Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten best books I read in 2016. I tried to rank them like a proper countdown, but I loved all of these books. They’re all worth reading.

Best Books of 2016

10. Children of the New World: Stories – Alexander Weinstein

Children of the New World introduces readers to a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and alarmingly intuitive robots. Many of these characters live in a utopian future of instant connection and technological gratification that belies an unbridgeable human distance, while others inhabit a post-collapse landscape made primitive by disaster, which they must work to rebuild as we once did millennia ago.

9. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things – Jenny Lawson

In her new book, Furiously Happy, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

8. A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift—back into Black London. 
Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port. 
And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

7. Unwind – Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. 
Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed—but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

6. More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he's still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he's slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely. 
When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron's crew notices, and they're not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. 
Why does happiness have to be so hard?

5. This Side of Providence – Rachel M. Harper

Arcelia Perez fled Puerto Rico to escape a failed marriage and a history of abuse, but instead of finding her piece of the American dream, she ends up on the wrong side of Providence. With three young children, Arcelia follows a rocky path that ultimately leads to prison and an agonizing drug withdrawal. But her real challenge comes when she’s released and must figure out how to stay clean and reunite the family that has unraveled in her absence. 
Through rotating narrators, we hear from the characters whose lives and futures are inextricably linked with Arcelia’s own uncertain fate: her charming, street-savvy son, Cristo, and brilliant daughter Luz; their idealistic teacher, Miss Valentín, who battles her own demons; and the enigmatic Snowman, her landlord and confidante.

4. Burial Rites – Hannah Kent

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. 
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.

3. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. 
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming . . . 
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. 
It wants the truth.

2. Midwinterblood – Marcus Sedgwick

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice. 
An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood?

1. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. 
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

What's the best book you read in 2016?


  1. I read Unwind a few years back. I thought the ideas were clever and scary, and that it was well enogh written. I didn't take to it because I didn't like the characters which is a pity!

  2. Furiously Happy!!!! I liked All the Light We Cannot See as well. I need to read a bunch of the others including A Monster Calls and More Happy Than Not. Great list!

  3. I am so sad to see I haven't read any on your list. The good news is that I own a copy of most of them and this year I plan on reading more books I already own. Great list!

  4. Unwind is one of those books that stuck with me for a long time after I read it. I never did finish reading the sequels, but they are on my TBR. A Monster Calls is also on my TBR - I heard Patrick Ness speak in September and now I want to read everything he's written!

  5. Somehow A Monster Calls didn't make my list, despite how amazing and heartbreaking it was! I also really want to read All The Light We Cannot See, so hopefully I can get round to it next year.
    Great list :)
    My TTT

  6. Furiously Happy looks great, I do kinda want to read it.

  7. Hey, I started A Darker Shade Of Magic a few days ago and am digging it! I listened to it in audiobook out of necessity because I was driving it, but I liked it and will probably re-read it in print because I have shoddy memory if I just listen to a book. Anyway, I'm glad to see the sequel also on here. That's good news for the series!
    Lots of great books on your top 10. I also adored A Monster Calls and am happy to see More Happy Than On on here.

  8. I read Monster Calls, All the Light, and Burial Rites and lived all of them. But I didn't read any of these this year.

  9. Oh I loved Furiously Happy way more than I thought I would. I still have to hop on the All the Light I Cannot See train though!

  10. All of these books, with the exception of Burial Rites, are books I've either read and loved or are currently sitting on my TBR pile. Now I'm adding Burial Rites to it! Hope 2017 brings more amazing reads!

  11. I need to read the ADSOM series! It sounds awesome and everyone seems to love it. Also I have to read All the Light We Cannot See. Great list!

  12. I still REALLY need to read A Darker Shade of Magic! The only other on this list I've read is Midwinterblood and I ended up DNFing it... I definitely want to check out Furiously Happy too! Great list!

    Here are my Top Ten!

  13. Love Furiously Happy and A Monster Calls! :-) Both amazing books.

  14. I really want to read that Jenny Lawson one! And Unwind is on my must read 2017 list. I've been meaning to get to that one for so long.

  15. AGOS was too good - it also made my list this week! All The Light We Cannot See has been on my TBR for ages but I keep forgetting about it! Need to get round to it. Nice post :)

  16. More Happy Than Not & A Monster calls are on my TBR right now. Sadly, I haven't read any of the books you picked, but I'm glad you loved them and shared!

  17. I've been beating myself up because I didn't ask for AGOS for Christmas!

  18. I love A Monster Calls and All the Light We Cannot See. Unwind, A Gathering of Shadows, and Furiously Happy are all books that I want to read sometime in the near future. Great list!

  19. Children of the New World, Burial Rites, and All the Light We Cannot See are still on my TBR. I am glad to see that Unwind made your list. I love Neal Shusterman's work.

  20. Wow, these are some heavy-themed books. I've been curious about A Monster Calls for along time.

  21. There's so many different books I want to read! From your list (to name a few), would be: Furiously Happy, More Happy Than Not, A Monster Calls and also All the Lights We Cannot See!