Sunday 1 January 2017

First Book of the Year

Happy New Year!

May your 2017 be joyous, healthy and full of grace.

For the past few years Sheila @Book Journey has hosted a First Book of the Year meme. Participants simply send her a book selfie showing the book/s they will be reading on New Year's Day.

I will (hopefully) be reading two books.

I plan to finish Salt Creek by Australian author, Lucy Treloar on NYD, which I have been reading since Boxing Day. the next book to go will be Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana in preparation for our upcoming holiday.

What are you reading today, to start your New Year off with a bang?

I guess the first day of a brand new year is also the time to reflect on memories of books past.
According to Goodreads I read 116 books in 2016.
74% were written be women.
51% were written by Australian authors.
35% of my books were picture books, junior fiction or teen/YA.
21% were historical fiction books.
19% were classic titles.
12% were memoirs or biographies.

2016 was a great reading year.

My Best Book/s of 2016

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift and Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien.

Honorable mentions also go to Louise Erdrich for LaRose and Graham Macrae Burnett for His Bloody Project.

My Best Debut Read

Ruins by Rajith Savanadasa

An Australian/Sri Lankan writer who knocked my socks off this year.

My Best YA Book

Just A Queen by Jane Caro

I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this planned trilogy about young Elizabeth I.
I just hope that Caro doesn't make us wait four years for the final instalment!

My Best Kids Book

Wormwood Mire by Judith Rossell

Another Australian author who continues to impress. Book two in Rossell's Stella Montgomery mystery series is even better than the first.

My Best Picture Book

An honorable mention must also go to Aaron Blabey for his The Bad Guys early reader series.

Best Crime Book

Give the Devil His Due by Sulari Gentill

I don't read a lot of crime.
My crime reading tends to fall under the cosy crime/historical mystery umbrella rather than gruesome murders, political thrillers or forensic crimes.
If you also like your crime on the cosy side with a dash of elegance and a whiff of turpentine, then this could be the series for you too!

My Best Graphic Novel

This may have been in actual fact my only graphic novel for the year, but that takes nothing away from how stunning and amazing this book is.

My Best Non-Fiction Read

An honorable mention to Helen Garner for Everywhere I Look and Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything.

My Best Memoir/Biography

Honorable mentions go to Magda Szubanski for Reckoning, Paul Kalanithi for When Breath Becomes Air and Nadja Spiegelmen for I'm Supposed to protect You From All of This.

My Best Classic Read for 2016

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

An honorable mentions goes to Virginia Woolf for The Voyage Out and Edna Ferber for So Big.

My Most Disappointing Book

I started 2016 with books 2 & 3 of the Elena Ferrante Neopolitan tetrology.
This ended up being a bit of a mistake. 
I should have had a break between the two books, because by the end of Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay I was exhausted and not sure that I liked the books at all. 

My Most Surprising Read

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Best Readalong for 2016

The Home and the World by Rabindrantah Tragore with Cirtnecce.

What were your favourite reads for 2016?

The linky below is for anyone who has created their own best of 2016/hopes for 2017 post and would like to share it.

Feel free to use my 'best of' headings, or make up your own.
I'd love to explode my TBR wishlist with your suggestions!

Happy New Year from Sydney!


  1. Oh, thanks for the reminder of signing up for the First Book of the Year. I will hop over and sign up with Sheila.
    I had wanted to read The Sun is Also a Star first but I am not finished with my current read Rani Patel in Full Effect so I am conflicted.

    About your favorites: I am currently reading The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Stegner. I loved the Angle of Repose when I read it years ago but this one is off to a slow start./I completely forgot about RADIOACTIVE the graphic biography about Marie Currie. I will look for it at the library. Thanks./I don't think JUST A QUEEN is available in the US. I found it on Amazon in large print for $24 which doesn't sound like the normal prize or format for YA. Hmm. Is Jane Caro an Aussie writer?/

    Happy New Year!

    1. Yes Caro is an Australian & I'm disappointed her books aren't easily available overseas. They are a YA trilogy but so well written and engaging that anyone of any age could enjoy them.

      I've been wondering if I would do anymore Stegner - I really enjoyed AoR and Crossing to Safety, but don't feel particularly compelled to read his entire backlist.

      And yes, you must search out Radioactive - it was fabulous from start to finish and in all the details.

  2. Born, I'm Wishing you Peace, joy and good health in 2017. Hope to get many more book suggestions for you this year. I read and enjoyed Hot Milk, Levy. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

  3. Mothering Sunday was one of my favorites of 2016, too, and I'll definitely be reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing sometime this year. I'm listening to LaRose now (read by the author) and it's wonderful. Happy New Year, Brona... hope you enjoy your first books!

  4. Happy New Year Brona! Hope you're enjoying your first book, and I look forward to reading Tolkien with you this year! :)

    1. I'm really looking forward to revisiting Tolkien after all this time & I'm delighted you'll be joining me :-)


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