2016! What a year! Many people view it as one of the worst in recent history, with the death of numerous influential celebrities and some worldwide political craziness. And in a lot of ways, it certainly was. But, personally, on the book front, it was a pretty awesome year for me. I read some damn fine novels. And I had a few books published. So here is my literary take on the year that was.
It was a good year of reading for me. I read lots of stuff for research, lots of stuff to my daughters and lots of stuff for my own pleasure. So here is my list of favourite 2016 reads…
Favourite children’s book
The second of the Victorian-set Stella Montgomery Intrigues, it follows on from Withering-by-Sea (2014). I loved the first book, but I like this one even better. I can only hope there will be more in this series.
Favourite Young Adult book
This is the second book in the epic, game-changing Illuminae Files series. Using a dossier of documents, rather than the traditional novel narrative, these books are mind-blowingly amazing. Loved the first book (read my review in 2 Awesome YA Books). Dare I say it… I loved this one even more. It maintains the approach of the first, but extends it, adding extracts from an illustrated journal into the mix. There is a whole bunch of new characters, as well as some returning from the first book. There’s not much more I can say, except… Wow! Just… WOW!
Favourite Grown-up Book
Okay, I’ll be honest here… I hardly read any grown-up books in 2016. I mostly read stuff for kids and teens. But there are two books that really stood out.
This one was actually published in 2015 (I was just a little late in getting around to it). This is a memoir rather than an autobiography, by one of Australia’s best loved and most respected children’s authors. It’s an excellent read for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes of a writing career. It’s also wonderfully personal and engaging. Loved it!
And then there was this book from 2009 (okay, so I was a lot late with this one)…
A hard-edged, fast-paced techno-thriller with terrorists, bio-weapons, zombies and a special ops government agency called The Department of Military Sciences. It’s the first book in a series, which follows the adventures of Joe Ledger – a cop who goes to work for The Department of Military Sciences. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series.
I have mini-review of both these books here.
Yet another book from 2015 that I didn’t get around to reading until 2016…
KidGlovz, written by Julie Hunt, illustrated by Dale Newman
A clear winner for me. An extraordinary graphic novel about a musical prodigy on a journey of self-discovery. (read my review in Words and Pictures)
Another very clear winner…
A perfect harmony of words and pictures. [Read my review: This picture book is on FIRE!]
Favourite media tie-in book
Spoilt for choice this year. I simply could not make a decision. Go read my post about media tie-in book instead.
Overall Favourite Book
[insert drum roll]
2016 was great year for me as a writer. Books 11 and 12 in the YOU CHOOSE series were published – Extreme Machine Challenge and In the Realm of Dragons. There was also a new four-book series about the Royal Flying Doctor Service. And my first picture book Meet… the Flying Doctors. I had stories in several anthologies (which you can read about here), including Dog Stories, Cat Stories and A Toy Christmas. Topping it all off was my fan-boy highlight… a story in THE X-FILES: Secret Agendas.
Hand in hand with the writing, was speaking about writing – school visits, library talks and festival appearances. I had a total of 116 sessions over the course of 35 school visits, 7 festivals/seminars/conferences and 2 promo tours. You can read about some of my favourite experiences in these blog posts:
Oh, and I won an Honour Award at the KOALAs for You Choose: Alien Invaders From Beyond the Stars. 🙂 Here’s my schlocky alien invasion acceptance vid…
2017 is already shaping up to be an extraordinary year. More reading! More writing! More speaking! I’ll be sure to blog about some of it. Onwards and upwards!
Catch ya later, George
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