ARRT GENRE STUDY WEBSITE

CLICK HERE for quick access to the materials for the 2016-17 Speculative Fiction Genre Study.
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RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I’m Reading: The Best Books I Read This Year

This is the last post for RA for All for 2016 which means it is time for my personal Top 10 books I read this year. I do not limit myself to 2016 titles in this annual list. And, the reasons why these books are the best has as much to do with the experience I had reading them as it does with the book itself.  To illustrate this, I will be adding some comments after each title as to why the book made my list.

Except for the first title, these are in no particular order, and each caption includes a link to my full review. Here we go:

As I said in my PLA webinar, this was hands down the best book I read this year because of the experience I had with the book. Yes, it was very good, but in a vacuum it was not the “best” book I read this year. However, because I read this book and then led a series of book discussions on it all over Illinois, it became my favorite reading experience of the year.  Click here to read more about those discussions.

Literally the first book I read in 2016 [I finished the ARC on New Year’s Day, 2016], The Fireman has stayed with me throughout the year. That is impressive. It also helps that Joe Hill is one of my favorite authors. This was my #1 title on my Horror top ten list which you can see in its entirety here.

American Housewife: Stories was fantastic on audio and blew me away with its  macabre humor that also spoke the truth.


Homegoing was my favorite audiobook I listened to this year.

The Mothers was lyrical and character centered but it was also surprisingly mature for a debut. 

Dark Matter was way too much fun for how thought provoking it was. Funny, I don’t think of myself as a big Science Fiction person, but each year a SF title always seems to sneak into my top 10.

Yes, Career of Evil was the third in a mystery series, but I really enjoyed the turn the series took with this new installment. Also this was my guilty pleasure title on the list. Not all the “best” books have to be high art. I had fun with this one and I don’t care who knows it.

Yes, a children’s book. It was very good. But more importantly, I loved leading my son and some of his classmates in their book discussion of this title.  We met over a number of weeks and I chronicled the entire experience here. Again, it was the entire experience that sent this book to the top of my list.

From a kid’s book to an adult book that harkens back to childhood. Every Heart a Doorway  is the story every bookish kid needs to read as an adult.

And finally, my wild card title, a book I saw in the NYT review and read on a whim, but loved! Travelers Rest. It was psychological, it was horror, it was a bit weird, and I loved every minute of it. 
Go to my Goodreads shelf to see every book I read this year. For the ones I didn’t write a full review, there are at least three words or phrases about the appeal.

Also I am currently reading Underground Railroad. I wonder if it will make the 2017 best books I read this year list. It very well could. I was reading The Fireman 1 year ago today and it held up over 12 months to make it here at the end of 2016. I guess you will have to keep reading for at least another year to find out.

Thanks for following along with me on our journey to help readers for yet another year.

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