Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant to Read

Well, Whiskey Jenny and I are going to get into some of what we missed in 2016 in our next podcast, but luckily, there were so many books I meant to read in 2016 and didn’t read that I will NEVER RUN OUT OF ANSWERS TO THIS QUESTION. It’s Top Ten Tuesday!

10. Playing Dead: A Journey through the World of Death Fraud, Elizabeth Greenwood. Sarah mentioned this book earlier in the year, and it sounds top-notch, like maybe it would talk about the kind of crimes the Leverage team would be hired to do something about.

9. Burn, Baby, Burn, Meg Medina. This is a case of how many recs does it take from how many book bloggers before I remember to grab a damn book at the library? Sheesh.

8. The Fall of the House of Wilde, Emer O’Sullivan. I admit I have been delaying gratification on this one. I suspect that I will hate it. Emer O’Sullivan seems to have taken a strange dislike to Oscar Wilde, and I — as some of you may know — am mightily defensive of him. I want to save this book for a day when I can really dig into it. You know, sit on my bed in a nest of other Oscar Wilde biographies and sneer at all of Emer O’Sullivan’s conclusions.1

7. Mockingbird, by Chelsea Cain. Look, if fuckboys consider a comic worth hounding an author off of Twitter for, I’m going to want to read it. Every time.

6. Umami, Laia Jufresa. Funny story, I discovered this book on NPR’s Book Concierge in December (of course), and then when I went to add it to my TBR spreadsheet, I discovered that I’d already added it when I read the publisher’s description of it much much earlier in the year. And just forgot to actually pick it up ever.

5. Baho! by Roland Rugero. This is the first Burundian novel ever to be translated into English. My library did not have it for a few months after it came out, and I gave up in despair, but then when I checked back in December, lo and behold, my library had acquired all the small press African novels I wanted all year. Hooray!

4. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson. I mean the title really speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

3. The Abyss Surrounds Us, by Emily Skrutskie. I understand there are both genetically engineered sea monsters and girls kissing each other in this book, and I am in favor of both those things. Plus, there’s a sequel on the way!

2. Democracy for Realists, by Christopher H. Achen and Larry Bartels. I mean, I advisedly didn’t read this in 2016. I was not sure that I could bear to. But it’s about how when we vote for candidates, we’re almost never really voting for their policies, but instead we are voting based on social identities. I think this thesis is super-true and I would like to hear more about it so that I can hopefully become a better, more informed, more rational voter. We’ll see.

1. And finally, the number-one book I wanted to read in 2016 but didn’t would have to be Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, by Melina Marchetta. Melina Marchetta is a longtime favorite author of YA, but her latest book is an adult mystery novel, and I was too nervous of disliking it to actually even try it. Judge me if you must.

What about you, friends? Did you read most of what you wanted to read in 2016, or are there oodles and oodles of books that escaped you?

  1. Emer O’Sullivan is a legitimate scholar and an actual researcher in her area. I am confident that she knows one zillion percent more about Oscar Wilde than I do.
  • Nishita

    Reading posts like these always remind me just how much variety of books there is out there. I never even knew I wanted to read these books till I saw this list.

  • Kailana

    I was looking at Mockingbird on Marvel Unlimited but I don’t think issue 5 is there, so it wouldn’t be a full storyline. I must check again! I have read other comics with Mockingbird in it and she seems pretty great!

  • Akilah

    Re: #6 I do that ALL THE TIME. So many books I go to add to my TBR, so many of them already there.

    I liked Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil and read it pretty quickly. I had the same hesitation you did, though. I would say read it, but know that it’s not the same type/style of writing as Jellicoe, Piper’s Son, or Francesca.

  • Alisia @ 4thhouseontheleft

    Democracy for Realists sounds very timely and interesting. I’ll have to check that one out!

    Here’s my TTT: https://4thhouseontheleft.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/top-ten-tuesday-books-i-didnt-get-around-to-in-2016/

  • Ardene

    Argh! Now I have to read Mockingbird too! You’ve hit me with some book bullets. Umami for sure, and Baho and the Marchetta look interesting too. (I liked the Lumetere chronicles.)

  • Runwright

    There were a few new releases that I got to. I was excited about the new Liane Moriarty and I read it, the new Graeme Samson’s Rosie Project installment and I read that and the new Nicola Yoon The Sun is Also A Star and I read that. So that was a success. But there were also LOTS of books I would have wanted to read that I just didn’t get to.
    http://runwright.net

  • These all sound pretty good! I haven’t read any of these either.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    you must totally let me know if Playing Dead has a Leverage vibe! I loved that show! I have been on the long wait list at the library for Mockingbird since September, slowly, slowly my turn is getting closer. Also, I had not heard of Abyss but your description makes me totally want to read it.

    • I hadn’t heard of the Abyss book until this year either! A fellow book blogger — The Illustrated Page, I think? — mentioned it in a recent post and I thought it sounded great.

  • I really need to read Mockingbird too. Maybe the Read Harder challenge will force me to do so this year. You have a couple more on your list that piqued my interest. I am really interested in hearing your thoughts on White Rage and Democracy for Realists, as I know you will give them a fair shake.

    • I’m just waiting for my library to get a copy of the Mockingbird trade paperback! I believe they have both the nonfiction books you mention, but they’ve been checked outttttt ever since my library got them. Sob.

  • I am so incredibly impressed by your library that I don’t quite know what to say. I have to do ILLs just to get some of the CanLit I want to read. I don’t think I’d dare ask about anything from Burundi (which won’t stop me from looking into that book right now though).

    • Aw, thanks! My library is indeed the best — though this book is such a niche interest (not because Africa isn’t interesting but because America remains not that interested in Africa) that I kind of wonder if me searching for it over and over is what convinced them to buy it. :p

  • Ooh, a few added to my neverending list! The books I *meant* and *wanted* to get to in 2016 is insurmountable. 🙂

    • I know, it definitely is for me too, particularly since now all the books I didn’t get to in 2014 and 2015 are still on the list. Books are infinite and my time is limited, siiiiiiigh.

  • A Burundian novel! That sounds worth looking for though you must have one hell of a library system. I will fall over dead if my library has this. *goes and looks* Am still alive. I will certainly request they buy it though! Also Amen to number 7. Adding that to my TBR now. Happy reading and judging of Oscar Wilde scholars!

    • I am glad you brought this up: I DO INDEED have a hell of a library system. I want to hug it every, every day.

  • Oodles and oodles of books have escaped me. But, this is not a surprise – it happens every year. There is really no way to avoid it. Making lists doesn’t even help. It’s best to just try not to notice. 🙂

    Out of this list, White Rage has caught my interest (and fear), as well as Umami. I hope you’ll be able to get to them all!

    • Hahahahaha, agreed! If you try to keep up with all the new releases you’ll go mad. 😀

  • Umami has me totally intrigued! This is such a great list. Lots of different titles I’m not seeing on other lists today. 🙂

  • I got snagged on the words “TBR spreadsheet” – so impressive! So intriguing! So what I should do!

    • I love my TBR spreadsheet! It keeps the information very organized and I can pull it up wherever I am. Best.

  • myfriendamy

    I want to read the Melina Marchetta! Lists like these stress me, especially considering that ten books will probably take me halfway into next year! Why do we have to be mortal????

    • I KNOWWWWWWW I just want to be left totally alone so that I can read full time and do nothing else. Is that so much to ask? :p

  • Pavonine99

    I haven’t gotten the impression that O’ Sullivan dislikes Wilde, moreso that she’s critical of some of his decisions? I love the guy, but like one of his biographers (Pearson?) said, he was basically fourteen years old for his entire life, so his choices left a lot to be desired, at times.

  • Amanda

    I recently read my first ever comic (Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run) and absolutely loved it. I’ve been looking for my next comic to try. Your description of Mockingbird caught me and one google search of the background later, I’m in. I’ll look out for it at my library now.

  • Christy

    I am usually pottering around in the backlist with occasional forays into reading new releases, so I don’t have a huge list of 2016 books that I wanted to read right then and there. That said, the 2016 books that I was hoping to actually read in 2016 were Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh’s Muslim Girl, Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave is Forgiven and Matthew Desmond’s Evicted.

  • Playing Dead was so good! I definitely recommend going back for it 🙂

  • I am fairly useless at keeping abreast of what is being published, and I never have much of a reading plan, so I think I can say I read everything I wanted to in 2016. Unless I am forgetting something, which is likely. ha.

  • Ha I have such a too long list too 🙂 I’m usually a year behind, shame on me, I shoud return my book blogger badge. White Rage looks brutal but worthy of a read!

  • Read Diverse Books

    The Abyss Surrounds Us and Burn Baby Burn are also on my list. I think I will make 2017 the year I read Meg Medina! I’ll get her YA books in the next few months.