2016 Yearly Wrap-up

I wasn’t going to do this post but then I figured… Why not. A lot changed in 2016 and I feel like marking it.

The new job I got a few months prior to the year beginning got more challenging and more rewarding, which also meant more time-consuming. Therefore both my amount of books read and focus on reading plummeted.
There were still a few books I truly enjoyed and I would like to highlight them.

My reading preferences also changed. I have grown weary of reading short story anthologies as I feel I can’t write a proper review without mentioning each of them and that grows tiresome and makes reading a chore, which is exactly what I want to avoid.
Also, I used to be much more into sci-fi and fantasy, particularly dystopias, but the YA direction those books took over time let me down and I ended up shying away from those and focusing on my new thing: psychological thrillers. I really enjoyed discovering this wonderful genre.

Out of a total of 60 books read, and in chronological order as they were all different and I can’t really say I preferred one over the other, here are my favourite five books of 2016. The cover links to my review and the name to the book’s page on GoodReads.



My, what a book. It was unlike anything I had ever read. A 5 year-old as a narrator will do that, I guess. But the circumstances in which this boy lived and the way he interpreted them was what was so moving and heart-breaking.
This book confronts us with the uggliest of humanity and you cannot help but became in awe at Jack. Granted, some things may not have been very realistic but really, they were so minor it isn’t even worth getting into it.
I highly recommend this book. Do be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1)

This was my fantasy book of the year. It is utterly enchanting. The way Jacob’s life turns from the mundane to the wondrous was masterfully done and there were many surprises along the way, as well as a great dose of tension and suspense, that made this experience quite a treat.
It is amazing that an author can conceive such a story from viewing a few photographs of real peculiar children.
I have the sequel sitting on my shelf for a while now but I pre-ordered the third book of the series so am aiming to read #2 closer to that date.
Oh and so much better than the movie, as usual.


Different Seasons

This book has been around for decades but I only manage to get to it in 2016. It was well worth the wait. Three of these novellas were adapted to movies and for good reason.
There were a few things in The Body that annoyed me but it was still a heart-warming story. As for the other three… Wow.
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption was so clever. King’s prose is so engaging and part of the charm is how Red, the narrator, portrays Andy Dufresne. Both these characters grow on us and if you haven’t seen the movie the unveiling of how Dufresne did it will certainly wow you.
I had heard about Apt Pupil but it caught me so off-guard. That kid was creepy as hell.
Again, I found the story so much better than the movie – there is just a depth that King’s words can reach that is just not possible to convey through images.
It took me a while to remember the The Breathing Method but when I did my eyebrow went up. It got a bit grotesque at a point and it is part of its charm. Of the four, I would say it is the only one with a heaviest hint of fantasy, and the closest to what King usually writes.
Terrific collection!


When She Was Bad

I guess this was the psychological thriller of the year for me!
The narrative goes back between past and present events and it is very well done. There are three main events: the murder which is set as a premise for the other events, a disturbing case that our narrator Anne was in contact many years prior, and the events triggered by a group’s boss being fired. These are all very different and I enjoyed reading about all.
The several voices we read about are excellent and the narrative style only took a bit of getting used to and then it did not become overwhelming at all. I remember that when each chapter finished I immediately had to read what came next and was disappointed when the voice changed because I really wanted to know what came next but it was good anticipation.
The reveal blew me away and this was simply a terrific reading experience that I definitely recommend to fans of the genre. I would love to read more by this author.


All We Shall Know

This was definitely not something I would have usually read. The Irish dialect was intriguing and the way the author phrased the events left me breathless because those sentences were long but I really didn’t mind, it kept me engaged.
This main character is indeed quite flawed. Her introspection is enthralling and while I never really felt sorry for her I related to her conundrum and that is proof of great writing, in my book.
There is a lot of depth to this character and I really loved her father.
It’s one of those stories you can’t really delve into what happened, it just needs to be appreciated to its fullest.

And that’s it for my yearly wrap-up.
Do you have one? Please link the post in comments!

Thank you for reading.

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Neat feature, huh?
I was especially surprised to know that people from 69 countries visited my blog. Wow!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has stopped by my blog. Special thanks go to those who not only viewed my posts but did it actively and commented on them.

WordPress picked a Top 5 but there were several more who supported Ana’s Lair since its creation in February 19th so thank you so much to all of you!

My top 5:

1. Josie the Bookworm
2. High Tea Dreams
3. Rust and Stardust
4. Come Hither Books
5. Myths of the Mirror

Much love to you lot and all who still visit Ana’s Lair, despite my decrease in activity.

I hope you had a wonderful 2015 and that 2016 will be even better!