Friday, December 16, 2016

Top Reads of 2016!!

2016 is almost over, and it's time to reflect on my beloved "Read" list on Goodreads. I finished some fabulous books this year, and a couple real stinkers. There's no time like the present to present (hehe) my favorite reads of the year!

I somehow managed to read ten 5 star books...a few weren't new releases, and one isn't even out until next year...but since I completed them in 2016 I figured they count. My rules! 😁

So without further ado, my favorite books in no particular order...

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
This one isn't out until the end of January 2017, but it really blew me away. It's not your typical chick lit book, and it just kept taking twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. This book is, at it's core, about friendship. It is edgy, and has a great cast of diverse characters. It sucks you in and holds you close all the way through, and is one I will be talking about for a while. This book is a must for my more artistic and urban readers, and anyone yearning for a few good lesbians in their fiction. You can find my full review over here. 

The Mistletoe Murder by P.D. James
I absolutely adored this little book of short stories by prolific mystery writer P.D. James. She passed away in 2014, and until reading this selection I just didn't know what I was missing. Her short stories reminded me of what a good mystery writer was, and what was missing in a lot of the suspense books I had been reading recently. This book is for fans of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. You can find my full review for this one over here. 

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
This book blew me away, in a very disturbing sort of way. When going off the description, you'd never think this would be a book you'd enjoy. Nor that there would be times you would almost think the relationship in this book makes sense. So it's a testament to Bryn Greenwood's writing skills that I was pulled so deeply into the story of Wavy and Kellen. Yes, it is controversial, but it's not salacious or exploitative. You can find my full review over here. 

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
My reasons for feeling so passionately about this book are very personal, and it was incredibly hard to write a review without putting too much of myself out there for public consumption. The thoughts and feelings that Glennon put into this memoir resonated so powerfully in me that I wanted to shout from the rooftops that everyone should read it. Now I realize not everyone has been through the same things that I have, so they probably won't have the very visceral reaction I did...but for those women who have possibly had an addiction issue, weight problems, infidelity issues, or a struggle with faith, please pick this book up. You might read something in here that speaks to you also. You can find my full review here. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
I think that most people either loved or hated this screenplay, there were no in-betweens. But I absolutely LOVED it. I enjoyed getting the chance to return to characters I loved and see what they were up to, whether I agreed with it or not. Could I have quibbled over some parts of the story? Absolutely, but I chose to just enjoy being back in the magical world of Harry Potter once more. Plus I got the opportunity to hang out with Scorpius Malfoy, who was an AMAZING new character. You can find my full review over here.

Find Your Brave by Holly Wagner
This book is for the girlfriend, sister, coworker, neighbor or family friend who is going through a tough time. It is a very Christian book, but it is filled with practical advice for how to make it through hardships with your faith and sanity intact. My copy is filled with highlighted passages, and I think it's a book I will go to again and again for reminders on how to take the bad times that go along with the good. It's a small little book, but I really loved it. You can find my full review over here.

The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness by Maddie Dawson
Okay, I may be a little starstruck when it comes to Maddie Dawson because I believe she's actually read a couple of my book reviews and tweets, but I LOVE this book. I fell in love with the cover, the main character Nina Popkin, and the author's sassy writing style. This would make a terrific book club selection. And did I mention the cover?!? You can find my full glowing love fest of a review over here.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
I probably recommend the Cormoran Strike book series more often than any other series during my day job at the library. I made the rest of the staff read it, and now they recommend it to everyone also. These books are amazing detective mysteries, and unlike most in that genre, you really don't know who did it until the book tells you. They are so cleverly written, they are unputdownable. I am over the moon that they are making a television series, although I have serious doubts as to whether they could be nearly as good as these books. These are books that will be equally enjoyed by men and chick lit here (see sis, I do read different kinds of books!!) Career of Evil is the third book in the Cormoran Strike Series.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle books are one of the rare Young Adult books you'll find on the blog. It's not that I don't like them, I just don't read them very often. The book blogosphere is full of some fabulous YA blogs, so I'll leave most of the reviews to them. But this series is amazing. My daughter asked me (well really she ordered me) to read them and I obeyed. There are some mystical elements, friendship galore, a little romantic entanglement, and some straight up gothic creepiness. I would say this is a little edgier teen series. It is by no means sexually explicit, and the romance is very subtle...but I think it lends itself to older teens. I know I'm probably making zero if you head over here you can read the Goodreads description of the first book in the series, and take it from there. But know that they are very well written and enjoyable for more than just teens because I devoured them.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
This book is so messed up, I have no idea how they are making it into a movie. People rave over Gone Girl, but in my opinion this small first novel by Gillian Flynn blows that one out of the water. I was yelling at my copy when reading it. I came into work the next day just shaking my head, and basically asked everyone who walked in the building if they'd read it yet so I could hash out the finer details with someone. It's when you're looking at another person and just going "The TEETH!!" that you know it's a 5 star book. If you haven't read this one yet, you really need to pick it up asap. It is incredibly dark and disturbing, but oh so good. You can read my full review over here.

So there ya go! Those are my top 10 books for 2016. Who knows, I may knock out another couple 5 star books before the end of the year but I feel pretty happy with this list. I think it's a good one. I thank all of you for sharing some of your precious free time with me over here on Tomes and Tequila. I am so grateful for each and every person who stops by and reads one of my reviews...or takes a gander at one of my shopping lists (you can see my first one here and my newest one here). I am having so much fun, and I hope it comes across in my writing.

I hope everyone has an incredible upcoming holiday. My youngest is coming into town, so if I don't get as many reviews up, I have a good excuse!! I'd love to hear some of your favorite books of the year. Do we have any of the same books on our lists? Please let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page.

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