According to Goodreads, I read 91 books in 2016 – well above my goal of 75 books. I had started the year with a goal of 50 but quickly realized that I’d surpass that number easily after I started my book blog. 2016 was my best reading year yet! I almost tripled the number of books I read in my previous highest reading years. But 2016 wasn’t a great year for me just in the number of books read, but also in the quality of the books I read.
In this list, you’ll find 12 of my favorite books of 2016. They’re not ranked in any order because asking book lovers to rank their favorite books from “loved” to “loved the most” is a cruel way to torture us. Some of them you have seen in previous blog posts, others I have rarely mentioned and are in this list to bring more attention to them. Not all of them were published in 2016, in fact, one of them hasn’t even been published yet! But I do recommend them all.
All book titles are linked to their Goodreads page. I have reviewed several of these books; click on the appropriate link to see the full review.
Best Books I Read In 2016
The Mothers – by Brit Bennett
I adored this vibrant, slow-burning, sad and beautiful book. What a stunning debut! The characters will surprise and fascinate you in their complexity and the nuance with which they were written. I will auto-buy anything else Brit Bennett writes. Full review coming soon!
The Book Of Unknown Americans – by Cristina Henriquez
This book swept me off my feet and took my breath away. Yes, I’m going to be cliché here because I adored Maribel and her family’s story. It felt so rooted in authenticity that I could not help but connect with the characters and the immigrant experience depicted in the pages. Read my review
Not A Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu – by Yi Shun Lai
A must-read for fans of epistolary novels or for those looking to read a story that will make you laugh in one chapter and make your heart ache in the next. Marty’s voice is unforgettable and her self-deprecating humor and wisdom will make you like her despite her flaws. Read my review
And The Mountains Echoed – by Khaled Hosseini
I adore anything Khaled Hosseini writes and his latest novel was no exception. While it does not top the masterpiece that was A Thousand Splendid Suns, his characters are endearing and believable. You will fall in love with them, your heart will break, and you will probably cry. At least, I did. Read my review
The Education Of Margot Sanchez – by Lilliam Rivera
I can’t wait for this book to officially release on February 21st, 2017! It’s a fast-paced contemporary YA with a strong focus on family relationships. There’s a soft romance subplot alongside exploration of more serious subject. Spanish-speakers will also appreciate the code-switching present throughout the book! Read my review
The Book Of Negroes – by Lawrence Hill
If you follow my blog regularly, you have probably seen this book a lot. That’s because I love it so much. It may even be my favorite book of the year? It’s hard to decide, but I think yes. I dare say it edges out even Homegoing in greatness! Fans of historical fiction and slave narratives must read Lawrence Hill’s masterpiece. Read my review
Homegoing – by Yaa Gyasi
Are you at all surprised that this book made the list? You shouldn’t be at all. I will never stop recommending this book to people. I want it to become a huge success and a modern classic that will be read for generations. Help me make that happen by reading this book and recommending it to all! Read my review
The Fifth Season – by N.K. Jemisin
This book made me an instant fan of N.K. Jemisin. Wow! I’ve never read an epic fantasy quite like this. The magic system, the politics and history of the world, the characters — there’s so much to like about this book! Fantasy lovers must read it. I’ll be publishing the review for the sequel, The Obelisk Gate, later this week. For now, read my review for The Fifth Season.
One of the best graphic novels I read this year! If you like dark Fantasy, Monstress is a must-read. The world is rich and full of history, the characters are fascinating, and the art is gorgeous. I cannot recommend it enough. Go buy it now! The first volume is very cheap.
Jerkbait – by Mia Siegert
I fell in love with this book because of the characters. Robbie and Tristan stole my heart. The story can get dark at times and it does explore serious subjects such as depression and suicide. Your heart may be shattered at some point, but there’s also hope and empathy to be learned from the experience. Read my review
Shelter – by Jung Yun
Another brilliant 2016 debut! Shelter is a fast-paced thriller that reads like a family drama, mystery novel, and literary fiction all at once. The family dynamics in particular are depicted brilliantly and steal the show. Jung Yun is an author we should all be watching. Read my review
Juliet Takes A Breath – by Gabby Rivera
A gorgeous coming-of-age story that will resonate with young Queer people of color in particular, but can be enjoyed by all. Juliet is not perfect, but in her exploration of gender and Queer politics, she will learn much and grow exponentially over the course of one summer. Read my review
Have you read any of these? What were your top three books of 2016?
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