Thursday, December 29, 2016

Best Books Read in 2016 (and a Giveaway)!

So in 2016 according to Goodreads I have read 390 books this year, I know I have read more than that because some were not on Goodreads and I still have 4 or 5 more to write reviews for before Saturday.  Anyway, I have read some really great books and some not so great books this year and it has been really hard narrowing my lists down.
Today I want to share with you the best books I read in 2016! I have broken the list down into Children's books (picture books up through middle grade) and everything else.  Because I have so many I have loved I also have a few honorable mentions.  Make sure you stick around through to the end of the post where I will be giving away copies of my top 3 books of this year (I wish I could give away more but that is all I could do this time around).
Children's Books - Middle Grade
I read quite a variety of children's books up through middle grade. I must say I am really impressed with the selection available in the MG genre and authors are still turning out some great picture books each year.  So here are my top 5 . . .
I can't even tell you how many times we have read this book, it is simple and fun yet has a great message. - FULL REVIEW
This was one of those surprise books for me this year, I picked it up randomly at a used book store and was so surprised. The book contains such a variety of poems and yet keeps a cohesive story throughout. - FULL REVIEW
I received this book via Netgalley and was again surprised at how much I really loved it. I love how it introduces and encourages story telling before kids really have the ability to write the words needed. - FULL REVIEW
I was looking for a good fall early reader book and stumbled across this one. I love the simplicity of the story, the diversity and the many ways it teaches without being obvious (Pumpkin Day by the same author is also fantastic).  - FULL REVIEW
I almost missed this book because it isn't listed on Goodreads (I almost thought I read it last year) but it has to be included. I discovered this book at my local author event and boy am I glad I did, it is one of Munchkin's favorite books even though it is a board book. The quirky art style and cute story combined with a great message make for a definite top 5 book! - Full Review/ Blog Post
Honorable Mentions:
Here are a few of the books that didn't quite make the top 5 but definitely deserve to be mentioned because we really did love them too!
All Other Genres
So here are my top books from all the other genres I read including YA, Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary, Graphic Novel, etc. I have read quite the variety of books this year and have found myself really leaning more and more towards the fantasy genre. But I have had some real surprises this year!! So here they are . . .
I picked this book up at my local author event, all I knew about it was a woman from the east coast traveled to Wyoming to escape a dark past. I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this book but OH MY GOODNESS! It was dark, beautiful, hopeful, horribly terrifying, bittersweet, heartbreaking, I could go on and on! I read this book back in April and I honestly still think about it at least a few times a week. I have passed my copy around to at least half a dozen people and they have passed it on to their friends as well and I keep getting the same reaction of just speechlessness, "That Book!"  - FULL REVIEW
I saw this cover and read the synopsis and had to request it on Netgalley, and was lucky enough to be approved. This is a debut book for Amanda Bouchet so I wasn't sure if the writing would hold up to my expectations but they really blew them all out of the water. It was a fantastic book to kick of her career and this trilogy (the next book comes out January 3rd). This one hit on all my favorite elements of strong female lead, snarky dialog between characters, high fantasy elements, magic, dragons, mythology, romance, kingdoms in flux, etc. I almost never pre-order books but the next book is one I have pre-ordered and paid extra for expedited shipping to get it the day of release. - FULL REVIEW
This was another when where I saw this cover and knew I needed to read it, thanks to Netgalley I was able to read it early! This is the first book in a branch off series, it may have been helpful to read the original trilogy first but definitely not necessary. This book again hit on many of my favorite elements in books, magic, fantasy, kingdoms in flux, romance, etc. While Dafne may not have been the strongest female character she was still intelligent and determined, and good gosh she is a librarian/scribe! Talk about writing to the bookworms of the world!! (the next book was just released and I am in the process of reading it) - FULL REVIEW
So this is where I am going to start cheating and why I couldn't giveaway my top 5 books, only the top 3 . . .
So there was a decent amount of hype before the release of A Torch Against the Night back in August and I had some Audible credits to use so I downloaded them figuring I was on a fantasy kick already. Boy I had no idea what I was getting into!! The Audiobooks were narrated by multiple people so it was great for settling into the various perspectives. I was completely sucked into these books and am dying for the next one but it isn't expected until 2018 I believe.  I loved them so much I actually bought print copies as well, and I honestly can't bear to put them away on my shelves in the basement (I actually took them down last night and brought them back up because I wanted them with me lol). - An Ember in the Ashes Review - A Torch Against the Night Review
See, I told you I was going to start cheating! These were some of the first books I read from last year and I literally inhaled them! While these may not be the best of writing or the most complex plots but they are still completely engrossing and entertaining. I would have fun watching these as movies. They are definitely guilty pleasure reads but ones that I have no problem announcing. Again I had listened to them on audio and enjoyed them so much (not to mention the stunning covers) and had to get them in print for my shelves! -  The Selection Review, The Elite Review, The One Review, The Heir Review, The Crown Review
Honorable Mentions:
Again, I read many fantastic books this year and here are some of the ones that just barely missed out on the list  . . .
So there you have my favorite books of 2016! Did you read any of these books too? Did you enjoy them as much as I did? What were some of your favorite books of the year?
So now about that giveaway . . .
I have for you copies of There Was a Fire, A Promise of Fire and Pages of the Mind in print. I will be giving one a way to each of the top 3 winners of the rafflecopter giveaway.
As always there are some rules:
~Open internationally (you are responsible for customs fees beyond shipping)
~ Must be 18 or over (due to all of them being books with adult situations and scenes)
~ Must give me a mailing address to send them to (believe it or not I have had winners in the past who didn't want to give an address so was unable to claim their prize)
~ Giveaway runs from now through January 5th at 12:00am EST
~Rafflecopter will randomly select the top 3. 
~Please enter the order of preference of books you would like, I will do my best to suit everyone but that may not be possible as I only have one copy of each.
*** Also, while not required, I would really appreciate you filling out my survey so I can best suit the blog to everyone's tastes - you can find it HERE


  1. I like that you separated the kid books from the other. Hooray for Elephant and Piggie! I haven't read any of those YA books!! I need to! A few of them have been on the to-read list for a while. You had an amazing year!

    1. Aren't Elephant & Piggie books the best?! Munchkin loves that now I have set voices for Gerald and Piggie. I did really have a great year and read some fantastic books.