The end of the year is awesome when it comes to all the “best of the year in books” lists – which pretty much is how we pick the first few books that we start off a new year reading. Here are 10 books that we saw buzzing around the “best of the year” lists that we missed and are keen to read.
Tanya – So many pretties …
Nutshell, Ian McEwan
Once I read the summary for this, I knew this weird sounding book needed to go on my reading list.
Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse but John’s not here. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month old resident of Trudy’s womb.
Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
Y’all know I’m not a huge fan of contemporary novels, but Commonwealth made Sarah’s Best Books of 2016 list – and I’m a sucker for these types of “doomed marriages” books.
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.
Ballad of Black Tom, Victor Lavalle
When I see a SFF book by an author of color, I’m going to stop and check it out. The summary of this one hooked me – and I remember thinking that LaValle had quite a way with characters when I read Devil in Silver way back in the day.
Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.
Kim – This is a hard list to narrow down!
Stiletto, Daniel O’Malley
This title caught my eye but I realized it’s book 2 in a series. Looks like I’ll have to read the first one before I can get into this one.
As bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women, who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
I’ve been in the mood for a really good space opera for awhile now and I think this will fit the bill.
Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.
The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner
This is billed as contemporary young adult, something I usually stay away from, but the synopsis has me curious.
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.
The Trespasser, Tana French
Well, of course I’m going to read the next Tana French book. I’m pleased to see so many people adding it to their best of lists.
Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before.
It looks like we’ve got some reading to do!
Are there any books on 2016 Best Of lists that caught your eye?