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Best Books of 2016

December 15, 2016

dragon-round-cover-small-fullCover image, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessCover image, Forensics by Val McDermidyv5p40fg5thomw8usqncthelanguageofbaklavadianaabujaber51jgrfil2xl-_sx332_bo1204203200_Cover image, The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye2351334922009092

2016 has been an excellent reading year, with some terrific new discoveries, as well as taking the time to reread some beloved favorites.

I just spent some time on Goodreads, playing with their Year in Review feature and musing “I read that this year?” or “Ohhhyeah, that was a great book!”

It would be pretty much impossible to pick just one all-time standout favorite for the year. Might even be impossible to pick 10 of them. I’m pleased I managed to narrow it down to 11, no, wait, 13. I knew this would happen if I wrote this roundup anytime before December 30th.

In no particular order, here are the standout books for this year.

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Forensics by Val McDiarmid

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Crawford

Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (why haven’t I written a review of this? Why haven’t I seen the movie?)

The entire Bells of St. Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. Yes, all of them, I’m not picking one.

Salsa Nocturna by Daniel Jose Older

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber

And the late entries, read over Christmas break:

Cover image, Nimona by Noelle StevensonCover image, Marvels by Brian Selznick

Nimona by Noelle Stephenson.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick. Seriously, why haven’t I read Brian Selznick before? Gorgeous illustrations as a frame for a magical story.


This was a big year for re-reads for me: I revisited some of my favorite series from the start: Diane Duane’s Young Wizard series and the Billy Boyle books were among my binge reads. And I might do it again next year.

There were a number of audiobooks in my reading life this year, both familiar titles I’d read in print, and trying brand-new books. My enthusiasm for Patrick Taylor stories may be on the wane. I’ve recently discovered how much I like the Chronicles of Narnia as audiobooks, so that might keep me busy for a while.

I also managed to power through two classics: finished the Complete Sherlock Holmes and got through Sense and Sensibility. I’d like to tackle more classics in the coming year, and I think sticking to annotated versions might be the best way to do this.

I am fully aware that writing this list means I’ll think of more wonderful books I read this year, or read something really amazing in the next few days. What a nice problem to have!

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