In 2016 I read some amazing books, a few of them have even made it to the list of my all-time favorite books (along with The Little Prince, the Harry Potter series, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and South of the Border West of the Sun, among many others). It’s hard to narrow it down to only 7, but here they are.
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I’ve always been interested in historical fiction, particularly the ones set in WW II. The Book Thief had me from the go. I mean, how often do you read something that’s narrated by Death? The beautiful prose, the poignant story, and the heartbreaking fates of the people, it all worked well in turning on the waterworks. One of the most beautiful and riveting books I’ve ever read. 5/5
2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Still about WW II fiction, this is another book that I couldn’t put down. The story follows 2 sisters living in France during the WW II, both leading vastly different lives. Some critics say this is a bit on the dramatic side with a soap opera potential, bordering on cheesy. But I personally liked it (maybe because I like the right amount of cheesy?), as it gave me the portrayal of life in the wartime. 4/5
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This book gave me a glimpse of life in Afghanistan from a personal side. It was one thing to see things happening there on the news, but reading all the hardships and suffering that people have to go through sometimes made you feel more. Hosseini eloquently paints the picture of lives in Afghanistan, how it was before the war and how the war changes it. For me, this book was harrowing, painful, haunting, and beautiful at the same time. 5/5 stars.
4. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
The first book of Jhumpa Lahiri that I read. Lahiri successfully narrates a hauntingly distressing story. This would usually be my kind of book, historical fiction with facts thrown here and there through the real events happening decades ago, written with such eloquence that it got me crying a few times. But somehow the ending left me feeling unsettled, and I’m not sure how I felt about this book. It’s an amazing book, but maybe I just read it at the wrong time (do not read it when you’re feeling out of sorts!). 4.5/5 stars.
5. The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
I’m a bit cheating here, putting in 3 books instead of 1. But I couldn’t choose 1, and I think this series is brilliant (where have I been?). A journalist and a hacker might not seem like a compatible duo, but they truly are a perfect match in cracking some of the darkest mysteries in Sweden. I love books good mysteries and riddles, even more if they’re packed with some actions and suspense. The plots and endings were cleverly written, I couldn’t put this down until all was revealed. 5/5 stars.
6. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This is a book about a girl suffering from a rare medical condition called SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency), an illness that forces her to be confined to her house. She’s accepted her fate of not being able to venture the outside world, until one day a boy moves into the house next door. I have to say this is the first YA book that I loved after such a long time. I felt like I’d grown out of this genre, but this book’s convinced me that maybe not all YA books are cringey. Anyway, Yoon did an amazing job for this debut novel. Lovable characters, a unique story, unpredictable plot twists, and a great delivery. 4/5 stars.
7. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
The last book I read in 2016, and this book blew me away! Poirot is presented with a case where he’s asked to prove the innocence of a suspect. True to his style, he keeps everything to himself and makes grand revelations at the end. Thanks to all the red herrings, the ending turned out to be a surprise. Sad Cypress has made it onto the list of my favorite of Agatha Christie’s books. 4.5/5 stars.
What’s the best book you read in 2016? I’d love to hear your recommendations 🙂
I also love books set in WWII too! I have yet to read the The Book Thief, but will definitely do that this year. Also The Kite Runner (and all the other Hosseini’s books) is a pretty special book isn’t it? Last year I read The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and it is also amazing. Really curious of Everything, Everything!January 9, 2017 at 11:09 am
The Book Thief is incredible, I think you’re gonna love it. I have yet to read The Sun is Also A Star, but soon! (my cousin said it’s better than Everything, Everything though. We’ll see 😉 )January 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm
I kinda love Jhumpa Lahiri the way I love Haruki Murakami and The Lowland is my favorite!
The best thing I read in 2016: Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life 😀 700+ pages and worth it…..January 10, 2017 at 10:04 am
I was impressed with The Lowland, and now I’m curious to read The Namesake.
I’ve been wanting to read A Little Life, I know it’s incredible, but it sounds like it’s a bit too dark and heavy for me to handle right now 😀January 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm
Let’s have a Lowland club 🙂 Lowland was my first Lahiri’s book and how I love it. I love how it is a perfect combination of politic, history and family drama. I’m catching up with Interpreter of Maladies now.January 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm
The Lowland was AMAZING. I always love historical fiction, added some drama in it and it’s perfect. Yes, let’s have a Lowland club haha. What do you think of Interpreter of Maladies? That’s on my list, but I haven’t got the chance to read it.January 26, 2017 at 9:55 am
I checked on my profile on Goodreads after you posted a tweet about it. LOL – 0 book read in 2016, but do textbooks count? Hehe. I was too stressed out after exams in 2016 that the last thing I wanted after an exam was to read another book. However, after creating a profile on Pottermore and discovered my House, I decided to read the Harry Potter series over again. I bought the enhanced editions on iBook and am currently halfway through with the first book. 😀January 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm
Any book counts, so yes textbooks count too! 😉 Harry Potter series never disappoints, no matter how many times you’ve read them. Good choice 🙂January 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm