Top Books of 2016

Posted 31 December, 2016 by Rinn in Top Lists / 18 Comments

Top Books of 2016

It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time to share my top books of 2016! For Sci-Fi Month I always share my top science fiction novels of the year, so this list won’t include any unless they were read in November or December. Otherwise, this list includes anything read for the first time this year, published at any time. And because I’m not very picky with my ratings and really bad at deciding top tens, I actually have a top fifteen, and would have gladly made this a top twenty or twenty-five…


This Savage Song The Road to Little Dribbling Uprooted

  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by V.E. Schwab – I really don’t expect anything less than perfection when I read one of V.E. Schwab’s novels now. It might be an issue one day perhaps, but it hasn’t caused any problems so far. This Savage Song was so unique and mesmerising, dark and mysterious. And my review is so overdue…
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson – I love travel writing, and no-one more than Bill Bryson. I think I’ve now read all of his books but one, and this was just as fantastic as usual. He is one of those writers who can take something really mundane and make it hilarious, who can narrate pretty much any kind of situation.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik – This was one of the Dragons & Jetpacks Fantasy Books of the Month this year, and it is just gorgeous. It felt so real and layered, yet so fairytale-like. I don’t normally like to read in places like coffee shops, but I remember sitting in one just utterly entranced by this, ignoring everything else around me.

Goldenhand Invisible Library Voyager

  • Goldenhand (Abhorsen #5) by Garth Nix – The long-awaited sequel to Lirael, Goldenhand was absolutely worth the wait! I’ve loved this series ever since I first read it around the age of 12, and have re-read all the books several times. Clariel, the prequel released a few years ago, was good, but Goldenhand is something else. It drew me back into the world that Nix created, and made me feel like I was reading the series for the first time all over again.
  • The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve CogmanThe Invisible Library feels like Genevieve Cogman peered into my brain, saw all my favourite elements of fantasy and steampunk, and threw them into a book. Libraries, assassins, alternate worlds, intrigue, secret societies… this was another Dragons & Jetpacks Fantasy BOTM, and for some reason at first I wasn’t too bothered about reading it – but I’m so glad I did!
  • Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon – More Jamie and Claire Fraser, how could I not rate this one five stars? I don’t think any of them will ever live up to the first book (Cross Stitch/Outlander), but I just love this series so much. I’m torn between rushing through the rest of the books, and taking my time with them so that they last longer.

Paper Girls Nevernight You're Never Weird on the Internet

  • Paper Girls (Paper Girls #1) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson – A graphic novel set in the 1980s, about a group of 12-year-old paper girls who encounter something weird on Halloween night. This was a gift from one of my colleagues when I left my job in Oxford, and it was so good! I can’t wait to read the other installments. Also, I absolutely love the colours on the cover…
  • Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff – Nevernight was one of those books that I knew I was either going to love or hate, because one of Jay Kristoff’s books really doesn’t appeal to me, but I really enjoyed another. However, this really worked for me. It was dark and brutal and relentless.
  • You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – Back in 2006/2007, I discovered a little webseries called The Guild, a series about a bunch of socially awkward geeks who played an MMO together. It spoke to me like nothing else, and I loved that it was fronted by a woman (gasp!). From that moment on, I’ve followed Felicia Day’s journey, and it was so amazing to get to read about it – and really identify with so many of the things she went through.

Wild Traitor's Blade Queen of Shadows

  • Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed – I have to admit: I watched the film first. It was a fantastic film, and no wonder with such great source material. Strayed’s heartbreaking account of the reasons behind her journey, and her tenacity and determination are amazing.
  • Traitor’s Blade (Greatcoats #1) by Sebastien de Castell – Another Dragons & Jetpacks Fantasy Book of the Month that I should have read sooner, because once I picked it up I couldn’t stop. This was so, so good, and amazingly refreshing. I feel like there’s not a lot of fantasy written from the first person. I’ve now read book two in the series as well.
  • Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas – Words cannot express how much I love this series. Some people seem to have gone off it lately, but I just love how dark it has gotten. Who needs happy endings? πŸ˜‰

The Demon King Assassin's Apprentice Americanah

  • The Demon King (The Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima – This is a book I grabbed from the library because it was available, and I’ll be reviewing next month – but oh my gosh I am SO glad I picked it up. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest, and I am honestly quite tempted to just go out and buy the boxset…
  • Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb – My first ever Hobb, even though I own about seven of her books, and WHY DID IT TAKE ME SO LONG. This was another one I rushed through in about three days. I’m just really glad I have a whole selection waiting for me on my bookshelf.
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I read this as part of my Novel Experiment to branch out genre-wise, and only read books from my parent’s bookshelves. It was so different from what I’d been reading before, and I loved it – but maybe that’s why.

What were your top books of 2016? Have you read any of the books on my list?

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18 responses to “Top Books of 2016

  1. I liked The Invisible Library, but loved The Masked City – I’m really looking forward to The Burning Page, although I haven’t rushed to buy it until I get a few things knocked off my reading list!

    I’m one of the weirdos who didn’t enjoy Assassin’s Apprentice at all. I read the whole trilogy, getting more and more frustrated and bored, which was stupid in retrospect as it has put me off Robin Hobb completely (although I have the first Liveship book somewhere). I just didn’t connect with Fitz – far too much moaning and angsting πŸ˜‰

    However, Traitor’s Blade and Uprooted are high up my TBR!

    • I actually won a copy of The Burning Page from Tor on Twitter, but I still need to read/get hold of The Masked City. Glad to hear it’s even better than the first!

      Oh no! I think I also have the first Liveship book. I basically have the first books of several of her series, always buy them when I see them in charity shops, but still only just started reading them…

  2. Woohoo, This Savage Song is on my list, too!

    I reread the Seven Realms series, so I’m happy to see The Demon King on your list. And yeah, you should probably go buy that box set. The books are perfect for binging. πŸ˜‰

    High five for reading your first Hobb book! And the best are yet to come. I think the Tawny Man trilogy is my favorite overall, but Liveship Traders comes close, and Ship of Destiny is my favorite Hobb book.

    • The temptation is real…

      I think I have the first books of both of those series! Although I always get confused. And I have a few on Kindle as well.

  3. Lots of interesting books! Surprisingly, I didn’t really enjoy Americanah, although I’ve loved other books by Adichie. The Invisible Library sounds very interesting, going to check that one out.

  4. I love Bill Bryson but am ashamed that I am several books behind!! I got Paper Girls Volume 2 just before Christmas and it is just as epic as Volume 1, I love this series they are such wise ass kick ass kids!! Uprooted was amazing, it started of a one book and totally went the opposite way that I thought it would.

  5. I really loved This Savage Song, as well! I really am hoping that the sequel is just as good, and doesn’t make a romance happen between Kate and August because their friendship was EVERYTHING to me.

    I really want to read Uprooted and Nevernight, although I have heard some problematic things about both of them, so going in knowing that is something I’m grateful for.

    2016 was the year I really got into reading graphic novels (I’ve always preferred manga), and I have only heard great things about Paper Girls so I hope to get around to that soon!

    • I hope so too, but I can think of very few (or maybe no) YA novels where there is zero romance. And I would love that. Just a book about really good friendships would be EXCELLENT.

      Yeah I can imagine the issues with both, but I think they’re worth the gamble πŸ™‚ Uprooted is quite slow, and Nevernight might not be to everyone’s taste.

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