The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian - The book is addictive and a perfect historical. The audiobook is even better. I've listened to it at least five times and go back to it over and over.
The Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat - The series (Captive Prince, Prince's Gambit, Kings Rising) engrossed me completely. I couldn't read them fast enough. I couldn't reread them enough. They're going to be classics of the fantasy genre. Full stop.
Wolfsong by TJ Klune - For the record, pretty much every book I've read by TJ Klune is amazeballs. His BOATK series made me cry multiple times, which rarely happens. But Wolfsong is something else. It's one of the best shifter stories I've ever read. And again, the audiobook is damn good too.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - This book was probably the single most important text I read all year. It prompted me to return to writing with a story that I'd never thought myself brave enough to write; that same story is what landed me an agent, a new group of fans and friends, and reminded me why I started writing in the first place. This is one of the most beautiful fantasy novels ever and its audiobook is magical.
For Real by Alexis Hall - There's a reason this book won the RITA. Full disclosure, it's erotica, but unlike any erotica book I've ever read before. The whole point is that those heated sexual moments drive the character and plot arcs; this is one of the rawest, most emotional books I read this year and I finally gave in to get the audiobook and have been very impressed with the dueling narration and how right it sounds.
Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read by Michael Hauge - Hauge's a legend in his own right and when I was nervous about going to the RWA conference and pitching my story, I decided to throw in and see if his methods could help me. They apparently did since I used his techniques during the Twitter pitch that helped me catch the attention of Deidre Knight, who now represents me. Novelists and screenwriters will likely get different things from this book, but it offers quick, understandable advice about how to make your work shine when pitching.
Obviously, there were tons of other books I've read that could have easily made this list, but I wanted to keep it short and simple. Since I've kept returning to these, I'll proudly announce them as my top books of 2016. Now to see what 2017 brings!