January 2, 2017

My Year in Books {2016}

I always enjoy the end of the year, from a blogging perspective, because I love looking back at the past year. Whether it's reflecting on lessons learned or sharing my enduring obsessions, it's so fun to recap the past twelve months. For the next few days, I'm highlighting some of my favorite things from 2016. Today, it's books!


HISTORICAL

1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - I made reading this book a priority in 2016. What a great decision! The concept was confusing at first, but the writing and characters won me over in the end. I found myself completely immersed in this world, which was so gripping. I read all 500 pages of the book in a day!

2. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell - I picked this up at the library solely for the cover and ended up adoring the story inside. The writing is so lyrical, the heroine is so feisty, and the setting was a favorite. I've never read a lot of Middle Grade, but this book sparked a newfound interest in it.


CONTEMPORARY

3. Results May Vary by Bethany Chase - I really enjoyed Chase's debut, The One That Got Away, but this book solidified her spot on my go-to authors list! The heroine finds herself in an impossible situation, and I was so invested in her journey and its resolution. It was a hard read emotionally, but so worth it.

4. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella - I haven't read anything by Kinsella in a long time, but I couldn't resist this cover + summary. And I'm so glad that was the case because it ended up being such a delight! I loved the workplace drama, the swoony romance, and the heroine's struggle to find her way.

5. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - This was the perfect late spring read for me! The book felt a tiny bit long at times, but I was still so engaged in this story about close friendships, falling in love and repairing family relationships. And the love interest might be my favorite one from Matson yet!

6. Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane - Is anyone surprised to see Mhairi McFarlane on my list? She has established herself as one of my all-time favorite authors - each book just gets better and better. I loved this heroine, experienced a whole range of emotions while reading and found myself dying for more at the end.

7. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I'm convinced Taylor Jenkins Reid can do no wrong. She writes such relatable characters and engaging plots with so much emotion. This story is no exception! No matter how you feel about the heroine's dilemma - or how it's resolved - you'll be thinking about it long after you're done.

8. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne - I randomly requested this book for review because the cover caught my eye, and I had no idea I was in for such a treat. I'm a sucker for hate-to-love romances, so this book won me over very quickly. And the banter cracked me up! I wanted to re-read it all over again the moment I finished.


FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION

9. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - I read Six of Crows this year, too, but decided to just include the second book on my list. I'm not usually a fan of multiple POVs in books, but it worked so well in this duology. I fell in love with these characters and was a huge fan of the action-packed plot and imaginative setting.

10. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - Maas raised the stakes in this installment, and I was hooked. I loved getting to see different sides to familiar characters - and falling for new ones! The world was enchanting, and the twists and turns blew me away. (But I definitely skipped over some parts - this is not YA.)

11. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas - I can't believe it's almost time to say goodbye to my favorite assassin and her squad! While I really disliked the mature aspects of this book, especially since that's not how this series started, I still loved the story overall. I can't wait to see what's next after that gut-wrenching ending!

12. The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski - This is one of my favorite YA series, and I just haven't talked enough about my love for it! I adore these two main characters, find the plot and the politics so compelling and think the world is so fascinating. This conclusion was everything I could have asked for and more!

13. Disruption by Jessica Shirvington - I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! I got (mostly) burned out on dystopian novels a few years ago, but this book reminded me of what I love about the genre. The world was creative but still felt realistic, the heroine was so tough, and the hint of romance was amazing!


NON-FICTION

14. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker - I grabbed this from the library and ended up reading it at the perfect time! I laughed so much at Hatmaker's sarcasm, related to her reminder that no one can do it all, was motivated by her calls to action and found myself longing for the type of community she described.

15. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes - This book was nothing like I imagined it would be, in the best way possible. I really enjoyed Rhimes' look back at her year of saying yes and found it pushed me to think about fear and the ways it holds me back. I loved the writing, too, which isn't a surprise since I'm a huge Grey's Anatomy fan.

16. Hope Heals by Katherine and Jay Wolf - You know those stories that will stay with you forever? That's what you'll find in this book. Their story of "overwhelming loss and an overcoming love" was so moving. Their hope, love, humor, grief, and faithfulness made this an unforgettable read and gave me so much perspective.

What was your favorite book of 2016?
Are on these on your list? Or on your TBR pile?

3 comments:

  1. Breaking it down by category is such a neat way to look at the bests of the year! I've definitely got Life After Life on my TBR, and the more I read about One True Loves and how much people liked it the more I'm leaning towards reading it..it's not my usual niche, but so many people whose opinions I respect liked it and breaking out of the old comfort zone every once in a while is good thing, eh?

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  2. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms is gorgeous! I might have to pick that one up now. ;) The Unexpected Everything was amazing, and a perfect end of spring read, like you said. Crooked Kingdom and ACOMAF were AMAZING. I enjoyed Empire of Storms, too, but I didn't think it was as good as the other books. Salt to the Sea was one of my favorites! Have you read it? If not, I totally recommend you do. :)

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  3. I hope you know that every single time you do a favorite books post, I always have to write down the books I haven't yet read to add them onto my TBR (if they're not there already). Of the ones I have not yet read, I think I'm most looking forward to checking out Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms because a) it sounds amazing and b) that cover is beautiful.

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