My Favourite Books of 2016

It was another year of reading for me. I’m grateful our public library system – I borrowed many books from Waterloo Public Library and sometimes Kitchener Public Library too. I also received an Amazon Kindle for Father’s Day, and caught up to my octogenarian father with e-reading.

At the start of the year, I focused mostly on short-story collections. Short stories deserve much wider readership. In July, I started on my Read the World quest to read a book from every country in the world. You can read the full list here. In between, a sprinkling of mysteries and horror.

Here are my favourite books of 2016.

  • Danny Lenin and other stories / Guy Vanderhaeghe – a Canadian master
  • The Fishermen / Chigozie Obioma – exceptional first novel, set in Nigeria
  • All the Light We Cannot See / Anthony Doerr  – a true masterpiece
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove / Karen Russell – a short-story master
  • Instruction Manual for Swallowing / Adam Marek – surreal short-story collection
  • Get in Trouble / Kelly Link – fantastic stories that defy genre boundaries
  • Fifteen dogs / Andre Aléxis – Scotiabank Giller Prize winner
  • The Vegetarian / Han Kang – Man Booker International Prize winner
  • Martin John / Anakana Schofield – Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle / Shirley Jackson – a classic
  • The Golden Scales / Parker Bilal – mystery set in Cairo
  • The Hatching / Ezekiel Boone – exceptionally well-written horror
  • The Invisible Dead / Sam Wiebe – noir set in Vancouver
  • Three by Atiq Rahimi / Atiq Rahimi – three short novels set in Afghanistan
  • Chronicle in Stone / Ismail Kadare early novel by Albanian master
  • A General Theory of Oblivion / José Eduardo Agualusa – Man Booker Int’l shortlist
  • Ghosts / César Aira challenging short novel from one of Argentina’s top writers
  • A Narrow Road to the Deep North / Richard Flanagan Man Booker winner
  • A Whole Life / Robert Seethaler Man Booker International shortlist 
  • The Good Muslim / Tahmima Anam – wonderful book set in Bangladesh
  • Turing’s Delirium / Edmundo Paz Soldán – reminds me of William Gibson
  • Crow Blue / Adriana Lisboa  finding identity and belonging between Brazil and US
  • East of the West / Miroslav Penkov short stories linked by Bulgaria past and present
  • In the Shadow of the Vanyan Tree | Vaddey Ratner – personal look at Cambodia
  • Indian Horse / Richard Wagamese a must-read for every Canadian


Here’s to another year of reading in 2017!


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