Tuesday’s Top Ten: Books Read in 2016
The time for procrastination is over. Now is the time to share my top ten books read in 2016. As I said last year, these are books I read in 2016, not necessarily books released in 2016.
10. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I know I talked about this one a lot throughout the sixteen-week experience. It’s hard to deny that this book gave me a reason to cut the negative from my life and create for the sake of creating. I might read it again to kick off 2017.
9. Tim on Broadway by Rick Bettencourt. This book was a lot of fun. I really appreciate Bettencourt’s attention to detail, and his fantastic storytelling. He entwined a fledgling love story with a trip to see a legend in concert. Anyone who is part of a fandom can relate.
8. Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford. I usually avoid this story line: cop falls in love with a murder victim’s cousin while investigating the murder. The Korean social mores and strong characters kept me reading. Rhys Ford has such a great grasp of character voice, each distinct and personal. This is the first book in a series, so I can’t wait to read the rest. (Well aware I’m behind the times. Remember that first paragraph?)
7. Winter Ball / Summer Lessons by Amy Lane. I love these guys so much. I loved the story of Skipper and Richie, the soccer besties turned lovers. While I expected Richie’s terrible family to be even more terrible, I love how Amy Lane crafts her stories to be both realistic and have the best possible outcome at the same time. I also loved the not-at-all subtle flirting Mason used on Skipper. Mason then becomes the main character of Summer Lessons, and we learn all about his childhood foot-in-mouth disease. Terry is his perfect match, but he has to let Terry recognize that truth, once he’s extricated himself from his mother’s toxic home. I read these books eleven months apart, and still caught the soccer team’s inside jokes. I can’t wait to read more about Mason’s brother Dane and Skip’s work buddy.
6. Zombies Ahead! by Z Allora. If you don’t know Z, and you haven’t read her work, this is a great place to start. I loved the premise behind her zombies. Her spin on zombie lore is fun and the slow-burn romance worked to build the world for the series.
5. Ice and Embers / Iron and Ether by August Li. Two books, same series. I love Gus’s storytelling so much. In Ice and Embers and Iron and Ether, I fell more and more in love with Sasha. Yarrow and Duncan are equally strong characters, but Sasha’s the glue that holds them together. I also should mention I have a soft spot in my heart for assassins. (Sasha’s the one on the right.)
4. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. I loved everything about this book. It’s everything I wanted Starship Troopers to be. I love the wisdom and experience needed to be a soldier, the boot camp that would make R. Lee Ermey proud, and the mystery surrounding people who enlisted but didn’t make it to 75.
3. Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan. I read Love Lessons in 2014, and then read Fever Pitch and Lonely Hearts back to back this year. I love this series so much. So why am I singling out Lonely Hearts, when I’ve added other series books together? Because Baz is one of my favorite characters EVER, not just this series. Lonely Hearts also had great scenes for every couple in the series, and even included a cameo from characters in Dance with Me. This was a culmination of Heidi Cullinan’s work for me, and I am a huge fan of my fellow Iowan.
2. Black John by Amy Lane. I love the Johnnies series, and I know Amy Lane’s struggle with this character, and this novel. Anyone who knows Dex’s story blames John for the shit between Dex and Scott. Who could possibly love that druggie bastard, right? But Galen, a lawyer recovering from a disastrous motorcycle accident and an addict of his own making, is the perfect man to show John that sobriety and forgiveness will be his redemption. Some of the Johnnies boys (and Winter Ball soccer mates) also made appearances in Freckles, which made me smile.
1. Kings Rising: Captive Prince III, by C.S. Pacat. I loved this series, and I love how the two princes, Damen and Laurent, finally see each other as equals and as partners in their goal to become rulers of their respective countries. Fitting end to a fantastic trilogy. I LOVED seeing the cosplay at YaoiCon, too!
Honorable Mention: the Candy Man series by Amy Lane. I read Lollipop and Tart and Sweet this year. Ezra is adorable, and Miguel so noble, but NOTHING in this series tops my darling Mikhail making an appearance as Cyril’s dance instructor in Tart and Sweet. Mikhail IS my favorite character. EVER. If he drops by the law offices of Freckles‘ dad sometime soon, that would also be awesome. ^__^
Okay, so that’s a stretch. I’m quite mad. My blog title says so.