My Year in Books

I’ve been using Goodreads to track my reading for years now. I look forward to the year end statistics report every December. It’s fun to see how the numbers stack up. I also like to quickly scan the book covers to see which of the stories I devoured in a given year still resonate with me.

Last year I had some pretty impressive numbers.



My 2015 year in books report from Goodreads.

I was determined to beat those numbers this year. So I set aside an hour each day to work on it. I call it “5 o’clock reading.” My cat loves it. He curls up on my lap (or my feet) and savors the quiet with me. If I forget to report to the Very Large Red Reading Couch in the afternoon, he seeks me out and meows at me until I get there.

So, did that dedicated reading time pay off?



My 2016 Year in Books report

Hard to say. My page count is up, but my total number of books read is down. Still, I now have a pocket of peacefulness built into my daily schedule that includes cat-cuddling. I’m going to call that a win.

Of all the books I’ve read this year, the one book I wish more people would read is Helen Wacker’s The Golem and the Jinni. It’s hard to shelve it into one genre. It’s part fantasy, part mystery, and part love story. But it’s also a book about immigration, and how difficult it can be to find a place for yourself in your new homeland.

Here’s a sampling of the books I read this year.


You can see my entire list here. (If you’re on Goodreads, let’s be friends. I’m always in the market for book recommendations.)



About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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