Every year, the stack of books sitting on your end table grows taller; and each year, your time becomes more and more precious. We can relate to that time-crunched feeling you get when the New Year is starting and you haven’t yet completed your New Year’s resolutions from the previous year. So, we’ve taken the time to cultivate a list of books you may have missed last year that we think you should make room for in 2016.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
This young adult (YA) fantasy novel was named as one of the best books of the year by Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Popsugar. Tahir weaves an epic story of survival, loyalty and love set in a terrifying ancient Rome-like world. The story unfolds in shifting points of view as Laia struggles to save her brother, and Elias fights for his freedom from the Empire. An Ember in the Ashes is a satisfying mix of Hunger Games, Romeo and Juliet and Game of Thrones that reminds teen and adult readers alike to never give up hope.
The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but Bollywood Bride is just as captivating as the cover’s image. In typical Bollywood fashion, Dev’s novel is a story filled with emotion, family and glimpses of Indian culture. This witty romance tells the story of Ria Parker, a Bollywood star. Ria goes home for her cousin’s wedding when she is confronted with her childhood friend, Vikram, who thinks she’s sold her soul to become a celebrity.
Ashley Bell: A Novel by Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz’s newly released fantasy thriller is an unpredictable story featuring a wide array of characters, including a surfer girl, Nazi sympathizer and a Navy seal. Cancer patient Bibi Bell meets these characters and others in an effort to rescue Ashley, a teenager that supernatural messages are prompting her to save.
House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke
Hackberry Holland, the novel’s protagonist, is a character straight out of a western. He’s honorable and intelligent, yet troubled by the guilt he feels for his past. House of the Rising Sun follows the Texas ranger as he tries to reconnect with, and later rescue, his estranged son from the crosshairs of an arms dealer who believes the object Hackberry carries is the Holy Grail. Burke’s novel is a beautiful combination of landscapes from the withering Wild West and action packed scenes.
Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon
In her #1 bestselling memoir, Carly Simon, singer of the 1972 #1 hit song You’re So Vain, tells the story of her difficult childhood, musical debut and marriage to James Taylor. The book includes tidbits about how songs came to be; but mostly it is a deeply personal account of her life experiences that showcase the vulnerable person hiding behind her sexy persona.
See Me by Nicholas Sparks
This is not just another romance. In See Me, Sparks blends his typical love story with a suspenseful thriller. Yes, the protagonists, Maria and Colin, meet by chance and fall in love; but they also face a terrifying series of events triggered by someone from Maria’s past. See Me is the perfect read for those who want a little romance combined with an Alex Cross style mystery.