Book Reviews / Bookish Discussions

Best New Books of 2016…So Far

We’re almost at the halfway point of the year and I was inspired by some book bloggers who are putting out their “best of” book lists so far this year.

My reading this year has been a bit slow. But that could just be me. I’ve been verrry distracted this year with a new home, a career transition, going back to school and fighting the time-sucking angst of the news/media. But these books have been absolutely wonderful and many are short story collections-big surprise.

The Heart by Maylis De Kerangal. For it’s run-on sentences, gorgeous prose, multiple character perspectives and pushing me out of my reading comfort zone. “I’ve never read anything like this before, the subject matter, the writing style…I really have nothing to compare it to.”

Dog Run Moon by Callan Wink. A debut collection with “themes woven in about relationships, loneliness and identity with the atmospheric backdrop of the West…stories about everyday people with a bit of an edge and makes you feel uncomfortable while cringe/laughing.”

You Should Pity Us Instead by Amy Gustine. Another debut collection to check out. “Reoccurring themes of the relationship between parents and children. You might be upset, left hanging, surprised, relieved…all of it. I will tell you that all of them don’t end with a neat little bow and I loved it.”

Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin. This book has either fans or foes. I’m in the fan camp. Big fan. Poetry-like books are working for me this year which is a big surprise. The protagonist thinks and dreams in poetry. “It felt like a combination of short stories, poetry and self-reflection. I realized that these types of books are my favorite reads. The ones that are deeply embedded with inner thoughts and profound life realizations.” If I don’t stop talking about it now it will become a ramble, just like my review.

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley. Completely opposite from Forty Rooms is this thriller/mystery. The ending and reason for the plane crash is stirring up some debates. But I enjoyed it for what it was: a page-turning, psychological thriller. It was well written, the characters were very interesting and read like a blockbuster movie/TV series. It was the perfect distraction and yet eerily familiar to the social media/news craziness.

Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter. Another book that hit me in all the feels and woke up my poetry deficiencies. “I think it worked for me because of all the elements. The beautiful language appealed to my love for words. The emotional content gave it staying power. The magical realism stretched my mind. And the style(s) and symbolism made me work a bit for the reward.”

Beasts & Children by Amy Parker. And yet another debut collection that used up numerous flags, post-its and produced a fine at the library just to keep it longer. “Ten linked stories that are some of the best I’ve read this year. Possibly ever. Those who don’t like short stories, take a chance of this collection. They must be read in order and I will warn readers that some are not pretty. Some are downright hard to read, but the darkness is important to the light that comes later. I promise.”

 

What have been some of your favorite books this year so far?

Bloggers-please add your “best of” post link in the comments below.

 

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3 thoughts on “Best New Books of 2016…So Far

  1. Good choices for top picks! I’d have a hard time settling on a favorite. I’ve read lots of good books, but not as many of them feel like they’ve been standouts. But if I had to pick, Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein for nonfiction, and LaRose by Louise Erdrich for fiction.

  2. I’ve only read one of these, but the rest are some I’m hankering to get to (probably because of your prior praise of them). I actually have Dog Run Moon from the library right now, but don’t think I’ll be able to get to it before it’s due back. Curses!

    Great list!

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