My Top Ten Reads of 2016

Posted December 26, 2016 by Melissa in Book promo, Top Ten Tuesday | 35 Comments

Top Ten Reads Of 2016

Top 10 of 2016 is an event is hosted by Jaime of Two Chicks on BooksNancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader,  Rachel from Fiktshun and Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales.

Today’s Topic is Top Ten Books of 2016.

Here are my top reads of 2016!  These are in no particular order because I really just can’t choose between them!

The Top Ten

 Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, & MaddAddam (MaddAddam #1-3) by Margaret Atwood

From Booker Prize–winner and #1 national bestseller Margaret Atwood, The MaddAddam Trilogy is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. With breathtaking command of her brilliantly conceived material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, she projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter.

In the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood envision a near future that is both beyond our imagining and all too familiar: a world devastated by uncontrolled genetic engineering and a widespread plague, with only a few remaining humans fighting for survival.

Combining adventure, humour, romance and superb storytelling that is at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is a moving and dramatic conclusion to this internationally celebrated dystopian trilogy.

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.

Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

dark-matter

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (My Review)

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

the-secret-ingredient-of-wishes

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell (My Review)

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.

The Square Root of Summer

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (My Review)

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick

With echoes of the alchemy of Practical Magic, the lushness of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and the darkly joyful wickedness of the Witches of East End, Ellen Herrick’s debut novel spins an enchanting love story about a place where magic whispers just beneath the surface and almost anything is possible, if you aren’t afraid to listen

The Sparrow sisters are as tightly woven into the seaside New England town of Granite Point as the wild sweet peas that climb the stone walls along the harbor. Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are as colorful as the beach plums on the dunes and as mysterious as the fog that rolls into town at dusk.

Patience is the town healer and when a new doctor settles into Granite Point he brings with him a mystery so compelling that Patience is drawn to love him, even as she struggles to mend him. But when Patience Sparrow’s herbs and tinctures are believed to be implicated in a local tragedy, Granite Point is consumed by a long-buried fear—and its three hundred year old history resurfaces as a modern day witch-hunt threatens. The plants and flowers, fruit trees and high hedges begin to wither and die, and the entire town begins to fail; fishermen return to the harbor empty-handed, and blight descends on the old elms that line the lanes.

It seems as if Patience and her town are lost until the women of Granite Point band together to save the Sparrow. As they gather, drawing strength from each other, will they be able to turn the tide and return life to Granite Point?

The Sparrow Sisters is a beautiful, haunting, and thoroughly mesmerizing novel that will capture your imagination.

The City of Mirrors

The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin (My Review)

In “The Passage” and “The Twelve,” Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity’s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon but does silence promise the nightmares end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.

“The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?”

The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew and daring to dream of a hopeful future.
But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy, humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

faithful

Faithful by Alice Hoffman (My Review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

Honorable Mentions

I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1) by Dan Wells
The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2) by Graeme Simsion
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Feed (Newsflesh #1) by Mira Grant

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35 responses to “My Top Ten Reads of 2016

    • Melissa

      Thanks Grace – Yeah…The Secret Ingredient of Wishes may have been my favorite just for how warm it made me feel….

  1. Eleanor and Park is the only one I’ve read (and I loved it!) from your list. I want to read so many others you’ve listed though–A Monster Calls especially. Dark Matter. The Passage trilogy. Faithful. I just got a copy of The Book of Speculation. And I really want to read Feed. Just all of them really. Great list, Melissa! Here’s to another great reading year in 2017 (and more kitty pictures)!
    Literary Feline (Wendy) recently posted…Merry Christmas!My Profile

  2. Carly

    This is the second list I’ve seen with that Genova book on it, so I’m definitely tempted to bump it up on my TBR list for next year. Faithful is another one on my list that I’ve heard such great things about– definitely looking forward to reading it soon!

    Carly Blogs Here

  3. I can’t wait to read Dark Matter. It’s on my short list to get to in January. And The Square Root of Summer sounds great, judging from the synopsis. I may need to get that one also…
    Greg recently posted…Top Ten of 2016My Profile

    • Melissa

      I think you will really like Dark Matter, Greg. The Square Root of Summer…is very different…YA and more dreamy ad magical…

    • Melissa

      Have you see the I Am Not A Serial Killer movie, Christy?? I was disappointed we didn’t get into his head like the book.

      • I haven’t watched it yet. I started it on Netflix but only watched a couple of minutes of it. It felt too slow for my mood at the time. I’ll eventually watch it. I read IANASK in 2011, I think, and still have read the rest of the series. 🙁
        Christy LoveOfBooks recently posted…My Top Reads of 2016My Profile

        • Melissa

          It was really slow…and my husband who hadn’t read the book really didn’t get it. Definitely a very indie film vibe.

          I don’t think I would have enjoyed it had I not read it and therefore read into the movie a lot more…

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