This year I’ve read some truly outstanding books! For my top choices, I chose many of my 5 star reads with the exception of one 4 1/2 star read which I just had to include. Also, these are books I’ve read in 2016, and that were published this year or before. Since I just started blogging Oct 1 of this year, most of these reads are books I read before I started reviewing.

In no particular order…..




I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I don’t think Sharon Bolton can write a bad book! I loved the premise of a possible wrongly convicted killer, I loved the characters and as always with her books, I loved that I couldn’t figure out the puzzle! I can’t ask for more from a book. You can read my review here







I may have been late to the Joe Goldberg party but all I can say is better late than never that I finally got around to reading/listening to this brilliant book! This is my absolute favorite audiobook of all time thanks to the perfect narration of Santino Fontana who made sociopath Joe come alive. I can’t begin to praise the writing of Caroline Kepnes enough as I was completely addicted to this book! You can read my review here 






I had this book sitting on my kindle for over a year and believe me, I could’ve kicked myself after I read it for having let this gem sit unread for that long. This was my first Beatriz William’s book and I loved everything about it. The historical timeframe, the shifting perspectives, the coastal setting and the memorable characters all combined to make this unputdownable! You can read my review here







You’ll notice this book on many best of lists and for good reason. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but I was so intrigued by this topic and author. His story is heartbreaking yet inspiring. His writing is outstanding. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.







The cover of this book does not do it justice! This is one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve read in years. There’s a little bit of everything in this book…mystery, drama, tragedy, resilience , hope…I could go on. This is a story that will haunt you. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out the mystery surrounding the disaster and how the many characters involved were connected. A must read. 






This book might stand out a little on my list of top reads! However, I love a good romantic comedy/chick-lit every now and then but I haven’t rated many of them 5 stars. Except Bet Me. This was the perfect vacation beach read for me this summer. I loved the characters, they felt real and engaging. The dialogue in this book was fantastic…realistic, witty, sarcastic, laugh out loud funny…it had everything. Such a fun read!






I loved the atmospheric setting, the dialogue, the web-like puzzle that was the mystery of this latest topnotch Tana French novel. You just know you’re in the hands of a master storyteller when you open one of her books. To top it off, her books can be read as standalones, so don’t feel you have to start at book one in the series! You can read my review here







The title of this book had caused me to pass it by in the past, but I’m so glad I finally picked it up. This is a true book lover’s book. The story, the characters, the bookstore setting all drew me in and I read this charming, heartfelt novel in one sitting. I read this in March last year and I still think about the bittersweet ending. 







Once I got past that cover (which is awful) this book became my obsession for 3 full days and nights last New Years. In my defense, it’s 720 pages! It’s the story of four male friends who’s friendship began in college and continued on several decades. I can honestly say I’ve never read a book so devastating and tragic, yet also filled with the healing power of love and friendship. This book gets the award for causing my longest book hangover, lasting 6 weeks! Get your box of tissues ready for this one.






Another cover that doesn’t at all do this book justice! A novel about the impact of war, immigration, infidelity, family, and ultimately love and hope this book weaves seemingly unconnected storylines into a beautifully told story. You won’t be able to stop reading until you find out how they all connect and what becomes of one special little boy





So those are my top 5 star reads of the year but my top reads list wouldn’t be complete without adding one very worthy 4.5 Star read that had one of my very favorite characters I read all year and still think about…..



This book was such a pleasant surprise as I had never heard of this author or title. The plot lived up to it’s blurb…everyone really did have secrets and the ending was a shocker! What put this on my top reads list was the outstanding character of Manny. If you’ve read this you know what I’m talking about and if not, you just have to read this for yourself to experience the memorable Manny:)




Each of these books were so fantastic because they all, in one way or another, made me FEEL something be it good, bad or sad! That’s ultimately what I look for when I pick up a book:) I would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read any of these or would like to, so feel free to drop me a line. I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to everyone’s 2017 reads.



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53 thoughts on “MY TOP READS OF 2016

  1. Did You Ever Have a Family and A Little Life are two of my all time favorite books! I’ve got to read when Breath Becomes Air, since you and so many others have recommended it so highly. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Little Life would be a good one to tackle for a New Years resolution, not only for the sheer length of it but the subject matter and powerful emotions it evokes


      1. haha oh I could give you a list 😉 Try the Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot, or anything book at all by Kristin Higgans. Those two ladies do romance/funny well. Jill Shalvis is one of my favorites she has funny parts in her books but is more contemporary romance. Does that help?

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  2. I actually returned A Little Life to the library unread *hangs head in shame*. Nothing wrong with the story, it’s just that at the time I had a few books checked out that also had long waiting lists and I left this one for last 😦 I ran out of time before I had to return it. I can rush through a book if it’s good, but I loathe having to rush because of a deadline; it makes it feel too much like homework.

    I’ll get back on the waiting list and get this read in 2017… this and Watership Down. For 39 and one-half years I have been trying to get into WD but I haven’t been able to. 2017 will be the year, I can feel it Renee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll forgive you for returning A Little Life unread:) Those sound like perfect reading goals for 2017! Looking forward to your reviews on those….see I’m holding you to your goal!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy! When I put the list together I realized I really did read a wide variety this year…I always feel like I gravitate toward mysteries but so many on my list actually made me cry:) I guess that was my 5 star indicator this year! I think you and I definitely like similar mysteries

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jamie! You is crazy good, I was obsessed with listening to the audiobook of it, if you can get ahold of it, the narrator is the BEST as Joe. Let me know if you read it!


  3. I’ve only read one on your list, but it’s a great one – Daisy in Chains! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging since October – it feels as if you’ve been part of the blogosphere for ages. Here’s to another great year of books and blogging! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I feel like I’ve been involved longer, I love talking with others about books so I’ve made a point of chatting with so many of you wonderful book lovers, it’s the best community to be a part of! Happy New Year

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  4. I hope you’re feeling better Renee! I’ve read three of this and I loved them! I need to keep reading Tana French and try Beatriz Williams. I think I will do my new year resolutions now 😀 Happy new year, I’m so happy I got to e-meet you this year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Annie, I’m feeling better:) ! I would never have read Tall Oaks if it wasn’t for your recommendation so you have to shout at me whenever you come across a book you love haha! I think you’ll really like A Hundred Summers if you read it. I haven’t been big on NY resolutions in the past but this year, thanks to blogging and all the fantastic books on my TBR, mine will involve prioritizing my TBR. I’m very happy we got to e-meet, I feel like we are on the same wavelength for books so much of the time:) Have a very Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a good variety on your list! Several of these I haven’t even heard of. I need to get to The Trespasser soon. I haven’t read anything by that author, yet. I bought a copy of You on sale at B&N…this is going to be the year for it!
    I hope you read a lot more awesome books in 2017. Happy New Year, Renee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brandie! I surprised myself by reading a bigger variety than I thought this year. I think you’ll love You and The Trespasser. Another book of hers that’s great is Broken Harbor. Can’t wait to hear what great books you come across in 2017, Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we’ve already discussed our disagreement on The Trespasser but I thoroughly agree with you on the Little Life cover (who thought that one up)? I still have to read it – the length has been intimidating me for some reason. Typically I don’t mind longer books. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the length is intimidating and the first 200 or so pages she sets up the characters so you get to know them so if you do decide to read it you might initially think nothing’s happening but then it’ll take a turn to some very dark places and by then you’ll need to know how it turns out…at least that’s what happened to me:) I’d love to discuss if you read it!

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  7. You just started blogging Oct 1st!? You look like such a pro 🙂 loved a lot of these on your list, especially “You”. Have you read the Schuyler Sister Series by Beatriz Williams? I loved that group of books and there’s supposed to be a new one in 2017. Have yet to read A Hundred Summers though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank so much! I haven’t read that series yet, is A Tiny Thing and Along the Infinite Sea a Part of it? If so I have those on my TBR. I’m really looking forward to Wicked City in January as well. Thanks for stopping by:)


  8. I love this list! I have only read When Breath Becomes Air myself, but quite a few of these are waiting on my TBR. I hope you’ll find as many or more new excellent reads in 2017! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was really happy with all of those favorites in 2016, I hope 2017 is just as good or better for 5 star reads. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you read any of these:)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent list Renee! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about many of these books. Have you read any other Jennifer Cruise books? I think I’ve read most if not all of them. They are good as quick fluffy reads between more of the “heavier” books I tend to read 🙂

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  10. I have read When Breathe becomes air and You and I agree with you. They were both amazing. I have seen Tall Oaks around though I am yet to read it. I think that one needs to go to my TBR ASAP. A Little Life does have an awful cover. I wouldn’t have picked it If I only saw the cover. I am glad to see that the book is wonderful though. Happy reading and have a wonderful 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tall Oaks is wonderful with such a unique bunch of characters that I think you’ll enjoy it for sure. I hope you also have a great 2017 and let’s hope we both have lots of 5 star reads this year!!


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