2016 Books of The Year

2015 saw me read a disgraceful three books. There was no way in literary heaven I was going to read just three books in 2016.

So this year I decided to set myself a challenge. The Goodreads challenge. I have a small child more commonly known as the Terror Tot, so I knew reading time would be limited. I figured reading one book a month would be better than just three over the year. So that’s what I set my challenge as.

12 books, 12 months.

But I’m pleased to say I smashed that goal into teeny tiny words like smithereens. I read 32 books.

So here’s my summary of the best books of 2016, including recommendations, my challenge for 2017 and the number of books are set myself to read next year.

Below is a list of all the books I read this year including my ratings and links to buy them. I’ve also included links to some of the reviews I’ve written if I’ve written them on my blog. And you can see all my Goodreads reviews here.

I’ve read a mix of non-fiction and fiction (12 non-fiction to 20 fiction) partly because I was trying to teach myself marketing. So you might want to shimmy your little booties down to the book forest and check out some of the marketing books I read as I found them extremely helpful in building my knowledge.

Next year, I’ve set one of my goals as reading a minimum of 52 books – one a week. I’m crying a bit okay… (a lot) over that, but I think realistically, I’d hope I’d read more than that, I mean, clearly I didn’t this year, so fuck only knows why I think I can next year, but I’m nothing if not a fiend for setting unrealistic goals.

Do you do the Goodreads reading challenge? How many books are you going to aim to read next year? (Let me know in the comments below)

Onto the best books of the year. I’ve chosen a Non-Fiction book of the year and a Fiction book of the year, so my faves were:

Non-Fiction Book of the Year

How to Market A Book by Joanna Penn

AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Image from Amazon

This had to be one of the most helpful books I’ve read all year. It really gave me a kick up the proverbially strategic ass and changed my mindset towards writing. It also gave a ton of helpful tips on marketing as well as info on where to start with various things like Amazon and audiobooks. It’s probably more for your starter author, but nonetheless, even though I had some knowledge of marketing, I still learnt loads, and because of the amount I learnt, it gets my top spot for best non-fic book of the year.

Fiction Book of the Year… Is a Draw

Image from Amazon

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

AmazonUK, AmazonUSA





Image from Amazon

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

I won’t give too much away as I’ve written reviews for both books on my new website which is launching very soon and both will be on there. But suffice to say if you read young adult fiction then they’re a must. Seriously… Go. Read… NOW.


Other Books I Read This Year

Amazing Indie Authors To Read:

Connor Kelly & The Four Treasures of Eirean by Ali Isaac: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA – 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Translating Research Into Fiction

Rhymes of the Times by Judy E Martin: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

The Fair and Foul by Allie Potts: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

The Siege by Esther Newton: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Guinea Pigs by James Howell: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA


Non-Fiction Books on Marketing Or Writing:

Dictate Your Book by Monica Leonelle: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Write to Market by Chris Fox: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Anything You Want by Derek Severs: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Ancient Secrets of Lead Generation by Darryl Urbanski (Not linking to this because I do not recommend it)

Indie Small Press Book Marketing by William Hertling: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

90 Day Plan to Launch a Book by Melissa Se: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

The War On Art by Steven Pressfield: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon by Penny C Sansevieri: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Your First Thousand Copies by Tim Grahl: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

How to Make a Living With Your Writing by Joanna Penn: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn: AmazonUKAmazonUSA – 9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part 1 and Part 2

Supercharge Your Kindle Sales by Nick Stevenson: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA –9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part 1 and Part 2

YA Fantasy, Dystopian or Romance Books:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

RoseBlood by A. G. Howard: Pre-Order 10th Jan 2017, AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

The Selection by Kiera Cass: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Legend by Marie Lu: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones: Pre-Order, 7th Feb 2017AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Higgs: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Frostbite by Richelle Mead: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

The Testing Guide by Joelle Charbonneau: AmazonUK, AmazonUSA

Abomination by Jane Dougherty: AmazonUK, AmazonUSAPerfect Your Dystopian World in 5 Easy Steps


    1. Worst books? Lol, I have only 1, one star review out. I use Goodreads to count. It does it all for you. You just find the book you’re going to start, and tell it you’re starting and when u finish – helps if u have set a challenge up tho – think that’s how it stores them in one place. Super easy to do though, and I love knowing.

  1. I used to read all the time but last year have been sadly lacking. I have a load of brilliant books waiting to be read, so I need to give myself a kick up the rear and get stuck in.

    I am thrilled and flattered that my book was one that you read this year, and thank you for the wonderful review that you wrote for it too. 🙂 xx

    1. Ahh you’re most welcome, next year I want to read lots of other friends books, like Hugh, Geoff, Ruth, Shelley, Diana and Helen among others. So many friends to read I might even end up way past my target ? I do love Goodreads challenges

        1. haha, well you don’t need to put them on goodreads I am just nosy and like nosing through other peoples selections and I like being able to see what I’ve read.

  2. Congratulations – it’s so hard to read with little ones around. I remember those years! You have an impressive list – it’s great to see what other people read. Happy New Year and happy reading in 2017!

    1. Thanks so much, it is hard to read with a small one, but it’s also important to do, so I really want to focus on it for next year too. What were your books for this year?

  3. I’m sure I haven’t read half as many books this year, as I was thinking of my book nominations for 2016 last night. I’m currently reading Dylan’s Genesis Redux, so waiting to finish that before I pull my list together.

    I see you read Sansevieri’s truckload thing. Hope it was at least marginally helpful. Seeing as I suggested it!

    Didn’t realise the GR thing did a neat tally. Might be worth doing if only for that. Thanks for the info Sacha.

    1. Ahh Goodreads is fab for its list record – but it only works efficiently if u do a Goodreads reading challenge and then record every book you read – I use it all the time now to watch my progress as I read books and because I like looking back on it.

      I did indeed read that book, thank you for the recommendation I thought it was great 🙂 I will read it again actually because it had a few useful tidbits and lists in it that will be better served when I publish.

      Dylan is on my list for next year 🙂

      1. Aah, Sacha, just looked at your GR reviews and saw you gave Penny a great review and five stars (no I don’t know her from a bar of soap) which is super. I love to recommend a book and someone enjoy it/find it useful. Another blogpal gave a fiction YA story, that I recommended, five stars this week, so I’m on a roll 🙂 Brilliant. Everyone is happy. Authors and readers.

        I might do the GR thing though. Sounds good. What’s realistic? 50? 100? Half of what I read are MSS.

        1. I did! 😀 It was a great book and I really will go back to it 😀

          Well, I’ve set a goal of 52 this year which is one a week, but then I don’t read manuscripts too often, maybe 5 a year. Those can’t be counted on Goodreads either which is a bore – that is unless they publish in the same year. You can only count published books that are actually on goodreads – but I’ve never found a published book not on there. What do you average book wise a week? 52 is a good starting place I reckon for your average reader.

          1. I thought it was basic, but I’m up on PR.

            I went for 50. Half the books I read are MSS. That’s my issue.

            In Dec, I’ve read for review a good book (erotica), have been asked to look at other betas, reading Dylan’s, so I probably really read 200 a year. Min.

            Because of worky stuffy, it ends up being a low count. I’ve read a 100,000 plus novel to price, some betas at 5,000, 15,000 etc. Just in December.

            Full time job? Home to run? Children? Partners? Fifty is lucky

          2. BLIMEY, 200 a year is dead impressive, even if half are manuscripts thats still manuscripts. Haha, well I am secretly aiming for 104. But I have a well cool trick up my sleeve -I just don’t sleep! :p I swear I will drop down dead at 40 from over exertion haha.

          3. There are days when I read a book a day. But I thought 365 was a little optimistic. One of my bosses told me I’d burn out before 50. I left work before it happened. But sleep ? Oh yes. I am the original sleep monster. Sleepy person + book person + cook person = a hell of a scruffy flat 🙂 ?

          4. By the end of tonight, I’ll have read 4 books in 5 days, so almost a book a day. But that’s not a pace I can keep up with a toddler. I just happened to have a bit more time the last few days.

            HA! Love that you left work before 50, big finger up to them! I hope I get to do that too! LOL to your flat, my partner likes the house tidy to OCD standards unfortunately!

    1. Lol thanks Shelley it’s so nice to look back and see what I’ve read. Totally going for 52 books next year thanks to your encouragement ?. What did you add to your list?

  4. Congratulations. It’s always great to set a goal and then beat it be a big margin. I read from a tree book every night before sleep and audio books on CDs in the car every time I’m driving somewhere. Have no idea how many I read or hear annually.

    Also, you wrote reviews for all of them. Wow! I’m way behind on writing reviews for the books I read or listen to.

    1. Not quite all of them, but a lot. And definitely anyone I know or who is indie. I’m a bit slack on trad authors, but I like to support where I can in the hope karma prevails when I publish!

        1. Getting there yeah, its not finished yet, but it’s why I’ve been doing so much research and planning in the background and why I’ve posted less recently. And it’s also why I haven’t published yet, next year I should publish multiple times (on purpose).

          Are you re doing your plan?

          1. My promotional plans are fluid as I invest in promoting my work, running ads, and learn from the results what site to drop and the ones to keep running ads with. My last big promotion ran for a couple of months into early December and I plan to write a post about it to share the results and where I’ll be putting my money for the next big push.

            It would be great to make a profit off each paid promotion, but that is not a realistic goal.

            Promotion is a way to gain attention for our work and attract new readers and hopefully a promotion that doesn’t pay for itself turns into word-of-mouth that does down the line.

            For instance, if I pay less than $40 for an ad to run on a book promotion site and end up selling a dozen books at $US 0.99, I see that as a win even if I only made back a few dollars because that book gained a dozen pairs of eyes that might enjoy reading the book and then talk about it. Word of mouth is hard to measure unless your work goes viral like Amanda Hocking who worked hard to promote her books for almost ten years before her books went viral.


          2. I’ve heard of her. I think she got big during the ebook boom in 2011/12 good timing, a bit of luck and some decent books. I agree word of mouth is super hard to measure, but growth in sales isnt and like you say, not every paid ad will give you sales, but it might get you subscribers who will buy your book later down the line and THAT is golddust.

  5. Wow you rocked it! And you beat me by 2 books lol. Good luck with a book a week once you become a published author, marketing your ass off LOL. Happy New Year my friend! xo <3

        1. I did, sorry at friends for NYE and I’d forgotten to schedule the newsletter so had none of the proper formatting or time to do it, all the email addresses are fudged too – clearly 2016 must be my year for paying attention to detail ??

  6. Thanks so much for the mention as well as the recommendations. I’m truly honored.

    Just think, this time next year you will be on someone else’s list!

    And with that, I leave you to your panic.

    Happy New Year!

    1. *DEEP BREATHS* *DEEEEEEEEEEP BREATHS* oh dear god, why would you say that! :p It’s fine, I’ll only be on two peoples lists, mine and my mums! :p

    1. It IS, if you’re determined. I didn’t think I would even get 12 done last year, and I have a small human to run after, you can totally do it 😀 😀 I believe in you x

  7. Ah. My reading last year was more like your 2015. Very sad. While I’m not ready to set a challenge, I do intend to read more than a handful. I have to. You’ve got some great reads here (some I’ve read, some I’m buying now) and imagine my shock at seeing my book among them. ? I’m honored, Sacha, and appreciate the mention so much. Happy New Year! ?

    1. Hey, it happens. Sometimes we have crappy years, sometimes we have amazing years. oooh, which ones did you buy? and but of course, if you publish another one this year, you’ll be on this years list too! :p – now there’s a tempting challenge for you… hehe.

  8. Can’t believe I’m just getting to this post now… and I’m in it! Thanks for the mention! I actually read 9 books in December, although I wasn’t writing or blogging. It was great!

    1. haha, don’t worry. I have 60million emails again, pretty sure I have one of yours tucked in there. Will have a gander today 😀 9 books in one month is crazy good! Well impressed. I have read 3 this year and should finish another tonight. 4 in 5 days ain’t bad! I cannot keep that up though!!

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