My favorite books from 2016

2016 has the lowest number of books read of any year since I started keeping track--258.  I was generous to myself in not finishing books I wasn't enjoying, didn't take the bus to work very often, and was busy with a big project.  But there were some good ones.

My favorites. based on the simple criteria of "will I give them precious shelf space on the second floor of the house because of wanting to re-read them" (some books get kept for possible re-reading, but on the first floor, others get donated to the library).  This is a different criteria from "books I would save if a fire were threatening to consume all the books I read in 2016" because that would be a rather longer list.

Middle Grade fantasy:

The Creeping Shadow, by Jonathan Stroud (bonus winner of "most intriguing skull character")
The Evil Wizard Smallbone, by Delia Sherman (bonus winner of "most helpful magical bookstore")
The Mage of Trellian, by Michelle Knudson (bonus winner of "mg fantasy series that I love that not enough people have read")
Secrets of the Dragon Tomb, by Patrick Samphire (bonus winner of "character most like Percy Blakeney")

YA fantasy:

The Mountain of Kept Memory, by Rachel Neumeier
The Queen of Blood, by Sarah Beth Durst
The Keeper of the Mist, by Rachel Neumeier
A Thousand Nights, by E.K. Johnson
The Raven King, by Maggie Steifvater

side note:  I seem to enjoy stories of young women caught in webs of political power (Raven King being an exception).  But I am picky about them- at least three I didn't finish this year count as that subject....Now that I am aware of this, I will pay attention in 2017 to see what it is that makes me love some but not others.

Favorite Re-reads:

Sue Barton, Student Nurse, by Helen Dore Boylston  A regular reread. Best nursing story ever, even though it's set in the days of ether cones (see Sue Barton: Neighborhood Nurse).
Elizabeth of the Garret Theatre, by Gwendoline Courtney, an English family story of yesteryear about four free-spirited girls whose reviled stepmother turns out to be really good at shopping and home decorating.Soothing.


  1. Reading more Rachel Neumeier is one thing I really need to do in 2017!

  2. I'm so glad I found the Trelian books thanks to you! :)

  3. I had a low reading year, too. Maybe it was the year. I really need to pick up Evil Wizard Smallbone now!

    1. It's not like you didn't have other things to do, of course.....and yes, I think you'd enjoy Smallbone!

  4. I haven't read any of these- so I loved hearing which books get a special spot on the second floor. :)

    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017. :)

  5. Reading 258 books is still pretty good! :)


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