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?

The School Book Tag

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I was tagged to do this tag absolutely AGES ago — back in September, I think — by Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel, and it was originally created by Chloe Lauren @ Diary of a Lonely Girl.  NaNoWriMo is slightly eating up my time so I thought it would be a good idea to do a fun post like this! (Although all my posts are fun, obvs, sometimes my brain needs a bit of a break.) (I’m also listening to Leslie Odom Jr’s Christmas album as I write this. It’s beautiful. Don’t judge me.)

radio silence alice oseman

MATHS

a book that has two characters who equal perfection

I think this was supposed to be, like, a romantic couple, but I’m going to go ahead and say FRANCES AND ALED FROM RADIO SILENCE. I know I talk about this book basically every other post but it is awesome and you should all definitely read it. (I think I’ve written this sentence a lot in this post, haha.) Aled and Frances are basically just friend goals and I love them. They have problems but they’re asdfjkl so cute and great and nerdy.

miseducation of cameron post

BIOLOGY

a book I would like to dissect

Science was originally just one category — a book you found hard to get into — but I decided to add a couple of my own because I AM ACTUALLY A REALLY BIG SCIENCE NERD. I like busting science stereotypes, and I also like more sciences, so here we are. (I do hope that’s okay!)

Anyway! I’m going to go with The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth. I have been thinking a lot about this book lately since I somehow persuaded my friends that it was super cool and now their school English book group is reading it? But it reminded me HOW MUCH I FREAKING LOVE IT. It’s literally an amazing book. The reason I chose it for this option, which was kinda supposed to be a book that you love to pick apart, turn over, and analyse, is because IT HAS SO MANY PARTS. It’s super well-written, and it has such circular kind of narrative. (That’s probably the wrong word. Maybe I should say it comes full circle. Oh well.) Whilst still being a coming out book of sorts, it subverts so many tropes that I don’t like to read in traditional coming out-y books… It’s just an incredibly nuanced and beautiful story. YOU ALL SHOULD READ IT ASAP.

barefoot-on-the-wind

PHYSICS

a book with a lot of potential

This one is supposed to be an unreleased/unread book that sounds super cool. I’m choosin Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott! I saw Zoe at YA Shot and that basically rekindled my intense love for her books. THEY ARE ALL GREAT AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. This is the sequel to Shadow on the Moon, a fantasy Cinderella retelling in Japan. (Also includes the first trans character I ever read, I think…? Which I only realised like super recently.) Barefoot on the Wind is a Beauty and the Beast retelling in the same world, with feminism and cool original spins. She talked about it a bunch at the fantasy/women/power panel I attended and it just made me really hyped.

the-next-together

CHEMISTRY

a book I really bonded to

#sorrynotsorry for my extremely bad science jokes. We’ve been learning bonding in Chemistry at schools so it is really on my mind. For this one I’m picking The Next Together by Lauren James, which was an incredibly enjoyable read for me because it just HAD SO MANY THINGS I LIKE. Time travel! Humour! Science! History! Cute people being cute! Reincarnation! The premise was just amazing. It fits me so well. (I am also very excited for its sequel which also has QUEER GIRLS which is EVEN MORE MEEEE.)

aristotle and dante

ENGLISH

a book that should be a modern classic

Ooh there are SO MANY books I could have gone with here, but I really love Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I think it get quits a lot of recommendations, but it really does deserve it — it’s such a beautifully written, nuanced, and complex book. (But also really readable.) Literally just everything I want to read? It should definitely be a modern classic. And also more people should read Benjamin Alire Saenz’s other books too, because they are also excellent. *nods*

gena-finn

P.E.

a book that I raced to the finish with

I recently read Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson and it was very cool. 😀 It’s written in like, messages and journal entries? So it was a pretty fast read — and also the story was just page-turning in itself. (Exceedingly-beautiful-page turning. The physical edition of this book is literally SO BEAUTIFUL, guys.)

carry on uk cover

MUSIC

a book that reminds me of a song

I feel like this post is basically just me repeating all the books that I always talk about but…Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I was already listening to Rainbow’s Carry On playlist before the book actually came out. Every time I open the book I just think of all the songs with Carry On. (Carry On My Wayward Son, Carry On, Bohemian Rhapsody.) All Rainbow’s books have music things in them, actually, but this one in particular for me.

I’m tagging Lia @ Lost in a Story, Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff and absolutely anyone else who wants to give this a try! Although, as ever, please don’t feel pressured to do this tag; it’s totally up to you. 🙂

what’s YOUR favourite school subject? what do you think of science? are you doing nanowrimo/shrieking incessantly like me?