I know it's March so it seems wild to be talking about my favourite books in 2016! Please forgive me for my tardiness to the party; I've had a busy few months, and I still really freaking want to talk about books!
2016 was a pretty good reading year for me, I read 154 books and I made an effort to try lots of different kinds of books. I actually became a fan of short stories and science fiction, much to my surprise.
I also made an effort to read more diverse fiction, but I did not read as diversely as I wanted to, so that's the aim for 2017! Especially with all that is going on in the world.
I wanted to make an effort to narrow this down to the absolute best books I read. For a book to be the best in my eyes it has to be three things; thought-provoking, engaging and well-written. It's hard to believe how many books do not tick those three boxes!
In no particular order, the best books of 2016 are;
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is about a spaceship manned by a variety of different species who are on a long journey through space (hence the title!). The book is character driven rather than plot focused, which is interesting for a science fiction tale. One of the most interesting things about this book, is the relationships between aliens is far more believable than most fiction written about human beings!
I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys character driven stories, and it's a great gateway for anyone who would like to get into science fiction. Don't swear it off, there's honestly amazing science fiction out there!
As I mentioned 2016 was the year of me trying out short story collections, and this one in particular stood out. The stories in this collection are character driven, rather than plot focused, which is something I apparently really enjoyed in 2016!
The Snow Garden and Other Stories is about the everyday people with everyday problems, and many of the stories left me feeling emotional which is rare for me, and one of the reasons this collection stood out. These stories also featured a range of diverse characters which I enjoyed.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys short story collections, and likes their stories with a side of emotion and thoughtfulness.
The Museum of You by Carys Bray
The Museum of You is about the relationship between a working class daughter and her father, who is wondering about her mother. It was charming, poignant and funny at times read. It is one of the first positive portrayals of working class families that I've read, which made it even more important to me.
Clover is the kid that you can relate to, on some level, or at the very least I did. I've never lost a parent, but I do know what's it's like to be a little odd, and I definitely know what it's like to want to know more about a situation that just doesn't make sense.
I would recommend this to everyone and anyone, but particularly if you like slow, character driven books about ordinary, everyday folk.
Clearly, 2016 was the year of the slow burning, character driven book (and books with blue covers apparently!). Interestingly, I would never had said I liked those books before last year, so it's definitely a lesson in swearing off a certain type of book! Also, I'm really glad that all of the books that I considered to be the best, all featured diverse characters. More diversity please!
In 2017, I'd love to try out some more books that I would never have tried before, so I'd love to hear your recommendations, I'd love to try a recommended jar, so if you leave me a recommendation below, I'd add it to my jar and pick it out at random to try!
I hope 2017 is treating you well!