Saturday, December 31, 2016

Favorite books read in 2016

Here's the top ten:

1. Omega Men
This is a graphic novel from Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda that's an allegorical look at how the Iraq War happened.  It's the smartest comic book storytelling I've ever seen and to my mind an instant classic.

2. Go Set a Watchman
This "controversial" resurrected precursor to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is to my mind unmistakably the greater literary achievement.  No matter how it ended up finally being published, I'm absolutely glad it was.

3. The Third Reich
A chilling examination on the lingering effects of an actual Nazi's grip on a nation's pysche, by the masterful Roberto Bolaño.

4. At Twilight They Return
Greek literature from Zyranna Zateli that offers a glimpse of what life was like for an extended family a century ago.

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Between this and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them script, this was an extremely good year to begin seeing what the future of J.K. Rowling's great creation might turn out to look like.

6. The Girl in the Spider's Web
David Lagercrantz's follow-up to the superb Millennium Trilogy is worth it.

7. The Tin Woodman of Oz
Having read all of L. Frank Baum's Oz novels this year, this late look back at one of the most iconic characters in the series is probably my favorite.

8. Primary Colors
Joe Klein's satire of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign was a true revelation to finally read twenty years later.

9. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
This Joёl Dicker mystery is probably the most conventional thing I read this year, at least that I really liked.

10. The Blood of Olympus
The last in the "Heroes of Olympus" series of Percy Jackson novels from Rick Riordan to my mind is probably the most satisfying of them.


  1. Oooh! You've made me want to go back and re-read all the Oz books again. I loved them so much as a kid, but having been disappointed so many times with revisiting old favorites, I've been loathe to do it.

  2. They absolutely hold up. Reading through all of them at once may not be the greatest idea, but the cleverness of Baum, as I remembered it and was depicted in a series of comic book adaptations, still shines through in their best moments.


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