My 2016 in Books

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I know I already did a New Years-y round up post, but SURPRISE! Here’s another! I’ve seen a lot of top reads of 2016 stuff going around, and although I did talk a bit about books in my round up, I thought it would be cool to do one more in depth.

This year I read 107 books. (Well, at the time of writing. I’ll probably have read one or two more by the time this post actually rolls around.) I’m really happy that I managed to complete my Goodreads challenge; I think 100 books is about right for me. Although I actually read more books last year, I feel a lot better about my reading habits. I don’t have quite as much time as I used to because of school, but I do read a steady supply of books which is nice.

genres read

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I did a little analysis of the genres that I read this year, and I was really surprised at the number of contemporary and historical books in there! I have actually read quite a few non-fiction history books, as well as historical fiction. Fantasy still makes up just over a quarter of my reading, though. The ‘other’ genre encompasses a) books that were difficult to classify, or might come under ‘literary’ (e.g. Ghostwritten by David Mitchell) or b) genres I read so few of it wasn’t worth their own section such as thrillers. Or a combination of those two.

favourite books

These are the 10 books I’ve read this year which I feel I’ve enjoyed the most, and gained the most from, this year! I mean, I feel like I’ve probably forgotten a lot of great books here, and I found it really difficult to pick the ones I’ve liked most because I like books for different reasons… I sort of attempted to get a diverse pick from the different genres that I’ve read and the reasons I enjoyed each of these books. (Yes, some not-YA! I know!)

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I talk about Radio Silence ENDLESSLY to people, so it’ll come as no surprise to you that it made it onto my favourite books of this year list! I only just finished When the Moon Was Ours, but I enjoyed it so tremendously that I thought it should make it onto here. Ghostwritten is sort of a precursor to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, but in some ways I liked it more — I am endlessly amazed at his ability to make all the narrative voices in his books unique, even when there are so many characters.

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I was almost going to put This Savage Song by VE Schwab on here too, but I thought one Schwab book might be enough. I am pretty darn excited for A Conjuring of Light! the Goldfinch was slightly weird and emotionally draining. It gave me lots of weird feelings. (I don’t think the fact that I was reading it in an airport helped. AIRPORTS ARE REALLY WEIRD PLACES FOR ME.) The Lie Tree is kind of an MG book, but there is MYSTERY and GIRLS DOING SCIENCE and SLIGHT FANTASY and just quality times.

hidden gems

These books are lesser-known ones which I’d love to see people discussing more. They might also be books with new and exciting stuff that I haven’t otherwise seen much of!

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Carry Me Like Water by Benjamin Alire Saenz A lot of people have read or know about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by the same author, but his adult books don’t seem to be very well known. THEY’RE STILL SUPER COOL GUYS. They’re written so nicely and asdhjkl.

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz I was lucky enough to win this one in a giveaway, and although the premise seems a little crazy — and the whole book is a little crazy — it was such a satisfying and gripping read. (The writing is once again really nice.)

A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne I got this one for Christmas last year, and it was such a fun read! It’s basically ‘what if Ron killed Voldemort instead of Harry?’ except with more humour and kissing. I’m just going through the Goodreads page to find the cover, and a lot of people are saying it’s kind of fanfiction-y… It is kind of fanfiction-y, but for me as someone who liked fic, it takes the best fic tropes and does wonderful things with them.  Plus, the illustrations and cover are SO NICE.

The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke I barely hear Cat Clarke’s books mentioned, but she has been quietly writing cool queer YA thrillers for rather a long time. I absolutely raced through this tale of a returned sister, and I FEEL SO HAPPY BECAUSE QUEER PARENTS. QUEER OLDER PEOPLE. What a joy.

The Next Together by Lauren James This book was such a joy to read — I raced through it and was swept away by science! wit! reincarnation! history! mystery! blushing characters! It just had, like, so many things I love to read in books. This one is perhaps a little more well-known than the others here, but I haven’t seen it discussed that much within the book blogging community so I thought I’d chuck it in here anyways.

what were your top books of 2016? are any of your choices the same as mine? do you plan to read any of these in the future?

January Favourites!

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YES. It’s back to monthly favourites! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve done a good one — November was basically taken up by NaNoWriMo, and I missed December’s in light of all the new year round ups happening. So yay, here we go!

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Okay, technically I read this in December. BUT IT WAS FABULOUS. I actually enjoyed it more than The Grisha, I think — the whole thing just felt more polished. And I totally hadn’t realised that it was a heist novel, which was a lovely surprise. (I LOVE HEISTS.) Altogether, I’m now just slightly weeping in despair.

2. In the Heights  HELL YEAH MUSICALS. Ugh. So much excitement this month. Admittedly, I went to see this because I got into Hamilton, but I thought it was such a fabulous musical in its own right — totally going to be buying the soundtrack! It was at King’s Cross Theatre, so the stage was kind of over where the railway line would be and the audience sat on the two platforms? I’m sure there’s a name for that kind of stage. Sandwich stage, maybe. I thought that was really effective as well as the awesome music! LIGHTS UP IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS UP AT THE BREAK OF DAY

3. A Hero At the End of the World by Erin Claiborne This was a lot like Harry Potter. But also not, because it’s Harry Potter if Ron was more of an idiot and killed Voldemort instead of weedy Harry and then Harry worked in a coffee shop and met Draco. So, not that much like Harry Potter. I mean, it was really good as a comment of Chosen One tropes, much like Carry On! Like a Carry On written by Douglas Adams. Plus, Big Bang Press is awesome — it publishes fanfic authors and then commissions fanartists to draw the cover. This is generally a super pretty book.

4. Carol by Patricia Highsmith I do know that this was originally called The Price of Salt. But my edition was called Carol, so. I didn’t want to confuse you! Even if it kind of had a gross cover. Everyone seemed super taken with the recent film, and the book had a ton of recommendations — I mean vintage lesbians — and it didn’t disappoint. UGH, the writing was sooo nice. ❤

5. As You Like It This started a bit slow, but THE SECOND HALF WAS FABULOUS. Have I mentioned how much I love the faek relationship trope? (Shh, I know it’s Shakespeare. He obviously liked this trope too.) Also, Rosalin was really cute. And Celia was played by Patsy Ferran of Jim in Treasure Island last year! Yeah, the director literally just made Jim a girl with no explanation and it was great. *nods*

6. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson Kind of weird and literary. I feel like I’ve been rather literary in my reading recently. I haven’t quite finished it, but it’s lovely to be reading something just…well-written. Yeah. Not that other books aren’t, but the prose just reads particularly well for me. *hums*

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I’ve been feeling a lot of podfic love lately, so I recorded two Carry On ones of my own!(As in, audiobooks of fanfiction.) The first one was for a Christmas gift exchange on Tumblr, and it’s of a wonderful fic about Agatha, and the second one is a chaptered (!!) WIP. AAH I’M REALLY EXCITED TO BE DOING THIS.
  • ‘so instead, you don’t question the expiry date on your forever.’ — Nirvana @ Quenching the Quill wrote a beautiful piece of writing about childhood.
  • Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout talked about all the wonderful ways in which villains die, and which ones are best. *cackles*
  • An Overthinking Teenager @ Mixolydian Musings reviewed/flailed about Carry On, AKA my heart and soul. 😉 She’s also reached 500 followers recently, congrats!
  • ‘You, you’re busy kissing all the tornadoes in Kansas good night.’ — Topaz @ Six Impossible Things shared a poem about love which I fell in love with.
  • Safah @ oh how i wander is doing a series on Whitechapel Art Gallery, feat. wonderful art of both visual and literary kinds.
  • Our Harry Potter story mash up will wrap up next Sunday, but in the meantime you can read chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
  • Rainbow Rowell revealed the blurb for her World Book Day short story Kindred Spirits? AND IT’S ABOUT STAR WARS. Literally. It’s about people queueing up outside the cinema to see The Force Awakens!
  • Susie Day tweeted that she was writing a sequel to the Tumbling, AKA the most adorable short story ever.
  • I almost died because of the Ladies of Hamilton Ham4Ham. I need a Hamilton where everyone is a girl. I NEED IT. I’M SUPER IN LOVE WITH ALL OF THESE GIRLS UGH. Especially Morgan Marcell.

    (This needed embedding. But if it isn’t working, see the clip on YouTube!)

  • Noelle Stevenson (of Nimona & Lumberjanes) wrote an essay about why Boba Fett is a lesbian. Yep.

In the diary:

  • I went back to school. That was, you know, alright.
  • I got a haircut! Yeah. Another one. Here is a webcam selfie that I definitely didn’t take just now. Potentially not the best I have looked ever, but this is for the Good Of The Blog. This is Documentation. 😉
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  • I SWAM 100 LENGTHS. It was for fundraising. But still! Look at how active I am!
  • Although I thought it was a bit too soon to put it on my faves, I’ve been listening to Fun Home all afternoon. It’s a musical about Alison Bechdel, and it’s super gay and super awesome. YAY. 😀
  • I’m…actually planning my new project? Normally I’m a complete panster, so that’s pretty cool. And obviously I’ve also been putting together an inspiration playlist, because that’s basically the first thing I do when I write. Hopefully I’ll be sharing that in the future!

In conclusion, a large part of my January has been spent thinking about cute actors. Yes. I needed the motivation for going back to school, right? 😛

how has your month been? what’s the weather like for you right now? (it’s grey and dreary here.) read any good books recently?