Top Ten Books of 2016

December 29, 2016

No re-reads allowed, I am guessing. That would be a cheat, yes? So here are the ten books I’ve enjoyed the most (so far–there are still three days left!) this year. Also, there are really eleven books but two of them are by the same author, so.

A Month of Faves


Archie, Vol. 1: The New RiverdaleArchie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this so, so much. It was everything I ever wanted from Archie but didn’t know I needed.



Ms. Marvel, Vol. 4: Last DaysMs. Marvel, Vol. 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kamala is the actual best. Love, love, love, love, love.




Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to LeadHillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead by Michelle Markel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hillary Clinton is a badass. Whether you like her politics or not, some facts cannot be denied. Also, this is a great, age-appropriate primer to class, race, and other justice issues.

The illustrations in this book are FANTASTIC. They are gorgeous and so well-detailed and amazing. Really, they made this book. I need to seek out more of Pham’s work because I also enjoyed her art in Grace for President.


Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and ScientologyTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I listened to this on audio, which I think made it just that much more amazing.

Leah is a complete badass and spills ALL THE TEA. All of it. Every last drop. My girl names names and everything. ALL OF THE NAMES.

I love this book. Love, love, love. Remini is fierce and funny and also a little hood, which I completely appreciated.


Humans of New York: StoriesHumans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brandon is doing the Lord’s work. Seriously.



Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman)Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harriet Tubman is your OG, and you will respect her as such. Harriet Tubman is a complete and total badass. This book is A++ in showing that and giving an overview of her life. Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.

Nathan Hale’s art is amazing, and he presents slavery in an unflinching and honest way, which is important given discussions around how children’s books are failing to do that right now.


The CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was both exactly what I expected and not at all what I expected, so that was impressive.

Listened to the audio. Narration was excellent & it’s a fast listen. Two thumbs up for that as well.


The Storied Life of A. J. FikryThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started this book, I didn’t think I would like it, but I very quickly changed my mind. This was really sweet (but not twee) and very engaging. Great characters.



The MothersThe Mothers by Brit Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this in pretty much one sitting (minus a brief break or two for real life inconveniences like family obligations, etc.).

This has many things I like: teen pregnancy, female friendship, complicated family relationships and friendships, a strong narrative voice.

I also love and appreciate the ~*layers*~ of meaning the title has (that’s not sarcasm, either).


Last Night I Sang to the MonsterLast Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a sad and beautiful book about a sad and beautiful boy, and it just wormed its way right into my heart. Also, it almost made me cry! Twice! But in the best possible way.

Anyway, this was a joy to read, and even though it is sad, it’s still full of hope and love, and I am just really happy this book exists.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up

Great characters, EXCELLENT ending. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda is an A+ narrator.

You May Also Like…

Ten Top Three Lists #SOL24

Ten Top Three Lists #SOL24

Apparently, the trend is to do top-three lists. It looks like it started with WOWilkinson, so I'm just going to riff...


  1. sarahsbookshelvesblog

    Loved The Mothers and AJ Fikry a few years ago.

  2. Elisabeth Ellington

    Love seeing the Clinton bio here! Have you seen The Boy Who Loved Math, illustrated by Pham? Probably my favorite work by her. I would never have expected to see an Archie comic on your list. Now I’ve got to find this and read! The Mothers is on my list for 2017. I was cleaning off a bookshelf this week and found Humans of New York, which I bought ages ago and never read. So I’m excited to settle in with it!

    • Akilah

      I have not! I’m going to have to read that. I love a good picture book.

      Are you the one who told me about the Must Read in [Year] challenge? I think that’s what I’m going to do next year: make a list of books I actually want to read before the year is out and read them.

  3. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I had a lunch with a friend the other day and she couldn’t say enough good things about Leah Remini’s AMC show. We are both obsessed with scientology and other fringe-y religions, and she definitely talked me into giving the show (and probs the book too) a try.

  4. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    Wheee! I really need to read The Mothers or Heather is going to be after me. Totally want to read Leah Remini’s book. Oh, and I MUST get back to Ms. Marvel.

  5. Zezee

    I really like your list here. It reminds me of books I wanted to get to in 206 and didn’t though: Archie comic, Storied Life or AJ Fikry, Aristole & Dante (every recommends this one). I’m pretty interested in Troublemaker too. I think the author has a show on A&M* (I forgot the channel name) about peeps who broke from the church of Scientology. It was interesting and pretty sad.

  6. aartichapati

    Woohoo, so many great things for me to read! I have The Crossover on my audiobook list at the library, I’ll have to download it. And I am a big Saenz fan as well, I loved Dante & Aristotle! I will have to listen to the other one, too 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *