My favourite books of 2016 (so far)

Note: As of when this posts, I’ll be halfway through a 20 hour flight to Cambodia, where I’m going backpacking across Asia! See you when I get back! I’ll be snapchatting my adventures at 👻flossiepots👻.

It’s the mid-June, so we’re now halfway through 2016. Last year I did a post of the books I wanted to read in the rest of 2015 halfway through the year, and I’m gonna do it again now. You can’t stop me.


The books I liked the best this year

5) The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

27074515.jpgLondon, April 1812. Eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall is on the eve of her debut presentation to the Queen. Her life should be about gowns and dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family’s housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen is drawn to the shadows of Regency London.

There, she finds William, the Earl of Carlston. He has noticed the disappearance, too, and is one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of powerful demons that has infiltrated every level of society. But Lady Helen’s curiosity is the last thing Carlston wants—especially when he sees the searching intelligence behind her fluttering fan. Should Helen trust a man whose reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her headstrong sense of justice lead them both into a death trap?

The perfect mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. This is a really fun adventure, with a great male lead. I would have enjoyed a little more diversity, but as this is a trilogy I’m hoping that will improve in the next book (which I’m DESPERATE to read, oh my god.)

4) King’s Rising by C. S. Pacat

25810368Damianos of Akielos has returned. His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity – can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?

This is the final book in a trilogy – and I’ve been following this series since it was posted on livejournal in 2008. Almost a decade! It was definitely worth the wait, and I have so. many. feelings. HELP.

3) Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

25805776A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice. This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Five and a half million stars!!!! I read this in one sitting, staying up until 6am(!) because I just couldn’t stop. It was just so, so wonderful. The other books in the Austen project were mediocrely disappointing, but this one just….it got everything right. I’m just so happy that Sittenfeld was given P&P to do, and I wish she was writing every Austen book set in modern day Cincinnati, because I never wish to read anything else, ever again.

2) The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
17378527Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

 

Just perfect. Completely perfect. It’s been a month and I still have no other words.

1) The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole 24956528builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war. 

Damn do I wish I’d written this. Life-changingly good. The best look at what social and gender politics might be like thousands of years in the future. I especially liked the idea of the human race splitting and evolving separately, because two groups have been apart for so long. The rich humans evacuate a destroyed earth to Mars, and the poor humans have to just set out for space in spaceships. These two groups, based completely on class, become two different species.

Special mention goes to Radio Silence and Inferno, written by my writing partners Alice and Cat. So incredibly proud of these ladies. ❤


The books I want to read next this year. ASAP.

5) The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

24921954A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one? Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

How deliciously scandalous does this sound?! I need it. Now.

4) As I Descended by Robin Talley 

28218948.jpgMaria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them. Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.

This is just so completely my jam in every single way.

3) Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

28961937You can’t get around Kate Battista as easily as all that’

Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but the adults don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr…

When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?

Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern, independent woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. The answer is as individual, off-beat and funny as Kate herself.

Everyone who’s received an early copy of this has said it’s perfect, and a brilliant holiday read. With such a eminent author as Anne Tyler, it’s sure to be incredible. I can’t wait.

2) A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

28478957Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to Becky Chambers’ beloved debut novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.

This is a standalone, but I’m really hoping the characters from the first book make an appearance, because I love them all. So ready for this.

1) Goldenhand by Garth Nix

912FS3ETJmL.jpg

Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with Dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind. She’s also a Remembrancer, wielder of the Dark Mirror. Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic.

When Lirael finds Nicholas Sayre lying unconscious after being attacked by a hideous Free Magic creature, she uses her powers to save him. But Nicholas is deeply tainted with Free Magic. Fearing it will escape the Charter mark that seals it within his flesh and bones, Lirael seeks help for Nick at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier.

But even as Lirael and Nick return to the Clayr, a young woman named Ferin from the distant North braves the elements and many enemies in a desperate attempt to deliver a message to Lirael from her long-dead mother, Arielle. Ferin brings a dire warning about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning?
Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and it must be forestalled not only in the living world, but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

Goldenhand is the long-awaited fifth installment of Garth Nix’s New York Times bestselling Old Kingdom series.

Lirael is the character I related to most as a kid – she just ran around a library with her dog, reading books and fighting secret ancient library monsters and wanting to be alone. Literally a decade later, the second half of her story is finally being released. And I can’t freakin’ wait.

 

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