ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2016

Everyone’s doing these favorites posts and I want to do it too. I look forward to these posts at the end of the year because they are great sources for book recommendations. Often the books included in these end-of-year favorites lists are ones that have great staying power. They are ones that readers often reminisce on throughout the year and might even consider rereading, which, to me, means they are good reads.

I was unable to shorten my list to the usual 10, so instead I have 16 favorites of 2016! (I did not plan that.)

I’ve broken the list into the following sections: novels, which includes picture books and audio books; comics, which includes mangas; and other, which is a mish-mash of nonfiction and poetry.


Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit ★★★★☆

— A young-adult historical novel with a hint of magical realism set during World War II.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ★★★★☆ ½

— A dystopian novel about a flu epidemic that almost wipes out all humans on earth.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ★★★★★

— A young-adult fantasy novel about a rivalry between two magicians and their proteges.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb ★★★★★

— A fantasy novel about the bastard son of a prince. I recommend the entire series.

You by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana (audio book) ★★★★★

— A thriller novel about a guy stalking a girl. The story is told from the stalker’s POV. I debated including this since it’s a reread; but the audio book is so good, I had to include it here.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

— A young-adult fantasy novella about kids who return from fairy worlds.

The Only Child by Guojing (illus.) ★★★★☆ ½

— A children’s picture book about a girl’s adventure with a mysterious stag.


Saga, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, illus. by Fiona Staples ★★★★★

— A sci-fi/fantasy comic about a young couple trying to protect their family while being hunted by their respective planets’ governments, which are at war against each other.

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1-9 by Hiromu Arakawa (illus.) ★★★★★

— A sci-fi manga about brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are trying regain their normal bodies after a failed…experiment. I recommend the anime and the manga.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (illus.) ★★★★★

— A graphic novel about a man who must find a safe place for his family to live. The story is told using only pictures.

Velvet, Vol. 1: Before the Living End by Ed Brubaker, illus. by Steve Epting ★★★★★

— A comic book about a woman working as a secretary at a spy agency.

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, illus. by Sana Takeda ★★★★★

— A fantasy comic set in “an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia” about a girl with a monster living inside her.

Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, illus. by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett ★★★★★

— A sci-fi comic that reimagines the superhero as a communist leader.


salt. by Nayyirah Waheed ★★★★★

— A book of poems that touches on a variety of topics such as identity, immigration, femininity, the African diaspora.

When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain by Giles Milton ★★★★★

— A nonfiction book of short essays about historical events and figures that aren’t often discussed.

Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss (illus.) ★★★★★

— An illustrated nonfiction book about the weather.

And that’s the end of my list. Let me know what were your favorite books for the year below. If you did a post, share the link and I’ll take a look.

28 thoughts on “ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2016

  1. Great list!! There’s a bunch of your top favourites that are in my TBR and I can’t wait to dive into those in the near future. I like that you also grouped your favourites in different categories. Would’ve been a pain in the ass to filter down your top books by including comics, non-fiction, audiobooks, etc. XD

    – Lashaan


  2. Yay for The Night Circus! I remember you saying you had loved it, so I’m glad to see it here on your year-end list. Assassin’s Apprentice is definitely on my list of 2017, and hopefully I’ll get to Station Eleven as well. My 2016 year-end list should be live this Thursday, btw.


  3. Always happy to see Station Eleven get some love – it swept me off my feet in 2015, although I’ve not been tempted to check out anything else by the author. The Night Circus was one of those odd books I didn’t think I’d particularly enjoyed, then it all fell into place in the last chapter and sank me. However, it was such a fabulous aesthetic throughout – I’d love to see it brought to screen.


    1. I’d love to see the Night Circus on screen or brought to life in a play that includes the audience in the performance or as a Cirque du Soliel event. Would be awesome!
      And I never thought to check out Mandel’s other books. For some reason I thought Station Eleven was her first. I’ll have to look into it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely loved You, that book creeped me out so much! I’ve also been dying to get my hands on the Night Circus.


  5. I loved Station Eleven, but I really don’t get Every Heart A Doorway, I wrote a whole blog post/rant about it about a month ago… I hate that I don’t like it, because I know so many people who rave about it.


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