Can you believe that it’s the last week of 2016?
Madness! I tell you it’s madness!
What a difference a year can make. And I’m not even talking about the insanity that has been this year. It’s been a roller coaster on a personal level as well! If you asked me at this time last year, I couldn’t have even told you where I’d be living today. With moving to a new state, starting a new career path, and building a small business, I’ve had a whole lot of changes happen in 2016.
This was also the first year that I set a reading challenge for myself.
In addition to my 30 by 30 reading challenge (which I aced), I also set a goal on GoodReads to read 52 books in 2016. Since I had never set a reading goal for myself before, I didn’t really know what would be a good target for myself. A book every week seemed completely reasonable and achievable.
And, good news, I met my goal!
But which of those 52 books topped the list?
That’s the question of the day!
Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 books I read in 2016.
And I promise they aren’t all book club picks!
1. Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood
Okay, fine, I am starting with a book club pick! This is not only the last book of 2016, but I think this is also the book club pick that surprised me the most in 2016!
Earlier in the year, I read another of the Hogarth Shakespeare adaptations and really really did not enjoy it. Maybe it’s Margaret Atwood, maybe it’s The Tempest (so much better than The Winter’s Tale), but this was a seriously fast and interesting read!
Cannot wait to discuss it with everyone later this week!
2. Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson
There are authors that sneak up on you, and Brandon Sanderson really did that to me in 2016! I hadn’t heard of Brandon Sanderson at all before the start of this year, when a handful of BookTubers (that’s people on YouTube who talk about books, for those of you not in the know) kept mentioning this hyper-prolific fantasy author.
When my husband read the Mistborn trilogy earlier this year, he immediately recommended it. That’s no guarantee either – we rarely share the same taste in books.
Yet, when I reviewed Mistborn, it was obvious that this was a clear favorite of the year. I can’t stop recommending it to everyone I know – both lovers of fantasy and not.
3. Fun Home: A Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
One of my non-numerical reading goals for 2016 was to read more graphic novels. I definitely managed that!
This memoir though. Wow. It firmly cemented my understanding that the concept of “graphic novels” as a genre really needs to be understood more widely and appreciated for containing multitudes.
If you haven’t read Bechdel’s memoir yet, definitely grab it in the new year. I did a full review as well, if you don’t mind some minor spoilers and, perhaps, overly elevated expectations
4. Between The World And Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Honestly, this is worth a re-read in the new political reality we’re living in.
At the beginning of 2016, I was living in Baltimore, a city that was reeling through the Freddie Gray murder and subsequent trial. I needed to find ways to connect and process what was happening around me, and picking up Ta-Nehisi Coates’s latest release was a huge piece of that exploration.
Today, if anything, we’re in a worse position. Consider this required reading.
If you want more details – you can read the post I wrote recounting my experience reading this alongside The Conjure Woman.
Jes Baker deserves to be a national hero. Her blog is an absolutely brilliant personal and political fight against body shaming and for bodily autonomy.
If you haven’t read her before, her website has a lot – blog posts, of course, but also links to her TED talk and book. Her Instagram account in particular is something I find particularly inspirational.
And! Just a week or so ago Jes announced that she’ll be coming out with a second book! Cannot wait.