Favorite Books of 2016

2016 was not a great reading year for me. I didn’t read a lot and I can’t remember that many stand out books. And as proof of how bad 2016 was for me, I accidentally erased my book tracking spreadsheet in about october, so that means no book stats for this year. But i did still manage to cobble together some favorites. These are in no particular order. All links go back to my original reviews.

Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte. About a group of recent Standford grads, everything about this novel is spot on. The tone is perfect, the diverse cast is perfect, the satire is perfect. It pushes boundaries and may not be to everyone’s taste.

The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer. This book sits perfectly in my wheelhouse – about a family of Sanskritists – so it is not a surprise that I loved it. It is an updated take on the typical Indian family epic. The language is gorgeous and it is beautifully layered. I will re-read this and I almost never re-read.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is a book that will appeal to a wide range of people and is probably the book I’ve recommended most this year. It’s a modern-day take on Pride and Prejudice starring a character from a Bachelor-like TV show. It is smart and funny with a little bit of romance and great pacing. It has something for everyone.

The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota. This is a heart-breaking work of staggering genius. Set in England, it recounts the journey of several South Asian immigrants – some legal, others not – as they struggle to survive in a country that may not want them. Caste, class, sexism, and racism are all big themes here.

We’re All In This Together by Amy Jones. I’m so glad I read this new Canadian voice. It’s a getting the family back together kind of comedy set in Thunder Bay and it is great. Go read it now.

The Loner by Teddy Wayne. A campus novel with great word play? Sign me up. Add in a protagonist who starts out as a completely relatable geek who transforms into some one unrecognizable, and I’m hooked. Very thought provoking as well.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I don’t read a lot of books meant for younger readers, so when I do you know it has to be good, and Wonder is. It should be a must read for every pre-teen out there. It’s coming out as a movie this spring, so do yourself a favor and read it before you see it. Just trust me on this one.

My list isn’t particularly exciting, but that’s the way life is sometimes. I have high hopes for 2017 – I’ve already read 2 great novels.

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10 Comments

  1. You may not have had a great year, but you gave me two books to add to my TBR wishlist: The Way Things Were and The Year of the Runaways. I have another two–Private Citizens and Loner–on my shelf waiting to be read, so it’s good to hear they made the list. Here’s to a better reading year in 2017!

  2. Oh Eligible was fun! The two others Private Citizens & the Runaways look like my type of books, so I will jot them down, thx. Sorry your year didn’t fully compute for you. 2017 will be much better!

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