One of the bonuses of only working a 13-hour week is that you have a lot of time to cultivate a hobby. We say that about our copious spare time, “It’s a good year to pick up a hobby!” with a sort of nervous, giddy humor because at any moment we’re waiting for the Austrian government to realize it’s made a massive mistake in regards to the amount it pays us for how many hours we’re committed to the youths.
I swear we’re not running a con.
Here are books 26-50 of 2016.
26. Claimed (Evangeline Anderson): I wrote a blog post about this here. Another Alien Romance Kindle book that I read on my quest to try to find a book that would satisfy the dream of Alien/Human relationships that the game Mass Effect planted in me like a hungry tapeworm that’s sucking me of nutrients for as long as it goes unfed. Unfortunately, no aliens in alien romance books seem to look like aliens? Why is this? Did Bioware not tell the erotic fiction community of writers on Amazon that people don’t really seem to be at all disturbed by romances with aliens that look like bird dinosaurs?
27. I, Robot (Isaac Asimov): My first Asimov, my first steps into classic sci-fi. I plan on writing a longer post about this, but I’m really disappointed by how Asimov wrote the female protagonist of this book. Sure, the philosophy of A.I. in this book is fascinating, but women, especially women scientists, deserve better.
28. The Earl’s New Bride (Frances Fowlkes): Uh…it has a beautiful cover. I gave it 2 stars so probably skip it?
29. Darkfever (Karen Marie Moning): The Fever series is going straight on the top of my list of Problematic Faves. The problems are rampant (alpha male aggression being viewed as romantic and sexual assault as a plot device are a couple) so I would preface any recommendation for these books with that warning. With that out of the way though, this is an urban fantasy that is so engrossing it’s hard to think of anything else once you’ve started it because of the cliff hangers and the compelling devastation of the story. If you want a story about faeries where they are cruel, manipulative, and engaged in destructive conflict with each other, this might be the book for you. The five books of the series also have a satisfactory ending that winds up all the loose ends and answers all the questions that have been burning post the first book, which is a prime achievement for a series.
30. Bloodfever (Karen Marie Moning): I don’t think there’s been many series where I tore through all the books so quickly. Waiting for book 5 to come off of wait list at the library for a week and a half was so torturous I almost bought it…
31. Faefever (Karen Marie Moning): see Darkfever
32. Dreamfever (Karen Marie Moning): see Darkfever
33. Tithe (Holly Black): Reading Moning’s story about messed up faeries sent me back to reread my favorite YA story about disturbing faeries. Tithe is one of my favorite YA books—it’s mucky like a swamp at night with the magic of fireflies sprinkled about the dark trees. The book, with a deeply flawed cast, is damp, slimy, grimy, and dripping with magic.
34. Iron Kissed (Patricia Briggs): Every time I read one of these books I think I’m never coming back, but then I do.
35. Shadowfever (Karen Marie Moning): I didn’t perish from this wait, but I almost did.
36. Sphere (Michael Crichton): This book features important topics such as a man bemoaning the lack of coconut cake in his life. In all seriousness, I’m a fan of this book more than the movie even though they got Samuel L. Jackson in the cast. It treats the main female character better than the movie. Favorite idea out of this book: alien life might not be mortal and thus not understand the concept of morality as we do. So GOOD!
37. Love Letters to the Dead (Ava Dellaria): This book had no love letters to love of my life Friedrich Nietzsche, 0/10
38. A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas): Since this is so popular on the internet and showered in praise already, I’ll hold back on spouting about it as well. Love it though!
39. Bone Crossed (Patricia Briggs): For real, I think this is the last Mercy Thompson book I read…
40. Beyond the Highland Mist (Karen Marie Moning): Hot advice for aspiring writers—go read some of the first books one of your favorite authors ever wrote and weep at how much they have improved. It’ll give you confidence! (This book was TERRIBLE but hey, Moning, you got better!)
41. Dog Songs (Mary Oliver): The fact that Oliver gathered an entire volume of poetry on her love of dogs shows how great of a human being she is and that you should obviously read this volume.
42. Dark Places (Gillian Flynn): My favorite Flynn book! I’ve read all of them so I can say that. I learned about the mania of Satanism that swept through psychology and how people treated children they thought were falling victim to these practices so the setting of Dark Places immediately delighted me. The wonderfully researched backdrop of these events fits so well with the plot. One of those books where all the characters are terrible people, which is Good™.
43. Seeing Stars (Simon Armitage): There’s a poem in this collection about sperm whales that haunts me.
44. Anti-Education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions (Friedrich Nietzsche): If you’re interested at all in how education systems should work, read this book. Nietzsche warns against specialization because he fears the breakdown in communication between fields. Basically, Nietzsche is a pro-liberal arts education fellow.
45. To Tame a Highland Warrior (Karen Marie Moning): The writing will get there someday…
46. Ancillary Justice (Ann Leckie): OHHHH BOY. Not to spoil anything, but this trilogy was on my top ten list of the year. It felt so liberating and exhilarating to read a book where gender as a concept was archaic and be faced with my own desire to know the genders of characters anyway. Add on top of that a story that involves an A.I. adapting to being an individual, a political struggle of an entity against itself, and an aristocratic nose that won’t quit, I’ll be hollering about this book until my death. It’s hard to succinctly summarize this trilogy but it made me love science-fiction passionately.
47. Soulless (Gail Carriger): I’m actually a little bitter about this book because it provided the perfect opportunity in the world-building to have an asexual main character and instead she just ups and marries a werewolf so like…what was the point, I ask you? Plus, it had that Regency inspired setting that I love so yeah, basically let down of the year probably.
48. Princess of the Midnight Ball (Jessica Day George): The prose of this book was in the style of a traditional fairy-tale, which didn’t really do it for me. But a decent read, if you’re into fairy-tale retellings.
49. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley): Check out why Bernard Marx is a fuckboy here. Utopia or Dystopia, you know? If you really think about it…
50. Sabriel (Garth Nix): Really solid fantasy read. I’m not sure what else to say about it? Nix is really good at world-building and I’m also glad that the romance in this took a definite back seat, allowing the female main character to have a purpose more than True Love™. Read if you love necromancy!