At the end of 2016, those favorite books of 2016 lists were everywhere. People were creating them. Newspapers and magazines were creating them. Well, shoot! I wanted to join in. But I couldn’t just list my favorite books of 2016, since there are so many. I like to think of myself as a discriminating reader. As I created this list, I realized that my favorite books fit into three distinct categories, based on why I chose to read them.

Learn for personal and professional reasons
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
A Nation in Pain: Healing Our Biggest Health Problem
The Last Days of Night

Resist the patriarchy, status quo, and racism
Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women
The Handmaid’s Tale
A Brief History of Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice
We Should All Be Feminists
Men Explain Things to Me
Bright Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
Small Great Things
Born a Crime

Relax, including two memoir or essay books
A Monster Calls
Dark Matter
The Fireman
The Nightingale
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
The Art of Asking, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

Back then, I knew that if my reading in 2017 was even half as good as my favorite books of 2016, I’d be thrilled. Honestly, I think this list of books and my experience reading them is part of why I’m here blogging today. It’s certainly part of what I’ve structured The Bibliophage the way I have. Thanks 2016 favorite authors and fellow readers!