My lists of favorite books never have anything to do with anyone else's "Best of" lists. They always represent my favorites of the books I've read, not the "Best" books published during a year. And, anyone who follows my blog knows I read popular books, seldom anything that someone would call literary. They're what I like to read, and, most of the time, I read for entertainment.
2016 is half over. Hard to believe, isn't it? So, as in previous years, I've picked my favorite ten books. By the end of the year, some of these books will still be on the list, and others will have been knocked off by something I loved in the second half of the year. Louise Penny's new book doesn't come out until August, for instance. And, I have a debut novel to review for a journal, a book that looks promising. I never know what a debut will bring, and I'm always hopeful. Here's my top 10, in no particular order. What are your favorite books of 2016?
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald brings a book lover from Sweden to Broken Wheel, Iowa to meet her pen pal, only to find she's died. It's the story of one woman's love of books, and how a town and a stranger change each other.
Glen Erik Hamilton's Past Crimes came out in 2015, but I only discovered it this year. The debut novel introduces Van Shaw, an Army Ranger who was raised by his grandfather to be a thief. After ten years of silence between the two, Van's grandfather asks him to come home to Seattle. It's there that Van finds his grandfather bleeding on the floor. Knowing he'll be a likely suspect, he turns to some unlikely friends for help.
In Rita Sepetys' Salt to the Sea, she focuses on a little-known tragedy as she tells the story of refugees fleeing from Prussia in the last days of World War II. Sepetys creates a small group of characters to tell the brutal, riveting story of young people fighting for survival as they try to reach safety.
In Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen, Mary Margaret Miller tells the story of the town and the family farm she loved for entire life. She's an unforgettable narrator as she tells of past family stories, uncovers secrets, and looks back at the valley she always loved, after it disappears.
What can be any better than one of Craig Johnson's novellas featuring Sheriff Longmire and Henry Standing Bear? In The Highwayman, the two travel to Wind River Canyon where a state trooper claims she's receiving calls from a heroic trooper who was killed in the canyon years earlier. It's a wonderful ghost story from a master of the novella.
A ghost story, a romantic quest, an urban fantasy, a couple mysteries, a couple nonfiction books. My selections for the first half of 2016 are a mixed bag. I hope you've enjoyed your 2016 reading as much as I have. Do you have favorites this year?