Mid-Week Blog: Top Five Books of 2016 (so far)

My Goodreads reading challenge for 2016 says I'm 4 books from my goal and as we head into October, I wanted to take a quick look back at the books I've read (20! More in a year than I've read in a long time.).

My goal has always been to read what I enjoy. My brain works hard enough as it is learning new tricks every day, I want to relax when I read. Some the books below are old, one I read for the second time (another first!), and while I found these books to be the most enjoyable reads of the year so far, I reserve the right to update this list on December 31st.

5. World War Z by Max Brooks (audiobook version, 2nd time reading this one)

I adore Max Brooks. Son of writer and actor Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft, Max is most famous for this book and The Zombie Survival Guide (which I also own). The book is best in audio form because Max procured so many wonderful voices to read for different characters including Nathan Fillion, Rob Reiner, Alan Alda and zombie-lover himself Frank Darabont. While I am not a fan of apocalyptic novels, each chapter is like a story unto itself. You care for each character, follow their story within the story via the interviewer, Max Brooks himself. So good, I listened to it twice.

4. Part Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates

I met Maisey Yates at Bookcon this year and was lucky enough to receive this book for free at a writers roundtable session. I find her books to be light-hearted, even when her characters are deeply troubled. The first in the Copper Ridge series, Part Time Cowboy is about bad girl Sadie Miller and lawman Eli Garrett. To him, she's nothing but a hoodlum who fled Copper Ridge. To her, he's part of the family owning the land she's opening her bed and breakfast on. A fun read, I am now obsessed with all of Yates' books.

3. It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

Julie James may be my all time favorite romance writer and she's from Chicago. I can't recall how I came across her books but I have devoured each and every one of them, including the two listed here. Part of her FBI/US Attorney series, It Happened One Wedding follows the ups and downs of men-phobic Sidney Sinclair and lady-killer Agent Vaughn Roberts. Stuck together as maid of honor and best man for their siblings' wedding, the two are determined to hate each other but somehow end up in bed.

2. Something About You by Julie James

Another of James' FBI/US Attorney series that does not disappoint. Cameron Lynde is in the wrong place at the wrong time when she hears a deadly ending to her next door neighbor's sex-capades. Special Agent Jack Pallas, whose career was ruined by Cameron three years ago, is put in charge of the homicide. I love second-chance love tropes and this one does it justice. 

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Two words: wonderfully devastating.

Just read it. You'll cry. That's all I am going to say about it.

So, for now, that's my list for favorites this year. What books have you loved this year?