Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Must Read in 2016 List

Here are the the books that I am determined to get around to this year as part of the #MustReadin2016 challenge as hosted by There Is A Book for That.

I started adding books to my #MustReadin2016 about 3 months ago, ended up with almost 100 books, decided that was TOO MANY (even for an overestimator like me) and slowly whittled them down to this list of an even 50.  It was super tough to read everyone's final Must Read posts for 2015, because I discovered so many books that I wanted to add to my list for this year (I did actually change out a couple books for ones I saw on those posts!) 

I don't actually expect to read all of these, but as someone (I think it was Carrie at There Is A Book for That) said, it's nice to have a little wiggle room to account for mood. My goal is just to read more than the 26 I read in 2015.

My two rules in forming the list: no 2016 books (I use this as an opportunity to catch up with titles I've missed) and nothing I had on my list last year (I am tired of those books staring at me.  I'll try some of those again in 2017!)

I also tried to add at least a few older books I haven't read, and I tried to consciously include some diverse titles.

So here are my choices and a little of the reasoning behind those choices (also with the original publication date, because I thought that was interesting and I figured you might think so too:

Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede: I have heard this is cute.  Never yet read Wrede.  1988
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley: Have never read a McKinley novel, so I figured I'd start with the Newbery winner. 1985
East by Edith Pattou: I love books in cold settings and the folktale this is based on. 2003

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman: Have always wanted to read this.  Mysteries are my favorite types of books and I'm a big fan of Pullman's The Golden Compass. 1988
Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: I've read two books by this author and they are two of my favorite YA books ever so now I want to read everything he has written! 2009
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand: Read The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Hand in 2015 and was blown away by how well-written it is.  2011

The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Bratz-Logsted: It sounds creepy and mysterious and gothic: three of my favorite things! 2010
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Started this in 2014 and was so intrigued but didn't finish for some reason (I tend to do that a lot). 2012
Tighter by Adele Griffin: Modern retelling of The Turn of the Screw which I love. 2011

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Six of Crows sounds totally fascinating to me, but I'd like to read Bardugo's Grisha trilogy first.  Also I dig the Russian vibe. 2012
The Selection by Kiera Cass: Super popular at my library.  2012
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger: I've heard this is a great audiobook and I like Carriger's adult stuff.  2013

 The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth: Another one I began, liked, but never finished.  2012
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen: Have heard great things about Nielsen's books. 2012
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos: It sounds really weird and Gantos is great.  2006

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore: Read Cashore's first two books and never got to this one (it's SO long) but I hear it's kind of a whodunit and I'm all about those. 2012
Fake ID by Lamar Giles: I love YA mysteries, and I hardly ever get to read one by an author of color.  2014
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King: This will be my 4th King novel, and while I don't count any of her books among my favorites, I think she always has something interesting to say. 2012

Sophia's War by Avi: I LOVE historical fiction set in the Revolutionary War time and there are so few good ones.  2012
The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper: Read the first two in the trilogy years ago and loved them, bought this the second it came out then just...never read it. 2012
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud: Have heard great things about this series, and I thought the Bartimaeus books were great fun.  2013

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: I've never read one of Han's books before, and this seems to be the big one right now. 2014
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: I enjoy Fairy Tale retellings, and this sounds like one of the better ones. 2014
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski: A lot of people I know and respect have really enjoyed this one.  2014

 The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: It sounds intriguing, Pearson's a talented writer, and I seem to remember it received some starred reviews in 2014.
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine: A diverse retelling of The Phantom of the Opera has me intrigued!  2014
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater: The Dream Thieves was on my Must Read list last year.  I'm slowly working my way through the series.  2014

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: The Start of Me and You was the most pleasant surprise read of the year for me in 2015 so now I want to read EVERYTHING Lord writes. 2014
Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham: another YA mystery with a diverse cast of characters! 2015
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine: I know nothing about this author, but a 1920s version of the 12 Dancing Princesses is a killer idea.  2014

 I Love, I Hate, I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn: It's so rare to find books with Muslim protagonists, and I've heard this one is well done. 2014
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan: My family is Polynesian, and it's super hard to find any YA novels that have Polynesian protagonists, so when I see them, I snatch them up!  2014
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters: I love feminist historical fiction/fantasy.  Winters has always struck me as an author I'd like once I got around to reading her.  2014.

A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher: Alternate view of one of my favorite novels: Les Miserables. 2015
The Young Elites by Marie Lu: What I've heard about this book has definitely intrigued me, and I liked Legend. 2014
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano: I really like this author (more so on Twitter than on the page, but I've only read one of her novels and want to give another one a try).  2013

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Have long wanted to read a Schwab novel and I've heard the best things about this one.  2015
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin: Again, I love feminist historical fiction.  Sounds like great fun. 2015
Wildlife by Fiona Wood: Figured I had a lot of fantasy on my list so thought I should add another realistic novel and I've heard this one is good.  Also, I tend to like Australian books better than any other books for some reason.  2014

Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Maggoon: I've read most everything Magoon has written and enjoyed it, but I'm really excited she's written something a little lighter and actiony this time round. 2015
 Pointe by Brandy Colbert: I love ballet novels and this one, with an African American protagonist, sounds particularly interesting.  2015
Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro: Deadly by Chibbaro is one of my all-time favorite novels, so I've long been waiting for her followup.  2015

Sweet Madness by Trish Leaver and Lindsay Currie: How did no one before think of writing a YA novel from the perspective of Lizzie Borden's teenage maid?  Best idea EVER.  2015
Trouble Is A Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly: sounds fun and, again, it's a mystery.  2015
Rook by Sharon Cameron: A Sort-of retelling of one of my favorite novels: The Scarlet Pimpernel! 2015

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe: This one's all about the twisty plot, I hear.  2015
Dark Shimmer by Donna Jo Napoli: familiar stories retold from the villains perspective can be hit or miss for me, but this is a great premise and if anyone could get it right, I think it'd be Napoli.  2015
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis: The plot is killer and I hear it has a twist ending?  2015

The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage: I just think this series is so fun. 2015
Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty: Sherlock Holmes!  2015

Didn't realize until I typed out a list of all my books that I have A LOT of retellings, and A LOT of super duper long books (12 are 400 pages or more).  I'm not usually great with super duper long books, so we'll see how this goes.

Finally, I was so excited by all the positive responses I received on my MustReadin2015 final post about my small book cover posters.  I'm a very visual person, so it really helps me to see at a glance how well I'm doing and how many more I have left to read!  I first created this type of poster years ago when I made a large poster board sized one with all the Newbery Award winners (I soon gave up on that goal as I tired of reading so many dated-and-not-really-that-interesting books, ha) but I thought the poster idea translated well to this, much more enjoyable, reading goal!

Here are my posters for this year:

Someone mentioned how awesome this would be for a teacher to put in a classroom so students could see the progress, and I think that's such a great idea!  I'm a librarian, so I just have mine in my office:
but I am thinking of putting out a question box where teens can submit their Must Read in 2016 titles too!

I'm planning on starting on the shorter end of my list, so the first 5 I have checked out are 

ebooks of:
I Love, I Hate, I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn
Tighter by Adele Griffin

Hard copies of:
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos
Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

and the audiobook of:
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

I imagine I'll hit a snag once the ALA Youth Media Awards are announced next week, because I'm sure to want to catch up with all the award winners I've not yet read, but I hope I can at least have a handful finished by our first update.

Good luck to everyone participating and happy reading!  I can't wait to read the rest of the posts and see all the awesome books I will wish I included on my list.


  1. I enjoyed the way you organized everything, and there are many that I've put on my "second" list, books I don't have on my list, but don't want to forget either. My daughter loved Robin McKinley's books when she was in early elementary. They're all great, & I loved Beauty, too. Hope you enjoy that old book! Thanks for reminding me of so many, & Happy Reading!

    1. a "second" list is a great idea! Fill in some gaps if you don't feel like reading any on your main list, or it can possibly morph into part of a must read list for next year.

  2. You have inspired me with your organization. I think I'm going to have to go and plan my list out so I am reading three books a month, and plan what these books will be! YOu have books from a few of my favorite series on your list. I hope you enjoy Etiquette and Espionage, and Lockwood & Co as much as I have.

    1. That's a super good idea. I should figure out how many I need to read a month in order to finish them all (although that might depress me). I generally read more of these types of books in the summer; My reading leans heavily toward shiny new books in the fall and winter months.

  3. I agree with others that your organization is terrific. I love the poster, as someone who did not see you 2015 updates this is my chance to let you know. I am reading The False Prince with my class right now and we are three chapters in and I think they are hooked. Your list made me remember some that I had planned to add to my already too long list and did not (Young Elites, The Selection, oops). Linda B. mentions a second list, so I think I should start a list of books I don't want to forget about. As you say though, I could switch it up based on mood.

    1. I understand about seeing books you planned to add to your list; I saw a book today that I was so sure I had added, but I must have deleted it in a moment of weakness! I am just about ready to start my Must Read in 2017 list! I think I want to get to The False Prince sooner rather than later in the year. I'm very intrigued.

  4. I really like your poster! The False Prince is one of my favorites! It's a great series.

  5. I love your organization! I'm going to have to figure out something like your poster that works for me. I'm a visual person as well. You have got some great books on your list. I'm looking forward to seeing your reviews because I haven't heard of some of your titles. I really enjoyed The False Prince and the sequels. They kept me very interested since I was reading them as they were published. I LOVE The Screaming Staircase and the sequels. In fact, I just got done reading the third book The Hollow Boy. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop until I finished the book. Happy Reading!!

  6. This seems like a great list! I am a big Robin McKinley fan though that isn't my favorite one. East was a great re-telling. I'm looking forward to reading the Saenz book too this year. There are really a lot of books on your list that I have enjoyed like Bitterblue and Blue Lily. Have a great year!

  7. I love, love and love some more that poster idea! The False Prince is such a fantastic book and I went on to read the others in the trilogy.

  8. You have such an interesting list!
    Enjoy Bitterblue. It is different than the first two, but still so good!
    Ask the Passengers is brilliant also.
    Cure for Dreaming is such a unique book! You’ll really enjoy it, I think.
    The rest I haven’t read, so I very much look forward to hearing what you think!
    Happy reading!


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