Most Best of 2016 book lists come out in December. But I can’t do it. I have to wait until January, when I’ve finished everything that is up for consideration.
Last year, I apparently stopped interacting with people, took to a dark corner, and read all of the time. I finished the year with 155 books. (I had 120 as the goal in my GoodReads challenge, so definitely covered that!)
The first half of the year was dominated by finishing my 40 before 40 book list and I feel like I didn’t read as many new releases as usual. This year’s list will have some older books on it too. Instead of doing this year’s list as a top ten, we’re doing things by category.
And, before we get started, all links are Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I get a small commission, which I use to buy more books.
The journey of two coworkers going from hate to something more. The plot is simple and predictable, but I loved the writing style. (Although it got a little repetitive at some points.) If you like romantic comedy, it’s a great read.
A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice. I was honestly surprised by how much I loved this book. A lot of unexpected takes on a very familiar story.
This entire book was good, but the first story (a novella), Paris for One, was a slice of perfection. It is everything I want in my romances and the ending was fantastic.
I say it over and over again: Neil Gaiman puts the right words in the right places. I don’t read a ton of fantasy, but the mix of mythology and Americana is so. damn. good.
This book made me feel things. A lot of them. It feels like we are living in the prequel. This also wins the award of best epilogue EVER.
I still don’t know why I hadn’t read these before. They are incredible and pretty much perfect. Team Minerva forever.
I asked for romance book recommendations in a Facebook group and this series was mentioned. I read them all very quickly. They are very light, easy reads. Sweet romances about women who work together in a wedding planning business.
I love Jennifer Weiner. A lot. This is her first memoir and it’s good. It was a mix of personal stories and her journey as a writer. I felt particularly heartbroken when I saw the recent news that her grandmother passed away.
My favorite section, which I failed to save (and it was a library book so I can’t go find it), discussed how often romance and women’s literature are dismissed as less than. Weiner fights for the importance of these genres and I agree wholeheartedly.
Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations for this book. I bought it because it was on sale and I like the Crazy Jewish Mom Instagram. I figured it would be a quick light read that might make me laugh.
It was a surprise. Really well written. I loved the stories that were selected. I love the unapologetic feminism. I’m a convert and I want to read whatever Kate Siegel writes next.
Favorite Business/Personal Development
Once upon a time, I read just about every book in the personal finance section of the library. I haven’t read a ton of recent releases because it felt like I was reading the same points over and over. Then, I won this in a giveaway on Facebook and it is REALLY good. More importantly, it made me take action. (I’ve delayed opening a 529 for no particular reason, but I did it right after reading it.) It had a lot of really good tips for moms in all different stages of their lives.
This book has been promoted to my #2 all-time favorite book, following only Anne of Green Gables. I can’t think of any other book that has had as much of an impact on my life. When I read this, I realized that I have a lot more control in my own happiness than I ever previously considered.
I re-read this as part of my 40 before 40 and my only hope was that I still found it funny. It is and I recommend it all of the time.
Favorite Cupcake Reads
Books are one of my favorite forms of stress relief. When I ask people for book recommendations, they are always like, oh, why not this Jodi Picoult. And I’m all, NO, I don’t like to be sad on purpose. (Or scared or overly introspective.) I like light fiction, especially romances. Then, they say Bridget Jones. Which is fine, but I’ve read it a bunch of times.
I’ve started to describe what I’m looking for as cupcake books. If a vanilla cupcake with pink frosting and sugar sprinkles was a book, that’s what I want. I periodically ask Cat for recommendations because she knows exactly what I mean. Here are two that she suggested that are perfect cupcake books.
It is light. It is predictable. It is buttercream frosting set in book form.
Look at the cover. It looks like it should have a cupcake involved, doesn’t it? Another very easy, light romance. It even has some Disney worked in. That’s how light and romantic it is!
As always, I want your book recommendations. Tell me everything you loved in 2016. (Or any other year for that matter.)