Ringing In the New, Ringing Out the Old | French on Fridays

lizfrenchHappy New Year! It’s still cool to say that, right? One week into 2016?

What’s new in your book bag for 2016? Did you make any book-related resolutions for the new year? I didn’t, but I am making a concerted effort to contribute to my friend Bob’s Facebook group, which shares what members are reading accompanied by what they’re eating with it—two of my favorite activities for sure. Bob started the group last year, and dubbed it “15 in 2015,” which made me laugh. Only 15 books in a year? Why, I could do that in a month/standing on my head/with one eye closed, especially during the hectic weeks preceding LJ Reviews’ Best Books selection! But I realize not everybody has that much time—or inclination—to read as much as that. Or perhaps they don’t want to share *all* their reading experiences. The posted titles skew toward the more literary, so maybe group members hid that “guilty pleasure” romance or thriller or Amy Winehouse bio from the group—best Facebook forward, after all.

Bob upped the ante this year, renaming the group “20 in 2016,” so more power to him. How about you? Do you belong to a reading group? Do you keep a count of all the books you read? If so, how many did you read in 2015? Any big standout favorites? I don’t keep count or maintain a spreadsheet, but I estimate that I’ve read at least 50 books in the past year. That’s paltry compared to some. I’m betting that a few of my colleagues at LJ read more than 200, and SLJ and JLG staffers are in the triple digits too.

Here’s a few of my 2015 standouts, besides my LJ Best Books winner A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer and nominee Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me; Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy; The Swans of Fifth Ave by Melanie Benjamin; Susan Goldman Rubin’s middle-grade bio of Elsa Schiaparelli, Hot Pink, which I reviewed for SLJ; and Eli Gottlieb’s Best Boy (My colleague Wilda Williams’s winning LJ Best Books pick).

How about you? What did you love reading last year? What are you reading in the new year?



Liz French About Liz French

Library Journal Senior Editor Liz French edits nonfiction and women's fiction reviews at LJ and also compiles the "What We're Reading" and "Classic Returns" columns for LJ online. She's inordinately interested in what you're reading as well. Email: efrench@mediasourceinc.com, Twitter: @lizefrench