Every year I make it a goal to read as many books as I can, and in 2016 I got to read some truly spectacular work. Between school and my personal collection of books, I was able to read everything from poetry to British literature to young adult fiction and I loved them all. These are my top ten, everyone needs to read right now, books of 2016:
1. The Custom of the Country
The Custom of the Country was not a book I expected to enjoy. The protagonist, Undine Spragg, is one of the most unlikeable main characters in all of classic literature. But Wharton packs a serious punch in her analysis of 1900’s New York. We see the creeping evil of a seemingly harmless society through Undine’s ridiculous behavior, and I loved every second of it.
Jamie Fraser, the main male character, is my man crush every day. The plot of this is intriguing, Claire is a handful in the best way and you’ll want to marry Jamie the second you meet him. If you like expansive worlds and character heavy plots, Outlander should be at the top of your TBR.
3. Slaughterhouse- Five
I don’t know how I made it out of high school without reading this masterpiece, but I finally got to it this year. Dark and satirical, it will leave you reeling. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it.
Sweet and funny, this Austen at her best. I’m basically living for her novels at this point, and Persuasion is at the top of my favorites list. Austen has an incredible eye for examining her society and creating female characters that are filled with depth, and Persuasion packs it all into a story of love and family.
5. The Raven King
This is the concluding novel to The Raven Boys series, which is a must read for fantasy fans. Stiefvater wraps up the plot nicely, and her characterization is out of this world stellar. The world is dark and whimsical and so full of love, you won't be able to put The Raven King (or any of the books in the series) down.
6. A Farewell to Arms
Thought-provoking and moving, Hemingway weaves a tale of war and relationships that is impossible to ignore.
7. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God is poignant and beautiful. Hurston’s honest story-telling demands to be heard and I want everyone to listen. If you haven’t read this yet, you need to.
Pamela is so ridiculous, but I loved it. This novel is super interesting because it is generally considered to be the first actual novel ever written and Pamela's story contains tons of literary layers that make it perfect for book lovers. Her letters are compelling and will leave you with many questions about what defines a novel and the characters within them.
9. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Incredible and heart-wrenching, this tells the story of Jacobs' life as a slave. This is important literature from a woman whose voice is often ignored and an absolute must read.
10. Carry On
One of my favorite YA books to come out this year, Carry On is so much fun. It tells the story of Simon Snow as he tries to defeat the Insidious Humdrum that his wrecking havoc on The World of Mages. Magical, playful and genuinely funny. Rowell is an all-time favorite of mine, and Carry On is a perfect addition to her work.