Best Reads of 2016

What did I read in 2016?

It was a strange year for me and I don’t think I read quite as many books as in years past, but I’ve compiled a list of those I’ve read in my Kindle and can tell you what I did read was pretty great.

I have a wide variety of genres in there, but tend to lean toward Post Apoc it seems; though that’s predictable. This list is in ascending order; starting in January. In years past, I was able to pick one or two standout favorites…this was not that year. Some of them linger with me like Alas Babylon, a book I reread this year. This entire list is excellent. If there was a book I didn’t particularly enjoy, I didn’t list it. So I just cannot pick a favorite this year. Instead, I’ll say a few words about each below…whatever comes to mind from the memory of having read the book. If it’s on this list…I enjoyed the book very much and totally recommend the read.

 

The Moonlit Garden

Corina Bomann, Alison Layland

A lovely tale of loss and love again.

L. Douglas Hogan
Action packed
A plausible story of survival
An impossible escape and strong female character
Steven Konkoly 
Don’t live in California…after the water is gone.
Ann Howard Creel
A mother’s love isn’t always a relation
Tom Abrahams
Loved the wacky redhead and this series is awesome
Emily Bleeker
Oh my…a widower you will ache for
Joseph Souza
Excellently written and a tough subject. 
Fredrik Backman
Get ready to laugh and cry at the same time.
Lawyers don’t make enough money
Burt Walker, Hristo Argirov, Sabrina Jean, Casey Skelton
A surprising premise though not too far fetched sadly
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
Oldy but great to revisit. A must read every few years.
Steve Berry
A gripping modern cold war tale
Anat Talshir, Evan Fallenberg
A beautiful and tragic love story. I loved it.
Russell Blake
A charming post-apocalyptic tale
Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Aaron Sikes
Excellent gripping series of war, mayhem and apocalyptic plague run amok
Lisa Kleypas
No one writes a romantic love, erotic, story quite like Kleypas
Pat Frank, David Brin
Another classic I try to read every few years. A must read.
Kim Cano
A poignant story of self-sacrifice. 
James Howard Kunstler
I read all fiction by Kunstler…this was the last in his World Made by Hand series…Hoping for more. Beautifully written.
Noah Hawley
OMG…this was excellent. A top contender for the year. 
Kerry Lonsdale
A surprising story. Starts out like a love story…not soo…good read.
Blake Crouch
Another top contender. A bizarre story and the research must have been a nightmare. Quantum physics and he did it so well. Totally recommend this one.
Cal Wilson
A hardcore post-apocalyptic novel. Never take the mark!
Diana Gabaldon
I had to because the video series was over…Excellent
David Perry
Beautifully written. Historical fiction at its finest.
Franklin Horton
Parental angst is what I felt reading this one. Franklin did an excellent job in this story and I hope he continues this into a series.
Ross Elder
Oh wow, I’ve known Ross Elder for a time. Knew he was an investigative journalist but I’d not read his fiction before. This guy can write! 
Murray McDonald
A post-apocalyptic first for McDonald and he’s certainly in the right genre. Trial with a twist. 
This was my last read of 2016. And could not have ended the year better. Patriot Deception is excellently written, a real page-turner…Ross Elder is an author to watch. I hear he’s now working on a postapoc series…

Traveler Series by Tom Abrahams

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Traveler Series by Tom Abrahams is reminiscent of the old classic western series.

You must know what I’m referring to… the ones my dad in Texas still watches in the afternoon while sitting in his armchair. They were quality then, not like the quick scotch tape versions now. They were the kind that were laced with subtle humor. The ones you’d catch a moment later. Genius works of art, really. The films were long then. You had to have patience in the old days but they were worth every minute. That’s what Author Tom Abrahams has done here with The Traveler Series.

His main character, Battle, is like that famous actor, he’s tough yet weak, he’s dangerous and he’s funny. He’s got that quirky sense of humor that only men of danger rely upon. I loved the series.

The first book in the series, Home, begins in Texas before the Scourge, which was a pandemic. It’s where the pain of the character sets in profoundly. Tom Abrahams has two elements that many authors do not. This is where you see that he can provide both the action and the emotion. That’s uncommon and a great combination.

Canyon is after the Scourge and in the upheaval of a power struggle. Though there’s also another element in Canyon; one I thought Abrahams pulled off very well. He implemented a secondary storyline, weaved through excellently. I’m a terrible guesser to plot lines. I tend to ruin anything I sit through with the family… it was the butler! But, I didn’t see this coming which tells me he’s good and when he revealed the ending I was satisfied that he’d entertained me. That’s what we all want isn’t it? To be entertained. To not guess the ending or to know who did it in the end?

And then Wall brings everything’s full circle. Forget succession. Texas, in this setting, is long past succession. The state itself is fractured. In Wall, we still see an emotional struggle that’s very personal to Battle. He struggles to overcome the worst battle he’s ever endured and it’s within himself. Of course, there’s an outward struggle as well. Abrahams again brings in his artistic talent. He combines these battles for one man and makes him deliver despite the pain. And just like in the old west movies you wonder if he’s going to get the girl in the end, survive his inner struggles and triumph over the bad guys. Well, I won’t ruin it for you. Read it for yourself!