Monday, December 26, 2016

The Best of 2016

Because I just have to be contrary,  I couldn't possibly come up with the top 10 books of the year,  I could only limit it to 12.   I rated 36 books as 5 stars this year.  You can see them on my 2016 challenge here   2016 Good Reads Challenge by Rating.   But in my opinion, the following were the best of the best that I read this year:

12.   Dark Matter by Blake Crouch   I absolutely love Blake Crouch.  His work is mind bending and really makes you think.  It started last year with The Pines and then, I saw this one.  I loved it from start to finish.  So much so that the phrase "Somewhere in the multiverse...."  is now common in my family.  If you enjoy books that alter your reality and make you think, check this one out.

The Humans by Matt Haig   This wonderful work was a book club read this year.  It's the story of an alien who comes to Earth to stop us from achieving dangerous potential.  What he learns is how to be human.  It was so much fun to see how humans might be perceived by other intelligent life.  The advice given in the book on what it means to be human is some of the best that I have read.  Uplifting and unusual. 

10. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt  This was also a book club selection.  I would never have chosen to read this one for myself, but I loved it from start to finish.  As a child of the 80's  I remember Ryan White, the Aids epidemic and so much that happens in this book.   I loved the complexities of the relationships.  It was wholly satisfying from start to finish.

9.The Circle by Dave Eggers  I just finished this one and it still made it into the best of the year.   Very Orwellian in nature, I have no doubt that someday we will look back on this book and see how prophetic it was.

8. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur  I'm not usually into poetry but this book was so worth the read.  It's real and heartfelt and so relative, I really think that there is something that everyone can relate to in this book.  It's brave.  Probably one of the bravest things I've ever read because the author really lays herself bare for all the world to see.

7.A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole  This book looks simple.  I read it because I loved the cover and I thought it would be this quick and easy YA novel.  This book was nothing that I expected it to be.  It packs ALL the feels from the very first page! I laughed, I cried and I loved every minute.   I highly recommend it.

6. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult  Probably my favorite Picoult ever.  Previously my favorite was 19 Minutes, and if you read that book, you have to know how wonderful this one is to have unseated it as my favorite.  This tells a very complex story about race relations.  It's timely and it made me see my life in a whole new way.  It isn't every book that can do that.  Read it.

Mischling by Affinity Konar  Chosen by the NY Times as one of the best books of the year - they weren't kidding.  It's the story of a set of twins - Pearl and Sasha- who find themselves "patients" of Dr. Mengele in Aushwitz.   It's a timely reminder  of what happens when we register people and separate them for being different.

4. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman  This book and it's author, Fredrik Backman, was the discovery of the year.  I loved this book so very much!  This book tells relates how stories effect us and influence us, how we relate to one another through their pages.  Fredrik Backman is perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time.  Many authors write books but they don't all tell stories.  I also read A Man Called Ove and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer.  They were ALL 5 stars but this one was my favorite.  I already have Britt Marie was Here on my TBR list for 2017 and his new book, Bear Town, on automatic download on my Kindle.  This author is one who, whatever he writes,  I will read it.  He's THAT good.

3.It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover  The most powerful book I read this year.   What a great message told within a beautiful story.   I love Colleen Hoover, anyone who reads my blog knows I am a big fan.   This is her best - bar none.  If you haven't read it, stop what you are doing and read it now.  Now.

2.A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas  I'm in love with this series.  As much as I loved the original book, A Court of Thorns and Roses,  this sequel is 1000 times better.  I love the strong female characters but then, all the characters have a depth to them - all are more than they appear.  It's refreshing to read a writer who puts so much into character and world development.  I read everything that Sarah J. Maas writes - she never disappoints.  I am waiting on pins and needles for the next installment.  I MUST know what happens.   I had a book hangover for weeks after finishing this one...

and the BEST book that I read in 2016, and you can see it's in some pretty exclusive company...
1.Morning Star by Pierce Brown  I never thought I would elevate another author into the same sentence with Tolkien and Rowling but Pierce Brown wrote a completely original and compelling story that just captures the imagination.  I laughed, I cried, I HOWLED.    I can honestly say that no book has ever made me feel like I needed a cigarette when I was finished until this one.  It's exhilarating right up to the very last page - no kidding!   I loved all the characters, except those you aren't supposed to.  I wanted to crawl into their world and join them in their quest to live for more!  I can't wait for the release of Iron Gold in August of 2017.  Obviously on automatic download.   Pierce Brown - You're the Man! 

Red Rising series - GoodReads Book of the Year for 3 consecutive years and it is truly worthy of the honor.  Read it.  You won't be sorry.

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