2016: A Year In Books

2016 was, in general, a giant dumpster fire of a year and, quite honestly, not my personal greatest year, either. That being said, I am finally reading again. Not quite back up to my old numbers but I did surpass my goal of 30 books this year by reading 39 titles total - totalling 11872 pages! And I don't feel the need to justify some of them being graphica. Huge progress for me. After the jump is a rundown of my 2016 in books:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

This is horror done so very well. I truly enjoyed this read. It's now part of my permanent collection. At one point I owned a soundtrack to accompany this, probably best for my sleep that I misplaced it in one of my moves.

Be Not Afraid by Cecilia Galante

Fact: Looking back on this read from January, I can barely remember any of it. Even re-reading Goodreads reviews hasn't jogged my memory.

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

I don't really remember this one a ton, either, but I remember liking it. The reviews have jogged my memory a bit.

Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

I loved this book. It's set in Pittsburgh. The main character is a jinn. It's just a ton of fun for anyone who loves supernatural romance and is a wee bit tired of vampires and werewolves everywhere.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

One of my favorites this year. I had started it in 2015, and put it down 3/4 of the way through. I started fresh this year and devoured it. Ballet. Murder. Ghosts. So good.

You can see my Book Style for The Walls Around Us here.

Unicorns vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson

I love Heavenly Nostrils. Dana Simpson is the best. Unicorns kick ass. This series/strip should be read by everyone!

Prudence by Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger's fantasy punk (my term for fantasy and steampunk mashups) series are perennial favorites. Start with the Parasol Protectorate series and then you can follow up with this series (The Custard Protocal) which is a sequel or with the Finishing School series, a pseudo prequel. 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

Book 6 & book 7 are my fave Potters. I usually restrict my re-reading of series to Book 1 through Book X, but this year I gave myself permission to pick up wherever I felt like. 

The House Your Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson

I can't believe I hadn't read this book - scored from a Little Free Library! I really enjoyed this story. Quick read.

The Island by Olivia Levez

Usually, non-fantastical YA doesn't appeal to me but I was quite charmed by this novel featuring a surly British juvenile delinquent. 

You can see my Book Style for The Island here.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Another of my top novels from this year. Magical realism and creepy cornfields. 

You can see my Book Style for Bone Gap here.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

I'm a Riordan junkie. I'm a Greek myth junkie. I like the idea of Apollo as a petulant child because I always liked Artemis better. This series looks promising so far. Thanks to my friend Melissa for lending me this one!

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Another loaner from Melissa. Another Riordan. I laughed out loud... a lot.

Beastly Bones by William Ritter

Thank you to Melissa, again, for helping me get my hands on this second Jackaby novel. This is such a fun series and I adore both protagonists. The third installment is at the top of my TBR.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 adapted by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

I didn't hate it. I didn't love it either. Not loving it is probably the #1 reason I haven't seen Fantastic Beasts yet. Not sure if I'm in the continuation camp. (Also another loaner from Melissa... she really helped me break my reading slump this year!!)

You can see my full review and Book Style for The Cursed Child here.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Prepare to ugly cry. My final 2016 read from Melissa and even though I'm mad she didn't warn me about the ugly crying part, I am so very happy she finally brought this one to my attention.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

I have had a few interesting conversations around this one. The ending is more ambiguous than I thought, apparently! Excellent psychological thriller. 

The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R King

This is the first time I tried audio for a Russell/Holmes book and... I didn't hate it. It was just weird hearing Russell's voice not sound like how I had "heard" it for the last 13 books. Not my favorite one in the series, I need more Russell, but I liked Mrs. Hudson's backstory immensely.

Good Ogre by Platte F Clark

I have been Fangirl #1 for this trilogy since page one and the final book didn't disappoint one bit.

Pirate King by Laurie R King

After The Murder of Mary Russell I needed more of my favorite lady sleuth and decided to give my least favorite one another go. Turns out I didn't have as many qualms with it this time around. Plus any excuse to listen to the Major-General's Song on repeat.

You can see my Book Style for The Pirate King here.

Kamala: Feminist Folktales from Around the World edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps

A huge thank you to Feminist Press for giving a copy of this away. And yay me for winning it! Feminist folktales. So perfect for me and a nice addition to my women's studies shelf.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Mom: What are you reading?
Me: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes...
Mom: Oh, that sounds...
Me:...And Other Lessons from the Crematory.
Mom: 😶

I should've read this one forever ago. LOVE!

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King

I'm not gonna lie, my favorite Russell/Holmes novels are always the ones that reflect the intensity of their relationship and reference, however obliquely, the sexual parts of it. 

You can see my Book Style for Garment of Shadows here.

The Visitors by Simon Sylvester

This right here is my Favorite Book Of The Year™. Obsessed, I am. 

You can see my Book Style for The Visitors here.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

So much feminist eye candy. Women in STEM is always A++ and Ignotofsky's art is so colorful and quirky and perfect. I need to pick up her Women in Sports when it drops in July, too!

If you'd like more pretty feminist books, I've got you covered.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

My love for both Gaiman and Pratchett is strong and this was the book that introduced me to both of them. This is my favorite audiobook of all time, too. Martin Jarvis does a phenomenal job. I need to re-read this one more often.

You can see my Book Style for Good Omens here.

Death with Interruptions by José Saramago

I downloaded this on audible last year with the intention of joining a local book club which never happened. It's really enjoyable. I love death personified. 

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

Here's another that I'd started in 2015 and abandoned. And much like The Walls Around Us, I zipped through it when I started fresh this year. Fun, fluffy, and set in Seattle. Plus, who doesn't love a green-eyed gal?

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Why in the hell did I not read this sooner? If it wasn't more my consuming passion for The Visitors, this would've been my favorite book of the year. Definitely part of the permanent collection now. Also, I need to always listen to my friend Justus' recommendations.

The Devil You Know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi

I was really intrigued by this book and then I was pretty disappointed with the anti-climatic ending.

Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha

This collection was my birthday present to myself this year and it was what I needed to get me through the final throws of the election and has given me a bunch of hope for 2017. If you need some motivation, this speculative fiction collection is for you.

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

Turns out I don't love Kelly Link the way I thought I would. A couple of great stories, and the rest were meh.

The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato

Such a weird, wonderful, unexpected story. You'll be googling things left and right because figuring out fiction from fact is next to impossible. Disabato can give me more books anytime.

Ash by Shani Petroff and Darci Manley 

Standard speculative YA. Interesting premise based around destinies and free will. I don't know if I'll go out of my way to read the sequel/s but I was please with it.

Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

I love Saga. I got real excited thinking I was ordering the next volume that I hadn't read before and then it arrived and I wondered why everything looked so familiar and then I pouted because I don't really need to own two copies of Volume 5 but apparently now I do. 

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie 

Yup. I dig it. Looking forward to the next volume soon!

Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

Ah, yes, the volume I hadn't read yet. More Saga is always a good thing.

Radical Self Love Coven Almanac by Gala Darling

I didn't follow along this year as much as I intended to, but I really enjoyed this resource. You can order 2017's here.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

My final re-read this year because I had to own this new cover with art by Robert E McGinnis and I wanted a refresh before the Starz series hits sometime in 2017.

The first Book Style of 2017 will by for American Gods! Stay Tuned.


3 of my reads were audio books. Still not my favorite way to read, but useful while I'm cleaning.

Sadly, only 2 (5%) were by non-white authors. I really need to work on this in 2017.

6 were re-reads. I do love the comfort of my favorite books.

35% (14) titles were YA. YA is still my bread and butter. 

Books I started in 2016 and am still working on:

  • Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews -- I just started this one recently and I'm enjoying it. Nice little spy thriller.
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke -- I love Tucholke's other novels, so I'm not sure if the audio version is to blame here, but I am not loving this one. I can't seem to get through it. Gonna keep trying though.

Here's to a fulfilling year of books to come in 2017! Happy New Year!!!

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