It’s that time of year again – everyone is making their top 10 “Best of 2016” lists. It was a weird year but I still read some awesome books. This year I set a goal to read 52 books and surpassed it by reading 61! I may be able to squeeze one more in before December is over but I haven’t finished it at the time of writing this. Here are the Top 10 titles that made my #libfaves16 countdown on Twitter.
10. KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky
Have you ever loved a boy band or been a part of a fandom? I have (and still am)! Four friends and life-long fans of fictional British boy band The Ruperts (probably One Direction) stalk and accidentally kidnap one of the members in their hotel room right before a huge concert in New York City. Things quickly spiral out of control from there. While some of the plot is pretty over the top, this young adult title takes on the crazy, dark and hilarious world of music fandoms in a pretty accurate way.
9. HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer
If you’ve ever wondered how the Queen of Hearts came to be such a cruel character who enjoys cutting off people’s heads, then Heartless is a must-read. Marissa Meyer, best
known for her Lunar Chronicles series, has written another stellar YA title which vividly re-imagines Lady Catherine Pinkerton of Wonderland before she became the Queen of Hearts.
8. ALL THE SINGLE LADIES: UNMARRIED WOMEN AND THE RISE OF AN INDEPENDENT NATION by Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister’s book about single women in America focuses on the growing rate at which women are pursing education and careers and delaying marriage or choosing to remain single altogether. Traister takes us through feminist history beginning with the changing role of women in the home and in the workplace and delves deep into the major waves of independence
covering monumental moments such as the right to vote, equal pay, the Fair Housing Act and Roe v. Wade. Read more of my thoughts on this title in a blog I wrote earlier this year.
7. SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult could have not picked a more timely moment in history for her latest novel. Known for her moving fiction that usually delves into a legal or moral dilemma, she tackles racism, Black Lives Matter, the media and cultural tension that goes along with social justice movements. An excellent writer who knows how to craft an engaging story, choosing to write a narrative that featured an African American woman at a time when racial tensions are high and often front page news, is a very bold move for a bestselling author. I also blogged about this one earlier this year!
6. FLYOVER NATION: YOU CAN’T RUN A COUNTY YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO by Dana Loesch
There’s a great divide between how those of us in the heartland and those who live in the coastal regions view the issues affecting our culture today. Dana touches on gun control, the Black Lives Matter movement, feminism, equality and explains how each topic differs from the coastal’s point-of-view. A lot of the content is autobiographical and very personal but the subjects covered are also balanced out with research and facts. An excellent book to give to liberal friends or relatives to help them understand why Trump won the Presidential election of 2016.
5. ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Megan Miranda
Ten years apart, two women go missing in the same town. Both cases are eerily similar even though they appear to be unrelated. Told in reverse order , this page turner has lots of psychological twists and the ever popular unreliable narrator. This year’s Gone Girl.
4. TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty
Three seemingly happy suburban couples get together for a barbecue. It’s a nice evening , the kids and dog are happily playing – what could go wrong? Then, not one but TWO shocking incidents happen that night, causing cracks in lifelong friendships and forever altering life in the neighborhood.
The story switches back and forth between the day of the barbecue and the events that follow, yet the narrators don’t at all let on what happened. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, a new wrench is thrown in the plot and it’s not until the book’s final few pages that one truly learns the truth. Liane Moriarty weaves another suspenseful tale dealing with friendships, marriage and parenthood.
3. THE CHEMIST by Stephenie Meyer
Alex is an ex-CIA agent/chemical torture specialist who’s on the run – the agency decided she knew too much and tried to take her out. So she jumps from town to town, always sleeping with her gun nearby and a gas mask on.
When she’s approached about a way out, she cautiously accepts but it means taking on one more job that turns out to be a whole lot more complicated and dangerous than it’s supposed to be. One part James Bond, one part Alias, The Chemist is a high adrenaline spy adventure and easily Stephenie Meyer’s best novel to date.
2. AND THE TREES CREPT IN by Dawn Kurtagich
Dark and gothy, this modern fairy tale is about two siblings who flee their home after an incident with their father. They seek refuge at their aunt’s home in the forest and soon it’s apparent that not only is the the crumbling old mansion haunted but their aunt is most definitely insane. The story is rich in emotion, horror and the imagery is very vivid. You will never see the ending coming. One of the very best and most unique books of 2016.
1. TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN by Lauren Graham
A must read for fans of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood! As a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lauren Graham’s life, her time on the show and her chapter about Someday, Someday, Maybe – the fiction book she wrote a few years ago. Graham is witty, personable and her memoir arrived just in time for the Gilmore Girls Revival. I read it in a couple hours and just like the show, it left me wanting more. My favorite book of 2016 and the best non-fiction autobiography of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, Party of One – Dave Holmes, There Goes My Social Life – Stacy Dash, The Last Star – Rick Yancey, Sorry Not Sorry – Naya Rivera and Settle for More – Megyn Kelly.