This past year I probably read more books that came out in the same year than I have in a while (or ever). Out of the 24 books I read, 8 were brand new. A couple others I discovered because they had new editions in 2016. Another 2 books came out in 2016 that I didn’t get to read but that I’m sure will be fantastic: Moonglow by Michael Chabon and Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer.
I’ll do my best to rank these books in the order that I feel passionately about them.
- Heroes of the Frontier – This was my favorite book of Eggers since A Hologram for the King. It was honest, brilliantly written, and it didn’t concern itself in getting bogged down in a heavy-handed agenda (which often can overpower a good Eggers book). It is a story about a mother and her children and their journey, as a family, in Alaska.
- The Nest – This was a wonderfully well-written story about a screwed up family.
- Ways to Disappear – This was about a translator who runs from her problems to go looking for her missing Brazilian author. Wonderful. Idra Novey deserves your read.
- Modern Lovers – This book was like taking a literary look through the eyes of a fellow Brooklynite. Familial problems abound. A wonderful read and much better than the Vacationers. Also Emma Straub is opening a bookstore called ‘Books are Magic’ so that is amazing as well.
- The Girls – A great first novel about a high school girl who unknowingly (but slightly knowingly) joins a cult. I hope the author continues growing as a storyteller.
- The Insides – This was a trippy little story about, basically, people who understand magic and a mystical knife. It was fun.
- End of Watch – The third book in a great trilogy by Stephen King. The first book in the series, Mr. Mercedes was one of my favorite books of the year.
- Ladivine – This was a story that just didn’t resonate with me. The only one among this list that I couldn’t really recommend.
It is a shame that the events and passings in this year ended up being what it was because it was such a great year for books (and music, but that is coming later).