14 Of The Most Buzzed-About Books Of 2016
Goodreads recently let BuzzFeed know which books, according to its users, have been the "It" titles of the year thus far.
Below are the books that have been highest-rated by users, and that are also getting added to tons of "Want to Read" lists.
1. Shelter by Jung Yun
An act of violence forces the Cho family — Kyung, a young father and husband living beyond his means; his parents, Jin and Mae, who gave him every advantage but little kindness —to live in the same house for the first time in years. Tensions rise quickly as Kyung battles the question of how to be a good and loving partner and man when he was deprived that affection growing up.
2. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: YA fantasy
In the desert nation of Miraji, where mortals rule but mystical beasts roam the dark corners, Amani relies on her sharpshooting skills to be her ticket out of her dead-end hometown of Dustwalk. What she doesn't expect is that a handsome and mysterious stranger will join her on her way.
3. Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
Former special ops pilot Maya sees her 2-year-old daughter playing with her husband on nanny cam footage. The problem? Her husband was brutally murdered two weeks earlier. Coben's book becomes a question of trust and truth — can you really believe everything you see?
4. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Keys are a focal point in Oyeyemi's fantastical short story collection — the literal keys that unlock a house, a library, or a mysterious diary; and the metaphorical keys that open hearts, secrets, and fates.
5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA fantasy
Continuing in the same universe as The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare's mega-popular previous series), Lady Midnight tells the story of the orphaned shadowhunter Emma Carstairs, who is dead set on avenging her parents' death. She finds herself paired with her best friend, and together they chase down a dangerous new killer — or set of killers — in a demonic plot unfurling in LA.
6. Guapa by Saleem Haddad
The day after being caught with his boyfriend by his grandma, Rasa — a young gay man living in the Middle East — grapples with his sexual identity, the possible loss of both his grandma and his boyfriend, and the arrest of his political activist best friend. Over the course of 24 hours, Rasa wanders the city, from the dark corners of its slums to its bright and lavish parties to the rumblings of its revolution, revisiting his own past and the secrets that haunt him.
7. Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Genre: Historical romance
Tomboy Billie Bridgeton is all grown up, and she has to choose which of the Rokesby brothers she'll marry. There are Edward and Andrew, her two beloved childhood friends, and then there's George, the oldest, whom Billie absolutely can't stand — until she kisses him.
8. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Based on years of fieldwork in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee and extensive data collection, Evicted paints a detailed and heartbreaking portrait of the country's eviction problem, and how it feeds into a cycle of poverty. Desmond follows eight struggling families, many helmed by single mothers, each spending more than half of their income on housing, and each making unthinkable sacrifices just to survive.
9. The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
Genre: Historical fiction
During a blizzard 1947 Brooklyn, two babies are born minutes apart by sisters-in-law living in a two-family brownstone. As the kids grow up, their bond deepens — until a secret held from their birth threatens not just their relationship, but the entire family's.
10. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
Genre: Fantasy, science fiction
This captivating collection of award-winning short stories is full of wonder and magical realism — about Rina, whose soul is an ice cube and has to be kept close at all times; or Liang, the son of a ghost hunter; or the young boy whose mother's origami comes to life.
11. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
In 1954, 22-year-old Army vet Atticus Turner goes out with his uncle and childhood friend in search of his missing father — and when they arrive at the Braithwhite manor (an estate where Atticus's ancestors were held as slaves) they encounter both earthly and paranormal terrors of racism and malevolent spirits.
12. RoomHate by Penelope Ward
Justin and Amelia were childhood sweethearts, until, as teens, Amelia broke Justin's heart. Now, full grown, they're forced to come back together to live in the house Amelia's late grandmother left the two of them — and things get complicated.
13. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
At 36 years old, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and in one day went from treating the dying to struggling to live. His memoir traces the path that led him to medicine — the insatiable desire to learn and understand what makes a meaningful life, which made him a deeply thoughtful reader, writer, and practitioner — and how it prepared him to face his own death.
14. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Some days teenager Riley Cavanaugh identifies as a girl, some days as a boy — but the facts that Riley's dad is a congressman running for re-election, and that Riley is starting a new school, makes coming out as genderfluid especially tricky. When Riley takes a therapist's advice and starts an anonymous blog, things start to settle down — until the blog accidentally goes viral.