2016 was a year of changes. I went from working 30 hours a week at the library to 40 hours a week. Dave and I both took on the role of teacher for our homeschooled kids. Our puppy grew and matured. Our son turned 18 and was able to vote in the election. Our daughter got her first job. She is a shelver at the library where I work.
My goal for 2016 was 45 books. I only read 35. Probably about a third of them were ebooks. 5 were nonfiction. 18 were by authors I hadn't read before. 2 of them I didn't like.
In the order that I read them, here are my top 5 of 2016.
The First Hostage by Joel Rosenberg
I read this in January. I love Joel Rosenberg's novels. They are suspenseful, thrilling almost prophetic. This is the second book in a series. The story is about journalist J. B. Collins. It starts where the previous book left off. ISIS has attacked an event in Amman, Jordan and the President of the US is missing. It is a breath taking, heart thumping read.
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
I read this in May. It is the summer before World War I in a town called Rye in East Sussex, England. The story follows Beatrice Nash who comes to Sussex to take a school teacher position and Hugh Grange who summers in Rye with his aunt. As the two get to know one another and draw closer together, the war starts. The characters are so well drawn that I was emotionally invested in what happened to each of them. Not just the main characters but the supporting characters as well. The story made me laugh and cry.
The Valley of Dry Bones by Jerry Jenkins
I read this in September. This story takes place in a California that hasn't had any rain in years. It has been declared inhabitable and almost everyone moves out of the state. But there are some holdouts. Some of the people who stay are Native American tribes, outlaws and a faith based group. The focus is on the faith based group. They stay to provide help to those who chose not to leave or couldn't leave. They have built an underground compound to help them survive the harsh weather conditions and the outlaws. There are problems within the compound as well as outside. As I read this story, I found that I needed to keep drinking water. The descriptions of the dry, arid conditions made me feel dry.
The Invisible Library and The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
I read these books in October. The Invisible Library and The Masked City are Books 1 & 2 of a trilogy. Book 3, The Burning Page, comes out in January 2017. The Invisible Library sends out spies to procure books from many different alternate realities. Irene is sent to retrieve a dangerous book from an alternate London. Her assistant, Kai, is not quite what he seems. They join forces with a local detective who is much like Sherlock Holmes. They have to find the book while avoiding Fae, werewolves and a rogue Librarian. In the second book, Kai is kidnapped and Irene must ask Kai's intimidating relatives for help. She has to go to a high chaos Venice alternate reality to try to find him before he can be auctioned off. As a librarian myself, I want to know how to apply for a job at this library! These stories were a lot of fun. The characters were well written. I can't wait until the next book comes out.
Crosstalk by Connie Willis
I read this in October. Connie Willis is one of my favorite Science Fiction authors. Her time traveling novels are wonderful. This is a stand alone novel. Briddey and her boyfriend, Trent, are going to get an EED. An EED is a neurological surgery to allow 2 people to feel each other's emotions. When Briddey wakes up from surgery, it is not Trent she senses. And it is not just emotions but thoughts that she is receiving! Soon, she has to learn how to cope with hearing the thoughts of everyone around her. This story is funny, warm and geeky all at once.
So there you have it. It was very hard to only choose five. I look forward to what stories the next year will bring to me.
Happy New Year!
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my honest opinions.