Journalism course.
24. I Am Pusheen The Cat by Claire Belton. Ahhhh so cute!
25. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan. Can’t wait for the next volume!
26. Gay & Lesbian History for Kids by Jerome Pohlen. Despite the title, I think it’s actually a super important and engrossing book for adults as well, since the writing is actually fairly complex.
27. Tough Guys Have Feelings by Keith Negley. Loved this colorful picture book about superheroes!
28. Proof by David Auburn. I performed a scene from this play for the final exam in my Basic Acting class and fell in love with the story along the way!
29. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen. Possibly one of the strangest graphic novels I’ve ever read, and that’s saying something.
30. Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe by Tim Leong. What a cool concept! I found some sections rather sexist, though. SIGH.
31. Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky. Can you say wanderlust?!
32. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen. By the second volume, I still didn’t really know what was going on but I loved it anyway.
33. My First Book of Portuguese Words by Katy R. Kudela. My summer roommate, who is from Brazil, went through this book with me and giggled at my terrible attempts to pronounce words from her language!
34. Being Jazz: My Life as A (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings. I read I Am Jazz, the picture book she co-wrote when she was little, and it was so cool to read about what she’s been up to since then! Jazz is truly a phenomenal young woman.
35. Lobster Is The Best Medicine by Liz Climo. Cute comics about animals and friendship!
36. Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Ahhh I can’t believe I didn’t read it until this year!
37. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Bruce Coville. A solid picture book adaptation of the classic play.
38. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Ohhhhh this book made me so EMOTIONAL!
39. Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times by Andrew Piper. This book was EXCEEDINGLY DULL and I HATED IT but had to finish it for school.
40. The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure by Caroline Paul. Super motivational! Made me want to have all sorts of Adventures!
42. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen. Eeee can’t wait for volume four!
43. Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox. Yes! Yes!
44. A Child’s First Book of Trump by Michael Ian Black. LMAO THIS WAS SO MUCH FUNNIER BEFORE THE ELECTION AND NOW IT’S JUST SAD.
45. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Multiple creative writing professors have recommended that I read her books, so this was the first one I tried.
46. Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Read this for school and loved it!
47. Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein. I have mixed feelings about this one, because sometimes it went on such long digressions that I felt those digressions needed to be their own separate books. Overall, though, it was pretty helpful.
48. Monster Book by Alice Hoogstad. A beautiful wordless picture book!
49. Issun Bôshi: The One-Inch Boy by Icinori. A gorgeous book based on a classic Japanese fairy tale!
50. Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning After High School by Genevieve Morgan. A very useful book!
51. No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty. Although I didn’t end up doing NaNo this year after all, I found lots of ideas for the next year.
52. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Inspirational!
53. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. Can’t believe it took me so long to get around to reading this!
54. About A Village by Eamonn McCabe. A wonderful photoessay about a little town in the UK!
55. Adulthood Is A Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection by Sarah Andersen. SO RELATABLE.
56. Shutterbug Follies by Jason Little. A weird little graphic novel about photography, murder, and crime-fighting.
57. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. OHHH MY GOD I NOW KNOW WHY THIS BOOK IS SO HIGHLY REGARDED.
58. Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman. Yesssss Gaiman is so creative and motivating!
59. Now Go Out There (And Get Curious) by Mary Karr. This really made me think!
60. Venus Drive by Sam Lipsyte. Ew. I found this collection of short stories very misogynistic and homophobic, but couldn’t DNF it because it was for school.
61. Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Özge Samanci. A great graphic novel autobiography about being an artist and dealing with disappointment!
63. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy. Awesome picture book biography of a great Supreme Court justice!
64. 100 Years: Wisdom From Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life by Joshua Prager. SUCH A BRILLIANT LITTLE BOOK 10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND.
65. Bone, Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith. Ahhhh I love this series!
66. The End of Summer by Tillie Walden. A beautiful, dreamlike graphic novel about a sick boy and his twin sister.
67. Last Chapter and Worse by Gary Larson. Loved this collection of the last few cartoons Larson drew for The Far Side!
68. xkcd: Volume 0 by Randall Munroe. Amusing, although most of the math and science jokes went right over my head.
69. Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid. I gotta read more comics about Leia!
70. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. Meh. I got bored about halfway through and don’t actually know why I bothered to finish this.
71. Is Your Cat Gay? by Charles Kreloff. LMAO MY ROOMMATE GAVE ME THIS FOR CHRISTMAS AND IT IS SO SPECIFIC TO MY INTERESTS.
73. I Love This Part by Tillie Walden. A short graphic novel about two girls in love!
74. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. Yayyyy for diversity! Yay for Raina Telgemeier!
75. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” by Miles Hyman. A pretty solid graphic novel adaptation by one of Jackson’s grandchildren.
76. Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola. This reminded me of Skulduggery Pleasant somehow, although I can’t quite seem to put my finger on why.
77. The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks. I love Superhero Girl!
78. Food Play by Saxton Freymann. This was like a longer version of How Are You Peeling?, which was (and still is!) one of my favorite picture books.
79. Soppy by Philippa Rice. OH MY GOD. CUTENESS.
80. Poorly Drawn Lines by Reza Farazmand. I’ve seen a few of his comics around the Internet and I didn’t realize there were so many more!
81. Bone, Vol. 3: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith. I’m anxious to read the rest of the books in this series!
82. Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm. A graphic novel about a time period in American history I’m particularly interested in learning more about!
83. The Oven by Sophie Goldstein. An unusual little graphic novel about parenting in a world that reminded me of Mad Max: Fury Road.
84. Hinges, Book One: Clockwork City by Meredith McClaren. This was like… a robot version of The Golden Compass set in Japan?! Cool concept, but the artwork and panel setup was often difficult to follow.
85. The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle. A cute, Christmassy picture book!
86. Dubliners by James Joyce. A brilliant collection of fifteen stories about what life was like in Ireland at the turn of the century!
87. Cat Person by Seo Kim. While reading this, I had the distinct impression that I had either read most of it or skimmed all of it before but since I can’t remember exactly when I decided to count it towards this year!
88. Alone Forever: The Singles Collection by Liz Prince. Urgh, disappointing.
89. Groot by Jeff Loveness. A super cute introduction to a Marvel Comics character I know nothing about! I still need to watch Guardians of the Galaxy…
90. A Contract With God by Will Eisner. Not the best graphic novel I read last year, but it was still super cool to finally read the first graphic novel ever written!
91. Maybelle the Cable Car by Virginia Lee Burton. An adorable picture book my dad bought for me several years ago in San Francisco that I’d never gotten around to reading until now!
92. Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger. This was an amazing glimpse at fashion history, which is a topic I know, like, NOTHING about.
93. New York: The Big City by Will Eisner. This book was right up my alley because I LOVE little slice-of-life stories that are told simply for the sake of being told, not because they aim to add depth to a character or drive the plot forward.
94. Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia C. McKissack. Yay for diverse historical fiction in the form of graphic novels!
95. Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown. Ahhh! So cute!
97. Darth Vader and Friends by Jeffrey Brown. Back to the cuteness. Less sexism. Thankfully.
98. Wodney Wat’s Wobot by Helen Lester. A cute, long-awaited sequel to one of my favorite picture books from childhood!
99. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Alan Grant. Oh my god, now I REALLY need to read the original story! This was so creepy and amazing even though I already knew the plot twist. (Who doesn’t?)
100. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov. EEEE I’M SO HAPPY I ENJOYED THIS SO MUCH. What a great book to end the year with!
Stay tuned for two more bookish recaps! In the days to come, I’ll be talking about my top ten favorite books from 2016 as well as the diverse books I read in 2016.
How many books did YOU read last year? (You can list them all if you want to, but you certainly don’t have to!) Did you manage to read more than me?! What are you reading now?