2016: By the Books

It’s that time of year again. Time to assess my reading for the past 12 months.

And you know what? Despite the complete shitstorm that 2016 has become, I do manage to take some solace from the fact that I read some great books.

I found new (to me) authors. I read sequels. I discovered some great self-published books via the SPFBO (and made friends, too!).

I read non-fiction, fantasy, mysteries, history/archaeology, historical fiction, science fiction, literary fiction, and, lo and behold, one novelette.

The bad news is that my official to-read list on Goodreads, which I valiantly strove to keep short and manageable for so long, ballooned like Trumperdink’s lies. But there are far worse things. The books probably aren’t going to hack an election or appoint white supremacists to important positions of government. Probably.

But let’s get to the good stuff.

I give you my Best Reads of 2016:

5. A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab, for pure enjoyment and fun

4. The Sandcastle Girls – Chris Bohjalian, for an exquisite combination of despair and hope

3. Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour – Lynne Olson, for telling a story of WWII I knew far too little about

2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics – Daniel James Brown, for history being better than fiction

1. Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft, for sheer brilliance and defying all the adjectives I’ve tried to use to describe it

I loved The Boys in the Boat and Senlin Ascends equally, two vastly different books. I broke that tie by giving the nod to my fellow self-published author. Solidarity!

Honorable mention goes to: The Last Days of Jack Sparks – Jason Arnopp, The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party – Daniel James Brown (again!), Red Rising – Pierce Brown, and Saint’s Blood – Sebastien de Castell.

Honestly, limiting myself to five top picks was tough and my honorable mention list could easily be stretched to fit three or four more (but that would mean including Josiah Bancroft (The Arm of the Sphinx) twice and clearly he needs to be taken down a peg or two.

I hope you all had as successful a year between the pages of books as I did. And I hope 2017 will bring joy and peace and curiosity and truth.


Pssst. Anyone else notice that my top five books appear to have embraced a red/gold/black color scheme??

3 thoughts on “2016: By the Books

  1. Senlin was my favourite read of 2016! It’s now possibly one of my favourite books ever. I can not wait to start reading Arm of Sphinx, I’ve heard it’s just as brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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