2016 Reading Year in Review

Works Read in 2016

  • Dido, Queen of Carthage by Christopher Marlowe
  • Tamburlaine the Great Part I by Christopher Marlowe
  • Tamburlaine the Great Part II by Christopher Marlowe
  • Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
  • The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe
  • Edward II by Christopher Marlowe
  • The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (re-read)
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
  • The Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • The Faerie Queene Part I by Edmund Spenser
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
  • The Essays by Michel de Montaigne
  • Utopia by Thomas More
  • Collected Poems by Philip Larkin
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (re-read)
  • Lemoncello’s Library Olympics
  • The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  • The Civilization of the Middle Ages by Norman F. Cantor.

This year I read 21 books (one of them was a re-read). There was a strong focus on Renaissance Literature (Marlowe, Spenser, Erasmus, Montaigne, More, and Boccaccio could count as a Medieval-transition figure). I also read a handful of children’s novels as part of my job as a school librarian. I ended the year with the phenomenal overview of the Middle Ages by Norman Cantor.

One of my goals in the past couple of years was to improve my math skills, which I made some good ground (re-learned precaculus, learned introdoctory statistics, and was beginning the early chapters of Calculus), but somewhere in the last six months my practice became infrequent and I lost a lot of what I gained. I plan to revitalize the effort in working on my math skills in 2017.

My work this year has inspired me to keep reading in Medieval and Renaissance History and Literature, but I don’t want to ignore more recent classics (19th and 20th century works). So I might try to rotate them into my reading plans.

I also wanted to add more psychology nonfiction in the vein of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, which was an excellent book and the one work on psychology EVERYONE should read!



A Belated New Year Post: Goodbye 2015!

This has been a busy and hard year full of many  transitions.

  • Became a father
  • My mother was diagnosed and treated for a life-threatening disease, and is currently in remission.
  • Both of my siblings got engaged and will be married in 2016.


Somewhere in all that I managed to read 26 works of literature.

1) Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
2) Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
3) Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
4) The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
5) Precious Provincials by Moliere
6) Don Juan by Moliere
7) Miser by Moliere
8) The Would-be Gentleman by Moliere
9) The School for Wives by Moliere
10) Tartuffe by Moliere
11) The Misanthrope by Moliere
12) The Clever Women by Moliere
13) The Nibelungenlied by Anonymous
14) The Collected Poems of A. E. Housman
15) Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) by Anonymous
16) Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
17) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
18) Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
19) Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
20) Beloved by Toni Morrison
21) The Fourteenth Goldfish by Holm
22) Selected Poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson
23) Poems by Emily Bronte
24) La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri
25) Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson
26) The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd


Not bad considering we had a baby this year. My numbers even went up slightly; I read 24 books in 2014. Becoming a father is quite the change: loss of sleep, loss of free time, and a general change of focus in my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. No book, no words of wisdom, no philosophy can match the feeling I get when my daughter smiles at me.

Nevertheless, I still plan to find moments where I can read the great works of literature. Likewise, it is important to me to learn other topics besides literature. In addition to my literary readings, I have been slowly working through an elementary statistics textbook and teaching myself Spanish (still at the beginning stages). I plan to continue working on Spanish and my math skills into the New Year. For literary reading, I was considering focusing on plays and poetry in general, and perhaps do a Renaissance unit.