In case you missed yesterday’s post, here is Part One of my Top Reads for 2016 so that you can catch up. Today I’ll begin posting the #1 read in each category for 2016 leading up to my pick for Book of the Year! While there were so many reads I wanted to include and had the hardest time narrowing down my picks, the following choices were books that stood out in multiple ways and have been kept near the forefront of my mind since reading them. Have you read any of the following books yet? Are any on your TBR for 2017? I’d love to hear your thoughts; I’ll stop rambling now and get to the choices!
Best Thriller 2016
When I think of a thriller, I expect lightning speed pacing, twists to keep me guessing, and at least one character I can root for. If you haven’t read See How They Run yet, you are in for a treat and should immediately move it up your TBR list. I’ve read approximately 200-225 suspense/thrillers this year, so I think it says a lot that this particular book stood out among the rest. It’s funny because I didn’t even want to read this book initially; I saw the description and didn’t think I could handle the aspect of a thriller involving a baby. After seeing all my friends giving this book 5+ stars I had to see what all the hype was about; for once it was spot on and it will be hard to find a thriller to top this one in the years to come. Find my original thoughts and review HERE.
Best Mystery/Police Procedural 2016
I decided to combine these two categories as Allen Eskens won both with this book! Wow; ladies and gentlemen, this is how a police procedural should be done. While I read many fantastic mysteries this year, this one took the cake; the writing was elegant and intriguing, the plot was realistic and believable, and Eskens has done a phenomenal job of weaving familiar characters in and out of his books to make them easily read as standalones while having the depth and feeling of a beloved series. I would highly recommend reading his other two books first if you don’t want to stumble across a few minor spoilers. You can find my original thoughts and review HERE.
Best Historical Fiction/Mystery 2016
Earlier this year I was contacted by Seventh Street Books to read the latest in James Ziskin’s “Ellie Stone” series, but I’m a sucker for wanting to read books in order. They happily agreed to send me all four books in the series and I blew through them faster than my kids with a bag of donuts. Or myself with a bag of donuts. Ellie has easily become a close friend who I am glad I became acquainted with; I am eagerly anticipating book #5 coming this summer as Ziskin has hooked me with his trademark big ending twists and his quality writing. While I loved the entire series, I chose book #3 to highlight as it was my absolute favorite. Find my original thoughts and review HERE.
Best Series 2016
Angela Marsons’ Silent Scream was my very first read of 2016. I loved it so much that I have read the series (to date) in about 10 months, and that was only due to having to wait for that pesky thing called “Angie was writing book #5”. 😉 While I have absolutely been engrossed with each book, I chose to highlight book #4 as it’s plot involves a place across the pond similar to our Body Farm in Knoxville, TN. That being said, really this award is going to the entire series as a whole and it should be pushed to the very top of your list for 2017 if you haven’t started or caught up on all the books. You can find my original thoughts and review HERE.
Best Plot Twist 2016
I picked this up last January as one of my first NetGalley reads of 2016 and it is still haunting me. This debut from Lisa Hall blew my mind; I hate to harp on it (in case by some miracle you haven’t read this one yet), but it has a killer twist. I’ll be the first to admit it could have been the timing that caused such whiplash for me; not only was I one of the first people to read it for review purposes, but there were only one or two reviews posted at the time so I had the luxury of not expecting such a massive twist and was able to read it without looking for said twist. I was so taken aback by the ending that I had to immediately scroll back to the beginning and skim read the book once more. Find my original thoughts and review HERE.
Best Horror/Dark Fiction 2016
Alright, so this one isn’t technically “horror” in the classic sense, but it was the closest thing I read to it last year since I don’t typically read in the horror genre. This was a highly disturbing and well written book; I’m still not certain how the author concocted such a terrifying, yet mesmerizing read that could cater to such a mainstream audience. This book almost had a fantasy feel to it and you have to be willing to overlook many discrepancies that make it unrealistic, but overall this was a highly entertaining read that I included for the sheer fact that I still can’t stop thinking about it. You can find my original thoughts and review HERE.
Well, this is awkward, but I think I am going to have to make a part two to “Part Two” with my remaining six choices as my word count is already over 1,000 for this post. Tomorrow’s choices will include Best Science Fiction, Best Paranormal (Suspense) Fiction, Best Literary Fiction, Best Young Adult, Best Contemporary/Romance, and finally Best Book of the Year! Stay tuned for the final books of 2016 and wishing you the happiest new year in your personal life as well as in your reading!