June 29, 2016

The Best Books of 2016 (So Far)

The best books of 2016 (so far) -- six titles that you won't be able to put down.

I have completed 54 books so far in 2016, and I'm partway through 4 more. It seems rather unlikely I'll finish all 5 by tomorrow night - so let's say that I read roughly 55 books for the first half of the year. 

I like to highlight the top 10 percent (ish) of what I read, so here are the 6 best books of 2016. (A Man Called Ove and The Etymologicon would also definitely have made this list because I loved them so much, but they were published in 2015 and 2011 respectively.)

Since I was impatiently waiting for the conclusion of several young adult series, you will probably be unsurprised to discover that 3 of my best 6 are YA titles.

  1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. Actually, now that I think about it, I have completed 55 books so far this year - because I read The Raven King twice - once on April 26th, and once the first week of May. It's that good. Enough said. (Sidenote: I've been recommending this series like crazy, and I feel like I should perhaps caveat it a bit with: tons of magic, tons of swears.)
  2. The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. I was pleasantly surprised by this trilogy; which is just another fluffy YA romance on the surface, but ends up getting pretty deep and oddly poetic, considering it's a series about war. 
  3. Morning Star by Pierce Brown. If it wasn't for The Raven King, this would be my best book of the year so far. It's just SO great you guys. And for a book set in outer space, it's basically all about the nature of humanity. Just FYI, Pierce Brown will play with your heart though. I definitely threw the book down and YELLED at one point, but I loved it by the end.
But, I didn't read only YA this year. I've read a bit of nonfiction, although no 2016 titles yet, since I'm still waiting for the new Nathaniel Philbrick from the library! So my other top 3 are all fiction.

  1. Another One Goes Tonight by Peter Lovesey. I've adored this series for ages, since it's set in Bath, England, and Bath is one of my favorite cities. Plus Superintendent Peter Diamond is such a great character! In this novel, Diamond saves a car crash victim's life, only to discover he may have just applied CPR to a serial killer. The man in question lies in a coma, and I loved the twists and turns that happened as Diamond investigated the comatose man's life.*
  2. Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon. The premise of this novel is a bit hard to explain - it's kind of a Brigadoon-esque romance. In 1975, single mother Lux goes camping alone one night, and accidentally stumbles into a 1906 commune called Greengage. Greengage was founded by a visionary man named Joseph, and Lux finds herself drawn to the idyllic world; although she can't bear to leave her 5 year old son in the modern day. The story of how she reconciles the past and present is super compelling - I keep finding myself thinking about this one.*
  3. When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris. (Dreamy sigh) I have already documented my endless love for Sebastian St. Cyr here and chose him for my Martian dream team here. This was an excellent entry in a wonderful historical mystery series.

What are the best 2016 books YOU have read so far?

*This post contains affiliate links. I reviewed starred titles for Shelf Awareness, they may not have actually been published yet.