The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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Books read in 2016

Reading with friends {February}

Biographies, memoirs, letters, history
  • The Marquess of Anglesey, The Capel Letters:  being the correspondence of Lady Caroline Capel with the Dowager Countess of Uxbridge, from  Brussels and Switzerland, 1814-1817{September}
  • Laura Claridge, The lady with the borzoi {May}
  • Lauren Collins, When in French:  love in a second language {December}
  • George Howe Colt, The big house:  a century in the life of an American summer home {August}
  • Olivia de Havilland, Every Frenchman has one {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Michael De-La-Noy, Queen Victoria at home {November}
  • Laure Dugas, Champagne baby {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Kate Felus, The secret life of the Georgian garden {December}
  • Charlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws:  the extraordinary lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley {June}
  • Claire Harman, Charlotte Bronte:  a life {May}
  • Erica Hirshler, At dusk:  Boston Common at Twilight {September}
  • Paul Kalanithi, When breath becomes air {May}
  • Lynn Knight, The button box:  lifting the lid on women's lives {June}
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, In other words {May}
  • Natalie Livingstone, The mistresses of Clivden:  three centuries of scandal, power andd intrigue in an English stately home {August}
  • Julia Markus, Lady Byron and her daughters {January}
  • Nigel Nicolson, Virginia Woolf {April}
  • Alex Prud'homme, The French Chef in America:  Julia Child's second act {October}
  • William Pryor, Virginia Woolf & the Raverats:  a different kind of friendship {July} {for Paris in July and #woolfalong}
  • Sonia Purnell, Clementine:  the life of Mrs. Winston Churchill {March}
  • Louisa Thomas, Louisa:  the extraordinary life of Mrs. Thomas {September}
  • Isabel Vincent, Dinner with Edward {June}
  • Sarah Vowell, Lafayette in these somewhat United States {March}
  • Kate Waldegrave, The poets' daughters:  Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge {February}
  • Kate Williams, Young Elizabeth:  the making of our Queen {February}

  • Helen Ashton, The half-crown house {June}
  • Eleanor Brown, The Light of Paris {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Eve Chase, Black Rabbit Hall {May}
  • Fiona Davis, The dollhouse{September}
  • Danielle Dutton, Margaret the First {April}
  • Patricia Duncker, Sophie and the sibyl {March}
  • M.F. K. Fisher, The Theoretical Foot {May}
  • Daisy Goodwin, Victoria {December}
  • Henry James, What Maisie knew {February}
  • Margaret Kennedy, Lucy Carmichael {June, for Margaret Kennedy Day}
  • Louise Andrews Kent, '...with kitchen privileges' {March} 
  • Louise Andrews Kent, Mrs. Appleyard's Year {May}
  • Antoine Laurain, The President's Hat {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Christine Longford, Making conversation {October}
  • Catherine Lowell, The madwoman upstairs {March}
  • Alexander McCall Smith, The revolving door of life {April}
  • Ian McEwan, The Children Act {September}
  • John Preston, The dig {August}
  • Barbara Pym, The sweet dove died {January}
  • Miss Read, Celebrations at Thrush Green {March}
  • Mamen Sanchez, The altogether unexpected disappearance of Atticus Craftsman{September}
  • Cathleen Schine, They may not meant to, but they do {July}
  • Margery Sharp, Martha in Paris {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Margery Sharp, The nutmeg tree {January, for Margery Sharp Day}
  • Margery Sharp, Something light {July}
  • Helen Simonson,  The summer before the war {March}
  • Francis Spufford, Golden Hill {November}
  • D.E. Stevenson, Anna and her daughters{September}
  • Whit Stillman, Love & friendship, in which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon is entirely vindicated {June}
  • Graham Swift, Mothering Sunday {May}
  • Barbara Euphan Todd, Miss Ranskill comes home {November}
  • Frances Towers, Tea with Mr. Rochester {September}
  • Ashley Warlick, The arrangement {March}
  • Damien Wilkins, Max Gate {June}
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway {March; #woolfalong}
  • Virginia Woolf, Night and day {April, #woolfalong}

  • Tasha Alexander, Behind the shattered glass {April}
  • Nancy Atherton, Aunt Dimity and the buried treasure {June}
  • Ace Atkins, Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn {June}
  • Stephanie Barron, Jane and the Waterloo map {February}
  • Flynn Barry, Under the harrow {August}
  • Cara Black, Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Alan Bradley, Thrice the brindled cat hath mew'd {October}
  • Agatha Christie, And then there were none {March}
  • Freeman Wills Crofts, The Hog's Back mystery {August}
  • Guy Fraser Samson, Death in Profile{September}
  • Elly Griffiths, The woman in blue {May}
  • Sophie Hannah, Closed casket {October}
  • Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, One under {May}
  • Mavis Doriel Hay, Death on the Cherwell {May}
  • Mavis Doriel Hay, Murder underground {August}
  • Mavis Doriel Hay, The Santa Klaus murder {December}
  • Annie Haynes, The man with the dark beard {January}
  • Anne Holt, No echo{December}
  • P. D. James, The mistletoe murder {December}
  • Faye Kellerman, The theory of death {March}
  • Donna Leon, The waters of eternal youth {April}
  • Frances and Richard Lockridge, The Norths meet murder {June}
  • Peter Lovesey, Another one goes tonight {August}
  • Peter Lovesey, Diamond dust {November}
  • Peter Lovesey, The vault {September}
  • A.J. Mackenzie, The body on the doorstep {December}
  • Clare Mackintosh, I let you go {July}
  • Ngaio Marsh, Scales of Justice {March}
  • Katherine Hall Page, The body in the wardrobe {May}
  • Anne Perry, Revenge in a cold river{September}
  • Anne Perry, Treachery at Lancaster Gate {May}
  • Christine Poulson, Murder is academic {May}
  • Christine Poulson, Stage fright {May}
  • Mark Pryor, The Paris librarian {August}
  • Kate Rhodes, The girl in the river {February}
  • Peter Robinson, When the music's over {September}
  • John Rowland, Murder in the museum {June}
  • James Runcie, Sidney Chambers and the dangers of temptation {June}
  • Kate Saunders, The secrets of Wishtide {October}
  • Susie Steiner, Missing, presumed {July}
  • Charles Todd, No shred of evidence {August}
  • Charles Todd, The shattered tree {December}
  • Nicola Upson, London rain {May}
  • Sarah Ward, In bitter chill {April}
  • Jacqueline Winspear, Journey to Munich{September}
  • Anthony Wynne, Murder of a lady {June}

  • Amy Cuddy, Presence:  bringing your boldest self to life's biggest challenges {April}

The books in bold type are among this year's best.


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