Seven months into 2017, I finally finished updating my 2016 reading list (whoops!). I read 38 books and 14,591 pages in 2016 (thanks for the stats, Goodreads!).

Here are the books that stood out the most to me:

  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Nonfiction). A biographical-style history of cancer and explanation of its mechanisms. Super interesting, although the first quarter (mostly about the history of cancer) was a little dry.
  • Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe (Nonfiction). Technologies and machines explained using only the 1,000 most common English language words. Really fun read with great illustrations from the guy who created XKCD. The physical book is ungainly and oversized so it doesn't fit well on my bookshelf, but I love it nonetheless.
  • Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima by James Maheffey (Nonfiction), and Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser (Nonfiction). Super interesting history of atomic programs and accidents, as well as great educational information on the topic of nuclear fission, energy, and weapons. I went down a huge rabbit hole on nuclear accidents after this one.
  • S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst (Fiction). This was produced by J.J. Abrams (you know, the guy who did LOST, Fringe, Star Trek, and Star Wars), and is a meta-novel where you read both an "antique" book in the main pages and "handwritten" notes in the margins, combined with clues in the book, to unravel a super interesting mystery. Seriously, this was a reading experience.
  • Spillover by David Quammen (Nonfiction). This book dives into how viruses have jumped from animals to humans, causing things like malaria to ebola. Super interesting and I couldn't put this one down (and I went down another major rabbit hole on viruses after this one).
  • The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling (Fiction). Yes, I was the last person in the world to read Harry Potter. And it was amazing. I loved it.

For more posts like this, consider subscribing to my newsletter or check out my posts under the tags #books and #year-in-reading. You can also follow me on Goodreads (so I can steal book recommendations from you).

2016: My Year in Reading