Top Ten 2016 Day 3: Best Adult Titles I Read in 2016

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM |
Top 10 of 2016
Best ________ of 2016 (Reader’s/Blogger’s choice. Please fill in the blank with ONE of these topics – Villains, Contemporaries, Dual POV’s, Novellas, Adult titles, New Adult titles, Love Triangles, Couples, Bad Boys or Debuts. REMEMBER: this list MUST be from books you’ve READ in 2016)

I'll admit, I didn't love the choices given for this one. It was only after realizing most of my Best Of general list was YA did I settle on making it Adult titles. There definitely wasn't enough NA titles for a full list and the best made the cut on the other lists anyways. And I'm trying to have NO duplicates on these lists. I read over 200 books this year, I figure it's only fair to spread the love.

The Holy Shit, How Did These Not Make The BEST of the Best?

White Nights, Black Paradise was hard to read and harder to review. I lingered throughout the book, because all this knowledge demands it. It sunk in and left me stuck. I know it will never leave me, forever changing how I view this incident but me as a person.

Before reading this, I knew jackshit about Jonestown, except that a “crazy” cult killed themselves and that’s where “drinking the Kool-Aid” phrase from. And I only knew that because someone explained it when an asshole used the phrase online.

I am ashamed of my former ignorance and angry this story, this context, this side isn’t the prevailing narrative.

This is the kind of book you tell people to take a deep breath and get to reading. Because they need it.

I’ve never read anything quite like Dark Matter before. And I don’t think I will again. I haven’t read Blake Couch’s previous work, but I plan to now and I’ll be watching his new releases.

I loved everything about The Bookshop on the Corner.

Except the name. It’s a bookmobile not a corner store, which gave me the wrong mental image. Same with the book cover. I want to see the van. It’s awesome. Come on, work with me here!

So I should say, everything substantial was perfect. I knew when I started the Message to Readers dedication this was going to be good. That was adorable and sweet. Don’t skip it! I LOVE Colgan’s voice/writing. Her backlog is now on my TBR list.

I’d never heard of or read Miranda Beverly-Whittemore before this and now I can’t wait to read the rest of her work. It’s exquisite storytelling and eloquent.

I was immediately sucked in with it’s slow-paced, detailed southern charm and a dreaming house. I was torn between savoring it and devouring it.

I’m trying to make this review helpful and not fan girl all over the place but it’s hard. I just want to scream how good this was. In short: everything was fucking amazing.

June is part historical mystery and contemporary family drama. The whole time I’m guessing and getting it wrong with June and Lindie’s perspectives. All the while I’m rooting for Cassie and her crew.

The Personal:

What hooked me was Cora's past. I've been in domestic violence shelters years before and my mother is currently in one. All the employees and volunteers are generally amazing. They do not get enough credit or love. We'd be dead without them. Literally.

It's hard, draining work and I've seen the toil it takes. I always felt so bad and guilty (though none of them let it stand, if voiced) because of it. Burnout is real and dangerous. Most of the...least helpful people in the shelters were the ones that clearly needed to move on.

So I was happy to see Cora's line of work and dedication, but thrilled she was real. I kinda, sorta spent the whole book picturing the burned-out counselors getting a new start like her and others going to her retreat for a break.

Thank You, Mollie Cox Bryan.
Now, let's get to the review before I start crying.

The Steamy Goodness:

I love, love Gin. And it maybe under "Steamy Goodness" but this is not a bed hopping fantasy. It's actually really sparse, especially in the beginning. Yet it feels hot all the same. Gin is not some overpowered strong female. She's clever and trained all her life basically. This is another series I binged this year up to book #13. Plus, I totally want to visit her restaurant!

Binged 5 books out of the 6 books available. I love Angel. She's got a fucked up life and made some bad choices. I know this. I grew up in this income bracket and all around me there was these kinds of issues. It's really hard to find books about people like this that do it right. I'm so glad I found this one and gave it a shot. Her progress is A+ and it's funny as shit.

This is another series I've read up to current (jeez, think there's a pattern here?? lol) and was even able to be a part of the tour for the latest book Belle Chasse.

The first book won me over with the depiction of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Then the character's stepped up. It's typical urban fantasy tropes but the world is well done and different.

The Weird & The Different:

It's part mystery, part horror, part psychological thriller, with romance and paranormal aspects. It's not the typical horror story but it works. It SO works. It's so human.

Ransom is such an interesting character and I love the way it’s told through his autobiography. Is he a reliable narrator? No more than most people (have you read about our memories and how our brain works?!?!) and that’s part of the fun.

Notice anything? There's all of one that isn't lily white heteronormative centered. I've really got to step up my game in this department. In that vein, here's some of the diverse adult books I have on my TBR that were published in 2016. If you have more, from any time frame to recommend, I'd love to hear them!

Shadow & Steel, Certain Dark Things, Coffee Boy, IQ, The Wangs vs. The World, The Good Enough Mother, Homegoing, Hot Flash, Jazz Moon.


  1. I'm a huge fan of the White Trash Zombie series. I absolutely love Angel. And I love Gin too! Estep is definitely an auto-buy author for me.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad to find another fan of this series, it seems so under rated.

  2. Great picks. I really like the look of White Trash Zombie. I love a good zombie book.

    Megan @ reading away the days

    1. You should check it out, but it's not the typical zombie apocalypse book.

  3. Oooo, I also shared my top ten adult books today! I haven't read any of these, though Suzanne Johnson's books are on my TBR. :D Fantastic list, Brooke! =)

    Check out my Top Ten post!

    1. Johnson's books a quite fun, lots of different paranormal types running around.

      And don't worry, I checked them both out :D

  4. Awesome list! I have Dark Matter from the library and I'm hoping to read it as soon as possible!

    Here’s my Best Debut Authors!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

    1. Excellent choice! That'll keep you up and thinking on New Year's for sure lol

  5. Just the other day my sister was telling me that she wanted to get a copy of The Bookshop on the Corner! And now she's a bit disappointed that the cover hints of a bookstore instead of a bookmobile. We so agree that they should have had the bookmobile on the cover! Still, it's a great cover and we want it on our shelf soon. Glad to read that you enjoyed it. ♥

  6. I really really want to read the White Trash Zombie series, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much and that it was done well!


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