Happy holidays, everyone! Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today Lila, Maggie, and I are using this as an opportunity to reflect on our top 10 books of 2016. We commented on each other’s selections, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on our top 10 picks as well as what books you would have chosen!
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
M: This book was so powerful on so many levels! I read it for a book club and don’t think I’d have picked it up if it hadn’t been a monthly pick – I’m SO glad I decided to read it. Malala is such an intriguing and strong woman! I very highly recommend this memoir of triumph!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
C: One of my all-time favorite novels. It also helps that the film and TV adaptations are so good!
L: Obviously Pride and Prejudice is incredible and is a classic for a reason–I mean, the advanced feminist commentary written so that it was accessible to the masses alone makes the book a classic, but add in all of the other factors and it’s just one of the best, most well written novels in history, in my opinion. Despite the fact that, personally, Pride And Prejudice isn’t my favorite Austen novel, I think it’s the best one to get into Austen with and I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed it, Maggie!
M: I’ve never watched a TV or movie adaptation! This was my first foray into Austen’s work and I can’t believe I put off reading her for so long! Better late than never I figure! I recently learned that Austen only wrote six *I think* novels, which is incredible! What other Austen tales have y’all read? I also read Northanger Abbey this year and while I did like it, I found it mediocre compared to Pride and Prejudice.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
M: 2016 was the year of the retelling for me! Before Paige’s series opener, I can’t recall ever reading a retelling. I love how Paige has shaped Dorothy into a spoiled, entitled brat, who has basically destroyed the magical land of Oz. The twisting of characters’ personalities and classic stories themselves is so much fun – I’m sort of obsessed with retellings now!
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
L: I read this too, but, despite the fact that I think Chokshi is a really promising author and I want to see how her work develops, I couldn’t add this to my top 10. I felt like the prose overpowered the story so much that the plot got lost in it. And the fact that I think that is saying a lot, because I’m a fan of more flowery writing. Sometimes Chokshi would just go on and on with descriptions of things that weren’t relevant to the story and it a) made me forget what the actual point of a scene was and b) made me feel like 3 minutes of my time had been wasted–even if it was wasted on something pretty. However, as I said, I do feel that Chokshi is a promising rising talent, I think she just needs to work on thinning her writing.
M: I do agree with you, Lila, in that Chokshi’s storytelling will hopefully evolve, although her writing is just SO pretty! I’m looking forward to A Crown of Wishes, the sequel out in 2017; it’ll be interesting to see if her writing is more polished. I was mesmerized by the plot of this book and of all the places Chokshi can take it – another reason to be excited for the second book!
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
C: The Infernal Devices is by far my favorite series by Cassandra Clare, and just in general one of my favorite series. Have you read the other books in the trilogy?
M: So far I’ve only read this one, but I got Clockwork Prince the other day! I adore Tessa and Will Herondale = SWOON!
C: I could not agree more with your mathematical deduction.
M: I’m so glad you agree, Claire! I usually suck at math! 😀
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
M: The Grisha trilogy held my attention all year – I read the series in its entirety in 2016 and loved every minute of it. Bardugo’s storytelling skills are spot on; while reading the Grisha books, I would think about them even when not actively reading, practically counting down to rejoining the adventures of Alina and company. What do y’all think of Mal? He got on my nerves – I tried so hard to like him! Heart Nikolai!
C: Mal was easily my least favorite part of the trilogy, but that’s largely due to my dislike of the “best friend realizes what was in front of him once girl expresses interest in someone else trope”. I absolutely adore this trilogy though!
Insanity by Cameron Jace
M: Insanity was the sleeper hit of the year for me. I went into reading it with zero clue as to what it’s about and was very pleasantly surprised with the plot and characters. A retelling of Alice in Wonderland, there are at least eight books thus far in the Insanity series, which is slightly insane and daunting!
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
M: This is a book I most likely never would have bought for myself. It was a gift I received during a blog swap last Christmas and it came highly recommended. I decided to dive right in and LOVED every word of Meet Your Baker! It could best be described as a cozy mystery – a new favorite genre. Alexander has written a few more books in the Bakeshop Mystery series, with the latest, Fudge and Jury, coming out in January.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
C: This has been on my TBR for years, maybe 2017 will finally be the one I read it!
M: OMG! You certainly won’t regret reading Rebecca! I couldn’t put it down! Alfred Hitchcock even made a movie version – I’ve got to see it! I got du Maurier’s book, My Cousin Rachel, not long ago and I’m excited to read it!
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
M: Cinder was definitely a book unlike anything I’d read previously, with its elements of a retelling mixed with science fiction.
A Court of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas
C: This book met and then exceeded all my expectations for ACOTAR’s sequel. I think it will remain one of my favorite books for a looooong time.
M: I STILL haven’t started A Court of Thorns and Roses, but it is on my Kindle! After seeing all of the awesome buzz about Maas’ work, I’m really looking forward to starting this series!
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Replica by Lauren Oliver
M: I LOVE the way this book looks! LOL! I’m SO bad to judge books by their covers, but I’m so glad you loved Replica, Lila!
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
C: I was so close to putting this on my list! It’s such a gripping novel–both in terms of the visual aesthetic of each page and the emotional content of the book.
M: Oh, yes! This book’s format is amazing and the story is so good. I can’t wait to get my paws on Gemina!
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
C: Many thanks for introducing me to this series! As you can see from my list, it made quite the impression.
M: I’m so excited for Saga! I saw a gorgeous boxed set on Amazon, BTW!
A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
M: So glad you loved Nimona! I bought it on a whim and really need to move it up my TBR list!
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Ruined by Amy Tintera
A Shadow Bright And Burning by Jessica Cluess
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
M: I’m not familiar with this one, so I just looked it up on Goodreads and it sounds awesome! The blurb on GR compares it to a Michael Crichton novel and puts it in the same category as The Martian. Needless to say, I’m very intrigued!
C: I absolutely loved this book. If you have the option, I definitely suggest listening to the audiobook!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
M: I’m so excited to dive into this!
C: Let Lila and I know when you do! Maybe we can do a joint review. 🙂
M: That sounds awesome! Since y’all have raved about it so much, I think I’ll read it next! 😀
The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
God’s War by Kameron Hurley