Yesterday I shared the 10 most popular posts of 2016, as determined by pure numbers.
Today I’m sharing my favorite posts of the year, and as you can see, that isn’t the same thing as “popular.” There is ZERO overlap between the two lists.
These are the posts of 2016 that I liked the most, in no particular order:
1. When you completely misunderstand what’s going on. “The problem is entirely different—and much more interesting—than I understood it to be last week.”
2. It’s hard right now. “My kid said, “I think that’s too hard.” No whining, no complaining: just a simple statement of fact. I wasn’t bothered by it. But the tutor reflexively fired back with, “It’s too hard right now.””
3. 11 book pairs that match your childhood favorites with what you should read now. “If you’re a reader who knows the joy of reading for a lifetime—or wants to—this list is for you.”
4. The difference between a good year and a great year. “… Not only were the individual students all good (as they usually are) but the personality mix was right. They complemented each other, balanced each other out. There was a well-constructed web of relationships, the right balance of calm and energy. This doesn’t happen every year.”
5. You will stumble. “A large part of my own growing up has been to learn that failure isn’t necessarily bad and success isn’t necessarily good. It took me years to believe this intellectually, and even longer for me to believe it in my core, as one of those bedrock virtues I act on without question, like brushing my teeth, or kissing my family goodnight.”
6. The small sips that are saving my life. “It’s just a sip of wine, but it’s my small way of being brave, of showing up, of kicking my winter anxiety out of the driver’s seat, again.”
7. The eight uncomfortable lines I want to cut from the books I’m reading these days. “I’ve spent a lot of time–too much time, probably–pondering what exactly’s going on here. Is the writer going for shock value? Does the publisher think it will sell more books? Do those 8 lines serve the story? (My answers: maybe, maybe, sometimes.)”
8. When you’re living in the wrong movie. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought out my bossiest self when what a kid really needed was a sympathetic ear (or vice versa). I recently exasperated a friend by expressing sympathy for her struggles, when she actually wanted some problem-solving help.”
9. The tastemakers. “Not all titles get equal treatment. Every season, a select few novels—and even fewer debuts—get this kind of support. Why was this one chosen, and how? It’s a fascinating, nerdy question.”
10. 25 books to read when you feel like the world is falling apart. “This list is in the same spirit. Some of these works are precise depictions of realities as it stands; some are aimed for the heart. Some are calls to action. Some are hopeful, inspiring, redemptive—highlighting the glimmers of good in desperate, devastating situations.”
11. The difference between a book that’s not right for you and a book that’s not right for you right now. “Understanding this difference has, perhaps ironically, made me much more comfortable with casting a book aside. In reading, as in so much of life, timing is everything.”