2016 Year In Review: Best Books I Read

December is the right time to reflect about the year is about to finish. Although my blog is very focused on travels, literature is also on the top of my interests.

In fact, I’m among those who advocate the idea that literature makes you travel. Thus, while next week I will highlight the best travels I made in 2016, today I will write about the books I enjoyed the most to read this year.

Back to Riga, I spent a lot of time in local libraries. Although there´s not a huge offer of books in english (and so in portuguese language), I had the chance to found some authors I always wanted to read. Such as Haruki Murakami!

In Riga I bought the pocket book version of ‘Norwegian Wood’ and had the best introduction to the japanese author. After this amazing and unexpected novel, I read another two Murakami´s works and now ‘1Q84’ rests at the bookshelf.

Osamu Dazai was one more relevant author I discovered. I read ‘No Longer Human’ and would suggest this novel to everyone who admire deep and mental plots, with a story that seems to be autobiographical narrated in the first person.

Recently I read another great novel from an asian author, ‘The Vegetarian’, by Han Kang. This book won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize and totally deserved: it´s basically impossible to feel indifferent to the destiny of the main character, in a pretty intense and bizarre fiction.

‘Purity’ by Jonathan Franzen definitely makes part of the list of the best books I read this year. This novel is an authentic journey: not only in space, taking place in USA, Germany and Bolivia, but also in time.

Furthermore, the plot is extremely current, approaching the challenges of our societies, increasingly connected but controlled by unknown individuals, who have a huge power thanks to the information we all deposit at the web.

Last but not least, Guy Delisle is another author I would like to recommend. In Nice, at the library of my french language school, I discovered two of his graphic novels, ‘Shenzhen’ and ‘Pyongyang’, some kind of hybrid books: a novel turned into comics.

This canadian author draws and writes with creativity and humour. Now I would like to complete the reading of his graphic novels. Maybe next year. 2017 is coming and I´ll have another 365 days to read.

ps: What about you? What books surprised you the most in 2016?


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20 responses to “2016 Year In Review: Best Books I Read

  1. My wife is a fan of Haruki Murakami but I mostly read crime novels. If there’s a book in English that I’m eager to read I don’t wait for a translation into Swedish and some books aren’t even published here.
    I haven’t summed up books in 2016 yet but among the best crime writers are Elly Griffiths, Louise Penny, Ann Cleeves , Donna Leon and Fred Vargas

    • 🙂 thank you so much for sharing your favorite writers!!! as I told you before, I´m not very into the crime literature but now that you gave me so much feedback I know which authors I should start eheh regards PedroL

    • that´s it Marina, I´m exploring authors from other latitudes and getting impressed with the ammount of good literature from Asia!!! those covers are for the french edition, published by L’Association, you should check their other books, they have a lot of quality 🙂 wish you a great week! PedroL

  2. I’ve been thinking about reading Haruki Murakami for a while, but never got around to it – will add Norwegian Wood to the 2017 list! I’ve been reading mainly non-fiction this year, with Feral by George Monbiot being my most surprising read. He manages to portray nature in so much beautiful and lyrical detail without making the research data on the current state of the wilds boring. An eye-opener.

    • dear Safar, thank you so much for sharing your readings! that´s what I like about blogs, now I can search about George Monbiot 🙂 let me know your impressions about Murakami! cheers PedroL

      • That I will, Pedro! And you’re right, I’ve gained so much from other bloggers’ recommendations.

    • Sorry for late reply… In my opinion ‘Norwegian Wood’ is the perfect start to Murakami´s work 🙂 haven´t start yet 1Q84 but planning to read the complete trilogy next January!! after that I can tell you my impressions eheh regards! PedroL

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