Best books I read in 2016

Admittedly my happy place is anywhere surrounded with books. While my friends can spend hours in a mall, I can get lost for a week in the smallest bookstore. Our local librarians know my name.

favoritebooksof-2016Although it looks like I again won't make my goal of reading 50 books this year, I did read several great ones. Back in September I shared my favorite 6 of the start of the year, here's four more in case you've got a little free time before we say goodbye to 2016.

lily-and-the-octopus-9781501126222_hrLily and the Octopus: Steven Rowley. I was a little bit of a Johnny come lately with this book. It had great reveiws and endless library holds long before I considered picking it up...I wasn't in the mood for an ugly cry. I wish someone would've corrected me earlier. Yes, I did cry (can someone please write a book about our family pups that doesn't leave us in tears?!).  But...it was creative, funny, a little odd at times, but an acurate depiction for those pups that aren't just dogs- they're members of our family.

"I think of how dogs are witnesses. How they are present for our most private moments, how they are there when we think of ourselves as alone. They witness our quarrels, our tears, our struggles, our fears, and all of our secret behaviors that we have to hide from our fellow humans. They witness without judgment.” -Lily and the Octopus

10-days-in-a-madhouse10 Days in a Madhouse: Nellie Bly. Obviously this classic wasn't published in 2016, but it was my first time reading this 1887 classic. Probably one of the shortest books I read all year, but entirely fascinating. A female reporter goes undercover as Nellie Bly and has herself committed into a New York insane asylum on Blackwell Island. Up for a shocking look at 19th century mental health? Nellie Bly- Elisabeth Cochrane- was an original whistle-blower, and immersed herself into the nightmares shuttered on Blackwell Island...and sparked a systemic reform. Ironically, she never lied about her mental health to become committed.

"I always made a point of telling the doctors I was sane, and asking to be released, but the more I endeavored to assure them of my sanity, the more they doubted it." -Ten Days in a Madhouse

today-will-be-differentToday will be Different: Maria Semple. I think I liked Ms. Semple's first book, Where'd you go, Bernadette, a little better, but I really enjoy her description and characters. Eleanor isn't so much the hot mess she thinks she is, rather she's on a journey to re-discover her sense of self...and what that "self" should look like. There's the dichotomy of what the "perfect" wife, mother, woman "should" be...and how to maintain a glimmer of the person you thought you always were. How do you not get sucked into a book that begins...

“Today will be different. Today I will be present. Today, anyone I speak to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. Today I’ll play a board game with Timby. I’ll initiate sex with Joe. Today I will take pride in my appearance. I’ll shower, get dressed in proper clothes, and change into yoga clothes only for yoga, which today I will actually attend. Today I won’t swear. I won’t talk about money. Today there will be an ease about me. My face will be relaxed, its resting place a smile. Today I will radiate calm. Kindness and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today will be different.”-Today will be Different

daringDaring and Disruptive: Lisa Messenger. Ok, entrepreneurs, need a little motivating kick in the ass? Seek any and all Lisa Messenger books. Maverick Marketing, was my first introduction to the brilliant, unconventional mind of Lisa Messenger. The shitty thing...she's from Australia and her books are hard to find here (yes, even on Amazon...and even at the library). Daring and Disruptive is her latest book and a little more accessible. Whether you've had your own business for a decade or your just starting to flame the spark, she'll be the right mentor: offering creative inspiration to an old problem or the honest, yet enthusiastic cheerleader you need in your corner. She'll help you take the leap outside of your comfort zone, and inspire you to stay there rather than tiptoeing back to what's safe and familiar.

"As an entrepreneur, you forge ahead against the odds and you're told no endless times, but remember that the material life around us was created by people no smarter than you. You are no less capable of changing the world than the next person." Daring and Disruptive.

luckiest-girl-aliveLuckiest Girl Alive: Jessica Knoll. Bonus book because I read it in 2015, but too many of my reader friends have still never heard of it. I love action and suspense, but not scary (think David Baldacci over Stephen King). Gone Girl hated the ending. Girl on the Train wasn't bad- needy female characters aren't my thing though. Luckiest Girl Alive, on the other hand,...plot twists until the end...can't put down page-turner.

"I saw how there was a protection in success, and success was defined by threatening the minion on the other end of a cell phone, expensive pumps terrorizing the city, people stepping out of your way simply because you looked like you had more important places to be than they did. Somewhere along the way, a man got tangled up in this definition too. I just had to get to that, I decided, and no one could hurt me again.”-Luckiest Girl Alive

Considering I have 65 library books on my shelf right now, I don't doubt 2017 will bring more great reads. But, I'm always looking for more. Which books are on your nightstand? What should I read next?

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