[DWJ] Best of 2016

Emma Comerford comerford.emma at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 18:17:22 EST 2017

Some belated additions to this wonderful thread! Frustratingly I abandoned tracking my reading last year but I fortunately read so many e-books that my devices have remembered lots of the books :)

One I loved was The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. It’s a crime/intrigue/fantasy crossover with a really interesting set up. It was written by a civil servant and I admit I enjoyed the clear appreciation for hard work and clear organisational skills shown in the story too!

The Martian by Andy Weir was so much fun. 

There was a new non-fiction by Mary Roach in 2016, Grunt: the curious science of humans at war. Roach writes very approachable and funny popular science books that tie together lots of interesting threads under one broad topic. This one about war included things like the science of designing uniforms, preventing seasickness, preventing hearing loss while allowing soldiers to still hear important stuff and lots more.

I discovered our own Melissa McShane’s books last year! What a delight! I especially enjoyed the Crown of Tremontane series.

For literary fiction I discovered Ann Patchett - I’ve really enjoyed both her fiction and non-fiction so far.

I remember bouncing off Maggie Stiefvater’s books a while ago, but last year enjoyed her Raven Cycle books.

I’m not sure if I found these in 2016 or earlier, but I enjoyed Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak crime books set in rural Alaska. To be honest, the setting of Alaska is a main character in these books and is probably the main thing I like about them :) The early books with a description of isolated subsistence life in remote villages in the late 80s/early 90s were particularly interesting as I don’t think it would be the same these days.

And recent instalments by authors others have mentioned like Ann Leckie and Ben Aaronovitch were great too. I wasn’t blown away by Kate Atkinson’s God in Ruins despite really loving the companion book Life After Life.

And I’ve read some cracking books already this year, but I’ll save them for next year’s email :) 


> On 16 Jan 2017, at 1:55 am, D.J. Natelson via Dwj <dwj at suberic.net> wrote:
> These books are mostly not new releases, but I read them for the first time in 2016.  With two exceptions, the authors were entirely new to me also.
>  *Shadow Prowler – Alexey Pehov,translated by Andrew Bromfield.  First ofhis Chronicles of Siala trilogy.  (A second trilogy set in the future is out,but only the first book of that has been translated into English.)  Books 2 and 3 are Shadow Chaser and ShadowBlizzard.  The books are onecontinuous story, not three separate ones. High fantasy, don’t judge it by its highly misleading cover.  This is my #1 pick for the year. *Ice Station Zebra and TheSatan Bug – Alistair MacLean. Action/spy/survival thrillers.  Noexcessive violence, no bad language, no sex. *Fated – Benedict Jacka.  The first of his Alex Verus series, urban fantasy.  *The Sea of Trolls – Nancy Farmer.  The first of a trilogy, of which I’ve nowread the first two.  Middle-gradefantasy. *Enchanted, Inc. – Shanna Swendson.  Not exactly deep literature, but I find thisseries quite fun.  I’ve now read thefirst six or so.  No smut, romancefantasy.) *Cloak – Timothy Zahn.  Techno thriller.  First 20 pages a little slow. * Revenge of the Sith and LukeSkywalker and the Shadows of Mindor – Matthew Stover. The Star Wars: Episode 3 novelization is farand away the best novelization I have ever read.   I have begun one of his non-Star Wars books,and it is beyond violent.  However,Stover remains a fantastically talented writer. *The Creeping Shadow – JonathanStroud.  A continuation of his fantastic Lockwood & Co. series, which beginswith TheScreaming Staircase. *MURDER AND MAYHEM – RandallGarrett (the first of a few books, compiled in Lord Darcy.  Sherlock Holmes meets alternate-universe-1960s-with-magic. *THE GOLDEN ONE – Deborah Chester.  Science fiction.  This is the first of her Alien trilogy, which I’ve now completed.  She also writes middle grade fantasy underthe name C. Aubrey Hall. 
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