Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! This week's topic: the ten best books of 2016! I don't read a bunch of new releases, but I read enough this year that I was able to pull together a list of my ten favorites. Many of these aren't up yet and won't be for quite a while yet, but they are all books I've read this calendar year that were published this calendar year!


The Last One: This story of a woman who doesn't know that there's been a massive pandemic while she's struggling to make it on a big-budget wilderness survival show is well-written and totally unputdownable. One of those books where you promise yourself just a few more pages before bed and then it's 3 in the morning.

Enchanted Islands: I loved the lifelong female friendship that formed the emotional core of this novel, and that it focused mostly on a woman's life after 40 and the adventure she had then. It's not a compulsive page-turner, but it's subtle and wonderful.

The Serpent King: I don't tend to read extensively in the YA space, but this novel about three outcasts going through their senior year in small-town Tennessee sucked me in and broke my heart.

The Guineveres: I'm still working on this debut novel, about four young women named Guinevere all being raised in a Catholic convent for different reasons, but I can already tell that it's magnificent. Such fantastic writing and well-developed characters.

And After Many Days: The deterioration of a Nigerian family when their oldest son disappears is paralled with the destruction that Western corporations wreak in Africa in this well realized,

Mr. Splitfoot: I didn't actually rate this book that highly when I first read it very early this year, but it's stuck with me in ways I didn't anticipate. It's weird but beautifully written and haunting.

The Big Rewind: I've plugged this book a million times this year, but I loved it so I'll plug it again! A female-centered High Fidelity-esque novel (with a little mystery story nestled in there too) for the millennial set, it's a really fun, charming read.

Private Citizens: This dark, biting satire of the Silicon Valley tech boom scene features brilliant young people totally ruining their lives in a way that's half hilarious, half horrifying.

The Queen of the Night: This book, about the life of a European opera singer, is totally insane and totally awesome and I've been recommending it to everyone lately.

The Girls: Less of a novel about the Manson cult as it's often billed and more of one about the painful experience of being a 14 year-old girl, it's full of passages that resonate with anyone who's ever lived through that particular hell.

16 comments

  1. I love this list, because there are quite a few that are new to me. The Last One sounds absolutely amazing, and I need to read it. I'm also intrigued by The Guineveres, which is something I wouldn't have picked up otherwise, and Private Citizens. Thanks! :D

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    1. Yay! Finding new books is my favorite part of these kind of year-end lists :) The Last One was fantastic and totally sucked me in. And it's apparently trending to dub every female-centered debut novel "the next Virgin Suicides", which is a book I absolutely love, and this one is definitely the one I've read that seems worthy of that moniker to me!

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  2. Wow, many of the books you've listed sound really good. Happy reading to you in 2017!!

    Here's my TTT post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2016/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-best-books-of.html

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  3. Mr. Splitfoot has been on a few lists this week! Think I need to be getting that one on my TBR. I just picked up The Serpent King so hoping I enjoy it as much as you!

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    1. I hope so too! I really connected with it. And Mr. Splitfoot was one that I thought was uneven when I first read it, but it's been about a year and it's stuck with me in a way that other books haven't

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  4. Monika at Lovely Bookshelf raved about Private Citizens, so it's been on my TBR since I read her review. I just need to get to it!

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    1. It was a pretty quick read...it's fast-paced and sucks you in! I really enjoyed it :)

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  5. Haven't read any of these yet but I'll be checking them out. Especially The Serpent King is at the top of my list, I've heard so many great things! Glad you enjoyed it as well :)

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    1. It was really wonderful. I loved it now and I would have loved it even more as a teenager!

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  6. Yes to The Girls! It was an honorary mention for me but it's definitely one of the better ones this year.

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    1. The writing was just so lovely and it so perfectly captured that awkward neediness of being that age

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  7. Enchanted Islands was not one I'd heard of and I'm very intrigued! I'm always weirdly excited to run across books about middle-aged women and that focus on strong female friendship. The Queen of the Night is already high on my TBR - it sounds fantastic. I just saw The Last One on another list and the premise sounds really interesting!

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    1. The Queen of the Night I actually bought in paperback even though I already had the ARC on my Kindle...I do that only really rarely with books I have electronic copies of. I would happily read it all over again right now and I only read it a little while back. Enchanted Islands was one that quietly wormed its way into my heart...it's not "showy", it's just matter-of-factly quite good. Middle aged women are rarely presented to us as heroes of their own adventures, so it's always great to see writing that does that. And The Last One is fast-paced and totally absorbing and fun!

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  8. I really liked The Guineveres, too. It was such a unique and beautifully written story. For some reason I just wasn't very enamored by The Girls, but understand the reasons why you and lots of others were. Sounds like I need to add The Last one to my TBR stack. Thanks!

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    1. The Guineveres is one that I can see myself re-reading again and again in years to come...I love it when you find those books that even as you read them for the first time you know you're going to love the second time through! I could totally see how The Girls would be divisive...the marketing around it definitely made it seem very different than it was, and it tended towards the overwritten. The Last One was awesome, it's one of those books that I feel like I can genuinely recommend to just about everyone, no matter what their taste tends towards.

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