My 10 Favorite Books of 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I read 101 books this year. Yes, really. Damn. If you want to see all of them, check out my monthly "What I Read In..." posts... or just tune in to this one for the best-of.

I've broken down this list into two parts: the three best books I read this year, a number chosen simply because there are three that stand out, in my mind, above all the rest. Next is a list of honorable mentions, books that I enjoyed, liked, & even loved, though they didn't quite match up to the caliber of the first three. And here they are!

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This is the most recently read book on my list of favorites, so I remember it well, but truly, it's one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read. Its main characters are Natasha, an undocumented immigrant being deported back to Jamaica, & Daniel, a Korean-American under parental pressure to become a doctor. It follows them through the course of one life-altering day, then revisits their story a decade later.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

When beloved eldest daughter Lydia is found drowned in a nearby pond, her Chinese American family struggles to come to terms with her death & to figure out whether it was murder, suicide, or an accident. This character-driven novel goes deep into family dynamics, the unique challenges of being a minority in America in the 1970s, & the ways we all struggle to understand those we love most. Truly, this book is a work of art.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

By now, everyone knows of this incredibly told love story of Ifemelu & Obinze, who, by the end of this book, felt like close friends who I'd known all my life. This is an incredible novel about blackness (African, American, & otherwise), about life as an immigrant, about the challenges of poverty & wealth - & about the struggles unique to each of those elements that are, somehow, still universal, relatable, & human. It is one of the best books you will ever read.

Honorable Mentions: I read plenty of books this year - far more than I'm naming here - that I really enjoyed reading & that have stuck with me beyond their end, despite not making it to the tip-top of my favorites list. Here's a roundup of the best of the bunch.

  1. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (adult fiction)
  2. Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West (memoir)
  3. Siracusa by Delia Ephron (adult fiction)
  4. Local Girls by Caroline Zancan (YA fiction)
  5. The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt (YA fiction)
  6. Violent Ends edited by Shaun David Hutchinson (YA fiction)
  7. Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming (memoir)
What were your favorite books of the year? What's on your to-read list in 2017? I'm starting with Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty, which has a bit of a slow start, but I can feel it getting good. Let's connect on Goodreads!

PS: My book posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but please also don't judge me too harshly for including them!

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