Top Books of 2016

There have been a lot of books over the past year, but I finally gathered my thoughts together and pulled together my favorite list from the year.  

Favorite Books of 2016:

1. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) - Sarah J. Maas

This is one of those rare occasions where I think the sequel is even better than the first in the series.  Sara J. Maas out does herself keeping you guessing as to how things are going to resolve themselves and just who you can trust.  I love the realistic twists in the relationships and the vivid imagery in the night court.  When thinking over the past year of reading, this is the book I kept coming back to, so it gets top honors from me!

2. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas

This book was a kick off to a series I read compulsively until I was up to date.  Once again Sarah J. Maas manages to keep you guessing throughout the book and nothing is quite what it seems.  Although this was close with "A Court of Mist and Fury" this one is a bit more emotionally exhausting due to the violence and complexities of the politics.  I certainly don't mean that in a bad way, but it is a book you have to know what you're signing up for!

3. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

This was another book that I kept thinking about long after I had returned to to the library.  This one had fantastic world-building that reminded me of many classic science fiction books, while still being unique in its own right.  I adored the pop culture references and how the knowledge of different aspects builds into the challenges.  This was a fun book to read for my book group and highly recommend to any sort of 80's / science fiction nerd.

4. Wild Magic (The Immortals #1) - Tamora Pierce

What a classic.  I reread almost all of Tamora Pierce's books this year and I am so glad that I did.  They're books that have stood the test of time for me and I believe they would do so for others as well.  One thing that I love about these books is that they're in digestible chunks so you can commit to a series without having to reserve a few months to catch up.  The Immortals series is the series that I have a definite soft spot for and this was the book that kicked it off.  Daine is so adorably clueless and I love how she comes into her own as her powers develop.

5. All the Feels - Danika Stone

This is a book that makes my inner fangirl squeal with delight.  Despite the book being based on a fictional things, everything about the geek culture, comic conventions and humor is absolutely spot on.  This book was a breath of fresh air and something a little less intense to mix things up with.  I'd highly recommend this one for any fangirl at heart, even if they're the most secret about it.

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6. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - Greg McKeown

This book makes the list simply because it's incredibly practical.  I have been in the process of minimizing my things and this was a book that takes the same principles and applies them to business.  These are great guidelines to keep in mind no matter your level so that you can try to keep things in perspective.  Stop spending time on things that don't matter and spend your time doing the things that will make you the most productive!  As a bonus, this was an easy book to listen to so you can even learn to be more productive while multi-tasking on your commute.

7. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu

This is one of those books that's hard to explain, but is absolutely fascinating.  Before giving this one a read, I was completely unfamiliar with the "The Great Leap Forward" and everything going on in China at the time.  This book was an interesting way to get a fantastic story set against dramatic historical events.  I loved the blending of real science with science fiction in a practical way that makes it easy to imagine these things happening!

8. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - Therese Anne Fowler

Flappers, a historical backdrop and some spunky characters that keep you guessing - what more could you want in a book? Before reading the story, I was not familiar with the story of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.  They're a dramatic couple with a complex and troubled relationship, but that makes them the perfect focus for a story in the 20's.  There was so much change and so many characters on the world stage that it's fascinating who makes a cameo in the story.  As a bonus, there is a TV show coming out soon based the same thing!

9. The Everything Store - Brad Stone

This book was just plain interesting all around.  Amazon is a story that dominates so many markets, I really wanted to know some of the background about it and Jeff Bezos.  While it is not always flattering to Jeff, it made it more interesting as a book since it doesn't worship the ground he walks.  Understanding what it took to get the company off the ground and what is still happening know is a fascinating insight to a behemoth company that doesn't seem to be leaving the shopping stage any time soon.

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10. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) - Leigh Bardugo

This book has so many of the elements that I loved from Sarah J. Maas' books that I almost thought they were by the same author for a period of time.  This book is a little lighter than "Throne of Glass" and with non-stop action throughout.  A better way to describe it would be "Oceans 11" meets the fantasy world.  A group is set against impossible circumstances and it's up to them to see it through.  I would highly highly recommend this to any fantasy fans out there.

That's it for my favorite books of the year! I hope you had some great reading as well - what were your favorites?