Thursday, January 26, 2017

Best of Books Read 2016

Finally! My 2016 book summary! Shouldn't there be trumpets or a drumroll or some kind of fanfare? It's not even February yet!

My lateness was not due to a lack of great books - 2016 was an excellent reading year! I read 75 books in 2016, and I have added all of them - with links to my reviews - to my Book Reviews tab. And you can see how I did on my 2016 Reading Challenges here.

Here are some summaries, fun facts, and my picks for Best Books Read in 2016:
Total Books Read = 75
Adult Fiction = 34
Adult Nonfiction = 7 (11 total nonfiction)
Adult Graphic Memoirs = 2
Teen/YA = 19
Middle-Grade = 13
Audiobooks = 28

(there is overlap in some categories, in case you are checking my math!)

Book Written by Women Authors = 46 (61%)
Diverse Books (with characters or by authors who are not white European-derived heterosexuals) = 23 (31%)
Books from my own shelves (TBR) = 23 (31%)

Now, for some of my choices in several Best Of categories:

Best Adult Novel 
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Best Nonfiction  

Best Memoir  
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Best Audiobook

Best Teen/YA
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham 

Best Middle-Grade  
Pax by Sara Pennypacker  

And a few Top Ten (or Top Whatever) Lists:

Top Ten Adult Novels:
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez   
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • LaRose by Louise Erdrich 
  • Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran by Nadia Shahram
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel 
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson 
  • A Tale for the Time Being  by Ruth Ozeki
 Top 5 Nonfiction for Adults (including graphic memoirs)
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo 
  • How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide by Toni Bernhard  
  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman 
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 

 Top 7 Teen/YA Novels
  • The Cage by Megan Shepherd
  • The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 
  • Solitaire by Alice Oseman 
  • Unbecoming by Jenny Downham 
  • Vivian Apple At the End of the World by Katie Coyle  

Top 8 Middle-Grade Novels
  • The Big Dark by Rodman Philbrick 
  • The Lightning Queen by Laura Renau 
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick 
  • My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter 
  • A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen 
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker 
  • This Side Of Wild by Gary Paulsen 
  • Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson  

What an amazing reading year!  Here's to more great books in 2017!

What were your favorite books read in 2016? Do you agree with any of my picks? 


  1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers sounds like a wonderful book and I'll add it to m TBR list. I also loved Memory of Light and Salt to the Sea.

    1. Helen - it is SO GOOD! Everyone in our book group loved it. It is one of the best examples I have ever seen of narrative nonfiction - it reads just like a novel and you really come to care about the people in it.