Monday, January 2, 2017

Top 16 in '16: The Year in Review

Happy Monday and happy 2017! I hope the New Year finds you recovering from 2016 (whatever that means for you) and looking forward to a new year. As I prepare to begin a new year with a fresh start, I’ve enjoyed looking back over my literary 2016, and I thought I’d do a little wrap up post. I probably should have done this last week, but I’ll just consider this part of my fresh start to 2017. :D Please note that the lists here are in no particular order, aside from whatever order Goodreads sorted them into. LOL!

Without further ado, here are my Top 16s from ’16.

2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge
One of my big accomplishments in terms of books was that I successfully completed my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge. My 2016 Reading Challenge was to read 100 books, and I finished 2016 with 101. This despite having a rather hectic, depressing, and difficult year as far as personal and family life goes. I kind of lollygagged for a while and wasn’t sure if I could make it to 100 by the end, but I buckled down and I made it.
It helped a lot to discover BookBub, which gave me access to a lot of free Kindle ebooks on Amazon, in addition to being the doorway to discovering some new favorite books and authors. Kindle First also helped with this. If you have Amazon Prime, make sure you’re looking at Kindle First each month. And if you like to read (which I assume you do, if you’re reading this), sign up for Book Bub so you can get sales (including alerts for free books) delivered to your email inbox on a daily (or near daily) basis. For 2017, my Goodreads Reading Challenge is 125 books. Can't wait to get started!

Top 16 favorite newly discovered authors in ‘16
This year brought me some new (to me, anyways) authors I was delighted and wish I had discovered sooner. However, the joy of discovering an author after they’ve published several books is that you can go on a blitz instead of only having one at a time to read. :P
  1. Jessica Rhodes
  2. Lauren Willig (Technically, I discovered her at the end of 2015, but it was close enough that I am still making my way through her books, so I’m counting her.)
  3. Sophie Perinot
  4. Diane Haeger
  5. Luvvie Ajayi (she’s not technically new to me, because I’ve been following her on Facebook and her blog – Awesomely Luvvie – for a while, but she put out a book {and promptly becames a New York Times Bestseller!} so I’m counting her.)
  6. Barbara Bretton
  7. Whitney Dineen
  8. Kerry Lonsdale
  9. Natasha Boyd
  10. Anita Diamant
  11. Bunmi Laditan (again, I’ve been following her on FB and twitter for a while, but this was my discovery of her as a publshed author, and now I want her to write ALLLLLL the books.)
  12. Miles O’Neal (he’s my dad and I’ve read his stories before, but 2016 was when I read his first published novel, and I can’t WAIT to read his next books in 2017.)
  13. Stephanie Dray
  14. Laura Kamoie
  15. Karen White
  16. Beatriz Williams

Top 16 Favorite books in ‘16
This year obviously brought me some new favorite books (I think it would be impossible to read 101 books in a year and NOT find some new loves), and I’m going to bring some of those to you in list form. This actually sprang out of a friend asking on Facebook what everyone’s favorite book from 2016 was, and I could only narrow it down to a top 16, and even that was difficult, and that only worked if I kept it to 16 new reads, and limited it to 1 per author. LOL!!! However, for the purposes of this blog post, I’ll also list the other books I read from that author that I really liked. :P

  1. Afakasi Woman by Lani Wendt Young
  2. The Ashford Affair (and , The Other Daughter, and That Summer) by Lauren Willig
  3. She Sins at Midnight (and The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan and Mimi Plus Two) by Whitney Dineen
  4. Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran
  5. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  6. Eversea (and Forever, Jack; My Star, My Love; All That Jazz) by Natasha Boyd
  7. Year of the Dragon Lord by Miles O’Neal
  8. Toddlers Are Assholes by Bunmi Laditan
  9. I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
  10. Courtesan (and The Secret Bride; The Queen’s Rival; The Queen’s Mistake; The Perfect Royal Mistress) by Diane Haeger
  11. Fall of Poppies (an anthology of short stories) by Jessica Brockmole, Hazel Gaynor, Evangeline Holland, Kate Kerrigan, Jennifer Robson, Marci Jefferson, Heather Webb, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig)
  12. America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
  13. Medici’s Daughter (and The Sister Queens) by Sophie Perinot
  14. Told You So (and Told You Twice) by Kristen Heitzmann
  15. Lady Cannibal by Jessica Rhodes
  16. Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Least Favorite Books in ‘16
I don’t know that I’ll get a “16 in ‘16” for this because there weren’t that many that were “OMG that was TERRIBLE, and I *think* there was only 1 I refused to even mark as read in Goodreads, but there were a few that made me go “OMGGGGGG I’m so glad that’s over.” My criteria for this list were that I had to have rated it 2 stars or less on Goodreads. Thankfully, these were all either free e-books or from the library. Some of these I would be REALLY annoyed to have paid for.

  1. Above the Bridge by Deborah Garner
  2. Her Best Match by Tamie Dearen
  3. Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray
  4. Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson
  5. Highland Soldiers 1: The Enemy by J.L. Jarvis
  6. Winter Men by Jesper Bugge Kold
  7. The Preacher’s Daughter by Beverly Lewis
  8. Submitting to the Marquess by Em Brown

That’s about it for this post. What were your favorite books and who were your favorite authors in 2016, new or otherwise? Did you have a reading challenge? What are you looking forwards to in 2017? 

Happy New Year!