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08 January 2017 @ 06:46 pm
2016 Big Book List  
It's that time of year again - here's the books (and grahic novels) I read in 2016, organised by how much I enjoyed them and how highly I'd recommend them (rather than just dumping them on you).

Fantastic = the best of the best. The ones I really, really enjoyed and had to share my love with other people.
Great = the best of the rest. Books that I would reread, or that lodged themselves in my head so thoroughly that rereading might be redundant.
Good = I enjoyed these, but since book-lovers can’t afford everything you could save your money and get these from the library.
Okay = books are books and therefore wonderful, but these could have been better.
The Bottom of the Pile = well if you have nothing else to read


Fantastic

a closed and common orbit by Becky Chambers (book 2 in series)
The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong (1 in series)
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (1 in series)
Black Dog by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus (novella, set after American Gods)
Odd and The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell
Cut by Hibo Wardere (non-fiction)
The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming (graphic novel)
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (non-fiction)
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (graphic novel, non-fiction)
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (graphic novel)
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Niimura (graphic novel)
Vision: volume one by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles (graphic novel)
Descender: volume one by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen and Steve Wands (graphic novel)
Descender: volume two by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen and Steve Wands (graphic novel)


Great

Red Ink by Julie Mayhew
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon
Needlework by Deirdre Sullivan
Way Down Dark by J. P. Smythe
Slade House by David Mitchell
Fellside by M R Carey
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Poison by Sarah Pinborough (1 in series)
Beauty by Sarah Pinborough (2 in series)
Charm by Sarah Pinborough (3 in series)
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt (3 in series)
Verdigris Deep by Frances Hardinge
Shadow Kiss by Rachael Mead (3 in series)
One by Sarah Crossan
Leaf by Niggle by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell (short story)
The Orange Cat And Other Cainsville Tales by Kelley Armstrong
Collected Poems by Roger McGough (poetry, funnily enough)
All The Rebel Women by Kira Cochrane (non-fiction)
Big Magic: creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (non-fiction)
Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over The World by Anne Jamison et al (non-fiction)
Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (graphic novel)
Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell (non-fiction)
Lumberjanes: volume three by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Carolun Nowak et al (graphic novel)
Sunstone: volume four by Stjepan Šejić (graphic novel)


Good

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab
a darker shade of magic by V. E. Schwab (book 1 in series)
The City of Devi by Manil Suri
Songs About A Girl by Chris Russell
Before The Fire by Sarah Butler
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong (book 4 in series)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J K Rowling (playscript)
Blame by Simon Mayo
Signal To Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Runner by Cynthia Voigt (4 in series)
Come A Stranger by Cynthia Voigt (5 in series)
The Falcons of Fire and Ice by Karen Maitland
Sheepshagger by Niall Griffiths
A Lovely Way To Burn by Louise Welsh
The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Vampire Academy by Rachael Mead (1 in series)
Frostbite by Rachael Mead (2 in series)
Spirit Bound by Rachael Mead (5 in series)
Last Sacrifice by Rachael Mead (6 in series)
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
Spot the Difference by Juno Dawson (short story)
Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter (poetry)
The Dead Queen of Bohemia by Jenni Fagan (poetry)
The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks (non-fiction)
Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunkers: the passive defence of the western world during the cold war by Nick McCamley (non-fiction)
House of M by Brian Micheal Bendis, Olivier Coipel, Tim Townsend, Rick Magyear, John Dell, Scott Hanna, Frank D’Armata et al (graphic novel)
Soppy by Philippa Rice (graphic novel)
Adulthood Is A Myth by Sarah Andersen (graphic novel)
Wolf: volume one by Ales Kot, Lee Loughridge and Matt Taylor (graphic novel)
Wolf: volume two by Ales Kot, Ricardo Lopez-Ortiz and Lee Loughridge (graphic novel)
I.D. by Emma Rios (graphic novel)
Sunstone: volume two by Stjepan Šejić (graphic novel)
Sunstone: volume three by Stjepan Šejić (graphic novel)
Generation One: Children of Mars by Steven R Stewart, Timothy D Stewart et al (graphic novel)


Okay

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
How To Save The World by Lexie Dunne (book 3 in series)
Clariel by Garth Nix (book 4 in series)
Goldenhand by Garth Nix (book 5 in series)
Nod by Adrian Barnes
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Demon Road by Derek Landy (1 in series)
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
Impossible! by Michelle Magorian
Miss Pergreine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (1 in series)
The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
Blood Promise by Rachael Mead (4 in series)
The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane (non-fiction)
Blood Stain by Linda Sejic
Symmetry: volume one by Raffaele Ienco (graphic novel)
Bounty Hunt by Kelley Armstrong and Xavière Daumarie (graphic novel, Otherworld series)


The Bottom of the Pile

The Ables by Jeremy Scott

My most anticipated book release in 2016 was a closed and common orbit by Becky Chambers, which follows on from a long way to a small angry planet. They’re stories about found family and diversity set in space, perfect for anyone who loves things like Firefly. They are hugs in books and I highly recommend them! Frances Hardinge also landed on my list of favourite authors last year with A Face Like Glass and cemented her place there with this year’s read The Lie Tree - I love that woman’s creative use of language.

Other favourites were: The City of the Lost, one of Kelley Armstrong’s best books in my eyes; the clever The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew, set in Nazi England in 2014; The Panoptican by Jenni Fagan, full of harsh realities and beautiful language; and Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt – I read Dicey’s Song years ago and finally got around to starting the series from the beginning. I also finally got around to reading The Complete Maus, which is as excellent and heartbreaking as everyone says it is. There are a fair few graphic novels in my favourites for 2016, for incredible stories and beautiful art.

M biggest disappointment was The Ables, which started out full of promise and descended into a sexist, ablest mess. Most confusingly popular book was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which has a good gimmick, sure, but as stories go certainly isn’t worth the hype. And ‘the worst book someone recommended to me’ goes to Nod, which was seriously not my cup of tea.

Of the single issue comics I’ve been reading this year – too many! - I especially love Bitch Planet, Saga, Giant Days, The Wicked & The Divine, Pretty Deadly, The Beauty, and The Hunt - lots of Image comics basically. I continue to read all the Serenity comics that come out, because reasons. And on the Marvel front I cut down a lot, but Doctor Strange has been amusing, fun, and features a great librarian, Civil War grabbed my interest with its Phil Noto variant covers and turned out to be an interesting story, and I’m enjoying the new Hawkeye.

At the moment for 2017 I’m looking forward to Sunstone volume 5, because 4 ended on a cliffhanger damn it; Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt, because I read a sampler and HELLO; Kelley Armstrong’s final Cainsville novel and A Darkness Absolute, the next City of the Lost book; Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology; and there’s a lot of hype around Caraval by Stephanie Garber and I’m always up for a carnival/circus plot.

What's everyone else keeping their eyes out for this year? And what were your best books of 2016?
 
 
 
jesterlady: Oldbooksjesterlady on January 8th, 2017 08:32 pm (UTC)
Books are good. Reading is good.
inkvoices: girl readinginkvoices on January 9th, 2017 08:09 pm (UTC)
And this comment is good <3
A clean house is the sign of a misspent lifealphaflyer on January 9th, 2017 10:43 pm (UTC)
WOW. I have no time to read anything other than the occasional fic ... \0/

Retirement. Bring it on!!!
inkvoices: girl readinginkvoices on January 10th, 2017 09:12 pm (UTC)
I think this was a lot of travelling time and stealing from sleep time, but I'm fast reader (of fiction) so that helps.

When you get there, just let me know if you want any recs ;)
sugar_fey: book readingsugar_fey on January 10th, 2017 06:06 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had a good reading year! The best books I read in 2016 were The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss and The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra.
inkvoices: girl reading sunshineinkvoices on January 10th, 2017 09:15 pm (UTC)
A productive reading one at least :) I think I might have gotten harsher with my ratings? Ooo, hadn't heard of those two. The Tsar of Love and Techo sounds especially interesting. (I believe it was you who recommended Deathless back in the day and damn but I loved that one; and I've read a few more Valente since :) )
cassiekiss_me_cassie on January 11th, 2017 08:07 pm (UTC)
I loved the first book of Miss Peregrine but the 2nd book was bleh and then by the time I got to the end of the 3rd (which I kinda felt obligated to see if it improved and it definitely did NOT.)I was like "THANK GOD! ITS OVER!" So yeah, I get you on that one.

Dicey;s Song is one of those books I feel like I should have read at some point and did not. I think it's on my massive, private to-read list. (as opposed to my public good reads only semi-massive list. :))
inkvoices: girl reading sunshineinkvoices on January 12th, 2017 07:03 pm (UTC)
I thought it had very strong opening, but then lost itself. The children's voices were never of a consistent age - characters that were sixteen sounded younger than that, characters that were meant to be children but had been around a long time oscillated between naive and wordily, and none of that matched the opening. And the story got lost and bogged down. The end 'big action' scene was compartively dull compared the beginning. The gimmick, with the old photos, was a nice touch and I did like how the children tended to come across as a nice balance between creepy/ghoulish and magical/wonderous, but I can't help thinking maybe a set of short stories based on those photos would have worked better? Or a story that wasn't forced to fit the photographs? I debated carrying on with the trilogy, but heard from various people it wasn't worth it so I didn't bother.

Meant to see if the film was any better, or more consistent in storytelling, but missed it. Did you see it?

I read it donkey's years ago, a gift from an aunt, but I never knew it was part of a series until I was older. I think Cythia Voigt is reasonably well known in the US? Not so here. But yes, I finally went back to the start and read Homecoming this year (= VERY good) and am working my way through the rest.

HAHA lists *grins*.