Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To

January 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’ve been meaning to get involved for a while but I never rose to the challenge. Why? I felt like it was ALL IN or nothing. Fortunately, Ottavia @ Novels and Nonfiction set me right. I can participate whenever and how frequently I want! So, let’s get to it!

2016 Releases I Meant To Read but Didn’t Get To

(and TOTALLY plan to read eventually)


There were a lot of great releases in 2016. Unfortunately, there is only so much time for reading. The following books all struck my fancy, in no particular order:

Zadie Smith: Swing Time

Set during the 1980’s, Zadie Smith’s newest novel takes us to follow a biracial girl in London desperate to be a star. As the narrator and the girl grow up, we follow them through success and heartache. I look forward to seeing how race and class in 80’s London define both these women. Plus, I’ve never read Zadie Smith! I hear this is a quality introduction to her works.


Marissa Meyer: Heartless

A retelling of Alice in Wonderland with one major twist: The is an origin story of the Queen of Hearts. I am already sad and the story hasn’t begun yet! I adored Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, and while I hear this isn’t as good, I know it will still steal my heart.


Colson Whitehead: The Underground Railroad

Soooo many of my friends have read and loved this (I’m looking at you, Amanda!). As a story which describes the comedy, horror, history, and possible speculative ideas of the Underground Railroad I am already enthralled. A hint of magical realism and a ton of gritty realism and history makes for a brilliant read. I can’t wait.


Katie Kennedy: Learning to Swear in America

This beautiful book tells the story of a brilliant Russian teenager tapped by NASA to save the planet. Only he feels sad and alone, as no one at NASA will listen to him. Enter the girl. I know it’s cheesy, but I love the idea behind it. Sometimes, you just need a fluffy read.


Michael Kinsley: Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide

A series of essays on aging with Parkinson’s Disease. This obviously won’t be a happy memoir, but I have really been into essay-based memoirs. This is a stretch book for me, and I can’t wait to see if I enjoy it.


Emma Cline: The Girls

In 1969 America, you might think a book about a teenaged girl joining a cult is all about lurid violence. Au contrair! In this case, Cline is supposedly focusing on how lonely and vulnerable a teenaged girl is. I’ve heard mixed reviews for this book, which is one reason I am so intrigued.


Brittany Cavallaro: A Study in Charlotte

A YA retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in a Southern high school? YES PLEASE!


Roshani Chokshi: The Star-Touched Queen

This is a book steeped in Indian mythology. The tale of a “cursed” girl whose father arranged a political marriage, who knows what will happen. Maya becomes a Queen and has all sorts of danger and dramatic incidents occur? Yes. I’ll read this. Probably twice.


Zoraida Cordova: Labyrinth Lost

This cover is gorgeous. Not only that, but everyone I know is ranting about this book. I cannot express how much I am looking forward to reading a book about bruja and the underworld.


Leigh Bardugo: Crooked Kingdom

I haven’t read Six of Crows yet, but I can’t stop finding reviews for it! This means I must binge read both books in this duology before too much time passes. If you’ve never heard of this, the duology is more or less a fantasy version of Oceans Eleven with anti-hero characters. I cannot WAIT.

What do you think?

  • What are your favorite 2016 releases?
  • Are there any 2016 releases you can’t wait to read? What have you waited to pick up?
  • Do you participate in Top Ten Tuesday? If so, cross-link below!


  • 4thhouseontheleft January 10, 2017 at 9:23 am

    There are a lot of similarities on our lists, we have 3 that overlap! I almost added The Girls, it would have been my 11th pick! I read both Heartless & Labyrinth Lost at the end of 2016, and really enjoyed them both.

    • Jackie B January 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Heartless, so this lifts my soul. I feel like 2016 just had so many good releases… I omitted This Savage Song, but it’s high up there too. I don’t know how anyone could have picked only 10 books!

  • Birdie January 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Heartless is one I want to read, and at the same time I keep pushing it back from nerves. I didn’t much like Lunar chronicles and I think it’s made me nervous.

    • Jackie B January 10, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      I obviously haven’t read Heartless yet, but I hear it’s *very* different from The Lunar Chronicles. I adored them, personally, so I might be a bit disappointed. But perhaps you’ll love it! My guess is that the writing will still be great no matter the subject matter.

  • Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads January 10, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Great choices! I read Heartless and Labyrinth Lost in the past few months and really enjoyed both. I definitely should have included The Star-Touched Queen in my TTT this week because I definitely want to get to that one this year!

    • Jackie B January 10, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      There are so many books, there was no way only 10 would encompass them all. It’s wonderful hearing so many people enjoyed Heartless and Labyrinth Lost– I can’t wait to read them.

  • whatthelog January 10, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Yup, I didn’t read Swing Time or Underground Railroad last year either! Definitely gonna get round to those ASAP.

    • Jackie B January 10, 2017 at 10:11 pm

      Right?! 2016 had so many great books I failed to get to. I doubt I’ll ever catch up.

  • YAandWine January 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    The Girls, The Star Touched Queen, and Labyrinth Lost were all on my list this week too!

    • Jackie B January 10, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Your list is great! I want to read This Savage Song so badly…I can’t believe I forgot it! But, there are so many books and so little time.

  • Diana January 11, 2017 at 7:39 am

    I also had plans to read Underground Railway last year but never got a chance to. I hope to read it soon. I definitely recommend The Girls. I found it to be quite atmospheric. Its a wonderful coming of age story despite the cultic background. Its also one of those books that give you a different perspective of certain things. In my case, it made me reconsider my views concerning people who join cults. I hope that you will enjoy it.

    • Jackie B January 11, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      We all have great plans for reading which inevitably fall through. So is the life of a reader. 🙂

      Oooh, thanks for giving me your two cents on The Girls. I remember reading your review earlier this year now that you’ve jogged my memory. I come into the world with far too many unconscious biases. I look forward to having some torn down.

  • Laila@BigReadingLife January 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Swing Time was on my TTT list. I also participate randomly on the TTT!

    Labyrinth Lost is on my TBR. Everyone loves it!

    The Girls was one I didn’t love, but it had some promise. It would make a good choice for a book group because you could get so many different opinions.

    • Jackie B January 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      I’m glad I’m not alone in arbitrary participation. That makes me feel much better. I was looking at next week’s topic and thinking, “eh…” I don’t rate a bunch of book that high. So, I’ll skip on that one. 🙂

      Ooh, that’s good to know about The Girls. I love promising book club books. Particularly when there is a chance I won’t enjoy the book. It makes for great stimulating discussion.

  • Adoptabookaus January 11, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    So many of these books I was planning on reading and never did aswell! The Underground Railroad and Heartless being top of my hurry up and read list. Learning to swear in America sounds like ten types of awesome so that’s gone to the top of my to read list right away! Awesome post Jackie xD

    • Jackie B January 16, 2017 at 10:44 am

      Thanks, Casey! That means a lot coming from you. 🙂 It’s great hearing that Learning to Swear in America caught your eye here. I hope we both enjoy it when we get to reading it.

  • avathenerd January 11, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read Heartless for so long but something or the other seemed to come up. I’ll have to pick it up soon.
    Great list!

    • Jackie B January 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Thanks! It sounds like everyone I frequently follow missed Heartless. Perhaps a Buddy Read is in my future. 😀

  • morethangeekylove January 12, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I know the pain!!! I wanted to read some of the books listed here especially Labyrinth Lost but simply could not put my hands on them for one reason or another

    • Jackie B January 16, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Exactly! I use my library all the time and the waiting list for Labyrinth Lost is *82 people*! It will take months for me to get a copy of this. Le sigh. But, that means I have to fit other books in during the space between. Darn. 😉

  • Read Diverse Books January 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    So many great books on this list!! I also didn’t get a chance to read Swing Time or The Start Touched Queen or Six Of Crows or The Underground Railroad. aagghhh. My plan as of now is to read them all eventually in 2017, so I hope I actually do it this time. x)

    • Jackie B January 16, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Thanks, Naz! It’s a shame there are so many great books I missed last year, but I hope to rectify that in 2017. 🙂 Here’s hoping we make it through our TBRs.

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 18, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Every one of these books is on my TBR! Aside from the two I’ve read of course. Loved my little shout out lol I can’t wait for you to read The Underground Railroad! It isn’t a book you enjoy per se, but it was moving and very powerful. I also read The Girls which I had mixed feelings about. It is a very dark and sexual book… very hard to put into words. I think Cline nailed it with her portrayal of cult culture, but there was something missing for me. I know lots of people LOVED it though! I still need to write my review!

    • Jackie B January 19, 2017 at 8:12 am

      I sorta assumed that would be your reaction. We tend to be attracted to similar books. 🙂 And *of course* you got a shout out for The Underground Railroad. You really sold me on it; it’s obvious that book moved you in a powerful way. The wait at the library is reallllly long for it, so we shall see when it arrives. I hope sometime in the next month or so.
      I look forward to reading your review of The Girls. It seems to be pretty polarizing- either you enjoyed it or you didn’t. I am interested to see which camp I fall into.

  • theorangutanlibrarian February 9, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    phew- I didn’t get to any of these either- hoping to get to the six of crows soon though and I just got heartless out the library 🙂 I really need to get to more zadie smith at some point too!

    • Jackie B February 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

      There are so many books, and so little time! The library is my friend, but also a reason I think I’m struggling to keep up– the wait lists are so long! I’m number 38 for Heartless and number 52 for Six of Crows! I’ll get thee eventually, though. I hope you enjoy Heartless!

      • theorangutanlibrarian February 13, 2017 at 6:32 pm

        Ahh so true!! Yes- I have the same problem!! oh dear!! Yes you will!! Thank you!!

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