Our Top Ten Reads for 2016

The Wenches just don't include new releases in our top reads list for 2016. We count anything we've read in 2016 that we adored.  The list is varied and we don't just stick to one genre! Check through our list below and see what books rocked our world this year. The books we can't wait for others to read and the books that touched us in some way.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

You know when your friend has been telling you for years you need to read Agatha Christie? Finally, you pick up that first book and you are hooked. Thanks Zee! And Then There Were None is everything that readers love about a mystery book. It's baffling. It's mind boggling. You just can't quite figure out who the murderer is and how it comes to pass that people are dying. Ten people are lured to an island and ten people die on the island. No other people come onto the island in that time. So how was it committed. The reveal is both surprising and makes total sense when the facts are laid out. If you have never read a Christie book, take the leap and give And Then There Were None a go. Best book I read in 2016.

Gardens of the Moon(The Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon was my favourite fantasy read for 2016. The story was so intricate and imaginative that the world Erikson has created is truly awe inspiring. Erikson drops you into battle and you are left a little bit to fend for yourself to work out what is going on. There are so many characters and POV's that at first it can feel a little bit daunting to keep track of what is going on. However for me, I loved the fact that you have to work out motivations of characters for yourself. It was refreshing to not be spoon fed information. The various gods at play also had their own reasons for using characters to their own ends. Each revelation often felt like an "aha" moment for me. 

I'm really looking forward to continuing with this series. Don't be put off by being told you need a notebook or guides to help you through the book. I only read 3 chapter summaries and then decided I was just going to enjoy the book as it was and work out things for myself. Sure I probably missed a few things and there are people that definitely want to take notes as they read. For me that's what rereads are for. To rediscover and learn new things about a book you've already read. So once I've read further through the series, I am sure it will make a reread well worthwhile. This series might just be up there or better than A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Those that know me, would realise I don't make that statement lightly.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was one of the biggest books of 2015. When there is a lot of hype over a book, I'm sometimes left somewhat disappointed. Not in this case, however. I loved it! Rachel is The Girl on the Train, the primary narrator, whose alcoholic blackouts and sketchy memory leave us wondering what's going on. Every day she takes the train past her former home, where her ex-husband and new wife and baby now live. She is lost in the past, as she sees another woman living the life she always wanted. She also watches another home a few doors down, where a beautiful, totally-in-love young couple live, and she fantasizes over their perfect life. When one of the women vanishes during one of Rachel's blackouts, she is left with the feeling that she knows something about the disappearance, but she's not sure what. The novel is a page turner from cover to cover, and I just couldn't put it down.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin Manuel-Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Why is Hamilton: The Revolution one of the best books of 2016? Because Hamilton is the best thing EVER!! I may be exaggerating slightly, but just slightly. In all honesty, though, if you are a fan of the show, this is the perfect book for you. It has all of the lyrics printed out for you. You can finally master Guns and Ships. But, more importantly, it has tons of footnotes and commentary from national treasure and Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. We learn things about Lin's process, about Lin himself, about Hamilton, and tons of other things. There is also actual text in the beginning of each section. Some of them are about the process of creating Hamilton, some are about the actors. All of them are terribly interesting. If you get the audio book, as an added bonus: you get to listen to Mariska Hargitay narrate some of it. My personal favorite part of the book is the pages themselves. They are made to look old and weathered on the edges, like a book from Alexander's time. I love it. If you are a Hamilton fan, this is the book for you.

Feverborn (Fever #8) by Karen Marie Moning

 I’m almost embarrassed to explain why Feverborn is on the top of my list. Isn’t obvious? There are so many reasons, but I’ll try to keep it short, so here is the tip of the iceberg.
* Every time I’m back in the Fever world it’s a celebration, love being there.
* Dani/Jada: at last I have some understanding of why Dani invented Jada, not enough details, but more than I had when she first appeared as Jada. AAAnd I want her with Ryodan and no other.
*New and interesting (though not enough) information about the Nine. First, the story of Dageus' transformation and in connection with it, we find out for the first time, that there is a higher authority that supervises the Nine? That Tribunal!!! Couldn’t believe there is something that governs them. They are The Nine after all, Kings of the universe! Aren’t they?
*Mac and Barons, just <3 them. Love their ups and even their downs. They are good on their own and they are terrific together.
* Mac’s sister, Alina? KMM definitely plays with our minds, Hmm, what’s going on here?
*The end. Wow! Mac and Dani, turmoil of emotions and The Book, no words.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I was delighted with Big Little Lies and not just because it felt like finally Barb and I enjoyed reading the same book! I love that there was a book we could enjoy together. So why did I Big Little Lies tick so many boxes for me and got a whooping 5 stars?

1. Stayed up to late two nights in a row to finish the book.

2. The story is compelling.

3. I couldn't figure out who was the murderer and who had been murdered. 
4. I will definitely reread in the future.

Moriarty covered so many issues / circumstances that parents in this day in age will find very relatable. If you haven't read Big Little Lies and want something to read over the summer or winter break it's well worth picking up.

Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires #12) by Chloe Neill

There was no chance this book wasn't going to end up on our year end list. It was superb. I know I say that about all of the CLV books, but this really was. I loved that Chloe Neill shook up her usual plot style, showing that even twelve books in she's still willing to try new things. Merit met her maker. Well the vampire who initiated her transition. We still have questions about how all that works. There were two "telling offs" that were a long time coming: Merit told off Jonah and the RG for basically being spineless twerps who talk a good game but don't really do anything useful. Then Ethan stood up to Gabe for using all of the other Chicago sups without putting the Pack out there. It's far past time for Gabe and the NAC to be there like Cadogan has been for them. There was a delicious sex club scene, that just needs to be read. Joshua Merit actually stepped up in a fairly big way that was pretty stunning. But the very best part of this book were the proposals. Both of them We've known for some time that a proposal was imminent, and we've debated how we wanted it to go down, but it turned out pretty much perfect, as only Chloe Neill can do. The heat-of-the-moment proposal shows just how much Master Sullivan has grown, and the elaborate proposal was Ethan at his swoon-worthy best. Every page, every word was perfect. And now we have just a few months until the final Chicagoland Vampires book. It's been a wonderful journey with our favorite Chicago sups, and we're looking forward to their happy ever after. 

The Sight (Devil's Isle #2) by Chloe Neill

A Wench favorite author combined with a Wench favorite city? Of course The Sight is going to be on our top ten list. Though, it does deserve a spot on the list, regardless of our preferences. Post-magical war New Orleans is a fascinating place with fascinating characters. Our leading players, Claire and Liam, are particularly interesting and infuriating. This book, though a classic middle part of a trilogy, was amazing in it's own right. We learned a lot of things about the world and it's inhabitants. Without giving anything away, we learned some super fascinating and suspicious stuff about Claire's father. But, that information proves extremely useful. The main story of the book is terribly interesting as well.  We are approaching the finale of this series and I can not wait to see how it plays out. I swear to God, if Liam can't get his head out of his ass, I might kill him myself. Stupid, enraging man.

Fantasy Series by Alisha Rai

Of course Alisha Rai is going to be on this list. Of course. Those of us that read her books one click buy and pre-order these books faster than you can say "first-class erotic romance" and this was no exception. It has all the classic elements of a Rai romance: wonderful characters that you seriously root for. You WANT Luca and Elizabeth to work it out and have their happily ever after. And you want them to have insanely hot sex along the way. It has a great story, perfectly paced. Sexual chemistry that sizzles off page and makes the reader sweat! And sex scenes so perfectly filthy you want to high five the author after each one. (And also take a cold shower after each one.) The only negative thing was that we had to wait between both parts of Elizabeth/Tess and Luca's story. But believe me, it was well worth the wait. If you haven't read this yet, get on it! You won't even have to wait between parts now! You lucky readers!

American Queen (American Queen #1) by Sierra Simone

I didn't do as much reading this year as I would have liked. I just couldn't get invested and nothing new kept my attention for much of the year. Then I discovered that Sierra Simone had released a new book and, after purchasing it right away, I devoured it in less than a day. I couldn't put it down. I read late into the night. It captivated me completely, and weeks later I am still thinking about it. The political intrigue with an Arthurian twist, the complicated central love story, the eye-melting sex that is Sierra Simone's specialty. I read it a second time and I am still captivated. Between American Queen and Priest, Sierra Simone has stationed herself firmly on my list of must-read authors. 

What an amazing year we've had. So many genres, so many great books. These books above were the standouts for us, and we are really look forwarding to seeing what 2017 has install. Happy reading and best wishes for the coming year. We're looking forward to seeing what new books there are for us to discover.

Let us know what your favourite book of 2017 was below.


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