2016 was a pretty good year for me, both with reading and general living, and while I didn’t finish as many books as I’d hoped, I did read some really good ones.
Here are 5 of my favourites, with links to their pages on Goodreads in case you want to look into them further:
Short, original, and beautiful, Binti was a great read. Okorafor works all kinds of unexpected magic with the science fiction and fantasy genres, and I’ve yet to be disappointed with one of her stories. She builds worlds that are both believable and unreal, and writes characters that are likeable despite (and often because of) their flaws. Although Binti reads well as a solo book, I’m pumped to read Home (Binti #2) when it comes out later this month.
I haven’t shut up about this novel since I read it last February. It’s a brilliant work of speculative fiction that explores American slavery in the antebellum South through the eyes of a modern black woman inexplicably sent backwards in time. The writing is breathtaking and the events are heartbreaking. I’m inclined to suggest that this would make my list of Swiss-Army recommendations, and I think about Dana and her experiences regularly – sure signs of a great book.
Funny and bittersweet, this novella tells the story of two sisters with a sinister secret and an unconditional love for each other. I was surprised to find myself reading it for the first time this past year – and happy to experience it without having the plot spoiled for me. How I went two decades as a Jackson fan while skipping over this, I’ll never know.
While the Metamorphosis is open to a myriad of interpretations, I quickly saw shared aspects of my own struggles with mental health and depression in Samsa’s condition. It’s a morbid and darkly funny look at how families deal (or don’t deal) with tragedy, and considered a classic for good reason.
I loved the setting, I loved the plot, I loved the Crakers, and I even had a curious fondness for Snowman. It read like a short story despite being 400 pages, and the ending was deliciously ambiguous. The payoffs, the technology, the bizarre dystopian/post-apocalyptic setting, were all wonderfully fun to read about and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the rest of the trilogy.
I hope you had some gems grace your shelves last year, and here’s to more great reads in 2017!