Friday, December 30, 2016

Best Books of 2016 - Big Reads Edition

I'm back, guys!

I took a little unintentional-that-turned-intentional blog/insta break, but I'm glad to be back!

These are the best books I read in 2016 (not necessarily published in 2016, just read by me in 2016. Also, they are in no particular order.)

A Man Called Ove was so bittersweet that it had me sobbing in my office at work by the end of the book. It's the story of a grumpy old man who loses his wife and isn't sure how to carry on without her.  I listened to it on audio, and I think that made all the difference.

Life After Life is a book that I bought for my kindle many moons ago and never really grabbed my attention when I tried to read it. Until this year. Excellent proof that there's a big difference between a book not being right for you and not being right for you right now. When I finally read it early this year, I was definitely kicking myself for not reading it earlier. It's fantastic and just so darn creative. Completely unlike anything else I've ever read. And definitely one I kept thinking about after I finished it.

The One-in-a-Million Boy was a What Should I Read Next? recommendation that was mentioned several times on the podcast, I think. Anne Bogel said repeatedly that she never would have picked this one up had it not been recommended to her by a trusted source, and I'm right there with her. It was a kindle daily deal one day, so I figured I would give it a shot and it was well worth it.

Inside Out and Back Again will make you realize that you don't have real problems. This was another What Should I Read Next? pick, and another kindle daily deal. It was also the first novel I've ever read in verse. I loved it and it won't be the last. I'm thinking One next...

A Monster Calls absolutely gutted me. I was NOT prepared for how sad and beautiful this story was. The movie is coming out next month, but I don't know if I'm going to see it in theaters. I'm quite sure I would embarrass myself by ugly crying through the last half of it.

Everything I Never Told You was the best book we read for our Mother Daughter Book Club this year. Great discussion followed. It was sad. Very sad. The story opens with "Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet." and it just gets sadder as the story progresses. My mom doesn't usually like sad books, but she liked this one.

The Girl You Left Behind hit all my usual faves. WWII fiction? Check. Beautiful cover? Check. Little bit of love story but not a romance novel? Check. Intrigue and mystery? Check. Happy ending? Check and check.

Station Eleven is one I just read last month and it was so interesting! A flu wipes out ninety something percent of the population. Fifteen years later, a traveling symphony and acting troupe performs Shakespeare for settlements where survivors have gathered. This is one of those stories where the less you know about it going in, the better.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was another grumpy old man story that was recommended on What Should I Read Next? Can you tell where I get all of my book recommendations? Seriously, if you're not listening to that podcast, you need to get on it. It's awesome. It was also another that was bittersweet and wonderful and if you like books about books, read this one asap.

Dark Matter was a freakin roller coaster. The ultimate "what if?" story. Plus that cover looks amazing wherever you put it.

What are the best books you read this year?

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