Books of 2016

I had a target of reading 50 books in 2016. I didn’t quite manage to make it. I managed to only read 24. A dismal performance indeed. I read a couple of wonderful books and discovered some great new writers. I also managed to break out (well a little bit) from the cozy comforts of science fiction.

Perhaps I will make 50 in 2017!


Paul Kalanithi’s memoir “When Breath Becomes Air” is lyrical, inspiring and heart breaking. Without a doubt the best book I read last year.


I loved “Death’s End“, the epic, satisfying conclusion to the “Three Body Problem” trilogy by Cixin Liu.

Kenneth Liu’s short story collection “The Paper Menagerie” is excellent. You can read the titular story here.


Katherine Boo’s “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” is an unflinching, honest account of a year spent in a Mumbai slum.

Jacky Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” is a memoir of growing up poor and white in the midwest. It made me think again about the assumptions I made about American politics.


I disliked the much hyped “Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley” by Antonio Garcia Martinez. The author’s overblown, sarcastic style really put me off an otherwise fascinating topic (for me).


I enjoyed Neil Stephenson’s “Seveneves” and Alistair Reynolds’ “Revenger“. Both excellent science fiction books.