No, that’s not a typo. Since I just talked about my favorite reads of 2017 here, I thought it would be fun to discuss my favorites from last year. After all, this blog didn’t exist at the time!
I ended up giving 12 books 5-stars in 2016:
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This exquisite novel has stayed with me over the past (almost) two years. I was gripped from the very first page by this exceptionally well-written portrait of a family in the midst of tragedy. I still find myself thinking about the Lees from time to time. I cannot wait to read Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere soon.
White Oleander by Janet Finch
I was completely swept away by Janet Finch’s lyrical prose and emotional narrative. I hated to say goodbye to Astrid at the end of the novel. White Oleander is simply stunning, and I’m glad I finally read it last year.
The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman
This is a unique and engrossing historical novel with complex characters that reminded me a bit of The Crimson Petal and the White. I enjoyed every word of this gritty tale about a female boxer in Georgian England. I hope Anna Freeman releases another novel soon.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
I had loved the film adaptation for years, but it took me until 2016 to read this charming coming-of-age novel. Part of me wishes I had read I Capture the Castle much sooner, and part of me wishes I had yet to read it so I could experience it again for the first time!
The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
I was completely enchanted with this L. M. Montgomery novel written for adults. It’s a Cinderella-esque tale with a wonderful heroine who learns to live life according to her own rules.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I wanted to underline practically every other sentence in this feminist manifesto. Adichie says so much in this little volume, and I will certainly be picking it up again in the future.
Nine Coaches Waiting and This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
These are probably my two favorite Mary Stewart novels. I loved their strong heroines, vivid settings, and beautiful descriptions. And of course their perfect blend of romance and suspense.
A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian
I discovered this lovely gem when searching for books with a similar feel to I Capture the Castle. This coming-of-age novel features two English sisters who experience a defining summer during WWII. As if that wasn’t enough to recommend it to me, much of the plot centers around a used bookshop and a hidden diary.
The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
In keeping with the “books like I Capture the Castle” theme, these two adorable novels are part of The Montmaray Journals trilogy. I found the first book in the series to be the weakest link (and the most reminiscent of ICTC), but I adored The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War. I loved spending time with the eccentric, royal FitzOsborne family and ate up the WWII era London setting.
and a reread of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I don’t think I had read this classic since I was a child, so I was long overdue for a reread. It was every bit as magical as I remembered, and was such an enjoyable spring read.
Have you read any of these? What were some of your favorite reads of 2016?