Time to get back into blogging! I’ve been ‘on my own’ for almost a year now and my first wedding anniversary is not that far away! (Time really does fly!) I’m working and developing my career in ways I never thought I could at this point in my life. I started my own book club and trying to branch out a bit more to the people around me (and living in the middle of nowhere makes that a bit of a challenge.)
But on to the title of this post, the best and worst books I read in 2016 (and few ‘what the crap!?!’ moments). I read 84 books last year and there were a lot to choose from, but there were some that I just couldn’t leave out. Now these are MY OPINIONS of these books and no one else’s. Not everyone’s tastes are all the same.
BEST OF 2016
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I LOVED THIS BOOK. The most perfect and innocent romance I have ever read. And they don’t even know who each other are for most of the book!
Summary: A circus that magically appears one night and only opens in the evening. No one knows when or where is appears and disappears. If features so many wonderful tents of tremendous acts. But the circus really isn’t just a special night circus, it is the stage for a magic battle that will only end in death. Yet what happens if the two participants fall in love? An absolute must read (and it’s not just a sappy romance story).
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
WOAH. Just WOAH. This book totally blew my mind. It had my on the edge of my seat the whole time!
Summary: In the future (2044 to be exact), everyone will be absorbed in a virtual reality game called the Oasis. People can go to school, go to work, visit different created planets all from the comfort of their own home. The creator of the Oasis has died and he left a huge Easter egg in his game. Whoever finds the egg inherits all of the creator’s wealth. Wade has dedicated his life to finding the Egg and studying the pop culture of the 80’s that the creator was obsessed with. When he stumbles upon the first key to the first of 3 gates, the whole world begins searching. The only way for Wade to protect the Oasis is to team up with friends to find the Egg and keep it from people who want to destroy the Oasis everyone has come to love.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
My. Heart. I am such an Alice in Wonderland fan. I love the colorful world, how unique Alice is, and the overall madness of it all.
Summary: Before Alice. . . the Red Queen was not always so terrible. Heartless is her story. The story of a Catherine, who wants to be the most famous baker in Hearts but forced by her parents to attempt to be the next Queen of Hearts. When Cath meets Jest, the strange and mysterious court jester, everything changes.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Last year I read The Goldfinch and is was very, very long. I got stuck on page 525 for months. But 3 pages later, the story picked up again and I really like it. While I was searching for a job, I decided to give another one of her books a try, and I was hooked. The beginning was a bit slow, but the whole story was just nail biting.
Summary: Someone dies, you know that from the beginning. But the events that lead up to the act are bizarre. Richard arrives at college in New England without a major. One group of students really catches his attention and it leads him to take on Classics as a major. The class is very unconventional, one professor, tea time, and lounging around. I would love to have a major like that! Richard’s classmates are very wealthy and they are very close. But when a death appears in the paper on the night of some suspicious activities, one of the group’s members panics and life is not the same after that.
Dragons of Spring Dawning by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
The third book of the Dragonlance core novels. I laughed, I cried, and I was definitely not the same afterwards. I literally could not function mentally for a while.
Summary: Our favorite characters are on a mission to defeat the Queen of Darkness. Pasts are revealed, friendships are challenged, and new characters are introduced. The dragonlances have been forged and the dragons have arrived. Elves and humans must band together to fight back the dark that threatens to change their world.
WHAT THE CRAP OF 2016
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Oh dear. Stephanie, a cheap lingerie buyer becomes unemployed and tries her hand at bounty hunting. I mean, what the world? It seemed that at every turn she had some crazy situation she had to get herself out of. Stephanie’s first task is to bring in Morelli, who also happens to be the guy who hooked up with her and wrote about it on a bathroom stall. She ‘borrows’ his car and constantly follows him around, trying to bring him in. I don’t want to give too much away, it might ruin the laugh moments.
American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis
This book is a little unusual. It is anything from email exchanges, book club, and bra fittings. I was completely shocked. You think it is just something super silly about being a housewife (Leave it to Beaver or at least Keeping Up Appearances type), but NOOOOO. Nothing could be further from that.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
When Amy goes missing, all evidence points to her husband Nick. But some things are not as they appear. This book has the biggest twist I’ve ever experienced. It left me speechless and brainwashed. And it’s unique to read a book that has no likable characters.
The One Hundred Year Old Man that Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
This title is so long. . . When Allan turns 100, he decides he wants to leave the nursing home and climbs out his window. The book goes back and forth between Allan’s diverse history and his current adventures of being chased by criminals with new friends and an elephant. Every twist and turn had me giggling in my seat.
WORST OF 2016
Happy People Ready and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand
This book had so much potential!!! I had tears pouring down may face! But it was so disappointing. The title comes from the name of Diane’s book store cafe that she hasn’t stepped in since her husband and child died. She wastes her life away and finally has the resolve to travel to Ireland. She meets a man and they immediately dislike each other. And suddenly, they like each other and fall in love. But Diane has another life she needs to get back to in Paris. Does she stay with Edward or does she return to life in Paris? The title is so deceiving, she only spends a few days in the cafe in the whole book. And a relationship that does from hate to love in 2.5 seconds. This book is originally in French, so there may have been something lost in translation. And there is a sequel coming out. I might read it, just to see the end of the story.
The After Party by Anton DiSclafani
Two best friends. Both named Joan. One is the wealthy starlet and the other is her keeper. Wealthy, beautiful Joan has always had the spotlight compared to Joan Cecily (Cece). Joan has secrets that even Cece doesn’t know, proving that wealth and popularity aren’t everything. To me, I was so annoyed with Cece, she was totally obsessed with Joan to the point that it hurts her marriage relationship. If I had a friend that obsessive, it would be a little weird.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
A bunch of spoiled brats planning their whole lives around ‘the nest,’ their father’s fund that they only inherit when the youngest sibling turns 40. But most of that fund gets depleted when Leo gets involved in a scandal. All the siblings push to have Leo repay that amount back into the nest. Meh. Brats. Forty-Fifty year old brats that put the cart before the horse.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I really really wanted to love this book. The series has been very popular. I guess because the new book came out this year. To me, this was about 200 pages too long. And poor Jamie had just affliction after affliction placed on him and I’m thinking ‘how in the world is this guy even alive??’
I know this was really long, but I read a lot of amazing books this year that I wanted to share.