Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Books

Best Books of 2016

It's been an excellent year for books at She Treads Softly and narrowing fiction down to a top ten has been a struggle, so I'm doing something a little different. I have a top ten and four exceptional authors/books for books I love but that were not published this year. The top books are followed by the date of my review on She Treads Softly.

Exceptional Author awards go to:
 
Fredrik Backman for the two books and novella I read and loved this year. (His novel My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry was in my top ten for 2015.) A Man Called Ove, 12/18/16; Britt-Marie Was Here, 5/7/16; And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, 11/11/16, novella.

The second exceptional author award is to Greg Iles. I have read and loved the first two books of his trilogy. Since the final book, Mississippi Blood, will be released in March of 2017, I wanted to make a special mention of the first two books of what is sure to be an outstanding trilogy: Natchez Burning, 8/26/16; The Bone Tree, 9/20/16.

The third goes to John Scalzi for Redshirts, 11/21/16, a novel I loved (and was originally published in 2012). Miniatures, 12/25/16, is on the list for the top five short stories for 2016.

The final exceptional author award is to Kayla Rae Whitaker for The Animators 11/26/16. Since The Animators is due to be published in January 2017, I want to tell everyone to GO READ THIS BOOK. I'm saving a spot for it on my top ten in 2017.


Top Ten Fiction:
The Girls by Emma Cline,  6/14/16
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, 9/7/16
Faithful by Alice Hoffman, 11/6/16  
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, 8/2/16  
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, 9/24/16
The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson, 3/11/16
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan, 1/17/16  
Hush, Little Bird by Nicole Trope, 3/27/16  
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, 7/9/16  
Angels Burning by Tawni O'Dell,  1/1/16
 
Top Five Short Story Collections:
This Way to the End Times edited by Robert Silverberg, 10/30/16
American Housewife by Helen Ellis, 1/10/16  
Pawn's Gambit by Timothy Zahn,  1/4/16  
Miniatures by John Scalzi, 12/25/16  
The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks,  1/20/16


Top Ten Nonfiction:
The View from the Cheap Seats
by Neil Gaiman, 544 pages, 6/6/16
Truevine
by Beth Macy, 432 pages, 10/18/16,
We Are Not Such Things
by Justine van der Leun, 544 pages, 6/28/16
 
67 Shots by Howard Means, 288 pages, 4/8/16  
Patient H.M. by Luke Dittrich, 464 pages, 8/9/16  
Grunt by Mary Roach, 288 pages, 6/11/16
Bellevue by David Oshinsky, 400 pages, 11/15/16
Hot Sauce Nation
by Denver Nicks, 240 pages, 9/26/16,
50 Great American Places by Brent D. Glass, 3/12/16
 
Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman, 352 pages, 6/12/16


207 Books Read in 2016 (** or* denotes a book with my highest rating):


January – 18 books
**1. Angels Burning by Tawni O'Dell, 288 pages, 1/1/16, very highly recommended
**2. Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington, 320 pages, 1/2/16, very highly recommended
**3. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, 208 pages, 1/3/16, very highly recommended
**4. Pawn's Gambit by Timothy Zahn, 342 pages, 1/4/16, very highly recommended, short stories
5. What She Left by T.R. Richmond, 336 pages, 1/5/16, recommended
6. Shame and Wonder by David Searcy, 240 pages, 1/6/16, highly recommended
*7. Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman, 368 pages, 1/7/16, very highly recommended
**8. American Housewife by Helen Ellis, 208 pages, 1/10/16, very highly recommended, short stories
9. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, 400 pages, 1/11/16, highly recommended
10. The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich, 224 pages, 1/13/16, recommended
11. Daughters of Divorce by Terry Gaspard, Tracy Clifford, 320 pages, 1/15/16, recommended, nonfiction
**12. What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan, 496 pages, 1/17/16, very highly recommended
**13. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie, 448 pages, 1/17/16, very highly recommended
*14. The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore. 288 pages, 1/19/16, very highly recommended
**15. The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks, 240 pages, 1/20/16, very highly recommended, short stories
*16. Beasts and Children by Amy Parker, 320 pages, 1/25/16, very highly recommended, short stories
17. After The Fog Clears by Lee Thompson, 220 pages (est), 1/27/16, so-so
18. Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser, 256 pages, 1/27/16, highly recommended

February – 15 books
19. The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield, 336 pages, 2/2/16, highly recommended
20. Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets, 320 pages, 2/2/16, highly recommended
21. The Bigness of the World by Lori Ostlund, 232 pages, 2/7/16, highly recommended, short stories
*22. Find Her by Lisa Gardner, 416 pages, 2/7/16, very highly recommended
*23. Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbø, 288 pages, 2/10/16, very highly recommended
*24. Girl in the Dark by Marion Pauw, 336 pages, 2/10/16, very highly recommended
25. Northwoods by Bill Schweigart, 277 pages, 2/11/16, highly recommended
26. The Widow by Fiona Barton, 336 pages, 2/14/16, highly recommended
27. The Profiteers by Sally Denton, 448 pages, 2/15/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
28. We've Already Gone This Far by Patrick Dacey, 224 pages, 2/21/16, highly recommended, short stories
*29. Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard, 334 pages, 2/21/16, very highly recommended
30. Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves, 272 pages, 2/23/16, highly recommended
31. The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle, 352 pages, 2/24/16, highly recommended
*32. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz, 320 pages, 2/24/16, very highly recommended
33. Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer, 368 pages, 2/29/16, highly recommended

March – 17 books
34. The Knack of Doing by Jeremy Davies, 170 pages, 3/6/16, highly recommended, short stories
35. The Travelers by Chris Pavone, 448 pages, 3/6/16, highly recommended
36. Two If by Sea by Jacquelyn Mitchard, 416 pages, 3/9/16, highly recommended
**37. The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson, 304 pages, 3/11/16, very highly recommended
38. The Remnants by Robert Hill, 272 pages, 3/12/16, recommended
**39. 50 Great American Places by Brent Glass. 320 pages, 3/12/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
40. No One Knows by J. T. Ellison, 368 pages, 3/16/16, recommended
41. Perfectly Broken by Robert Burke Warren, 270 pages, 3/17/16, highly recommended
*42. Newspaper Boys Always Deliver by Joseph Gulesserian, 346 pages, 3/18/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
43. The Last Girl by Joe Hart, 386 pages, 3/19/16, recommended
44. Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky, 304 pages, 3/19/16, so-so
45. The Worthing Chronicle by Orson Scott Card, 272 pages. 3/21/16, recommended
*46. The Crooked Heart of Mercy by Billie Livingston, 272 pages, 3/24/16, very highly recommended
**47. Hush, Little Bird by Nicole Trope, 384 pages, 3/27/16, very highly recommended
48. Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen, 272 pages, 3/28/16, highly recommended
49. The History of Great Things by Elizabeth Crane, 288 pages, 3/30/16, recommended
50. Armadillos by P. K. Lynch, 288 pages, 3/31/16, highly recommended

April – 14 books
51. Among the Dead and Dreaming by Samuel Ligon, 240 pages, 4/1/16, highly recommended
52. Summerland by Michael Chabon, 528 pages, 4/4/16, rerelease, highly recommended
*53. Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson, 304 pages, 4/6/16, very highly recommended
**54. 67 Shots by Howard Means, 288 pages, 4/8/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
*55. War Hawk by James Rollins, Grant Blackwood, 384 pages, 4/11/16, very highly recommended
56. The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan, 320 pages, 4/13/16, highly recommended
57. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, 320 pages, 4/15/16, highly recommended
*58. The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones, 384 pages, 4/18/16, very highly recommended
*59. The Art of Calm by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, 215 pages, 4/21/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
**60. City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan, 208 pages, 4/22/16, very highly recommended
61. The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby, 292 pages, 4/25/16, recommended
62. The Revelation Code by Andy McDermott, 480 pages, 4/26/16, highly recommended
*63. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave, 432 pages, 4/29/16, very highly recommended
*64. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick, 336 pages, 4/30/16, very highly recommended

May – 19 books
65. The Doll-Master by Joyce Carol Oates, 304 pages, 5/1/16, highly recommended, short stories
*66. Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman, 368 pages, 5/4/16, very highly recommended
*67. Father's Day by Simon Van Booy, 304 pages, 5/5/16, very highly recommended
68. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, 336 pages, 5/7/16, highly recommended
69. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, 384 pages, 5/7/16, highly recommended
70. The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta, 304 pages, 5/7/16, highly recommended
*71. The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon, 320 pages, 5/8/16, very highly recommended,  short stories
72. Kathryn Kelly by Barbara Casey, 196 pages, 5/11/16, recommended
73. X Child Stars by Kathy Garver, Fred Ascher, 240 pages, 5/12/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
74. The Raft by Fred Strydom, 432 pages, 5/15/16, highly recommended
75. Relativity by Antonia Hayes, 368 pages, 5/15/16, highly recommended
*76. Are You Here For What I'm Here For? by Brian Booker, 256 pages, 5/15/16, very highly recommended; short stories
77. Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica, 320 pages, 5/17/16, highly recommended
78. In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni, 355 pages, 5/18/16, highly recommended
*79. Beyond the Ice Limit by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, 384 pages, 5/22/16, very highly recommended
80. A Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah, 464 pages, 5/23/16, recommended
*81. Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright, 352 pages, 5/24/15, very highly recommended
82. A World Between by Robert Herzog, 324 pages, 5/26/16, recommended
*83. Lost at Sea: The story of the USS Indianapolis by David Boyle, 128 pages, 5/26/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction

June – 24 books
84. The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin, 624 pages, 6/2/16, highly recommended
*85. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, 400 pages, 6/3/16, very highly recommended
*86. The Passage by Michael Hurley, 362 pages, 6/3/16, very highly recommended
87. Devour by Kurt Anderson, 400 pages, 6/4/16, highly recommended
88. The Fallout by Tamar Cohen, 352 pages, 6/5/16, highly recommended
89. Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes, 224 pages, 6/5/16, recommended, short stories
**90. The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, 544 pages, 6/6/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
91. I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around by Ann Garvin, 288 pages, 6/8/16, highly recommended
*92. Grunt by Mary Roach, 288 pages, 6/11/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
*93. Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger, 352 pages, 6/11/16, very highly recommended
94. Dead End Fix by T. E. Woods, 300 pages, 6/12/16, highly recommended
*95. Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman, 352 pages, 6/12/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
**96. The Girls by Emma Cline, 368 pages, 6/14/16, very highly recommended
97. I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, 224 pages, 6/15/16, recommended
98. Follow the River Home by Corran Harrington, 220 pages, 6/16/16, highly recommended
99. The Joy of Less by Francine Jay, 288 pages, 6/18/16, recommended, nonfiction
*100. The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver, 416 pages, 6/18/16, very highly recommended
101. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, 240 pages, 6/19/16, highly recommended
102. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, 384 pages, 6/21/16, highly recommended
103. Atlantis: And Other Lost Worlds by Frank Joseph, 384 pages, 6/24/16, recommended, nonfiction
104. Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner, 368 pages, 6/26/16, highly recommended
*105. We Are Not Such Things by Justine van der Leun, 544 pages, 6/28/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
*106. Grace by Randy Alcorn, 224 pages, 6/28/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
107. The Harrows of Spring by James Howard Kunstler, 384 pages, 6/29/16, highly recommended

July – 15 books
108. Millennium by Ben Bova, 295 pages, 7/2/16, highly recommended
109. Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard, 208 pages, 7/2/16, highly recommended
110. I Am No One by Patrick Flanery, 352 pages, 7/3/16, recommended
*111. The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan, 336 pages, 7/6/16, very highly recommended
112. Neon Green by Margaret Wappler, 246 pages, 7/7/16, highly recommended
**113. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, 304 pages, 7/9/16, very highly recommended
114. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon, 368 pages, 7/12/16, highly recommended
**115. All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker, 320 pages, 7/14/16, very highly recommended
116. Stranger, Father, Beloved by Taylor Larsen, 272 pages, 7/15/16, recommended
117. The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan, 310 pages, 7/17/16, highly recommended
118. The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi, 384 pages, 7/20/16, highly recommended
119. The Lost Girls by Heather Young, 352 pages, 7/26/16, highly recommended
120. The Unseen World by Liz Moore, 464 pages, 7/26/16, highly recommended
121. The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells, 320 pages, 7/27/16, recommended
122. Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss Jr., 368 pages, 7/31/16, so-so

August -16 books
123. The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland, 306 pages, 8/1/16, so-so
124. The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell, 320 pages, 8/1/16, highly recommended
**125. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, 352 pages, 8/2/16, very highly recommended
**126. Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst, 288 pages, 8/4/16, very highly recommended
127. The Girl Before by Rena Olsen, 320 pages, 8/9/16, highly recommended
**128. Patient H.M. by Luke Dittrich, 464 pages, 8/9/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
129. Navigating Life by Margaux Bergen, 256 pages, 8/13/16, recommended, nonfiction
130. How to Party With an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings, 240 pages, 8/13/16, highly recommended
131. Liberty Street by Dianne Warren, 384 pages, 8/14/16, recommended
**132. Cold, Cold Heart by Karin Slaughter, 40 pages, 8/16/16, very highly recommended, short story
133. Walking with Plato by Gary Hayden, 240 pages, 8/16/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
134. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, 320 pages, 8/19/16, recommended
**135. Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, 816 pages, 8/26/16, very highly recommended
136. End Point by Peter Breakspear, 212 pages, 8/28/16, so-so
137. Wolves by D. J. Molles, 528 pages, 8/28/16, highly recommended
138. We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly, 368 pages, 8/29/16, so-so

September – 22 books
139. The World in Flames by Jerald Walker, 208 pages, 9/1/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
140. Frontier Grit by Marianne Monson, 208 pages, 9/2/16, recommended, nonfiction
141. Mammoth by Douglas Perry, 266 pages, 9/5/16, so-so
142. The Risen by Ron Rash, 272 pages, 9/5/16, highly recommended
143. Star Struck by David Hart Bradstreet and Steve Rabey, 320 pages, 9/5/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
144. Substitute by Nicholson Baker, 736 pages, 9/6/16, so-so, nonfiction
145. The 37th Parallel by Ben Mezrich, 272 pages, 9/6/16, recommended, nonfiction
**146. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, 336 pages, 9/7/16, very highly recommended
147. After James by Michael Helm, 368 pages, 9/8/16, so-so
148. The Empress of Tempera by Alex Dolan, 282 pages, 9/8/16, highly recommended
149. In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett, 320 pages, 9/9/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
150. Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black, 544 pages, 9/15/16, recommended, YA
151. The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan, 464 pages, 9/19/16, highly recommended
*152. The Bone Tree by Greg Iles, 832 pages, 9/20/16, very highly recommended
*153. The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter, 480 pages, 9/21/16, very highly recommended
154. Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra, 288 pages, 9/21/16, highly recommended
155. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley, 352 pages, 9/22/16, highly recommended
156. The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop, 256 pages, 9/24/16, recommended
**157. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, 304 pages, 9/24/16, very highly recommended
*158. Hot Sauce Nation by Denver Nicks, 240 pages, 9/26/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
159. Shining Sea by Anne Korkeakivi, 288 pages, 9/27/16, highly recommended
160. Live To Tell by Bianca Sloane, 302 pages, 9/28/16, recommended

October – 19 books
161. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott, 352 pages, 10/1/16, highly recommended
162. The Heart of Henry Quantum by Pepper Harding, 288 pages, 10/1/16, so-so
163. Feedback by Mira Grant, 496 pages, 10/2/16, highly recommended
164. The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley, 385 pages, 10/4/16, recommended
165. Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch, 400 pages, 10/5/16, highly recommended
166. Napoleon's Last Island by Thomas Keneally, 432 pages, 10/5/16, recommended, nonfiction
*167. Venom Doc by Bryan Grieg Fry, 316 pages, 10/5/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
**168. Crosstalk by Connie Willis, 512 pages, 10/9/16, very highly recommended
169. A Desolate Splendor by John Jantunen, 312 pages, 10/10/16, so-so
**170. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, 320 pages, 10/10/16, very highly recommended
*171. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, 480 pages, 10/15/16, very highly recommended
**172. The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison, 300 pages, 10/15/16, very highly recommended
173. Beautiful Maids All in a Row by Jennifer Harlow, 325 pages, 10/17/16, highly recommended
**174. Truevine by Beth Macy, 432 pages, 10/18/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
175. Stars at Night by Paula D'Arcy, 192 pages, 10/21/16, so-so, nonfiction
176. This Was Not the Plan by Cristina Alger, 368 pages, 10/22/16, recommended
177. The Terranauts by T. C. Boyle, 528 pages, 10/29/16, highly recommended
178. The Best Is Yet to Come by Anne Bryan Smollin, 192 pages, 10/30/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
**179. This Way to the End Times edited by Robert Silverberg, 468 pages, 10/30/16, very highly recommended, short stories

November – 17 books
180. Cataclysm by Tim Washburn, 488 pages, 11/1/16, recommended
181. Unlikely Companions by Laurie Hess, 272 pages, 11/1/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
182. The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy, 256 pages, 11/2/16, recommended, nonfiction
183. Wasps in June by Brad Prentice, 182 pages, 11/6/16, so-so, short stories
**184. Faithful by Alice Hoffman, 272 pages, 11/6/16, very highly recommended
185. Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman, 320 pages, 11/9/16, highly recommended
186. In the Country of the Blind by Edward Hoagland, 204 pages, 11/11/16, so-so
**187. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman, 96 pages, 11/11/16, very highly recommended, novella/short story
188. Niagara Motel by Ashley Little, 296 pages, 11/15/16, highly recommended
*189. Bellevue by David Oshinsky, 400 pages, 11/15/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
**190. Redshirts by John Scalzi, 317 pages, 11/21/16, very highly recommended
191. Moonglow by Michael Chabon, 448 pages, 11/22/16, highly recommended
192. Slipping by Lauren Beukes, 288 pages, 11/23/16, highly recommended, short stories
193. Ice and Bone by Monte Francis, 390 pages, 11/26/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
**194. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker, 384 pages, 11/26/16, very highly recommended
195. The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg, 432 pages, 11/28/16, highly recommended
196. Lucifer's Banker by Bradley C. Birkenfeld, 344 pages, 11/30/16, recommended, nonfiction

December - 11 Books
197. Road to Paradise by Paullina Simons, 544 pages, 12/1/16, not recommended
198. Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari, Jeremy K. Brown, 400 pages, 12/4/16, so-so
199. Of All That Ends by Günter Grass, 176 pages, 12/6/16, highly recommended, nonfiction
200. Kill the Next One by Federico Axat, 416 pages, 12/7/16, highly recommended
*201. The Seventh Plague by James Rollins, 448 pages, 12/11/16, very highly recommended
*202. Searching for John Hughes by Jason Diamond, 304 pages, 12/15/16, very highly recommended, nonfiction
203. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai, 384 pages, 12/18/16, highly recommended
**204. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, 352 pages, 12/18/16, very highly recommended
205. Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner, 400 pages, 12/21/16, highly recommended
206.The 4th Man by Lisa Gardner, 76 pages, 12/25/16, highly recommended, short story
*207. Miniatures by John Scalzi, 144 pages, 12/25/16, very highly recommended, short stories

2 comments:

Literary Feline said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful reading year, Lori. I really enjoyed Redshirts as well. I listened to the audio version and ended up listening to it in a day. All Our Wrong Todays was my second to last read of the year and I enjoyed it as well.

Here's to another great year of reading! Happy New Year.

Lori L said...

Thanks, Wendy! Happy New Year to you as well, and a wish that we both have another great year of book reviews!