Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Favorite Books of 2016

As I try to do every year, this post will list and briefly describe the best books I read in 2016. As usual, I'd like to point out that some of these were published before 2016 but I only got around to reading them now. Similar to last year, I didn't read that many books- only 12 plus two graphic novels, or about 5600 pages, according to Goodreads. I feel this year's reads were a mix of extremes, some disappointing ones and some extraordinary ones. Below, I list the 3 books I enjoyed the most in 2016.

3. Rice Boy by Evan Dahm

I don't usually read graphic novels, and certainly don't review them, but I randomly met Evan Dahm at New York Comic Con this year and immediately recognized his work from having read Vattu. I forgot his exact explanation for Rice Boy, but it was a something along the lines of a young person, the aforementioned rice boy, gets sent by a robot-man on an epic adventure to fulfill a prophecy he knows nothing about. It is indeed an epic and fascinating adventure, with simple yet captivating artwork that draws you in. The story can be found in its entirety online and for free, but I found it easier to read when you have the hardcopy.

2. Death's End by Liu Cixin

The long awaited conclusion of The Three Body Problem saga, as translated by Ken Liu (for the 1st and 3rd books). A fan favorite among the science fiction community, it should come as no surprise that it's in my list for this year. This is a series I highly recommend fans of science fiction read as it truly evokes the grand masters of old, while still providing a fresh story. In Death's End, we see the Earth develop beyond the events surrounding the prior two books as it discovered alien life in the universe and attempts to protect itself from the threats they pose.

1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Jemisin is an outstanding author and I've enjoyed many of her books. This is the best book of hers that I've read and I'm not the only one who thinks so: it won the 2016 Hugo Award for best novel. Its a story about people finding their place and struggling against bigotry, rigid social hierarchies, and the end of the world itself. With intricate characters, engaging plot, clever magic, and a detailed world, this book was a pleasure to read. It's followed up by The Obelisk Gate, a book I deliberatively have not read so as not to have 2 Jemisin novels among my top books this year! Now that January is coming soon, it'll be time for me to continue this amazing saga.

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