Best Books of 2016 | End of Year Book Survey

reading time: 5 min

Hello lovely internet people, I've decided to join Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner in her End of Year Book survey again. This year I was quite crazy with university / my master thesis (and I still am), but nevertheless I managed to read a total of 37 books. 10 books less than the last book survey I did, but still not bad, considering. So let's get this party started! 

Note: The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2016!

1. Best Book You Read In 2016? 
(If you have to cheat — like me you can break it down by genre if you want) 

Contemporary YA – The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Mystery/CrimeDer Dieb in der Nacht (The Thief in the Night) by Katharina Hartwell (German)

Historical Fiction – Death and the Devil by Frank Schätzing

Paranormal Hiobs Spiel (Hiob's Game) by Tobias Meißner (German)

Fantasy Eon / Eona by Alison Goodman

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't? 

Dragonsdawn by Annie McCaffrey.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book of 2016?

Life is a Carawanserai Has Two Doors I Went in One I Came out the Other by Emine Sevgi Özdamar. Can you believe this crazy title?! I read this book for a university course earlier this year, and I actually really, really liked it. The major themes in this book are migration, Turkish culture and (German-Turkish) identity.

4. Book You "Pushed" The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Eon / Eona by Alison Goodman. Totally pushed my boyfriend into reading it, and he loved both novels.

5. Best series you discovered in 2016

Hiobs Spiel by Tobias Meißner.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

The German authors Katharina Hartwell and Tobias Meißner (I rarely read German books tbh). I'm intrigued to get my hands on Hartwell's debut novel Das Fremde Meer (The Foreign Sea).

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World was my first book by Haruki Murakami, but probably not the last. It was also my first book of the surrealistic genre, which to be honest takes some getting used to. But it's fascinating. And liberating.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2016

Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably Inkheart by Cornelia Funke because I've read this like three times already.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016

11. Most memorable character in 2016?

Lady Dela (born a man but who is a woman in spirit) in Eon / Eona by Alison Goodman. Plus her bodyguard.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Super hard to choose this time, but I'd say Wildwood Imperium by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis.

13. Most Thought-Provoking / Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Ugh, I can't decide between The Opposite of Loneliness, Set This House in Order and Hiobs Spiel because all three of them had such a great impact on me - Hiobs Spiel and Set This House in Order significantly influenced the work on my master thesis, whereas Marina Keegan inspired me to get into writing in general again. Plus, The Opposite of Loneliness touches on so many thought-provoking topics...

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?

The final part of the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini. Wasn't worth it though.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016

All quotes are from The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest Granny's Interpreter by Ian Watson, an acquaintance of mine (90 pages)

Longest Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (896 pages pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Well. The book that shocked me most simply due to the content was
Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren't familiar)

Prince Kygo and Eona in Eon / Eona by Alison Goodman.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Mouse and Andy in Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff.

20. Genre You Read The Most From in 2016

Definitely Fantasy / Science Fiction this time. What can I say, I'm a nerd.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Guess what? The Opposite of Loneliness by Marine Keegan.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

There was no particular crush I had on any of the characters, but I did like Prince Kygo (Eon / Eona) and also Akkarin, The High Lord from The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan.

23. Best 2016 debut you read? 

Erm, actually I don't think I read any debuts this year... Since the era of Harry Potter is over, I barely read books as soon as they come out :D

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Hiobs Spiel by Tobias Meißner. (If you speak German, do read this book; it's a linguistic masterpiece)

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Probably The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud because of its sarcastic narrator, Bartimaeus. I didn't read as many fun things this year though.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016

Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff.

27. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? 

Well, yes, I did manage to finally complete my Day Zero Project task to read 143 books. Other than that, I didn't set myself any particular goals.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Hiobs Spiel by Tobias Meißner. Quite literally.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

Again: Hiobs Spiel by Tobias Meißner.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)? 

Eona by Alison Goodman because I could only barely stand watching the protagonist spiral down the love triangle...

Looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (!!)

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

The next Song of Ice and Fire book by George R.R. Martin.

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? 

It's actually a 2016 debut, but: Sturmflimmern by Moira Frank who I am lucky to call one of my good friends :)

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

The last Kingkiller Chronicle book if we are lucky, but I doubt that it will be published that soon.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2017?

In terms of blogging, I anticipate to further improve my photography and writing skills as well as find a more precise niche for my blog since "lifestyle, fitness, health, travelling, occasional outfits, movies and books" isn't really a clear category. Overall, I want to become more structured and "professional" while still maintaining my personal voice of course. Not quite sure how to tackle that...

As for reading, there are sooo many books on my wishlist: Sturmflimmern by my friend Moira Frank, The Physician by Noah Gordon, The Cider House Rules by John Irving, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, as well as Saga (the graphic novels) by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and many many more. I just need the time to read it all, lol. Who knows the struggle?!

Now, let me know about your best books of 2016! I'm curious to find out what you've been reading and loving :)