My Top 5 Favorite Reads of 2016

Looking for a new must-read book? These are my top 5 book recommendations for 2016.

Over the last week my GoodReads feed has been full of friends setting their reading goals for 2017. Some have been incredibly reasonable (like 12 books a year) whereas others have completely blown me away (like 100 books a year). I set mine as a completely achievable (I think) 26 books per year. The Kindle app on my iPad is full with books I haven’t read so I don’t think I’m going to have any issue finding something to read although is going to be hard to top the ones I read and loved in 2016.

Here are a few of my 2016 reads, in case you are looking for something to enjoy in 2017.

The Officer’s Code by Lyn Alexander

Is it cheating if I say that 2016 was actually the third time I’ve read this book? I read it for the first time in 2014 but I love it so much that I read it at least once a year. It’s the first book in a 4-part series and I find myself reading the entire series every time I sit down with it but I can’t resist. I just love this entire series so very much.

Buy: The Officer’s Code by Lyn Alexander

Who will love it? Fans of WWI and WWII historical fiction who don’t mind tragedy befalling their beloved characters.

The Officer’s Code (The Schellendorf Series) (Volume 1)

Price: $14.95

4.8 out of 5 stars (36 customer reviews)

14 used & new available from $7.66

A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock

This is one of those books that I found intoxicating while reading. It’s set amidst the glamour of the 1920’s and Vera, our lovely leading lady, is a privileged Manhattan socialist. I usually don’t love books about wealthy socialites but Vera is different. She was restless and had an affair with a mysterious painter that shared her love of art. Nothing is quite as it seems in Vera’s world and I loved how it all unraveled around her. 

Buy: A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock.

Who will love it? Lovers of the 1920’s glam with a little bit of dirty laundry.

A Fine Imitation: A Novel

Price: $9.55

4.2 out of 5 stars (146 customer reviews)

105 used & new available from $0.99

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

Flight of Dreams is my favorite kind of book – a fictional take on a mysterious historical event. There are so many theories about what happened in the final minutes of the flight of the Hindenburg in 1937 that caused the airship to go up in flames, killing 35 people. In this historical fiction novel, Lawhon presents her theory on what could have happened and tells it by incorporating the people that history confirms were actually on board the airship. Those who died in real life, die in the novel. Those who survived in real life, survived in the novel.

Buy: Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

Who will love it? Anyone that loves a great mysterious and curious characters.

Flight of Dreams: A Novel

Price: $9.25

4.2 out of 5 stars (160 customer reviews)

104 used & new available from $2.00

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

This was one of those guilty pleasure reads because honestly, it felt like reading an Oriental historical fiction version of The Bachelor. The Palace had so many levels for the concubines that I felt like I was rounding through the 9 circles of Hell from Dante’s Divine Comedy (also known as Dante’s Inferno). Every woman there plotting, fighting, and back-stabbing to move up to the next level and be one step closer to the Emperor. 

Buy: The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

Who will love it? Readers looking for a scandalously good time while exploring the unique eastern world of the Orient.

The Moon in the Palace (The Empress of Bright Moon Duology)

Price: $9.74

4.4 out of 5 stars (151 customer reviews)

77 used & new available from $4.66

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani

I was conflicted over this book as I read it but the more time that passes, the more I realized just how much I loved it. The big secret at the end is kind of predictable but still, I loved the way it unfolded. This is a great story of love, devotion, obsession, and the pressure of keeping up appearances.

Buy: The After Party by Anton DiSclafani

Who will love it? Anyone that has ever felt confined by expectations and yearned to break free to live life on their own terms. 

The After Party: A Novel

Price: $15.26

3.4 out of 5 stars (179 customer reviews)

145 used & new available from $1.49

What did you read and love in 2016? Give me recommendations and I’ll add them to my ever-growing pile for 2017.

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl
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