Thursday, December 29, 2016

Show Us Your Books - The Best of 2016

Yes...  I'm late.  I know, I know.  Between the blogging slump I've been in much of the fall and the holidays and traveling here and there, I completely let time get away from me and before I knew it, the day for this link rolled around and I wasn't ready.  Well, better late than never, right?

Without further ado, here are my "Best Of" books for 2016:

Best Audiobook Performance

Santino Fontana 
(narrator of Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes)

Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell 
(narrators of The Help by Katherine Stockett)

Cary Elwes, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Robin Wright, and Rob Reiner 
(narrators of As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales of the Making of The Princess Bride)

Of all the "Best Of" categories I've included in this post, this one was the most difficult for me to select only one or two winners, so I went with my gut and selected three.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know how much of an auditory crush I have on Mr. Fontana's voice.  Although I didn't like Hidden Bodies as well as its predecessor, YOU, Santino's portrayal of the sociopath, Joe, was hypnotic.  I swear I could listen to that man read the telephone book for hours.

The multi-cast performance of The Help made the book seem more like a performance rather than a book being read to me.  And, as I mentioned in my review of As You Wish, it felt more like the cast of the movie came over to my house one afternoon to regale me with their insider stories rather than listening to an audiobook.  

Best Book Boyfriend
Braden Carmichael 
(On Dublin Street by Samantha Young)

He doesn't ride a Harley, nor did he wear a kilt.  But, I absolutely loved this modern day, Scottish alpha male's character.  To read my thoughts on this book, click here.

Book I've Recommended the Most
As You Wish:  Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

To read all the good stuff I had to say about this book, click here.

Best Books I Read in 2016 That Are Still Relatively Unknown
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(14,685 ratings on Goodreads)

The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks
(176 ratings on Goodreads)

For this category, I decided to select two.  Maybe in Another Life was one of the few books that received a 5-star rating from me on Goodreads; The Day of the Wave earned a 4-star rating.  You can read my reviews on both of these books here.

Most Unexpected Surprise
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I suspected that I would like Ready Player One because of all the 80s references, but I really had no idea I would like it was well as I did.  For my review, click here.

Best Heroines
Sisters Viann and Isabelle in The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

Both sisters played very different, but essential roles in the French Resistance during WWII.  It was impossible for me to choose one over the other.  For my review of The Nightingale, click here.

Most Worthy of All the Hoopla
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

By the time I read The Help back in the spring, I was probably one of the last people on the planet to finally read it.  I'm not sure why I hadn't read it before, but it is definitely deserving of all the hype it has received.  The Help is one of six books (out of 55) that I gave a 5-star rating on Goodreads this year.  For me review, click here.

Most Disturbing Book
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I'm not one to read scary books, so this may seem like a lame choice to some.  Pretty Girls contained some very disturbing, descriptive material about crimes that, to me, are unsettling and quite repulsive.  I found the acts depicted in the book to be quite scary, graphic, and not for the faint of heart.  These images stayed with me for long time, even after I finished the book.  To read my review, click here.

Funniest Book
The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton

Unbeknownst to me when I started reading it, The Unidentified Redhead is an erotic, romantic comedy novel, something which I've never read before.  Apart from having some of the most descriptive sex scenes I've ever encountered in a book, it had some of the funniest dialogue I've ever heard.  I genuinely laughed out loud throughout the book.  To read my thoughts, click here.

Favorite Character
Joe Goldberg, the sociopath in Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Yes, I often wonder what this says about me, given that my favorite literary character for two years running is a foul mouthed, sociopath who has a knack for making people disappear.  I just can't help it, though.  I love the character of Joe despite all his faults.  In the end, all I want is for Joe to be happy.

So, there you have it - my best of list for the year!  What were some of your best of books of 2016?  Please feel free to share.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Steph and Jana 


  1. I love The Princess Bride so much, so I knew that I added it to my list after your initial review of the book. I definitely to need to make sure that I listen to it though because I'd love to hear what the actual cast narrating the book!

  2. I've contemplated Ready Player One, but world-building books seem like a lot of work to me. Reading descriptions, it seems a *bit* like The Maze Runner?
    I think you feel the way about Joe as I feel about Dexter. I couldn't stand Joe.

  3. Joe is a true favorite character of mine despite all of his flaws...actually probably because of them.

  4. i loved as you wish, and i totally agree - felt like i was hanging out with the cast. and mmmm i really liked braden carmichael lol. i just picked up the unidentified redhead from the library so i'm glad you liked it. i have read another of her books, wallbanger, and it was a bit of a shock and not like anything i've read before, but pretty funny as well.

  5. I really enjoyed As You Wish on audio this year too - it was so fun to watch the movie again after listening to the book! I also love love lovvvved The Nightingale and believe it or not - I have not yet read The Help, but I think I need to ASAP.

  6. It's so funny how some books bring out different reactions in readers. I realize I'm in the minority, but I am just not a Joe fan. Not at all. Like, if I had to choose a character I liked the least in 2016, I'd pick Joe. Hahaha. Again, I'm in the minority.
    I have yet to read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, and although she doesn't write a genre that I most often reach for, I'm am determined to pick up a book of hers based on all the raves I've read.


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