UP!–My First Book of 2016

First Book of 2016

Well, it’s that time of year again, and I’m very happy to say that Sheila at Book Journey is hosting one of the few memes I participate in: “First Book of the Year.”

I participated pre-blog launch in 2014, then again in 2015 and hope to participate every year. It’s fun to do and helps me decide which book to read next, which is always torturous for me ’cause my TBR is so long! If you have the same problem, you may want to try it 😎

Typically my reading content is from within children’s literature. Each year I rack up picture books, dozens at a time, and manage to squeeze some Middle Grade and Young Adult novels in there, along with a Graphic Novel or two. My adult-level reading is typically nonfiction, but due to recommendations, and a bit due to mood, I read a few adult novels during 2015. I thoroughly enjoyed The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

A.J.Fikry       Night Circus

Seeing as most of the books read and reviewed by Sheila are more for adults than the younger set, I thought for this year’s “First Book of 2016” pick I’d lean toward the mature crowd, so right there that really narrowed down my choices 😀 .

Thirteenth Tale


About eight years ago, nearly every time I worked my way through my beloved Barnes & Noble toward the cafe (where I’d done most of the sketches for the illustrations of one of my picture books), the gorgeous cover of a particular book would catch my eye. After several months, once I finished the dummy, I allowed myself a well-deserved break. Enjoying a saunter about the store, I perused the gloriously book-adorned shelves and tables. When I again stumbled upon that cover, I picked it up to finally see what lay in its interior. From the first page the author’s voice and the story itself gripped me and didn’t let go even beyond the last page.

I just loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It was her debut novel, so I figured there’d be more to come. Some time last year (or the year before?!), only by chance, I believe on a blog I was following, someone mentioned another novel she’d written. I didn’t know! I would’ve been ALL OVER it had I known! Surprised and elated, not knowing anything about the book, nor did I care, I immediately purchased Bellman & Black solely based on its talented author. Ironically, as quickly as I’d purchased it, it just as quickly got in line in my long queue of TBRs. I’ve often considered it every time I finished a book, but never gave in. Now I’m giving in…

Bellman & Black

…and I CAN’T WAIT! 😀

So, tell me—since I’d love to know—what do you plan to be reading as 2016 turns the corner?…
 UPDATE, Feb. 2016: Upon finishing Bellman & Black, I put up a short review on Goodreads 🙂


35 thoughts on “UP!–My First Book of 2016

  1. Happy reading! I’m in the middle of 3 at the moment: “To Kill a Mockingbird” – can’t believe I’ve never read it before!, “Not Just Black and White” – a memoir by a Australian mother and daughter team, and “Ugly” a memoir by an Australian man. All great reads. Have a reading new yearI It’s great to see you back. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, wow, you’re a multi-reader, huh? lol I can’t do it. If I read more than one book at a time, it’s typically nonfiction, but with fiction I like (need) to focus on one at a time. And I’ve never read “Mockingbird” either, along with SO many other classics! Don’t expect I’ll ever get to them either, at this rate! lol Glad to see you here, too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to read them all at once. There’s just too many for one at a time!! Trouble is, sometimes my reading stalls. I’m so pleased I chose to listen to “Mockingbird”. It is a fantastic book. I am very much enjoying it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, you went “audio” on “Mockingbird.” I do have trouble with audio ’cause I’ve been disappointed with fiction that way :\ It’s got to be really compelling to keep my mind from drifting, too. So much hangs on who’s narrating what type of book. I may give audio a shot again at some point, but probably not till I’m ready for another reread of Harry Potter (it will be quite a while before I’m ready lol).

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed The Night Circus and The Thirteenth Tale looks great, I can’t resist a book cover that has books on it. It’s always funny to be hyped about a book and then when the previous one is finished the one you had to buy when you saw it gets lost within the pile, readers are a strange bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Ste J, you really do read ALL sorts of books! I never would’ve pegged you as a “Night Circus” reader, but it makes me smile that you did 🙂 I think you’d really enjoy The Thirteenth Tale. It’s SO well written and it’s got so much mystery to it. Such a page turner. At least I thought so. And this gorgeous cover is the original. They’ve changed it since then :-\ which really disappoints me. For a time I actually stood this book face out where I could see it and enjoy it. I really don’t have space like that though, and with the regular addition of books—less space! lol

      The new book wasn’t lost so much as snubbed sigh It’s been in my “short” queue (which is at bedside) since I bought it. Now, at least, it will be read simply because I stated publicly that I would! lol Turns out I wasn’t able to finish Crenshaw before the new year, so Bellman & Black has to wait a few more days before I actually pick it up. And we are a strange bunch, but in such a good way 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t have usually picked up The Night Circus but another fellow (for accuracies sake that should be lady) blogger recommended it and I couldn’t say no to the eloquence of the review.

        I noticed the book cover has changed and looks terrible, that is one of the things that would put me off the book had I not read your words, still I can grit my teeth and avoid looking at the cover.

        I remember publicly stating on Facebook that I would read War and Peace and so that made it official and I don’t regret doing that but I wouldn’t ever put up another such status on Facebook lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I, too, am SUCH a “cover critic.” Can’t help it. That’s why covers are SO important when publishing a book. That, and title, certainly for me. (It’s what got me to pick up that book!) If you consider buying it, you may find it used with the old cover, or through the library. It really is a beauty!

          And War and Peace is such a tall order. I would’ve regretted it, too lol

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. I am in the blog hop too, and my first book of the year is Christmas at Thompson Hall by Anthony Trollope. I laughed out loud when reading this, especially the part about the mishap in the hotel room involving mustard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Terra 🙂 I’ve yet to hop around the blogs, but intend to. I’ve been too busy doing “batch cooking” lol Laughing out loud is a pretty good indicator of a funny book, that’s for sure, and my mind reels with the possibilities of what mustard in a hotel room could be!


  4. Oh Donna! I’d be happy if I get to read one book this year!! 😀
    I’ll probably read again “The Little Prince” and “John Livingston Seagull” in English because I read it only in Spanish.
    I used to love reading, I hope I can get that love back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Paola! 🙂 I hope you do, too! I believe you mentioned The Little Prince LAST year lol There are SO many good books. Put the “Prince” by your bedside and at some point you WILL begin to read it again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read it last year!! I think I read it at least once a year… And I keep it near my bed, of course… Probably hoping that one day it grows up and becomes a real Prince… If so, I’ll put him in my bed 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Laurel! So glad you stopped by 🙂 I’m actually struggling with reading this book because my reading time has been short and sporadic, and it’s making it difficult for me to hold details on characters in my head. I’m only 20 pages in and need to go back and actually make a list of who’s who, what they do and how they’re related. Then I can continue. And, of course, all the ALA YMA award winners I immediately got from the library are now here. OH, I want more time. And, WOW, a book by your student! That is SO cool. I hope you enjoy 😀


  5. I’m just about finished reading The Little Paris Bookshop. AMAZING. I don’t want to finish it, except next up is After You by JoJo Moyes (follows Me Before You, which was excellent). I have about a dozen books ready and waiting.


    • Hey, Pam! It’s so nice to see you here! I always see you on Mike’s blog (Allegra–how can you resist him? :D)

      Right now I’m reading ECHO and am not sure sure which I’ll read next. I have so many of my own all over the place waiting, then more are published, and it keeps going on and on. We’ll see! I’m typically reading stuff for the younger set, so I’m not familiar with The Little Paris Bookshop, but you’ve made me curious 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie! What a nice surprise—you stopping by 🙂 It’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to visit my old blog “haunts” and I hope you’re well! With Bellman & Black I was as drawn in by the beautiful writing as I was in The Thirteenth Tale and the story was so fascinating, but when the subject matter focused more on death, since I’m not one who likes to focus on death, it was uncomfortable and the ending threw me a bit.


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