I have been debating what to write on the last post of 2016. It has been a really rotten year for SO MANY reasons. We've lost some amazing people. Here is a depressingly comprehensive list from NY Daily News (RIP Richard Adams, Alan Rickman, Alan Thicke, Harper Lee, Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, David Bowie, Prince, Anton Yelchin, George Michaels, and Gene Wilder. Each contributed a significant piece to my life, despite my only meeting Muhammad Ali. These people shaped my childhood and my world views through their books, movie portrayals, real world actions. My heart has been heavy many, many times this year!)
It has been a mess politically as well, from BLM controversies, to police shootings, rallys and riots, to Standing Rock, Terrorist bombings, and local attacks, to the election, and the continued acts of violence posted almost daily, I just can't even address all this sadness.
Not to mention personally, 2016 has been a really rough year for me and many near me.
As I reflect on all the bad of 2016, I got notifications of my Goodreads Reads of the year.
At first, I was saddened because I fell way short of my goal. (But, you know, even when I made the goal, I realized it wasn't very realistic, it was a pie in the sky, what I wish I could accomplish goal!) Then I reflected on why I set such an absurdly impossible goal, and I remembered that it was because the previous year I hadn't read nearly as many books as I wanted and I wanted to make reading a priority again. And to go from "not very many" in all of 2015 to over 2 books a month, was pretty darn good! Yay me! I am definitely setting the same high bar for 2017.
Why? Because despite all the sad events that have happened in 2016, I read 28 books, and loved more than half. That is awesome!
I was thinking of doing a top five books that I read in 2016, but really I struggled with even doing that because so many of them were SO DARN GOOD! I went for a top ten I would recommend, in no particular order, and here is what you get!
1. Man of Cloud 9 by Adam Dreece- I am still on the book high from this deliciously deep Hard-tech sci-fi drama.
2. The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi- I just got a paperback copy of this complex YA mystery for my boys for Christmas. It was that good!
3. The Song and the Pendant by Magnus Von Black- This one still comes to mind throughout the year and introduced me to a new genre that I thoroughly enjoyed, Space Opera.
4. The Jacq of Spades by Patricia Loofbourrow- Another introduction to a new reading genre, Steampunk! I am eager to read book 2 and have the review up for next year!
5. Blade of the Destroyer- Wow, an amazing Dark Fantasy world! I have added myself to Andy's email list and he sends monthly emails with fantastic shorts in this same world! He is releasing three books this year and I am eager for all of them!
6. Realms Unreeled by Audrey Auden- I never considered myself a "tech head" but I guess my husband has had more influence on me than I realized, considering the top ten list contains to sci-fis that are super tech heavy and I LOVED them both!
7. Discovery by Emma Jaye- Though there was a lot about this book that I normally wouldn't read (IE-sex) the story has really stuck with me. The author created an intense story that the sex didn't detract from. This opened my eyes to a whole other realm of writing that I can't ignore as just "word porn".
8. Miyran Heir- Good Old fashioned Science Fiction blended beautifully with a Fantasy element, I am still eager to read the next book in this series!
9. Dark One by Sydnie Beaupre- a fascinating YA book about Angels and being Chosen (or unchosen, as the case may be.) I am eager to read the next book.
10. Agh, Only one more! So. Hard... But it's gotta go to Winter Smith: London's Burning by J.S. Strange. Every time I sit down to work on my own apocalyptic book, his intense scenes pop into my mind!
I really wish I could make it a top 15... But then I am just getting silly ;)
Well, there you go. My haphasard, and hard-to-choose list. Which ones have you read? What was your top picks for 2016? Let us know in the comments below.