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My top 5 Favourite books, read in 2016

Aha, you caught me straying from my once-a-week only-on-Mondays post. I thought I’d slot this in as a little extra FYI.

books and shadows

Although I do keep up my comments (as a sort of review) on Goodreads, I often forget to at least mention some of my favourite books here for you. Feel free to catch up with me on Goodreads, so in the meantime, here are my top five favourite books read this year, but in no particular order.

The Nightingaleby Kristin Hannah

Circling the Sun: A Novelby Paula McLain

The Tie That Bindsby Kent Haruf

The Fig Orchardby Layla Fiske

Me Before Youby Jojo Moyes

book by nightstand www.dianeschuller.com

Now after devouring all the fine reading, there are some ‘crumbs’ that I’d just as soon sweep away …

Books in 2016 I DID NOT enjoy or else abandoned:

Reading by Lightning by Joan Thomas; The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt (crap); My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout; and The Dollmaker by Harriette Simpson Arnow.


Since I only read one knitting book in 2016, I only have one to recommend. First check out my thoughts about it on Goodreads. Then go ahead and read the synopsis to see if it’s one you’d also enjoy. It would also make a great gift for someone in your life who knits.

Knitting Stories: Personal Essays and Seven Coast Salish-inspired Knitting Patternsby Canadian Sylvia Olsen.

knitting "Fireside" pullover by Jane Richmond

Knitting the Fireside pullover designed by Jane Richmond

And now for one final list (I promise). I’ve been reading more poetry lately and have decided this coming year my goal is to purchase and read more poetry. I tend to enjoy Mary Oliver, mostly because of her connection to the natural world but also really enjoy John O’Donohue’s beautiful thoughts and blessings. So it will be no surprise to see them on my wish list for 2017.

Why I Wake Early: New Poemsby Mary Oliver

Light Light (Book Thug Tradebooks)by Julie Joosten (thanks to a recommendation from Shawna Lemay)

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessingsby John O’Donohue

and, although I do own some of her poetry books and a book of essays, I still hope to obtain Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Dayby Diane Ackerman.

open book and wool shawl

Now you — what is the book that has had the most impact on you this year? and why or how? Or maybe you have a favourite Christmas-season book you pull out each year — do tell.

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DIANE J PATMORE - December 17, 2016 - 11:28 am

I am such a butterfly brain! I don’t keep track of all my readings.Well, somewhere in the attic of memory I have my personal notes, but certainly nothing this well-organised!But, if I’m nudged, I’d probably say Neil Gaiman’s “The View From the Cheap Seats;” being a collection of stories, thoughts, speeches, readings from a man whose mind I admire and who generosity of spirit is a beacon in the current darkness.
I’ve ploughed through some slightly trashy crime novels on long, sleepless nights,re-read some oldies and even done some serious editing of my own drafts.In most cases, ditched a lot!

Off-topic, Diane, but I must ask: have you ever seen the white ravens which live near Parksville/Qualicum?

Mary - December 19, 2016 - 6:50 am

Three poets that I love are: Jo Harjo, Marie Howe and Galway Kinnell.

Here is one beautiful poem by Galway Kinnell:

If one day it happens
you find yourself with someone you love
in a cafe at one end
of the Pont Mirabeau, at the zinc bar
where white wine stands in upward opening glasses,

and if you commit then, as we did, the error
of thinking
one day this will only be memory

as you stand
at this end of the bridge which arcs,
from love, you think, into enduring love
learn to reach deeper
into the sorrows to come–to touch
the almost imaginary bones
under the face, to hear under the laughter
the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss
the mouth which tells you, here,
here is the world, This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones.

The still undanced cadence of vanishing.

Happy Holidays, Diane.

Gabriele - December 20, 2016 - 7:42 am

A book I really enjoyed was “Into The Magicshop” by James Doty MD. Part memoir of his life as a neurosurgeon, part mindfulness encouragement, and part a story of a poor boy from a poor family achieving amazing things.

Jennifer - December 26, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Right now I am reading “The Wonder” which was short listed for this year’s Giller. I picked it because it is set in Ireland ( where one of my sisters lives) and because I was intrigued by the subject matter. I am enjoying it, but feel it would have made a better short story. It drags a bit.
I have a number of cookbooks I want to read including a new one by Donna Hay which is filled with amazing photography (Xmas gift). And there are lots of gardening books on my reading list (of course)! Your favourites might be nice to add in. More time for reading is a goal for the new year.