What books have you loved this year? The following lists bring together the cream of the crop of 2016’s books – from the picks of our staff and customers, to the lists published by magazines, newspapers and booksellers. Have your say!
Best books for kids and teens
Christchurch City Libraries staff and customer picks
Best of 2016 booklists
- ShadyNZ's Best reads of 2016
- Knit1Purl1's Top reads 2016
- Dan's Fiction highlights of 2016
- Katherine's 2016 top books
- Rachaelistic's 2016 Best books
- Alina's Best of 2016
- Fiona's Best reads
- Roberta's Best reads
- Brian's Best reads / listens / watches in 2016
- Moata's Fave DVDs of 2016
- Donna's Best reads of 2016
- Donna's Sound and vision faves of 2016
- Joyce's Best (and worst) bookies of 2016
- Alison's The Best of 2016
- The Bookwitch's Favourite adult and young adult books of 2016
Philip Tew's picks (Fiction selector)
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh.
The others I thought were standouts were:
- The gun room Georgina Harding
- The place that didn't exist Mark Watson
- Mothering Sunday Graham Swift
- The allegations Mark Lawson
- Heroes of the frontier Dave Eggers
- The swans of Fifth Avenue Melanie Benjamin
- Tuesday nights in 1980 Molly Prentiss
- Once again assembled here Sean O'Brien
- The mother Yvvette Edwards
All of these were highly readable with characterisation and sense of time and place uppermost. I know we are doing "best of the year" so we don't want negativity but I'd love to see these domestic unease thrillers that dominate the mystery genre now start to fade away. That Girl on the train is responsible for huge numbers of imitations.
Four fires Bryce Courtenay
What a joy to read, the laughter, the tears, a learning process regarding the gum trees of Australia. The love the honour, the loyalty of a poor family was amazing to experience. What a loss not to have more novels from the wonderful Bryce Courtenay.
The Antipodeans Greg McGee
Evoked the Italian setting and the struggle of being part of two cultures.
Leaving the Red Zone: Poems from the Cantebury earthquakes
It's about Christchurch and the earthquakes, and it's poetry in motion, excuse the pun!
There are several books which were my favourites of the year. In no particular order they are:
Rivers Of London Ben Aaronovitch
It turned me from being a rigid non-fantasy reader into a fan of Mr Aaronovitch at least. I like the British humour permeating and ridiculously he makes all the magic seem quite natural.
Bone Clocks David Mitchell
Again fantasy! Very clever writing that hung together well and kept me to the end.
The Invoice Jonas Karlsson
I loved the quirkiness but the slight hint of "is this our new reality".
Shades of Grey Jasper Fforde
Futuristic with delightful humour and a great storyline. Mr Fforde has kept fans of this book waiting for several years but is promising the sequel in 2017. I do hope he delivers.
The Raven Boy Trilogy Maggie Stiefvater
Because Maggie is just amazing!
Sarah M's pick
We are the ants Shaun David Hutchinson
It's raw, emotional, harrowing, and very funny. Henry Denton has been given the power to stop the end of the world by aliens who casually and randomly abduct him. But is the world worth saving? His boyfriend committed suicide last year, his dad left with no reason, his brother has dropped out of college after knocking up his girlfriend, and his grandmother is losing her mind to Alzheimer's. The he meets Diego, but is 144 days long enough to decide if the world deserves to be saved? Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle. Henry's voice is real and relatable and very in your face from the start; and there's just the right amount of weird for entertainment.
Buzz D's pick
The Peculiar life of a lonely postman Denis Theriault
Book written almost entirely in haiku, both the modern shorter version and the ancient 7 line format. A beautiful translation from the French, easy to read and inspired me to write a few haiku of my own.
My favourite books were anything written by Elena Ferrante.
I loved all her books I have read so far - I couldn't put any of them down. My Brilliant Friend, the first in the Neapolitan trilogy, weaves the stories of two women, best friends but with very different destinies. Her voice is so direct and compelling, often violent, making her stories strange but insightful. I'm totally obsessed by Elena Ferrante.
An impossible decision - so I simply have to nominate two titles as they both warrant being my absolute favourites of the year so far.
Best selling author, Elizabeth Strout is an old favourite - who couldn't adore Olive Kitteridge - so I took My Name Is Lucy Barton out with some trepidation and a slight expectancy of being disappointed. But I wasn't. Her latest novel is what I call 'one of those little big books.' it's A5 size and only 191 pages long, but boy, does it ever pack a punch.
Lucy's very ill in hospital and her estranged, no-nonsense, mother comes to visit ... in the hushed room of the hospital the family's past comes tumbling out. Little by little, we discover how the past has affected the whole family and particularly Lucy - who is now married and a mother of two daughters.
As a reader, I felt I should have been somewhat distressed by some of the revelations but, quite amazingly, I wasn't. Somehow this wonderful author draws everything together with compassion, empathy and understanding.
And right at the other end of the scale - a huge rollicking rollercoaster of a read. Mount! by Jilly Cooper sees this author totally back on form. This latest novel is equal to the hilarious delight of the very first title in the series - Riders - with all the old favourites back between the pages. The dialogue is supremely funny and the plot rollicks along.
It's totally audacious, raucous and quite simply a hugely great read about the upper crust horsey world in England. This is a book that you can totally wallow in. Five Stars for sure (and I defy any woman not to instantly fall in lust with Rupert Campbell Black).
The Black Widow Daniel Silva
I enjoyed this book because although it is a fiction it really hits the mark on what has happened recently in Paris and other parts of Europe. Israel comes into the picture with the wonderful mysterious character Gabriel Allon. This book is an easy read, clips along at a good pace I couldn't put it down. Thoroughly recommend.
Helen from Linwood Library has a top ten list that includes a mix of poetry, novels and non-fiction. Read According to Helen: Best Reads 2016.
Have your say
2016 best book lists
- Top books of 2016 Auckland City Libraries
- Booksellers New Zealand List of lists: Books of the year 2016 [Storify]
- The NZ book scene’s favourite reads of 2016 New Zealand Book Council
- The 100 best books of the year New Zealand Listener
- 50 best books for kids New Zealand Listener
- The Spinoff Review of Books presents the 20 best fiction books of 2016
- The Spinoff Review of Books presents the 20 best books of non-fiction
- Largehearted Boy's List of online 2016 book lists
- The 100 bestselling books at Readings in 2016
- Amazon best books of 2016 Editors’ picks
- Best books of 2016 Amazon, Celebrity picks
- Best books of 2016 part one The Guardian
- Best books of 2016 part two The Guardian
- Best children's books of 2016 Amazon
- Best books of 2016 Goodreads' Choice Awards
- 100 Notable books of 2016 New York Times Book Review
- Best books of 2016 Publishers Weekly