The Best of 2016: The Best Books I Didn’t Get Around To Actually Reading

It’s been no secret around here that this was a rough year for me, pretty much from start to finish. I won’t rehash it all here, but it has definitely sucked, big time, and as a result I didn’t accomplish nearly as much in 2016 as I’d originally planned. While I did meet my reading goal, at least in terms of number of books, much of what I read was novellas and comic books and magazines. Many of the books I was excited about this year I just never managed to get to. Some of these I hope to squeeze into 2017. Some of these I’ll probably only read if they make awards shortlists. Some of these there’s no telling if I’ll ever make it back to, what with all the amazing new stuff coming out year after year.  In any case, this is the stuff I missed out on in 2016:

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
This book got a lot of buzz earlier this year, but, frankly, I just haven’t been in the mood for YA or even most YA-adjacent stuff, and I’ve been trying to minimize the number of series I start and never finish.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
I read and enjoyed Anti-Goddess a couple of years ago, but never did come back around to finish that series and Blake’s earlier stuff never interested me. Three Dark Crowns sounds like it has a lot of potential, though. Unfortunately, it’s another first book in a series and I read some early reviews that, while positive, suggested a very abrupt ending that made me think I should wait til the whole series is out before getting into it.

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn AND Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
If I’m honest, I think I want to want to read these more than I actually want to read them. The thing is, I’m just not that into superheroes in general, and I always have a hard time getting excited about them, even when promised diversity and trope-busting and fun. These are still on my radar, and I might get around to them someday, but there’s no telling if or when the right mood will strike me.

Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
I think the main reason this book made it onto my list for the year was that it sounds so exactly like the sort of thing I would have loved to read when I was my daughter’s age. It also has an enticing cover. Unfortunately, some vague feelings of nostalgia and a pretty package weren’t enough for me to make this title a priority.

The Devourers by Indra Das
The Devourers is going on the same to-read-someday list as The Buried Giant and Station Eleven. I swear I will read it eventually.

Borderline by Mishell Baker
I don’t read a lot of urban fantasy, but I’ve heard such good things about this series that I’m still hoping to read this before the second book comes out in the spring.

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
I read Mary Robinette Kowal’s “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” ages ago and have been determined to read her novels ever since. I never picked up the Glamourist Histories because I didn’t think I would want to spend the time reading all of them this year, but I really thought I would be able to read this standalone when it came out. Unfortunately, that was right when I was in the middle of a bunch of traveling and by the time I got resettled, it was part of a huge backlog of stuff I’ve spent most of the rest of the year trying to finish.

Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
I really liked Fran Wilde’s first Bone Universe book, Updraft, but I haven’t been as excited about Cloudbound, probably because it seems to focus more on a secondary character from the first book that I didn’t care for very much. I expect this is one I’ll come back to when the third book comes out in 2017.

After Atlas by Emma Newman
Planetfall was excellent, and I’ve heard great things about this companion novel, but I’ve honestly just run out of time and chose to work on knocking out some longer books over the last couple of weeks instead.

Infomocracy by Malka Older
Listen. I know that everyone loves this book, and I’ve read an enormous number of good reviews of it by people whose opinions I value, but I just have not had the energy to read it. I was all ready to start it after Hillary Clinton won the election in November, and then she didn’t, and I’ve been reading somewhat lighter, more escapist stuff instead. This is the only book on this list that I am pretty much 100% going to read before I send in my next Hugo ballot.


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