Books I read in 2016, ranked from best to worst

I was never really one to read for enjoyment. I hated reading comprehension and library classes in elementary school, and continued to hate English class in high school. I avoided the subject all together in university by taking a science degree. There were a few books that I loved and read and reread, mostly by Douglas Adams, but I didn’t get much from most books and would pick the easiest or shortest for any assignments.

I found myself looking for relaxing escapism when I started my graduate studies. The normal go-tos of TV, movies, and the internet weren’t doing it for me. So I started to pick up novels, some I had read before and others that were in my husband’s collection. When I exhausted those, I started to check out random books from the library shelves. I used GoodReads to track my progress and get recommendations for new titles to check out.

At the beginning of 2016 GoodReads prompted me to set a reading challenge. I thought finishing one book every 2 weeks would be a manageable goal, so I set my goal to 26 books. I passed that goal in 7 months. GoodReads tells me I finished 45 books, or 15 939 pages. It feels like I read more books this year than in all other years of my life combined. If I don’t count school assignments, I am sure this is true.

books_2016books_2016_pagesNaturally, now that I’ve read so many books I wanted to rank them based on how much I enjoyed reading them. You could also take this as a recommendation list if you’re looking for your next novel.

  • Numbers 1 – 9 are joining Douglas Adams’ in my favourite books
  • Numbers 10 – 21 were good and I would read them again
  • Numbers 22 – 31 were readable, but for one reason or another I would not willingly reread them
  • Numbers 32 – 40 were not good and hard to finish
  • Number 41 was hot garbage, and the only book on this list that I didn’t couldn’t finish

Best Reads of 2016

  1. Anansi Boys (American Gods, #2) by Neil Gaiman
  2. Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
  3. American Gods (American Gods, #1) by Neil Gaiman
  4. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages (J. W. Wells & Co., #7) by Tom Holt
  5. You Don’t Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps (J. W. Wells & Co., #4) by Tom Holt
  6. Nevada by Imogen Binnie
  7. A Matter Of Blood (The Dog-Faced Gods #1) by Sarah Pinsborough
  8. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
  9. Earth, Air, Fire and Custard (J. W. Wells & Co., #3) by Tom Holt 
  10. What’s Bred in the Bone (Cornish Trilogy, #2) by Robertson Davies
  11. The Better Mousetrap (J. W. Wells & Co., #5) by Tom Holt
  12. Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery, #1) by M. L. Longworth 
  13. Doing Happiness: Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Feeling Good by Robert Hawke
  14. The New Moon’s Arms by Nalo Hopkinson
  15. May Contain Traces of Magic(J. W. Wells & Co., #6) by Tom Holt
  16. In Your Dreams (J. W. Wells & Co., #2) by Tom Holt
  17. The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez
  18. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
  19. The Rebel Angels (Cornish Trilogy, #1) by Robertson Davies
  20. Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream
  21. Unravel (Fairfax, #1) by Calia Read 
  22. The Intruders by Michael Marshall
  23. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  24. Insane City by Dave Barry
  25. Death Warmed Over (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, #1) by Kevin J. Anderson
  26. The Way We Fall (Fallen World, #1) by Megan Crewe
  27. Inside Out (Insider, #1) by Maria V. Snyder
  28. The Shadow of the Soul (The Dog-Faced Gods, #2) by Sarah Pinborough
  29. The Chosen Seed (The Dog-Faced Gods, #3) by Sarah Pinborough
  30. Prodigy (Legend, #2) by Marie Lu
  31. Champion (Legend, #3) by Marie Lu 
  32. John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1) by David Wong
  33. A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle
  34. Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1) by Jeyn Roberts
  35. Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) by Kami Garcia
  36. The Cat by Edeet Ravel
  37. When It’s A Jar (YouSpace, #2) by Tom Holt
  38. Doughnut (YouSpace, #1) by Tom Holt
  39. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  40. The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide to Celebrating Your True Self by Elizabeth Wagele
  41. Read first 200 pages but didn’t finish because it was garbage: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare 

School-related (unranked)

  • Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us by S. Lochlan Jain
  • Migrants in Translation: Caring and the Logics of Difference in Contemporary Italy by Cristiana Giordano
  • When Bodies Remember: Experiences and Politics of AIDS in South Africa by Didier Fassin
  • Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science by Kim TallBear

2017 Goal

Next year I’ve decided to challenge myself in another way: I want to read 26 books by trans and/or non-white authors. I’ve started to collect ideas on a GoodReads book list, but I’m happy to take suggestions!

7 responses to “Books I read in 2016, ranked from best to worst”

  1. Wow! That’s a serious reading list Alaina! I have only read one of the books on your list this year The Girl on the Train. I am intrigued to follow up on your recommendations, Wishing you every good thing for the year ahead.

    1. Thanks for having a look and leaving a comment, Marie! Aside from Nevada, my “read and loved” books were all sci-fi/fantasy and mostly comedic which likely explains why I didn’t enjoy reading in school.

      If you like mystery (like The Girl on the Train), you might want to try Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery, #1) by M. L. Longworth or Unravel (Fairfax, #1) by Calia Read. Something tells me you might also like What’s Bred in the Bone (Cornish Trilogy, #2) by Robertson Davies, and you don’t need to read the first book in the trilogy to follow the story.

  2. When They Fade by Jeyn Roberts is such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, compelling novel. I think you will love it! 🙂

  3. […] year I posted Books I read in 2016, ranked from best to worst, so here’s my list for this […]

  4. […] Books I read in 2016, ranked from best to worst […]

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