Top Books of 2016, so far

Now that we are in the middle of summer, lots of people have been talking about their favorite books of 2016 so far, and it has got me looking back as well.  My Goodreads list for 2016 already has 18 books on it; my 2015 one only has 17.

16060716Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

These books are SO good, and so atmospheric.  I love the characters, the Twenties-ness, and even the NYC-factor (which normally just irritates me).  And drunk Evie complaining about adventuring was so hilarious.  I cannot imagine waiting 3 more years for the next one.  Sigh.

22456980Persona by Genevieve Valentine

I was not expecting this one.  I really enjoyed Valentine’s Girls at the Kingfisher Club, which was a retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses set in 1920’s New York.  But, Persona was about politics and paparazzi and assassination attempts, and I just wasn’t sure how it was going to go.  The answer is amazingly well.  I couldn’t put the book down, and had to get the audio from my library just to feed my need to find out what happens.  The second books just came out, and I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I am already sucked in.

23346662How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

My sister-in-law sent me this for my birthday as we both have a bit of a girl-crush on Caitlin Moran.  I wasn’t quite sure about it at first; sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, and teenage girls having low self-esteem isn’t really my thing, but this book is SO good.  It’s more about how this girl decides who she wants to be, takes control of her life, and doesn’t have to have any of those frightening situations that fiction and TV/movies seem to consider necessary in “teaching” girls how to be themselves.  I *think* there are plans for a next one?

23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I didn’t really enjoy Of Shadow and Bone (a bit too conventional), but I did really like Bardugo’s short stories on Tor, and this book gets so much love, I thought I’d give it a try.  And it is seriously one of my favorites of the year.  I have ZERO idea how Bardugo built that plot, I love the characters, I love how diverse they are, how well-rounded they are.  And I am always in for a love-across-the-tracks (aka, Nina and Matthias).  Also, has anyone else seen that playing card picture of Jesper by Kevin Wada?  Yowza!

196430The Truth About Stories by Thomas King

This was an assigned book for one of my classes on indigenous systems of knowledge.  King is Native American and he writes really well about issues important for Native and non-Native peoples to think about.  This book was originally delivered as part of the Massey Lectures, and amazing when listened to as read by King.

23308084The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

I saw a review of this which read, “This is the feminist retelling of 1,001 Nights you have been waiting for.”  And it is.  I love how the women come together to create an alternative to the violence.  Ahdieh’s my girl.

303203871Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger

I have a hot-and-lukewarm relationship with Carriger’s writing.  I loved Soulless, but have found some of the more recent books a bit of a chore to read (I fully accept that it might be me–grad school brain may not be able to pay attention well enough).  However, I adore her world, I love her characters, and I love her stories.  I couldn’t resist buying this when it came out, though I don’t really love Preshea.  BUT, I LOVED this.  It was fun, sweet, sexy, and exciting all at the same time.  I have high hopes for the rest of the short stories Carriger has planned for the near future.  Now, if only I can manage to only buy one version, ebook or physical. . .

Honorable Mentions:

Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne Valente

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkowski

In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Escapement of Blackledge by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Raven King by Maggie Steifvater

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin

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