I am occasionally asked for book recommendations, which I LOVE doing although I am always baffled to be asked. I prefer to tailor recommendations toward the asker (if I know of two or three books or authors previously liked, I feel much better pulling recs from my “library”, so to speak), but I’m also happy to do a “best of the best according to Faith”, and so here is such a list for books I read in 2016*.*Not books published in 2016 (necessarily), just books that I read during that calendar year. These come from my “best of 2016” Goodreads shelf, from which I pulled my real, absolute favorites.
On the more intense side:
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson
The Fifth Season is a mind-blowing, paradigm-shifting book. Ninefox Gambit is not for the faint of heart, but rewarding for those who like a challenge (and can tolerate a bit of bloodshed). The Traitor Baru Cormorant absolutely positively wrecked me. It’s not a nice book, but it’s powerful.
On the quieter side:
Uprooted, Naomi Novik
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Becky Chambers
Witches of Lychford, Paul Cornell
Roses and Rot, Kat Howard
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
Uprooted is a beautiful fairy tale and features a wonderful female protagonist and a central female friendship. The Long Way... charmed me with its characters even if it has no (or very little) plot. Witches of Lychford (note: a novella) features small-town England, a vicar, women, magic. It’s very “Midsomer Murders” meets Fantasy, and I love it. Roses and Rot has ballet and writing and sisters and friends and art and romance and the Fae and it’s great. Every Heart a Doorway (also a novella) is what happens after the children in portal fantasies return home, and I cannot be in any way unbiased about it because it is the book of my heart.
File under just plain fun:
Stiletto, Daniel O’Malley
Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho
Ghost Talkers, Mary Robinette Kowal
Stiletto is O’Malley’s follow up to the also-excellent The Rook. It’s MI6 for Weird Things, and so many women! Silly and LOTS of fun. Excuse the info dumps. Six of Crows is a heist book with a rich ensemble cast and an intriguing magic system and a hint of Russian flavor. It’s YA, but it’s good YA. Sorcerer to the Crown is magic in Regency England (I am just realizing that I read a lot of books set in England last year…) but much lighter in tone than, say, Jonathan Strange. Ghost Talkers is a lovely WWI-plus-ghosts historical fantasy mystery.
Full reviews for all (I think?) of these books are available at my Goodreads page.
What’s the best book you read in 2016?