It is time for the most important lists of 2016, the two lists that matter the most: the list of best books and best movies I read and saw last year! And though it’s always hard to put things in a certain perspective, it’s even harder to put them in an order, but I’ve done this for many years and I think I’ve got it! So despite my fears and the slow burning panic that started somewhere in the middle of November, these lists took me less time than I had planned.. which is not to say that they didn’t take more than an hour, because they did but it was all for a good cause!
FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2016
Reading 69 books in 2016 was surprisingly enjoyable because I managed to pick up mostly good books, and many of them were better than I thought. I also re-read some of my favourites, such as the first four books of Harry Potter and A Court of Thorns and Roses, which I won’t mention in this list because it’s not fair for the books I read for the first time. But before I get to the actual list, here are some of my honourable mentions: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and The Captive Prince series by C. S. Pacat.
10. Vicious by V. E. Schwab
What I enjoyed the most, was the new way of telling a story about villains.
9. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
No other book in 2016 came close to Illuminae’s visual presentation.
8. Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur
The first poetry collection I read, and I loved it!
7. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
New adult high-fantasy is easily my favourite thing in the world, so is the easily absorbed style of Maas’s writing.
6. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The best book in The Raven Cycle, a series that as a whole, was even better!
5. Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I couldn’t break this duology apart, I have to mention both of these books as a whole, because this series was amazing! The diversity, the thrill, the plot twists – it was so good, and it is perfect just the way it is.
4. Outlander by Diana Gabladon
Despite reading this one in January, I remember it so well. I remember the excitement when I read this, and how easy it was to get immersed into this completely different world. I rarely pick up historic fiction, but I think the fantasy aspect of Outlander, made it very appealing to someone like me.
3. The Way of King (Part I & II) by Brandon Sanderson
So, technically it is single book, divided into two because the sheer size of it would likely scare even the boldest reader. 2016 was Sanderson’s year for, as I read many of his novels and listened to Legion as an audiobook. All of them are high in my Goodreads list, but none of them came close to the perfection that was The Way of Kings. And I won’t stop reading Sanderson in 2017, I have many of his books in my TBR, and what I know from 2016, I will enjoy the crap out of them!
2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
This was a no brainer because it was the most anticipated book of 2016 for me, and I knew I was going to love it. The character development was amazing, the plot twists broke me in the best way possible, and a ship sailed so hard, I thought I was going to die! Part of me wanted to list this one as number 1 of 2016, but I knew that in terms of the writing, A Court of Mist and Fury isn’t as perfect because it is at times too flashy. I can’t explain it, I enjoy it, but I know there is something magical in a subtle writing style, that my first pick does brilliantly.
1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Oh. My. God! I had The Name of the Wind in my TBR for a while, but I only picked it up in December, which was a perfect way to end the year. This book is brilliant. It is a subtle story of a boy growing up, gaining knowledge to do great things, told by his own voice. The writing glides, it isn’t flashy but subtle, and it builds up the emotion inside of you unnoticed until it hits you and you are floored. The character development takes time, it doesn’t rush anything, and that is why it feels so believable that despite it being high-fantasy, I felt like it all happened and everything was real. I loved it, I can’t wait to love the second book and I don’t know if I will survive waiting for the third one!
BEST MOVIES OF 2016
What started off as a year of few standout movies, became a fall filled with so many great visual experiences, that looking back, it’s hard to think of 2016 as a bad year for movies. Yes, there were many disappointments, and there were really bad sequels and remakes, but there were also many thought provoking movies that demanded our attention from start to finish. While I haven’t seen many of the movies I could most likely list here, such as Moonlight, Fences, La La Land, Loving, Silence, Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge to name a possible few, I still saw enough great movies for a list of my favourite 10 movies of 2016.
Almost made it to the list: Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond and Doctor Strange.
10. Eddie the Eagle
Such a warm movie, with a standout performance by Taron Egerton.
9. The Conjuring 2
Who would have guessed, a horror movie in my list of best movies.. it was terrific!
8. The Accountant
Surprisingly refreshing and different, with an unpredictable twist.
7. 10 Cloverfield Lane
A movie that managed a lot with a limited location.
6. Nocturnal Animals
Revenge filled thriller with Gyllenhaal and Shannon giving great performances!
5. Manchester by the Sea
Serious, sad but funny at times, Manchester by the Sea left me heart broken in the best way possible.
4. Me Before You
The movie to cry my eyes out to is a movie worth my time.
3. The Fundamentals of Caring
Here is a movie that wasn’t talked enough about in 2016. A movie that somehow slipped through the cracks but I’m glad it didn’t for me because The Fundamentals of Caring was brilliant! This was a movie that was looking to capture humour in the darkest moments, it featured a great cast with Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts, and it made me smile every step of the way. It deserves to be watched and I’m glad to include it in my top three because it deserves to be here.
2. Captain America: Civil War
For years no, comic book movies have been in my list of best movies because there is just something about them I can’t seem to shake. And while the majority of them didn’t make my list this year, Civil War was far ahead of the pack for many reasons. Yes, I could pick out things that weren’t perfect, I could nitpick on small things and discuss the shallowness of it, but at the end of the day, Civil War set out to entertain us, and it achieved its goal!
Walking out from the theater after seeing Arrival I knew it was going to be my #1 of 2016. I had no doubt about it, and I put it down as such without any hesitation. Arrival is the perfect mix of science fiction and drama, the kind of movie that will make you think and wonder, the movie that asks us the most important questions. It is thought provoking and it is honest, it is cinematically beautiful in every way, and there isn’t anything bad I could say about it. Even the narrative structure was flawless! Loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to love it again and again!
What were your favourite reads from 2016? And let me know what movie I should have included in my best movies of 2016?0
I probably sound like a broken record, but I’m so happy to see The Name of the Wind at the top of your list! The wait for book 3 is killing me, but at least it’s given me plenty of time to re-read the first 2 🙂
There are only 2 movies in your list I haven’t seen, 1 because I’m a massive wimp (no points for guessing the movie there haha) and I almost watched The Accountant last night. Going to watch it very soon now on your recommendation!
It was so good and I’m so happy I picked it up in December! I’m already itching to pick up The Wise Man’s Fear but my reading of The Night Circus is not going as well as planned. But I’ll get there, and then I know I will probably read my favourite book of the year in January! Ha.
Let me know what you think of The Accountant, I think it’s pretty darn awesome in so many ways. 🙂
I read three books from your top list and enjoyed all of them. I’m glad I ended up picking up ACOMAF even if I didn’t like the first book – it was so good! Definitely looking forward for the next book.
You know, I liked the first book too.. But I liked Throne of Glass as well. I guess I’m not a very critical reader, I just enjoy a good fantasy story no matter what. But when ACOMAF came along, I was floored. I love how well Maas twists characters around and turns stories around, it is actually interesting to read how the characters change from book 1 to book 2. Or how book 1 changes for you after you’ve read book 2. I just like both. Hah.
I haven’t tried the Throne of Glass series – is one series preferable to the other? Reading ACOMAF does change how ACOTAR is perceived; it did make me want to look at passages to see if the twist Maas did in book 2 makes sense (which I think it does).
Hmmmm.. that is a difficult question. I do love ACOMAF a bit more because it doesn’t feature so many characters, and I feel like it’s therefore more focused on those characters it has.
But I do love the character developments in the Throne of Glass series.. not even the main character Celena, but the others. Like, in the last book, no spoilers, there is a duo, that I was looking forward to read so I feel like for those moments, I’d set them on the same level. Ha, this didn’t help at all, hahaha. 😀
I will reread the ACOTAR series before the third one comes out, I think, I plan to read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before two books before the third one as well, so I don’t know if I will have the time, but I want to. I’m seeing more and more appeal towards rereading. Especially for the purpose of seeing those subtle hints.
Arrivial and Civil War are in my top 3 as well (along with Moonlight) I need to read Patrick Rothfuss’ books. My husband has a bunch of them and loves them.
I think Moonligt would be top 3 as well if I ever saw it! Thinking about doing a rerated list sometime in this year after I’ve seen all the award winners.
Love your picks – especially Captain America: Civil War. I was surprised not to see it on a lot more Best Of lists. I still haven’t conjured up a review for Arrival. 😛
I think many don’t really go for that comic book movie being “the best” kind of vote. I do think, like I said as well, that for what it is aimed to do, it does it oh so well. So why compare it to these serious dramas and say dramas are better, if they have different objectives and outcomes.
This is something that I’m dying to write about in an essay form but I haven’t yet managed to outline all my thoughts. I will though, who knows when though.
Looking forward for your Arrival review!
So happy Nocturnal Animals made your list. I loved that damn movie. Wish more people dug it!