My 11 favorite posts of 2016

My 11 favorite posts of 2016

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.”

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13 comments

  1. Karen DiOrio says:

    I’m glad you chose #5. You will stumble. I have reminded myself of that very line throughout this year (and will continue to do so!). Thank you for sharing your interesting perspectives, on books and life.

  2. Susan says:

    Anne, I LOVED all your favorite posts!! When I saw the title of your post, THIS is the one I thought of:

    The books you categorically don’t read

    I was SO fascinated by the discussion in the comments on that post!! Also, I found myself abandoning a book about the Holocaust (I’ve read a number of WW2 books this year, but none hit me as hard this this one) – The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. It was my first book by Picoult, and it’s definitely very well-written, but I hit a point in the book (I think it was 57% on my Kindle) where I just couldn’t continue. A friend had just lost her husband, I was coming up on a medical test I was worried about (which turned out fine, Praise God!) and Christmas was coming up. I DO want to finish the book, but I needed to set it aside for a time. I got the Kindle copy on loan from my library, so I know I can go back to it when I feel I’m ready to finish it. I almost never abandon books (not once I’m past 50 pages, especially). What causes people to abandon books would be a good post for MMD, doncha think?? 🙂

      • Susan says:

        Jamie. Coincidentally (or not?) I was reading a lot of posts on your blog today, after listening to the podcast where you were the guest. Assuming your email address is somewhere on your blog, you can expect an email from me in the next week or so. We have a lot in common, even though I’m very much a midwestern suburbanite and significantly older than you (I turn 64 on January 2nd). I will be writing you soon! 🙂 God bless you and your family!

  3. Kendra says:

    I love this list even more than yesterday’s. These were all of my favorites too: you have so much wisdom to share, and your more reflective posts always leave me thinking in a new way. Thank you for another great year of blog posts!

  4. Nicola says:

    I don’t read anywhere near as much as I want these days (two young children, one is disabled) but I just adore your blog. Your writing is fantastic. I love the mix of books and more reflective posts and love the fact you shared your favourite posts as well as the most popular. Looking forward to 2017 and all you have to share then!

  5. Kellee says:

    I discovered your blog just this year, and it’s hit all the right notes for me at this time of my life. It’s been great to read your posts; some of the posts that spoke to me are mentioned in this article. Thanks for your perspectives on personal growth (what I used to call self-help has been renamed personal growth!) and the MBTI (I’m an INTJ navigating a world of ESFJs at my workplace) as well as many more! Have a blessed new year 🙂

  6. Ellen says:

    Loved number 7… I’d felt that perhaps I was alone on the ‘eight lines’ but I am not! Thanks for the well-written discussion (as seems to be so common).

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