2016 rewind | best of books

I can easily say that I read more in 2016 than I have any other year-- my goal was 52 books and my total was 63, but I think I'll probably get to 64 or 65 before the year officially ends. I'm thankful for how much I was able to read this year, how many new authors I discovered, and how many new bloggers I discovered through books.

If there's one thing I learned in regards to reading, it's that I really don't have a favorite genre because each one of my favorite books from this year is so completely different.  I also learned that sometimes the hype around a book is real, sometimes it's not, and sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit can really pay off.

These were my five favorites that I read this year, plus a couple of honorable mentions that really stand out and weren't quickly forgotten. I linked each book back to my original review.

A Prayer for Owen Meany | This is probably my favorite book of all time- at least in the top 3. I picked it up completely randomly after seeing it in a Bookbub email and I totally think it was meant to be.
Finding Audrey | I loved everything about this book. The story, the characters, and dialogue, the parts that were told through a script. Anxiety and depression is so, so real and I loved Kinsella's take on in this novel.
Pretty Girls | Hands down the best thriller/horror book I've ever read. This was a 5-star book I would never read again because it was so dark and at times graphic.
Daring Greatly | Brene Brown's research is so insightful and interesting to me, and I think just about anyone can find something inspiring out of this book.
Homegoing | Beautiful writing and storytelling in such a unique format.

honorable mentions: Swear on This Life, Eligible, The Mothers

What were some of the best books you read this year?

in case you missed it: what I read in December

32 comments

  1. I haven't read any of your favorites from this year which is good news for me!! I actually read more this year than I have in years past as well and I feel the same way - no real favorite genre but my love for reading has come back in full force! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. Adding some of your favorites to my list because I haven't read any. Loved Swear On This Life!

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  3. Good for you for beating your goal! I haven't read any of your favorites for the year so I will definitely be adding all of those to my list! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  4. Owen was one of my favorites for years and years...I wonder if I'd still feel that way if I read it now. Nonetheless, the memory of reading it still ranks in my top reading experiences of all time.

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  5. Oh wow good to know about Pretty Girls. So you liked it but it's just too much to read again?

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  6. I liked Finding Audrey and I also enjoyed Daring Greatly (not so much with Rising Strong).
    I didn't finish Pretty Girls because I was bored but sometimes Kindle copies do that to me, you know?
    I'll get to The Mothers soon!

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  7. Pretty Girls is on my Nook but due to everyone giving the same warning I haven't read yet, haha. Trying to mentally prepare. Just bought Homegoing (thank you, Christmas gift cards!) and can't wait to read it!!

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  8. Pretty Girls made my list too. I'm not sure if I would reread it again either but I sure raced through it. I put Homegoing and The Mothers on hold at the library and should have them in early 2017. Heard so many great things about both of them. Finding Audrey is already on my TBR as well. But I am adding A Prayer for Owen Meany to it!

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  9. I'm reeeally excited to read Homegoing and The Mothers!! I've actually never read a book by Sophie Kinsella but Finding Audrey sounds promising as my first one.

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  10. Way to go on kicking your reading goal's butt this year! I'm still surprised by how much I read as well, so I can't wait to see what 2017 brings! Homegoing was one of my favorite books this year too, and I still can't wait to read Pretty Girls! I love thrillers, especially the twisted ones! A Prayer For Owen Meaney is on my list, and I hope to read it soon!

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  11. So many of these are on my reading list still, so I can't wait to get them from the library. I loved Finding Audrey based on your recommendation - such a cute story and another winner from Sophie Kinsella!

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  12. I really liked Finding Audrey too. I loved her relationship with her brother <3

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  13. I really need to read Pretty Girls soon! So many people have it on their favorites list! :)

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  14. I had the complete opposite thoughts on Owen Meany. I couldn't even finish it.

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  15. Pretty Girls was very good, but too graphic for me! I think for that reason, I put it out of the running - it's hard to recommend! It definitely kept my interest, though. I'm definitely going to look into Homegoing now.

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  16. I haven't read any of these - adding them all to my library request list!

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  17. i am so glad 2 of your honorable mentions are 2 of my faves :) hehe. the mothers is also on my list! homegoing is also on my list, i keep hearing about it.
    and you are so right - sometimes the hype is real and sometimes its not. sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone pays off, sometimes it backfires. lol. i don't know if i have a favourite genre, but i do have a comfort zone i think.

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  18. You've definitely intrigued me with your description of Pretty Girls. I haven't read too many thrillers within my reading lifetime, but at the same time I don't actively try and avoid them. I'll definitely be adding it to my list of potential thrillers to read!

    Fleur @ FranklyBooks just posted THE STORY BEHIND MY EMAIL & BOOK EXTRACT

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  19. That is a LOT of books and I'm extremely impressed (and jealous! I didn't read half as many.)
    I think I'm going to focus more on reading this upcoming year and I'm starting with these book recommendations! And way to go, surpassing your reading goals! :]

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  20. I did a Favorite Book Swap with my book club and received The Owen Meany book. Excited to see it on your list!

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  21. I'm going to look into Owen Meany...I remember hearing about that book a lot last year and sort of dismissing it, but your review is pretty convincing!! ;) I am on the holds list for Homegoing and currently reading The Mothers :) I, too, absolutely loved Eligible and quite enjoyed Swear on this Life!

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  22. I really loved Swear On This Life and I need to read more by the author! I'm curious about The Prayer of Owen Meaney. Sounds like I need to read it in 2017!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  23. I really need to read Homegoing, I've heard so much about it but never got around to reading it. I've read some decent books this year, some that stand out are Everything I Never Told You, Girl at War, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and The Couple Next Door. Also, congrats on exceeding your Goodreads goal!

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  24. I read Pretty Girls and would give the exact same review...I could NOT put it down but it was so demented! And I read Daring Greatly this year too...it took me forever because there was so much goodness to soak up.

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  25. John Irving is one of my very favorite authors so I was happy to see Owen Meany at the top of your list! You should check out World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules.

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  26. I loved Finding Audrey as well. Such great character development. Going to download A Prayer for Owen Meany now.

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  27. I think that Homegoing was the most important book I read this year. I want to check out some of the others on your list. Congratulations on reading so many books! I love reading books that are outside of my comfort zone. I read a thriller for the first time this year and I ended up loving it so much that I read about 4 or 5 more.

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  28. Did you know that the movie Simon Bosch is based off a Prayer for Owen Meany? It is probably about 20 years old now but I loved the movie!

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  29. Years ago, I read a couple John Irving books that I loved and then bought a bunch more of his and A Prayer for Owen Meany was one of them! Unfortunately, I never ended up reading it and it's still collecting dust on my bookshelf. I am definitely going to have to change that!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

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  30. I didn't read that much--I did some on vacation--but I'm so busy! Audiobooks is where I've been lately on my holiday travels.

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  31. Awesome! Thanks for sharing! One of my goals for this year is to read more!

    xx
    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

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  32. I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany too. One of my top favourite books of all time. I think One True Loves and Happiness for Beginners were two of my favourite books of 2016!

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