Lola’s Ramblings: Best Books I Read in 2016

Posted December 29, 2016 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings / 42 Comments


Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

In total I read 117 books this year and I wanted to show you my favorite books this year in this post. So far I have ended every previous year with a post like this as well. I don’t rate a lot of books 5 stars, so normally I list all the books I gave 5 stars this year, but this year I am switching it up a bit and include some of my favorite 4 stars as well. In total 3 books received a 5 star rating from me this year. All links go to my review of the books on my blog.

The 5 star Books

The City of the LostPirate NemesisBetrayals

These books were just awesome! The City of the Lost is another awesome read by Armstrong which surprised me with how much I enjoyed it as I normally don’t read thrillers. The set-up with the city where people go to disappeared was brilliant and the author brings the characters and the setting alive brilliantly.

Carysa Locke was a new to me author this year and after an impulse buy when the novella caught my attention I’ve been in love with her books. Her telepathic space pirates series has a likeable group of realistic characters with a well thought out world that I can’t wait to visit again. I am pretty sure I’ve found a new favorite author.

Betrayals was an amazing read, I just felt so content and happy reading it. And I love Gabriel and Liv together and really hope we get to see a romance between them.

The Best 4 star Reads this year

And now for some of my favorite 4 star reads, some are series and others just one book. It was hard to narrow down the list! Links go to my review on my blog.

The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries

I discovered this author and series this year and it’s one of my favorite cozy mysteries series and deserves a place in this post as I really enjoyed each of these books. These books have everything I want in a cozy mystery, a great mystery with enough clues and red herrings, awesome characters and side characters and a great setting!

All-Butter ShortDead (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #0)A Scone to Die For (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #1)Tea with Milk and Murder (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #2)Two Down, Bun To Go (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #3)Till Death Do Us Tart (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #4)Muffins and Mourning Tea (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #5)

Miso Cozy Mysteries

This new series by SJ Pajonas is great! It was the awesome Japanese setting and lovable characters I am used from her other books and then it adds in a mystery too. I am really enjoying this one so far and book 3 is one of the books I am most anticipating about next year!

The Daydreamer Detective (Miso Cozy Mysteries #1)The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter (Miso Cozy Mysteries #2)

The best 4 star reads

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall (Sunborn Rising #1)Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice CranePirate Bound (Telepathic Space Pirates #0.5)The Illusory Prophet (Singularity #3)Teach Your HeartDeath of a Toy Soldier

Sunborn Rising had an enchanting world and stunning artwork this book was a pure joy to read.

Esther the Wonderpig was such a beautiful and heartwarming non-fiction book. I follow Esther her facebook page and the posts always bring a smile to my face, it was great to get the whole story of how they got Esther and how she changed their life in this book.

I bought Pirate Bound after seeing the pretty cover and then the premise grabbed my attention. I am so glad I picked this up as it was a great read. It is a prequel novella, but I think it’s nice to already know these characters their story before you start with book 1. This book features characters who are side characters in book 1. I loved getting my first glimpse of the awesome world Carysa Locke has created in this book and after reading this book I was sold on her writing and this series. I love how she writes her characters and there is romance, but also so much else going on.

The Illusory Prophet was really good! It’s a mix of sci-fi elements with a bit of religious and philosophical questions mixed in. It’s amazing to see main character Eli change and develop as this series continues. and while we do get answers there are also more questions and I am already excited for the next book!

Teach Your Heart was probably the best contemporary romance book I read this year. It was such a great read and I loved the setting in New Zealand. I can’t wait to read more books by this author.

Death of a Toy Soldier was a great cozy mystery, I loved the mystery and the vintage toy shop and I can’t wait to revisit this town and shop in the next book.

What are some of the best books you read in 2016?


42 responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: Best Books I Read in 2016

  1. Love seeing which books would make your best of 2016 list. Good variety, too. I have to say that I wasn’t surprised since I read your reviews and saw your love for them. I thought the one story of Carysa Locke’s from the Pets In Space antho gave me a taste for her series and I can see why her books made your list.

    I did up my list so hopefully you’ll see it soon.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Sophia’s Reading Challenges for 2017My Profile

    • I always love doing this posts, it’s fun to look back on the year and share my favorite books. I hope you get the chance to pick up Carysa Locke her series. I am really enjoying it so far! I’ll keep an eye out for your list πŸ™‚

    • I love those cozy covers, they look so fun. The Japanes series is set in japan and it really feels like you’re visiting japan. the author knows so much about the country, it really comes alive.

      I thought City of the Lost was really good. Looking forward to hear what you think of it, if you decide to pick it up!
      Lola recently posted…Reading Challenges 2016: Fourth quarterly RecapMy Profile

    • Yes I even surprised myself with how many books I managed to read this year. And lots of good ones too, it was hard to narrow it down to this list.

    • I love her facebook page and I always get happy seeing her posts on my facebook wall. I really enjoyed the book too as it was fun to get the backstory of how they got Esther and started the farm.

  2. I’ve read some of your Armstrong reviews and that made me want to read that author. I have never! I just added Betrayasl to GR. I received Sunborn Rising from the author but it was a DNF because of this last reading slump so I haven’t read it yet but I will try again now that I see it was one of your top books! It’s indeed a beautifully illustrated book. Great list Lola
    Dragonfly recently posted…It’s a Wrap! – Best Books & TV Shows of 2016My Profile

    • I hope you give one of Armstrong her books a try, she’s one of my favorite authors. Do make sure to start with Omens as it’s a series best read in order. I hope you like Sunborn Rising more when you pick it up again. I really enjoyed it and the illustrations are wonderful.

    • You’re welcome! They definitely deserve a place on this list as I really enjoyed them and can’t wait to read more of Mei her adventures! I am looking forward to read whatever you’re publishing in 2017!

  3. Totally agree about City of the Lost- even though that was my first Armstrong I’m definitely a fan now. Those Tearoom mysteries are cute, and I’m kinda thinking the Pajonas series looks good too- I like the Japanese setting. Adding those for 2017. Nice list Lola!
    Greg recently posted…Jingle All The Way TagMy Profile

    • I hope you can read more of her books eventually! Armstrong is one of my favorite authors.
      Both the tearoom and the Pajonas series are cozy mysteries and I would recommend both if you’re in the mood for that genre. They are two of my favorite cozies series so far.

  4. Ani

    Very nice list! Nice variety! Now I’m curious about the Kelley Armstrong book, City of the Lost. It sounds interesting. I’ve only read one of her books, Omens, and DID enjoy it, but I was hoping to wait for completion of her series before continuing. Sounds like the series is progressing well, so I can’t wait!
    Ani recently posted…Ani’s 2017 Reading ChallengesMy Profile

    • I think you might enjoy City of the Lost, it’s a bit of a thriller/ mystery book with interesting characters. Omens is the first book in her Cainsville series, which is really good too. Betrayals, which I listed here is the fourth book in that series. Next year the last book will be released πŸ™‚

  5. Great list, so much diversity πŸ™‚ I actually haven’t read any of them yet, but the first book you posted sounds exciting. Hope you been well!

  6. Well now I don’t feel so bad that I only gave 5 stars to two books this year lol.

    Wow, you really do like Kelley Armstrong since two of your 5 star reads were written by her! And I remember you talking about most of the books on your list though. I especially remember how much you loved Pirate Nemesis. I’ll have to consider giving that one a try. And I think I already put the first one in the Betrayals series on my Amazon list. And I know I put the Susan Kaye Quinn series on my list. And how awesome that you found two great mystery series! It seems like you had a good reading year, or at least managed to find some great books πŸ™‚
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Bookish Musings: Top Ten Books I Read in 2016My Profile

    • Seems we did pretty similar with how many books we gave a 5 star rating this year. I really got picky with giving out those 5 stars this year.

      Yes Armstrong is one of my favorite authors and I love her writing style. There’s just something about her books that sucks me in.

      I hope you give Pirate Nemesis a try, the author sometimes puts the novella free which gives a good feel for the series and if you’ll like it. If you have it on your amazon wishlist you might see it next time it’s free. I am really looking forward to the second book in that series!

      I think you’ll enjoy that Susan Kaye Quinn series!

      I am glad I found two great mystery series. It sure was a good year for cozies and I discovered some good books in that genre.
      Lola recently posted…Reading Challenges 2016: Fourth quarterly RecapMy Profile

  7. Wow, thank you so much, Lola, for including my books in your round up! I feel incredibly honoured!! I’m so happy you enjoyed my Oxford Tearoom series and thank you again for all your thoughtful reviews. πŸ™‚

    Best wishes,

    (H.Y. Hanna)
    H.Y. Hanna recently posted…Return to Oxford! (Part 2)My Profile

    • I am so glad I discovered the Oxford Tearoom series this year, it’s one of my favorite cozy mysteries series and I am looking forward to the next books in this series! And I am hoping I might be able to try out some of your other books as well in 2017!

  8. Lola, thank you so much for including me on your list! My jaw dropped when I saw I was right beside Kelley Armstrong, as she is one of my favorite authors! I love all of her books, but really enjoyed her Nadia Stafford thrillers, so gave City of the Lost a try earlier this year, and LOVED it. I can’t wait for the next book to drop early in 2017. πŸ™‚ Thank you again! This made my day.

    • Armstrong is one of my favorite authors too! I love her books. I didn’t realize she was one of your favorite authors too. Her Nadia Stafford series was really good and I loved City of the Lost, can’t wait for the next book in that series!

      And I am looking forward to see what you’re going to publish in 2017!

    • Thanks! 2016 sure was a good year for reading. I hope you’ll check out Teach Your Heart, it was such a good book. I still find myself thinking about it now and then and I hope I can read book 1 and 2 soon.

    • I even read two more books before the end of the year and ended with 119 books read. I hope you enjoy Armstrong her books once you get around to reading them. And the Oxford tearoom series is so much fun! Looking forward to hear your thoughts abut that one when you read it πŸ™‚

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