It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when all the “best of” book lists come out! And because this is essentially my private journal, I would be remiss to not list my own favorites and a reflection on my stats.
(According to my Goodreads)
BOOKS READ: 131
NUMBER OF PAGES: 47,918
MY AVERAGE RATING FOR 2016: 3.6 (I’m pretty kind, huh?)
MY 2016 FAVORITES, in no particular order
(Note: While I reread and rating as 5 stars some of my favorites this year, including the Harry Potter series and Sisterhood Everlasting, I elected to leave them out of my tally)
First, a pre-script:
Turns out a good chunk of my favorites are follow-ups to books I read in 2015. So you know what that means, folks – you basically get DOUBLE the books to catch up on, because the first books in these series/duologies/trilogies are some of my other all-time favorites!
Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This feels a little silly because I just flailed about this book last month, but I STILL AM OBSESSED WITH IT. I go into much greater detail in my blog post, but it’s such a miraculous and creative book with everything a girl could want: interesting plot, fun characters and character development, and have I talked about the design too much, or what
Pair this with a delicious 2015 Illuminae, with a flirty dessert of the final in the trilogy in 2017.
Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo
UUUUGH another recent flail, Crooked Kingdom is the amazing and fun follow-up to Six of Crows. Goodreads tells me this is a duology, which is only terrible because I could read about these characters for the rest of my life (and probably will, because I just got the boxed set for Christmas). Considering these two books combine capers, action, amazing heroines, tons of crime, and just a dash of romance, how could I not love it?
Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah Maas
Okay, this is the last “second in a series” book that I read, loved, and 5-starred this year, but it (and its predecessor) really are some of my favorites. Picture Beauty and the Beast, but add in more sex, and you have this book. It is kinda young adult, but shows two adults in a relationship actually, you know, having a relationship, and there is something so satisfying about that (although it makes me blush to think of my mother reading the same passages I am. Oh my!). Steamy, romantic, kick-ass, and the second book completely flips the premise of the first book on its head. I can’t even imagine what Maas is going to pull off in the third one.
Some Kind of Happiness, by Claire Legrand.
The first book I posted about, and one of my top reads for 2016 (and my life). There’s not much more I can say about it. It’s beautiful, quiet, hopeful, sad, and the perfect description of what it is like to suffer from anxiety. As the book starts: If you are afraid, sad, tired, or lonely; if you feel lost or strange; if you crave stories and adventure, and the magic possibility of a forest path – this book is for you.
Leave Me, by Gayle Forman
To be honest, I was a bit surprised I had rated this five stars – I remembered it more as a four-star read – but I must have been in a generous mood that day! Gayle Forman is an automatic read for me, after absolutely loving If I Stay/Where She Went and Just One Day/Just One Year (Just One Day is genuinely one of my all-time favorites). I didn’t love this one QUITE as much but I think I will in the future when I’m closer to the main character’s experience (who is a middle-aged mother). Even without identifying 100% with the MC I still loved it deeply – which is the hallmark of an excellent novel and novelist.
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
I read this one way back in April and TBH don’t remember a whole lot about why I liked it, but it’s been popping up on a bunch of “best of 2016” lists so just read what one of them have to say about it, OKAY?! Do I have to do all the work for you?!
Quality of Silence, by Rosamund Lupton
Look ma, I can read adult books, too! (Although to be fair to me, Leave Me is adult, A Court Of Mist and Fury should be considered adult, and the whole disparagement of the Young Adult genre disgusts me as much as people mocking “chicklit.” ANYWAY). This novel was incredibly interesting for its third, main character of Alaska. Sure, there’s mother-daughter dynamics, looks at man’s impact on the environment, thriller mystery, even a MUUUURDER, but the look at desolate Alaska is what grabbed me. (Best paired with a viewing of the TV show Fortitude, which is super creepy and awesome.)
High Dive, by Jonathan Lee
Probably my most impressive-sounding book this year when someone asked me, “So, what’re you reading about now?” This book explores a fictionalized telling of the attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Most interesting for me as a dumb American who was not alive when this took place, this book was based entirely on a true story and thus gave me a really cool look into a piece of recent history (including the tensions between England and Ireland, and some of the history of the IRA) that I knew very little about.
And there you have it, folks! For such a voracious reader, I’m apparently very picky in my ratings. I’ll try to be a little less selective next year.
Coming up soon, my LEAST favorite books of 2016! You’re on notice, BOOKS.
Behind-the-scenes look: I originally intended to get to 10, but by the time that I sifted through my 5-star books of 2016 and removed the ones that were rereads of old favorites, turns out I hadn’t given a huge number of books high ratings!