16 books of 2016

16 books, 4 languages, 1 year. 2016 felt like a good reading year. My plan is to read through all the books in my bookcase and eventually, only keep the ones I love. It’s an ambitious plan, since I buy books all the time, both in print and e-book, making much list all the more longer. Here’s a review of everything I read during the past 12 months.

The 13th passenger

Yannis Maris

I don’t usually read non-fiction books, but when I do, it’s usually crime novels. I love a good mystery. This one is from a famous Greek writer, whose books became movies and TV series. It kept me guessing til the very end.

How to be Parisian wherever you are

Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan,
Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas

This book was everywhere on Instagram for a while and I thought I’d give it a chance, but it was actually not my kind of book. Way too superficial. Nobody thinks like that, not in Paris, not anywhere.

The festival of insignificance

Milan Kundera

I’m not a huge fan of Kundera, but I liked this book. I struggled finishing it and I didn’t find it that interesting. It wouldn’t be my first choice. Some loved it, some hated it. I was somewhere in the middle. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, just meh.

40 days of dating

Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman

You can find all content from this book online here, but be prepared to read it all at once. Do they finally get together? It was a real experiment between two people, that I would be too scared to try for myself. Also, I admire Jessica Walsh.

The lady from Zagreb

Philip Kerr

So, crime novels are my thing. This one though was a bad one. Half the book was way too long descriptions of things that had absolutely no point. The plot was good, but edit down man. Half the pages are filler. The end was good though and I didn’t expect it, so I’ll give him that.

Doppler

Erlend Loe

It all began in Trondheim’s theater last May, or was it June? I can’t really remember. I went to see Doppler as a theatrical play, having no idea about the book and I was blown away. It was funny and effortless, so much that I decided to read the book, which, of course, I loved. I’ve already bought the next two books in the series and can’t wait to find out what happens to Mr. Doppler next. Did I mention this was in Norwegian?

You are not the only one playing. There are also others!

Nikos Sideris

Moving onto some easy psychology. Some rules on how to properly behave around other people. The first in a long series of psychology books, that you’re probably going to read about next year. I wasn’t into fast psychology (this is not the proper psychology book) or self-improvement books, but why not?

Naive Super

Erlend Loe

After falling in love with Loe’s novel, I decided to read something more from him. I went for Naive Super, a weird book on the feeling of emptiness that many people get as young adults. I’ve never felt empty, but now I can understand how other people may feel.

Stories to think about

Jorge Bucay

No, no, no. I don’t like Bucay (gagging sound). I hate him to be honest. NO. Note: This was the book I gave to a guy I was flirting. Later on, I decided I didn’t hate him that much and asked him not to pass it on to someone else, preferably someone he hates.

The basic laws of human stupidity

Carlo M. Cipolla

Hands down the book I recommended more this year. Most of my friends read it (even some that don’t like reading books) and loved it, as much as I did. So well written, it can be read in an hour. If you’re just going to read one book in 2017, make it this one.

Forty tales from the afterlives

David Eagleman

Apparently, I hate collections of stories. Out of the forty tales, I only liked one. The rest I found boring, which I didn’t expect, considering that the writer is a neuroscientist. I wouldn’t recommend this book, but if you read it, come back and I’ll tell you about the story I liked.

The pencil factory

Soti Triantafyllou

I started reading this book just because it was sitting on my bookcase for a few months and after the first few pages, I just couldn’t put it down. It was fast paced, moving around different cities and generations. I shouldn’t have judged it by its cover, or its title for that matter.

 

Zazie in the metro

Raymond Queneau

A French book, that’s one of the first books I bought myself, over 15 years ago. And never read. I loved it. Think about a girl, whose uncle is gay, or is he? The whole book takes place in Paris, where Zazie can’t wait to ride the metro. Unbelievably well written and highly recommended. Also, that one I read in French. What took me so long?

Harry Potter and the cursed child

J.K. Rowling

A different book from the Harry Potter series, written as a theatrical play (how on earth are they changing scenes so fast?!), it made me miss Rowling’s writing in the rest of the series. I did like the plot, however… Oh, and I read it on a flight. Actually, half a flight. That fast.

Seven brief lessons on physics

Carlo Rovelli

A physics book for the curious reader who knows nothing about physics. It’s short and very easy to read, but will let you understand how breakthroughs happen in science. I read it as researcher and a teacher and wished that one day I’ll be able to write in such a compelling way about my field.

Human happiness

Blaise Pascal

Going on with some hardcore philosophy, a mathematician’s thoughts on happiness and God. It’s a good one if, like me, you’re struggling with religion. I bought it in London, in a museum’s gift shop, just because I couldn’t resist the cover. Now I want the rest of the series.

ps. Since I loved reading so many (for me at least) books in 2016, I’ll continue in 2017 with more books. Maybe 17, but who knows?