Myra, Fats, Iphigene here.

Every year, we do a round-up of the best books we have read and write our reflections on how our reading lives have been (see our end-of-year book survey in 2011, 2012 from Myra, 2012 from Fats, 2012 from Iphigene, 2013, 2014, 2015 Part 1, 2015 Part 2).

Last week, we shared the best books we read in 2016. This post is extra special since we are doing a round-up of our favourites from books we reviewed connected to our reading themes this year. Kind of our farewell to 2016, as we usher in the new year. Do click on the images to be taken to our reviews.

Myra’s Reading Stats in 2016

To say that I am pleased with my reading this year would be an understatement. At the time that I was writing this post, I have read a total of 742 books, according to Goodreads, surpassing our yearly challenge of 365 books a year, supposedly divided across all three of us. Last year, I read 511 books, so I am mighty stoked that I have read over 200 more books in 2016.


Here is the breakdown of the 742 books:


I am very pleased with this, since I only read 14 adult novels last year (26 this year) and 12 nonfiction titles (20 this year). My middle-grade/YA stats though have fallen from 39 last year to only 24 this year. No improvement with the poetry-anthology-novels in verse category, though, at 15. I suppose the inflation of the numbers, especially in the fiction picturebook category, is not surprising given my 6-week stay at the International Youth Library in Munich in June-July, where all I did was to read books. That was truly a privilege and a truly unforgettable experience. I am glad to share that I have received the continuation of my fellowship for next year, 2017! I am returning to the most beautiful library in the world housed in a castle. Now on to my favourites across genres:

January – February: Fairytales, Romances, and Cybils-Ever-After

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This isn’t the first time that we have done a fairy tale reading theme. What can I say, we can’t have enough fairy tales in our lives.


March – April: Fearless Females and Courageous Women



Since March is women’s month, we always try to come up with a reading theme that touches on womanity and the female psyche. Here are a few of my favourites.


May – June: Universal Republic of Childhood



While we were having this reading theme, I was in the home of the biggest collection of international children’s literature in the world: the International Youth Library in Munich. It seemed somewhat fitting at the time.


July – August: Nomads, Homes and Habitats – Restlessness and Refuge in Literature



I also felt that this reading theme came at the exact right time for me, as I was traveling around Europe. I managed to visit ten cities in all in ten weeks, and came back to Singapore first week of August. Here are some of the titles that called out to me during that time.


September – October: Into the Wild – The Untamed, The Mischievous, Artists and Rebels in Literature



We have always wanted to do something on artists. Then we figured, might as well include the rebels in literature. Since the madness of the world, I have been feeling increasingly militant, so once again, here are the books that spoke to me.


November – December: Dragons, Mermaids, Vampires: Legendary Beasts and Mythical Creatures



These last two months have been ultra-hectic for me, as I have also been traveling a bit – went to Korea for a Keynote and to Oman for teacher-training. Regardless, I did feel that I need some fantasy in our lives, hence our reading theme that allowed us to escape in a fantastical universe. Here are my top picks:


Summary of our Reading Stats

Just to summarize, Fats has read 128 of her target 125 books in 2016. Iphigene (Happy Leigh Timmy) read 30 books. And Myra read a whopping 742 books in all of her target 365.

This makes a grand total of 900 books read across all three of us for 2016.

So how was your reading this year, fellow bibliophiles? What do you look forward to (in reading) for next year?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “[Saturday Reads] Reading Stats and Best Books from GatheringBooks’ 2016 Reading Themes

  1. I am also feeling increasingly militant. I think that’ll be reflected more in my reading for NEXT year, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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