Hello my darling bookish friends,
This year has been such an eye-opened for me in terms of books. I’d never before sought out new releases, being content to catch up on classics and other previously fully vetted books. But, through a confluence of becoming more involved on Goodreads, starting this blog, figuring out that ARCs exist and that I too, can get them, I fell into the wonderful amazing world of anticipating Tuesdays (because that’s when all new books come out? Who knew Tuesdays could become my new favorite day of the week?!)
So this week’s Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by The Broke and Bookish since 2010, is perfectly themed for me; the prompt: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year. Now, I’ve already bought/received ARCs for far more books this year than I’ve actually read, so I’m dividing up this list in half:
- Top Books of (first half of) 2016 I’ve actually read
- Top Books of (first half of) 2016 I’ve bought/have and look forward to reading soon
Also, I can’t really stick to the number 10 – as snotty as I used to be about new releases (I was one of those awful people who mostly turned up their nose at “all that new stuff”) – I found, after giving them a chance, that I simply LOVE LOVE LOVE “all that new stuff” so much – so my favorites list for 2016 is overflowing. Here are my top top favorites, but I actually have many others 🙂
I am limiting my 2016 favorites to the first half of the year (end date: May 31, 2016); the list is in order of publication.
Clicking on the image will take you to GoodReads!
Clicking on the title of the book will take you to my review on this blog (if applicable)
Top Books of (first half of) 2016 I’ve Actually Read
Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
Published January 5, 2016
Genres: Literary, Magical Realism, Gothic
I loved this book SO MUCH for opening up my world to part of the US I don’t ever get to experience in my cushy East-Coast perch. And, it’s so beautifully written.
I only read this book this past weekend although it came out in January – as part of my first read-along ever, #GayYAReadalong. It’s one mindblowing, eye-opening book even for someone my age that I will be reviewing shortly!
Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson
Published January 26, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary
The first book I ever pre-ordered, this is the perfect dance book – a beautifully-written historical coming-of-age in NYC, involving a former ballerina. Oh, and there’s mystery too, and two timelines. LOVE!
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Published January 26, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
I simply loved the message of this book, and its execution for the most part – it’s an inventive, beautifully written story about the eternal human struggle to conquer nature through technology and all the moral implications of that.
Wow, well so I just noticed the ratings on this one are not good on GR at all at the moment; I guess it’s a very niche book- a clever, epic, quirkly different multi-faceted sci-fi exploration of time. But maybe a bit tedious if this isn’t your thing, based on other reviews.
Another brilliant sci-fi/fantasy, this one an inversion of Lovecraft’s often racist and sexist work, a visceral description of experienced racism, and a powerful allegory of institutional racism in the US, set in first half of the 20th century US.
This is an eye-opening book about the effects of housing policy on poverty in the US, told through the stories of two communities, a mostly black inner-city neighborhood and a mostly white trailer park.
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Published March 8, 2016
Genres: Literary, Short-Stories
I’m not going to lie, this book went over my head a bit, but still is by far one of the most poetic books I’ve read this year. I also don’t read many short stories (the theme that ties these together is keys of all kinds, physical and metaphorical), so I was lucky to begin with such a beautiful collection.
The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson
Published March 22, 2016
Genres: Literary, Noir, Western, Mystery
I LOVED this book to pieces, mostly because of its atmospheric rendering of a part of the US I’m fascinated by but where I’ve never been (the Utah desert). To someone from DC that’s as far “out there” as you can get in the US, and I was simply swept away into the world Anderson so masterfully creates.
Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich
Published May 16, 2016
Genres: Non-Fiction, Oral History, Eastern Europe, USSR-History
This is my soul-book for the year that I rated as “unlimited stars.” It’s brilliant because Alexievich is brilliant, but it’s also very close to my heart, telling as it does the history of the breakup of the Soviet Union. Ok, so I’m from Romania which was never part of the USSR, but this oral history is as close as I’ve ever gotten to a history of my past.
Honorable Mentions of 2016 that I’ve Read & Liked a Lot
Clicking on the title of the book will take you to my review on this blog
Top Books of (first half of) 2016 I Still Have to Read!!!
There’s actually a lot more books on this list, but these are the TOP books I still have to read 🙂 Clicking on the image will take you to GoodReads!