My favorite books of 2016: Fiction
The One-in-a-Million Boy

The One-in-a-Million Boy

An unexpected delight (although that doesn't mean no Kleenex was involved). I NEVER would have read this if a trusted bookseller hadn't pressed it into my hands and said READ IT: the plot summary would have made me put it right down. But it's one of my favorites of the year. I went into this novel knowing nothing and I liked it that way, so I'll just say Wood explores themes of love, loss, and identity through a quirky 11-year-old boy who loves making lists, a wily 104-year-old woman, an absentee father, a Boy Scout project, and the Guiness Book of World Records. Listen to me describe this on What Should I Read Next (Episode 29). More info →
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Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

$12.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
I knew I had to read this when my husband (who beat me to it) couldn't stop sharing Cleave's well-turned sentences aloud, and even many months later, I still think about this book all the time. There have been so many WWII novels of late; this tale of four young, warm, wise-cracking friends in wartime England is a standout. Cleave's writing perfectly matches the story, and it all feels so real—maybe because Cleave based his novel on his own grandparents' experiences, or because he put himself on war rations while writing to better experience London during the Blitz? There's a sequel on the way (working title: Everything Sad Is Forgotten), and however long I have to wait, it will be worth it. Listen to me describe this book on What Should I Read Next (Episode 32). More info →
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Before We Visit the Goddess

Before We Visit the Goddess

I LOVED this book (and so did many of you—it was one of the most popular books on the blog this summer). This novel in stories was nothing at all what I expected. The novel tracks three generations of Indian women and their fraught relationships. The title comes from a chance encounter one of these women has with a stranger, which is fitting because my favorite parts of the story deal with the small moments that change the course of a person's life, and the unlikely friendships that do the same. This is a wonderful, beautiful, and sad book, and I've been recommending it like crazy since I read it. Listen to me describe this book on What Should I Read Next (Episode 48). More info →
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The Course of Love: A Novel

The Course of Love: A Novel

$13.99$1.99Audiobook: 11.99 (Whispersync)
Every once in a while I stumble upon a book that completely and unexpectedly wows me. This was the unexpected find of 2016. In this novel, De Botton tells the story of a completely ordinary couple through a blend of philosophy and fiction, which might strike you as either as dead-boring or disastrous, but I loved it. Listen to me describe this book on What Should I Read Next (Episode 37). Add Audible narration for $11.99. More info →
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