2016 Books: The Good

In total this year, I read 129 books! That’s 38,293 pages! According to GoodReads. I only gave five stars on GoodReads to 27 of them (about 21%). Also 3 of them were recommended to me by other people as part of my Recommended Books project! Good job, friends!


This is the one I’m choosing as my Favorite Book of 2016, mostly because I haven’t stopped thinking about it, even though I read it near the beginning of this year. The story was so imaginative and the illustrations were awesome.

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
This grahpic novel is BEAUTIFUL and so imaginative. It’s a story set thousands of years ago about an explorer from one of the poles, traveling in a canoe to different places, facing monsters and hostile civilizations, to find his True Love, who lives at the other pole. The illustrations are so great.

Other Graphic Novels

Lumberjanes Volumes 3- 4 by Noelle Stevenson

I can never get enough of these hardcore, more badass girl scouts. This time they fight an ancient demigod monster that lives in the mountain near their camp.

Princeless Volumes 1-3 by Jeremy Whitley
A princess trapped in a tower makes a deal with the dragon guarding her, and the two go off to rescue all the other trapped princesses! It’s so badass and amazing!!

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Daaaaang this graphic novel starts subtly creepy and ends TERRIFYING

Tomboy by Liz Prince
This is a graphic novel memoir about not fitting in to society’s gender roles, so you know I’m there. #tomboysolidarity

YA and children’s fiction

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
This book was about a fat girl entering her town’s teen beauty pageant with a bunch of other high school social outcasts to make a statement. I really liked its message and identified with the main character #fatgirlsolidarity

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
This book was rad. The main character lives on her dad’s magical ship that can travel to anywhere that’s been mapped. Anywhere. Ancient China. El Dorado. Modern day New York. 1800s Hawaii. It’s nautical time travel fantasy with cool maps.

The Whisper (Riverman Trilogy, #2) by Aaron Starmer

It’s weird that, of this trilogy, this middle one is the only book to get 5 stars. The story is about the worlds you create in your imagination as a child, and those worlds being very much real and connected. This second book is a search through the various interconnected worlds of different imaginations on a hunt for a best friend and a villain.

Augie and the Green Knight by Zach Weiner
This book is an adorable and sassy retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight featuring amazing illustrations!

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
A Recommended Book! This one was set in Florida and featured angsty teens, but the narration wasn’t over-the-top and annoying COUGHJohnGreenCOUGH.

Adult Fiction

Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age (The Last Hundred Years trilogy) by Jane Smiley
I devoured this series that follows one family through 100 years. Each chapter is about the next year. A little history, a little future speculation, a lot of family drama. It reminded me of Edward Rutherford on a smaller scale.

Re Jane by Patricia Park
A modern version of Jane Eyre where no one has to marry gross Mr. Rochester! And part of it is set in South Korea!

Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE ROMEO AND JULIET!!! In one of the endings you team up with Hamlet‘s Ophelia for epic revenge.

Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
An epistolary novel! That’s pretty silly! It has some PTA drama, some international intrigue, and an epic cruise to Antarctica! And a mystery!

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Another book from my Recommended Books project! This is a sci-fi novel about a badass lady mercenary working as a security guard on an oddly accident-prone cargo ship. It’s cool to see a book from the point of view of one of the ship grunt’s, doubly so because she’s a woman.


Things No One Tells Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
I’m really into Health at Every Size and body positivity because my past experience has taught me that weight and health might be correlated but don’t have as clear cut a causal relationship as commonly believed. This book is a series of (funny) essays about self-image, dealing with bullies, and living life.

Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
I really enjoyed Peggy Orenstein’s last book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and this feels very much like a sequel to it, featuring interviews with teens and college-age girls.

Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Hermann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff
Bet you’ve never heard of this awesome lady magician!! Your loss, because she was awesome.

The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins
Non-fiction that reads like fiction! I learned a lot of worrying things about healthcare!

Saving Alex: When I was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper
This book is terrifying, more so because it’s very real. Alex Cooper’s account of her time in “gay conversion therapy” reads like an account of kidnapped and abused child victims except her parents willingly put her there and to this day refuse to believe that was a terrible decision.

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan
This was part of my Recommended Books project this year! It’s a biography of Thomas Francis Meagher, who was exiled to Tasmania for his part in a failed Great Potato Famine-era Irish revolution, escaped imprisonment, and went on to become governor of Montana-territory!! Another non-fiction book that reads like a novel; I learned a lot.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer
A non-fiction book about little-known destinations around the world!!

Previously: 2015: The Good
Next: 2016: The Bad

3 responses to “2016 Books: The Good”

  1. Awesome list! I feel like I read like an aggregate of maybe one book this year lol

  2. […] to me: 100% I’m pleased to say that three of the books from this project made it onto my Best Books of 2016 list! In October I read this book recommended by a library […]

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