2016 turned out to be my best year for reading in a few years. I overshot my Goodreads Challenge of 40 by a lot, finishing my 50th book of the year just a few hours before midnight last year. I enjoyed most of what I read (by and large, the books I don’t enjoy don’t get finished), and while I’ve highlighted several throughout the year, here are a few of the other books that I loved and would happily recommend.
In Sci-Fi/Fantasy: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. This book was a blast. The combination of science and magic was fun and different, and the whimsical tone kept me smiling throughout. I was constantly surprised and walked away feeling refreshed; this is among the most original books I’ve read this year, and definitely worth any and all of the hype you may have heard.
In YA: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. This book reminded me of what it felt like to read the seventh Harry Potter book for the first time. The wonder and magic, the hero’s quest to defeat evil, plus an ample dose of teen romance all kept me glued to the page. Rowell’s Fangirl is by no means a prerequisite, but I do recommend it as a great book. And I hardly want to beat a dead horse, but for those interested in YA, I still highly highly recommend The Raven Cycle and Six of Crows series, both of which had a final installment out this year.
In memoir: Party of One by Dave Holmes. So, full disclosure, I did intern for the publisher while this book was published. BUT I was really pleasantly surprised by how fun and refreshing this book was. Odds are you haven’t heard of Dave Holmes, a former MTV VJ, but that’s all part of the charm of this memoir about coming of age, coming out, and figuring out what you’re supposed to do with your life. Plus, some great tid-bits of celebrity gossip.
In romance: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. This Pride and Prejudice retelling is both familiar and original, with some genuine surprises a the story is modernized. I had only seen the P&P movie before reading the book, but reading it convinced me to read the original for the first time, and so I’ve had an absolute ball this year discovering and re-discovering Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.
In mystery: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. This book and the sequel (I haven’t gotten to book 3 yet!) are complex and dark and kept me guessing. The chemistry between PI Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin is off-the-wall, and I kept forgetting that this is all from J.K. Rowling. Not to mention, the audiobook narrator is fantastic, so I definitely recommend for those of you who prefer listening.
What were some of your favorites from 2016? What are you looking forward to reading in 2017?