My Favorite Books of 2016

2016 had a few hiccups, but the availability of great books was not one of them.  I read and reviewed so many, but here are my top six of 2016.  I would read each one again in a minute.



Around the Way Girl
I LITERALLY waited a year from the time I heard about this book (here) to publication date, and I checked in ferociously  Impatience #1 and Finally!  I was excited to see this hard-working actress finally get her due. The role of Empire’s Cookie put her name into the zeitgeist and no one could be more deserving.  I was also tickled with the best double entendre title. Taraji has ‘been around’ the industry for years and her career is evidence that she is the epitome of the LL Cool J song.   She’s the kind of ‘get it’ girl that can make things happen with tenacity and determination. Scrappy, funny and independent Taraji’s memoir was a great look into the often hardscrabble journey it took to live her dream.


The Geography of Genius geography-of-genius
A wonderful jaunt through time and space, the connection between location and creativity is wonderfully explored.    Ask and answer the question-can certain terra firma become a conduit for genius?  Part history lesson, part travelogue, part social experiment, Eric Weiner brilliantly made  me reconsider the impetus and incubation of genius.




last-girl-before-freewayLast Girl Before Freeway 
The unexpected tragic death of icon Joan Rivers left a hole in comedy and in many of our hearts.  The  biography by Leslie Bennetts is a balanced and thoroughly fascinating look at the complex character behind the acid-tinged tongue.  The only book about Joan not written by Joan (read my review here), this biography was an amazing read. I relished every page of her over-the-top survivor’s journey and I was so sad when I reached the end.




Not Pretty Enough Not Pretty Enough Pretty Page Turner Best of 2016
This was for me a perfect birthday gift since it was released on my birthday. Another great look into the life of  iconic Helen Gurley Brown, the always interesting Arkansas ‘mouse burger’ remains a fascinating character study and #girlboss trailblazer. I never get tired of reading about the mother of lipstick feminism who gave women the racy guidebook to use all their assets to build their careers and lives.





quiet-powerQuiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts
Susan Cain’s original bestseller ‘Quiet’ is one of my favorite books (read my review here).  Her thorough explanation of the introverted personality was personally illuminating and completely solved the riddle of how to utilize the power of the reflective personality.   This second volume is focused on teens and children as she helps the younger set realize how to navigate school, friendships and social situations and make their mark in their own quiet way. I think every teacher and parent should have a copy on their bookshelf.




You Can’t Touch my Hair Pretty Page Turner You Can't Touch My Hair
I can’t tell you how much I literally laughed out loud while reading this book.  Phoebe is caustic, intelligent and unbelievably funny.  Her replay of events as she built her career as a female comic in a male-dominated field  are cutting as well as cunning.  It is a timely and well-written expose of life as a woman and how adding melanin into the equation makes things a little trickier, but totally funnier.