Yo! I’m still on my two week holiday break from blogging (I meant to post my review of Marissa Meyer’s Winter by now, but, alas, the holidays! The food, the games! Next week, I promise), but I couldn’t resist writing the ubiquitous Best of 2016 list. I got to read such a great stretch of books near the end of 2016, and I found a couple of new to “go-to” authors throughout this year. That’s a good reason to come back from my break for a day, right? You know it!
I read something like 65 books this year (not counting rereads such as Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park audiobooks I enjoyed this Fall). Many were new releases, but, happily, I also managed to fit in some backlist reading! Most of my 11 favorites are books published pre-2016, but the best books published this year were smash hits. I grouped them all together, below, roughly in the order of favorites; but really? The books in the top two rows are basically all tied with each other, as are the bottom two. I just loved so many books this year! It’s been wonderful!
Favorites of 2016
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. This was my most recent read and wow…I can’t wait to review this one next week!
- Crosstalk by Connie Willis. I loved this 2016 quirky contemporary sci-fi by the ten Hugo and six Nebula Award-winning author of To Say Nothing of the Dog. Thanks to Teacher of YA for introducing me to this amazing author!
- The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Another potential new “favorite author.” Not a word out of place in this unique high fantasy!
- Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone. Max Gladstone is one of those clever authors who subvert expectations constantly with humor and unique religious insight (this time about Mesoamerican ideas of sacrifice). Definitely one of my faves! Even though I enjoyed book I (Three Parts Dead) more than Two Serpents Rise, book II still earned a whopping 4.5/5 stars.
- The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson. This year has been a Sanderson Epoch for me! I read and loved the original Mistborn trilogy on audiobook. All in all, I will have read seven and started an eighth Sanderson book, all in the course of 2016.
- The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. Because if a book makes me laugh this hard, it belongs in my favorites!
- Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. A comedic mystery set in 19th century Egypt. Thoroughly entertaining.
- Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. The most intense and famous mystery by one of my top 4 favorite authors. Set in Oxford, originally published in 1935.
- Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel. Quakers and “Indians.” And dinosaurs! Terrific literary YA Historical drama published 2016.
- Waer by Meg Caddy. A gorgeous YA travel fantasy by a debut Australian author. Told in the style of Juliet Marillier. Published in 2016.
- Railhead by Philip Reeve. Sentient trains ship passengers throughout the galaxies. Great setup for a great series, I hope!
- The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. I really enjoyed this YA Fantasy and would love to finish the series. Just bought book two with Christmas money!
- Ibenus (Valducan #3) by Seth Skorkowsky. I was really impressed with this gritty adult urban fantasy (published in 2016). If that’s your jam, you should definitely check out this series.
- Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn. A literary Asian-influenced adult fantasy (2016). I really enjoyed this dark fantasy, much more so than the other book I’ve read by Hearn, The Nightingale Floor.