Top Eight for 2016!

Well, Ladles and Jelly Spoons, today is the 31st of December, 2016. That last day of this year is finally here and I am finally getting around to my faves of this year. (Beth, of course, has been on the ball all year and has already gotten this done.)

I set my goal for reading this year intentionally low at 35 and then changed it to 30 when it appeared I wasn’t going to make it that far. Then, I only made that because I drove to my parents house for Christmas and they live 13 hours away from my house. Just. Under.The.Wire. But, I’m thrilled to pieces that I did. So, without further ado, I give you my top eight.


  1. The Martian by Andy Weir 
    Y’all, I know I was behind the times with this one, but it is so good. You owe it to yourself to listen to this on audio. The book was so good and R.C. Bray really brought it to life.
  2. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes  
    This book made Shonda Rhimes my hero. She is so inspirtational.


  1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
    Will Patton does a knock-out job of reading this book. And, you may have noticed, but Beth and I both have a big ole crush on Maggie Stiefvater’s writing.
  2. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
    This is maybe the most interesting vampire novel I have probably ever read. Plus, the presentation of race and gender going back in forth between modern times and the antebellum South was amazing.
  3. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    I’m still working on how to use everything I learned from this book. Alexander lays out a persuasive argument and backs it up with well-presented research.
  4. Bitch Planet by Kelly sue DeConnick
    In this dystopian future, the world is full of interesting and awesome women who are treated like garbage and shipped off to a prison planet. God, I hope this isn’t prescient.
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie
    Achidie has her finger on the pulse of race relations in America and the story she spins is full of humor, tenderness and amazing characters. I loved this book so much.
  6. Emperor of Sound by Timbaland from childhood to sought after producer, this memoir tells the tale of Timbaland. I really enjoyed this walk through ’90s and -’00s music.
  7. The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
    510pwujvb4l-_ac_us300_fmwebp_ql65_ The Hogfather, the Santa figure in Discworld, has gone missing on his most important night of the year. It is up to Death, his assistant and his granddaughter to save the day. This book is funny, clever and such a good read (or, listen, as the case may have been.)
  8. Call my by my Other Name by Valerie Wetlaufer

This is a story told in poems. The story, based on two historical figures, is about two nineteenth century women living as husband and wife told by a modern narrator. Wetlaufer spins an amazing story of love and heartache. She does a great job not putting twenty-first century categories on these historical characters. I loved the distinct voices of these poems. This is such a good book.


This has been a fun year of reading. I started a bunch of books in 2016 that I haven’t yet finished, so look for all of those reviews (Between the World and Me by Coates, Whipping Girl by Serano, Princess Diarist by Fisher, The Federalist Papers) in 2017!


Our Top 5 Posts of 2016

2016 was a mix bag of a year but let’s focus on the positives,shall we?   This year was a banner year for us at Stacks.  In the last weeks of the year we are going to take a look back of some of our highlights.  So here are our most viewed posts of the past year.

  1. Review: Half Lost by Sally Green Who knew this was going to be such big crowd pleaser?  This book really broke my heart.  The ending was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.  I originally reviewed this back in January but we are still getting views.
  2. Preview of the Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan So this post is originally from 2015 but the excitement over Riordan’s new book carried over into 2016.  It’s views more then doubled my review of the book.  I’ll try not to read too much into that.  😉
  3. Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 1 My excitement over the The Raven King was subtle.  Okay, not so subtle.  This was the first of a week long celebration of Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series.  I examined different aspects of the series and tried to predict what was going to happen in the final book.
  4. Review: Endure by Sara B. Larson Another surprising addition to the list.  This review from January about the final book in Sara B. Larson’s book was a pretty good series.
  5. Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 2  and rounding out our top five is Part 2 of my The Raven Cycle love fest.