Now that I've settled nicely into 2017, I thought I would take a look back at 2016 and think on some of the books I read last year, maybe talk about my favorites. I will admit, I didn't read nearly as many books as I should have last year. I set my goal on Goodreads to only 12, which I surpased by 1. I would like to do a lot more reading than that, of course. Any way, here are my favorite books from last year, in no particular order mind you.
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Remember, these are not in any particular order. Having said that, I would say this was the best non-fiction book I read last year. It was fun an entertaining with just enough factual information to make you feel as if you learned something at the end. If you're not familiar with the book, it's a man's journey across the Appalachain Trail, which is a trail leading from Georgia to Maine and over 2,000 miles long. It's quite the accomplishment to hike its entirety. Bryson is accompanied by his buddy Katz who is overweight and a recovering alcholic. Despite some of the set backs, the two have a great time and enjoy their time on the trail. It's a great book for nature lovers and a great book for anyone interested in non-fiction.
2. Last Call by Sean Costello
I discovered a new favorite author last year. Sean Costello doesn't always follow the convential genres and writes either thriller novels or supernatural stories. It's nice to see an author break the known molds and give us more than one genre in their writing. His book Last Call was fantastic. It was a close race between this and his other book Squall. This ended up winning becuase the memorable characters. The killer was a psychotic and disgusting man whom you hated from the very start. The main character grows on you very quickly and you like her well before she gets caught up in anything. All you can do is sit there and beg the author not to hurt her while he takes you on a thrilling journey with an action packed ending. It was amazing to say the least. A book I will probably read again in the future.
3. The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
One of my all time favorite authors is Stephen King. I've been reading him since I was a young kid. I've always wanted to start his Dark Tower series and decided that last year was as good a time as any. The first didn't spark my interest as much as I had hoped but the second I just couldn't put down. It introduced more characters with plenty of depth and showed real suspense. I posted a blog with a full review if you're interested to read it there.
4. Compendium: A Horror Novelette by Roxie Prince
I "met" Roxie Prince through social media and decided to pick up her horror novelette. It was a short book, as the name suggests, and the reviews promised it was good. Let me tell you, they were right on! I enjoyed every single page. Even though the stories were short, you felt like you got to know several of the characters in them. You actually felt for them, you actually liked them. It's not easy for an author to make you love their characters in such a short amount of time. Then there were the stories themselves. They were different from anything else I had ever read before. In an age where zombies are everywhere (and I'm not complaining about that, really. I'm a big Walking Dead fan) you would think the monsters in this book would be dull and boring, being zombie like themselves. But that's not the case. These monsters are something more and very interesting and terrifying. You know what, you should just go read it for yourself.
5. The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher
This book had such an interesting concept. Basically, what would it have been like if the Nazis had won WWII? The Darkest Hour follows a police officer named Rossett who now works for the SS in the newly appointed "office of Jewish affairs". His job is to relocate Jews from their homes and board them on the trains. Rossett fought against the Germans in the war but when the Nazis won, he fell back in line and took orders. Since they were in charge, he took orders from them without question. Everything changes when he meets a young Jewish boy who was hidden in one of the houses he raided. Against his better judgement, he decides to rescue the boy and try to get him out of the country. I couldn't put this book down. The setting was amazing and the story was fantastic. Rossett was a character you hated from the beginning, knowing he was doing evil work for the Nazis. But as you learn his story and follow his journey you understand him and grow to love him. It was an exciting story and such a great historical twist!
Those were my top picks from last year. Did you read any of them? Have any thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.
Evan Bond, author of To the Wolves and Death Can Wait, is a thriller/suspense author. When not writing, he can be found hiking or camping in the beautiful state of Florida.