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Dec 14, 2016

My Ten Favorite Books of 2016

I have read over 100 books this year -- currently at 109 -- (my Goodreads goal was 100 and I finished that just after Thanksgiving - woohoo!). Only a few of those books were published in 2016. The rest were older and many of them were ebooks I checked out of my 'local' (U.S. library).

I enjoyed doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge (my second year - last year I committed to and finished  80 books, plus a few more) because it gives me a reference frame for viewing my addiction to books and also is - to me - interesting to see my reading journey over the course of a year. I'll definitely be doing another one next year. I may have missed cataloging a couple of books I read -- especially non-fiction since I don't always read those books linearly and extra especially don't for the ones I use for my novel researches. I also don't list the dnfs - the did-not-finish books -- for the obvious reason that I did not manage to finish them.

The books range from fiction to biographies, memoirs, writing craft, and fantasy to Regency romance (a recent but enduring addiction - I'd like to find more of these that are to my taste, i.e., clean -- I'm eager also to find some good gay Regencies -- recommendations are welcome), mystery, quantum physics and science fiction to self-help, U.S. history to Celto-Germanic history (gee, I wonder why I read that? hmmm....) and many historical novels (a recently rediscovered addiction).

This was the first year since 2012 that I personally did not publish a book. More about that -- no, I don't really want to dwell on it -- but the six-word, happy-for-now-ending short story is: I was sick. Now I'm better.

Barring any major life catastrophes, the lack of publishing will change in 2017. So, yes, I have plans to publish stuff next year.

Here are my top ten favorites of 2016, not necessarily in order, but who cares? It was hard enough just to pick ten, thank you very much. The links goes to the Goodreads page for the books because I don't want to influence your buying power. Some of these may also be available through your local library - I obtained many of them through mine.

1.  Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1) Sleeping Giants, by  

"Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power."

My take
Two words: giant robot. Need I say more? This was a surprising debut novel (with a sequel on the way) that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I look forward to the next installment. Warning: largely epistolary but enjoyable despite that (And I usually hate, hate, hate epistolary novels).

2. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain   A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by

"While fleeing from an unexpected assassin, (FBI Agent) Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact."

My take
Murder mystery+time travel+regency+romance(?) = just my thing. A few suspension of disbelief problems, but nothing overtly fatal to my enjoyment of the story. I look forward to the sequel of this one as well.

3.  How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming  How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by

"A heartfelt and personal journey filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever imagined exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t?"

My take
Part memoir about astrophysics, the life of a scientist, and the politics involved, I was gripped from beginning to end - I read this one in three days, pretty fast for non-fiction. And the book fulfills on providing the answer to its title.

4. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War  World War Z by

The Night Circus  The Night Circus by

6.  Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1)   Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells #1) by

"Heather Wells Rocks! Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two -- and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina)."

Blood Song (Raven's Shadow #1) by

Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat's Walk Across America  Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat's Walk Across America by

Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1)   Ross Poldark (The Poldark Saga #1) by

"Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and family, only to find his father has died, his estate is derelict, and the girl he loved is engaged to another. But then he rescues a half-starved urchin girl and takes her home; an act which, it turns out, will alter his life."

Snipers by