I haven’t read as many books as I wanted to this year, but I want to share some of my favorites with you. Here are six of the best books that I’ve read in 2016. I hope that one of these books will inspire you to read, or intrigue you enough to visit a library or bookstore.
Best young adult time-travel adventure romance:
* “Passenger” by Alexandra Bracken – about finding out who you really are, choosing your future, refusing to conform to society’s expectations, power that corrupts, and opening yourself to possibilities.
Best rip your soul to shreds to save the world new adult fantasy:
* “Empire of Storms” by Sarah J. Maas – about power and responsibility, loyalty- self-sacrifice, creating a better world, and love making you into the best possible version of yourself.
Best thought-provoking, alternate worlds, yourself as hero and villain science fiction:
* “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch – about our choices changing the future, family vs. career, alternative realities (“every thought we have, ever choice we could possibly make, branches into a new world”), the act of observation determining reality (“what a strange thing to consider imagining a world into being with nothing but words, intention, and desire”), and the idea that identities are fluid and multifaceted.
Best provocative, discussion-generating essay collection about Hawaii:
* “The Value of Hawai’i 2” (2014) edited by Aiko Yamashiro and Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua – about “everything we value about Hawai‘i,” challenging us to think about: “How can more of us protect and enhance what is precious about Hawai‘i for coming generations?”
Best reaching for success by running like the Flintstones self-help nonfiction:
* “Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life” (2015) by Ron Clark – about sprinting to success, rewarding top performers, and motivating everyone to contribute more.
Best my life is a magnet for weird and funny humorous autobiography:
* “Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things” (2015) by Jenny Lawson – about choosing to be vehemently happy with depression and mental illness, taxidermied raccoons with big grins and jazz hands, and midnight cat rodeos.
Which books have made an impact on your life? Which books comfort you and inspire you?