What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

17 January 2017

Best Books of 2016

As promised, the top five books that I read last year. Of course, this is highly subjective and my loving a book is no guarantee that you will. Please note that these aren't necessarily books published in 2016, but rather books I read in 2016. I'm not that fancy.

I read 112 books in 2016 (I had a lot of free time while I was funemployed), rated 32 of those with five stars on Goodreads, and had to narrow it down to five. Yikes! So here we are, my favourite books from 2016 (all images are from Goodreads):

5. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander

When a Supreme Court justice quotes a book, it's good to pay attention. This is a book that will fill you with anger and despair (I hope!) and, if it doesn't inspire you to push for change, will at least tell you something has gone horribly wrong.

4. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes & Joe Layden

If I hadn't already had a crush on Cary Elwes (and come on, who doesn't?), this book would have done it. If you're a fan of the movie, a fan of Mr. Elwes, or a fan of moviemaking, be sure to pick this one up. I've heard Mr. Elwes reads the audiobook himself, in that lovely lovely accent of his, so it's on to-listen list.

3. Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, Janette Sadik-Khan & Seth Solomonow

The revolution's happening in New York! Yes, okay, that line technically belongs with book #2, but it also applies to this one. Active transportation dominates NYC, and Ms. Sadik-Khan worked as transportation commissioner to make the streets of NYC reflect that reality. The work is hardly done: in 2015 alone, reckless NYC drivers killed at least 16 people who were either on a sidewalk or in a building, for goodness' sakes, and many, many more who were lawfully in a crosswalk or bike lane. (Or even unlawfully--jaywalking is not, after all, a capital offence, nor are drivers authorized to impose said sentencing themselves. Yet.)

Regardless of the work yet to be done, Ms. Sadik-Khan planned and worked and pushed and cajoled New York into being a slightly better place for people who aren't in cars, and having visited some of the changed roads and plazas myself, I'm a fan. Read the book to find out more and be amazed.

2. Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter

Despite my disclaimer, I managed two books in a row that were published in 2016. How about that. Enjoy the cast album? Enjoy Lin-Manuel's sense of humor? Enjoy not spending thousands on a ticket to a Broadway show? Read this and wait patiently with the rest of us for the day when Hamilton will finally be on tour and/or affordable to see in person. And laugh. Lin-Manuel really is a funny guy.

1. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs

Our legacy of slavery can feel like the distant past, but to not see that it reverberates all around us today is to be willfully ignorant. Bring your whole heart and your mind to this book and let it teach you. Did you read it in school? Good. Read it again.


Brailling For Wile, Jamie Zerndt
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Streetlights Like Fireworks, David Pandolfe

Want to see more of what I read in 2016? Check out my Year in Books on Goodreads.

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