Best of 2016 (and my 2017 Resolutions!)

30/12/2016 Lists, Personal, Reading 17

Best of 2016 (and my 2017 Resolutions!)

2016 is rapidly drawing to a close, and as a whole, I think the world will breath a huge sigh of relief when 2017 dawns! It’s been a strange and turbulent year, from the huge shocks that were Brexit and Donald Trump becoming President, to the horrible acts of violence you see everyday on the news and a multitude of sad and shocking celebrity deaths.

However, all that comes as a strange contrast to me, as on a personal level this has been a pretty good year. There have been ups and downs, and a lot has changed for me this year, but all for the better, and I’m feeling pretty excited for the year ahead!

I’ve also had a very good reading year this year, and have read some truly amazing books, which I’ve enjoyed sharing about on this blog. Therefore I thought it was about time I did a ‘Best of 2016’ post all about some of my favourite books I’ve read this year, and I’ve included my New Year’s resolutions at the end.

Best of 2016:

This has to be the best book I read all year, and is now one of my all time favourites! Considering I loved it so much, I really don’t know why I haven’t got round to reading the next book yet, but it’s definitely at the top of my TBR list for 2017!

Back in 2015 I took my first dip into the work of Brandon Sanderson with the Mistborn trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I read the first two books from his Stormlight Archive series at the beginning of this year, and was absolutely blown away! I fell in love with the characters and the complex, intriguing world Brandon Sanderson had created, and I’ve been on the edge of my seat ever since, waiting for the third book to come out. Apparently there is now a release date of November 2017, and I seriously cannot wait!!!

This one was a bit of a surprise for me, as I read The Blade Itselfthe first book in the First Law trilogy some time ago and thought it was merely OK. However, when I read the second book a couple of months ago, I literally couldn’t put it down and became totally engrossed! I absolutely loved this book, as I feel like the pace really picked up, and you got to see more interaction between the characters. I can’t wait to read the final book…if only the person who has it out of the library would bring it back already!

I started reading the Empire trilogy on a bit of a whim when I spotted the first book at the library, and could vaguely remember having been recommended them when I first started blogging. It turned out to be an incredible series, with a really unique world, and the third and final book, Mistress of the Empire, in particular was amazing!

As a general rule I’m not really into new releases and there aren’t many that I get excited about, but I do always feel a sense of anticipation when Sarah J. Maas has a new book coming out! I hadn’t been massively blown away by A Court of Thorns and Roses so wasn’t anticipating the release of A Court of Mist and Fury quite as much as I would a Throne of Glass novel, but I bought it immediately anyway, and ended up loving it even more than the Throne of Glass series! I now am super excited for the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin in May!

I don’t read a huge amount of non-fiction, but Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on creativity really appealed to me, and I wasn’t disappointed! It’s a really interesting and uplifting book, and certainly gave me a lot to think about.

This year I decided to try something new and read some manga, and started out with Death Note, which I’d heard a lot of great things about. I absolutely flew through the first few volumes and loved everything from the characters to the concept. I still haven’t finished the series, as unfortunately I feel like the later volumes haven’t been as good as the first couple, but I definitely need to see how it all turns out in the new year!

  • The Boleyn Deceit and The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen

I’m so behind on reviews that I haven’t posted reviews on either of these books yet, but they are the second and third books in Laura Andersen’s incredible alternate history series about if Anne Boleyn had had a son. I liked the first book, but didn’t love it, so I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I loved The Boleyn Deceit and The Boleyn Reckoning!

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Yet another book I’ve still to review, but I finally got round to reading Six of Crows (I’m late to the party, as always!) and I absolutely loved it! I immediately went out and bought Crooked Kingdom with a gift card I received for Christmas, and it’s currently on my bedside table ready for me to start!

Plus a few New Year’s Resolutions:

  • In 2017 I want to get fit!

Yes, this is a super boring resolution! Everyone wants to get fit in the New Year, and then generally they let it slide after a few weeks. But I have a gym membership that I need to start using again (I really need to get over the embarrassment of forgetting my locker code and having to have my padlock bolt-cuttered off last time I went!), and I really need to improve my diet.

  • In 2017 I want to save up a deposit for a house!

My boyfriend and I have been looking into mortgages recently, and are now starting to save up a deposit to get our own house, which is super exciting!

  • In 2017 I want to finish writing my book!

I made huge progress on the fantasy novel I’m writing during NaNoWrimo, and I’d love to finish my first draft in the New Year, and then I can start editing it. The end is in sight, and it’s super exciting!

  • In 2017 I want to blog more!

My blogging has been so up and down this year – some months I’ve been really on top of it, whilst other months I’ve been really lazy, or just too busy to blog consistently. However, I’ve loads of ideas for new posts, and so I’m hopefully going to be around the blogosphere a lot more once 2017 rolls around (you know…in a couple of days!). I also want to improve my blog photography, and maybe have a revamp in the New Year.

  • In 2017 I want to keep better track of my reading!

I kind of realised the other day, that I have absolutely no idea how many books I read in a year. I think I saw someone else share how many they had read in a blog post and thought ‘wow, that’s a lot!’, and then realised I have no idea what my own annual reading numbers are! I could just count up my reviews, but I don’t review every single book I read, and that sounds like far too much effort! Instead I’m going to utilise Goodreads better in the New Year (my account has been lying stagnant pretty much since I set it up!), and maybe set myself a target (probably an easy one to start off with, seen as I have no clue how much I currently read!).

So have you read any of my ‘Best of 2016’ books? What were your favourite reads in 2016? And do you have any resolutions?

17 Responses to “Best of 2016 (and my 2017 Resolutions!)”

  1. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Good luck with your goals! Exercising and eating healthy is one of my resolutions, too. I was training for a 5K, but then I spent a month traveling and got really bad bronchitis. Now I need to stop being lazy and get back to running.

    • Laura

      The travelling sounds fun, but it sucks that you got bronchitis! I hope you manage to get back into running in the New Year! 🙂

  2. Kelsey

    Ah I’ve just got Six of Crows (late to the party too!) so you have made me more hyped to read it. Also, I am hugeeeeee manga fan so if you want any recommendations let me know, Tokyo Ghoul is fantastic!

    I managed to track most of my books on Goodreads this year because I primarily read on my Kindle, which is linked to my Goodreads account so whenever I finish a book on there it’s automatically updated which makes life easier!

    • Laura

      I really hope you enjoy Six of Crows as much as I did! 🙂
      And I would love manga recommendations! I just chose Death note because it was the main one I’d heard about, so I don’t really know what else is out there. I’ve heard Tokyo Ghoul is supposed to be good though, and the art looks pretty cool, so I think that may have to be my next manga! 🙂
      That does sound pretty handy having your Kindle linked to Goodreads! 🙂

  3. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Good luck with your goals! Like you, I need to get fit as well. I was REALLY good about it for most of the year and then the school year started up again in September and … nothing. Sigh. Still, it’s time to get back to it. I also want to finish my book. We can do it!!

  4. Greg

    It’s weird isn’t it when the world seems screwy but personally things are going well? Glad you had a good year! I too am hoping 2017 will be a little calmer on the international scene! This might be the year I try Sanderson and the Stormlight Archive is hwere I’ll probably start. I haven’t read Mistress of the Empire although I did read the Magician series, and there’s another series by Janny Wurts I want to read.

    Six of crows too because it sounds so good! Good luck with your challenges, and happy New Year!

    • Laura

      Yeah, here’s hoping 2017 is a much calmer year!
      The Stormlight Archive books are amazing, I really can’t recommend them enough! And the Empire trilogy was amazing as well. In fact I think I actually liked it even better than the Magician books (and I loved those). I really need to read more by Janny Wurts herself though!
      Happy New Year to you as well! 🙂

    • Laura

      I really need to watch the Death Note anime! I may try and finish the manga series first though, but I’m just being so slow about it!

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    There are some great books on here. I am seeing ACOMAF on a lot of lists for 2016 so I’m quite glad I’ve bought myself a copy now. I’m really happy to see Daughter of the Forest on here as well because I read that this year and cannot help questioning why I waited so long to read it and why on earth I haven’t bought the second one yet.

    As for your goals for 2017, they sound pretty good to me. I am also saving for a deposit for a house, I’ve not gotten to the stage of discussing mortgages properly but I will soon, I definitely feel it’s time to get a space of my own. And there’s nothing wrong with having a resolution which everyone has, if you want to get fit embrace it. I’m thinking I may try some working out at home because I hate the idea of going to the gym. I was never a fan of physical exercise with others around, though. Also, if you want to keep track of your reading without using Goodreads can I suggest trying to keep a spreadsheet? I always complete the spreadsheet Carina at All About Books creates. It gives you some stats for your reading as well, which I always appreciate.

    • Laura

      Yeah, I think ACOMAF has been a really popular one this year, so I really hope you enjoy it! And I feel exactly the same about Daughter of the Forest! Why have I not bought the second one yet when I loved it so much?
      Best of luck saving for your house! Saving can be so tough, but we can do it! And I’m not the biggest fan of exercising in front of people either, but thankfully my gym isn’t too bad as far as gyms go for not being full of super-fit, judgey people! The problem is you don’t know until you’ve bought the membership and gone if you will like it!
      And that spreadsheet idea sounds awesome! I would be so interested to get some stats on my reading, because as I say, I have no clue really how much i read, or what exactly I’ve been reading a lot of etc.

  6. Jenna @ Falling letters

    Many years ago I tried reading Daughter of the Forest but wasn’t quite ready for it. It sounds like something I might like now, though, so I’ll have to give it another shot. I absolutely loved Death Note when the anime was first released. I was so impressed by the plot. One of my favourite books of 2016 is The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. You have some great plans for 2017. Best of luck with them!

    • Laura

      I definitely recommend giving Daughter of the Forest another shot! I did find it to be very slow starting but it ended up being the best book I read all year. And I still need to watch the Death Note anime! I guess I should probably hurry up and finish the manga first though.
      I’ll definitely have to check out The Witches of New York…even the title alone intrigues me! Witches in New York? Sounds great! 🙂

      • Jenna @ Falling letters

        I watched the Death Note anime first; I remember thinking, when I looked the manga after, “Wow, the anime is like a panel for panel adaptation of the manga”, haha. If the title of Witches is enough to intrigue you, I think you would enjoy it! It’s one of those excellent books where the title + cover were spot on at capturing the mood of the story.

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