Top Ten Favorite Books Read In 2016

Greetings friends,

First off, I apologize for neglecting the blog for a bit. My day job has been very demanding since the last post. Moving forward I will try my best not to let as much time pass in between posts. In 2016 I attempted to complete a reading challenge based on Popsugar’s yearly reading challenges. It was for 50 books in various categories. Unfortunately I did not finish, but I did have a lot of fun trying. I would like to share with you my top ten favorite books that I read in 2016.

ready-player-one-book-cover

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 5/5

Wow. Just wow. This is one of my new favorite books of all time. My childhood was brought to life within a wonderful story of science fiction and fantasy. I loved the dystopian themes as well. This book is nostalgia porn at its best that definitely ends in a nerdgasm of epic proportions. I look forward to the film and hope that it does the book justice, however I don’t know how they will get around all of the licensing that will be needed. Although I have never read any books by Patrick Rothfuss I kept imagining him as Ogden Morrow. I have been in attendance at many panels that he has spoken at though, perhaps that is where I got the image. Anyways, I highly recommend this book especially to anyone that loves the 80’s.

in-the-hand-of-the-goddess

In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce 5/5

This is a spectacular book that continues the story that began in Alanna: The First Adventure. This book takes some of the elements of the first story and explores them further. It also adds in plenty of new trials for the squire. One of my favorite things about this series thus far is the boundaries that Alanna has challenged by pretending to be a boy so that she can become a Knight. Alanna continues to grow up and as she gets older she starts getting pulled more into two directions. She struggles to balance her identity as a young woman and as a young Knight whilst keeping the fact that she is female secret from most. I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it.

The Hanged Man by Sheldon Kopp 5/5

The Hanged Man by Sheldon Kopp 5/5

Once again Sheldon Kopp has managed to give me a swift kick in the psyche. I can’t stop reading his books. No doubt I will continue to review them for the remainder of my life. To date, the only other author that I can think of in the self-help/psychology genre that has had this much impact on my thought processes is Brené Brown. I don’t practice Tarot reading or have much faith in it but I do find myself obsessed with them from time to time. This book does a great job of exploring your personality and ego with help from the major arcana.

Raise Your Right Hand Against Fear by Sheldon Kopp 5/5

Raise Your Right Hand Against Fear by Sheldon Kopp 5/5

I discovered Sheldon Kopp via the TV show Fringe when they featured his book: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him: The Pilgrimage Of Psychotherapy. That book was awesome and got me interested in checking out his other works. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the help that If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him: The Pilgrimage Of Psychotherapy has given me and for the help that this book has given me. In my opinion his works should be required reading in place of some of the other books on those lists. These books are fantastic if you are looking into exploring and deepening the understanding of the self. Unfortunately a lot of Sheldon Kopp’s works are not currently available for e-readers. I intend to do some research and find out why. Luckily, I have managed to track down most of his bibliography and bought them fairly inexpensively from third-party sellers on Amazon.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown 5/5

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown 5/5

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown is in my opinion one of the most relevant epic tomes of this day and age. I am not easily moved to tears but I found myself with wet eyes at various times whilst reading this book. Shame and vulnerability are no easy topics especially when viewed through a lens of the self and this book helps to walk you through the journey thereof. It will no doubt be a book that I keep coming back to in order to inspire myself to dare greatly as the name suggests.

Forgotten Colors by David Forés 5/5

Forgotten Colors by David Forés 5/5

This book is amazing. It is full of many inspiring tales. Some of my favorites are about the characters Bella and Griselda, Chew Wang, and the futuristic tale. I almost cried a couple of times. The creative endeavor that went into the genesis of this book is phenomenal. Bravo!

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Jones 5/5

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Jones 5/5

This book is fantastic. I loved the magic throughout and the interactions between the characters. I actually have not seen the film by Hayao Miyazaki so I was able to be introduced to the story prior to watching. I am really looking forward to watching the film now and I have faith that Miyazaki does it justice because of the quality of his other films. But back to the book, I chose to read it on a whim after another book fell through on a reading list that I am working on. After reading this it makes me wish that I was a Wizard like Howl or at least had houses and a moving castle like he did. He can keep the spiders but I would love to be able to travel to different places just by turning a knob on a door a certain way. There is a nice twist in the book involving the Witch of the Waste and part of her source of power that I didn’t see coming even though I probably should have. I want a Calcifer of my own as well.

1984 by George Orwell 5/5

1984 by George Orwell 5/5

This book is fantastic, especially if you are a fan of dystopian and/or totalitarian fiction. George Orwell has painted a picture, albeit a daunting one, of a future that could still be relevant today. Fiction such as this should serve as a warning to society to be careful of what you become. Be warned, this tale does not come with a happy ending. It does however send us an awakening message. I shall write no more in this review for fear that Big Brother could be watching.

Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold! by Terry Brooks 4/5

Magic Kingdom for Sale–Sold! by Terry Brooks 4/5

It might be better for me to review this book in halves. The beginning half of the book moved pretty much at a snail’s pace and there was a lot of reluctant autopilot emotions going on with the protagonist that almost made him come across as fairly wooden. There is a reason, he had lost his wife in an accident and that would definitely throw the emotions out of balance. Deciding that he needs a change he buys a Magic Kingdom in a magazine and it turns out that it is legit. However, the Magic Kingdom isn’t in the best of shape so he has to harden his resolve and do something about it. Partially because the person that sold him the Kingdom isn’t as trustworthy as he made himself out to be. It takes pretty much the entirety of the first half of the book for him to finally decide that the magic in the Kingdom is actually real. Granted I can understand his skepticism coming from a world without magic. I tried to give him the benefit of a doubt the best I could for this situation. Enter the second half of the book when he makes the decision that he is indeed going to stay on as King of Landover and he is going to do the best damn job he can to take care of the bad things that are happening. By then most of his supporting characters are established and have grown on me because they finally get a chance to be something other than beggars pleading him to stay. He meets another supporting character that also becomes great in her own right. One of the more powerful scenes of the book for me is when he is forced to face some of the ghosts that are haunting him. This actually in a sense validates the beginning of the book and I am glad that I pushed through the beginning and made it to the very well created end. I look forward to checking out the rest of the books in the series!

Alanna by Tamora Pierce 4/5

Alanna by Tamora Pierce 4/5

This is a great fantasy book no matter what age you are. I would have given it 5 stars but it started out a bit slow for me. After the first third of the book I flew through the rest of it. My favorite characters are Alanna the protagonist and George the King of Thieves. The attention to detail in the story is fantastic. If you enjoy stories with an interesting and powerful female protagonist then I highly recommend this book! I can’t wait to start the next book in the series.

I am also happy to announce that I am taking part in Popsugar’s 2017 reading challenge including the advanced section. Click here to check out their page!

Here is my currently planned list:
2017-reading-challengeMy lovely fiancée took the time to convert the list into a friendly Excel format which in my opinion makes planning much easier. Click here to download the Excel format for your own use.

Thank you,
Jake Jeffries

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