The Top 10 Reader Reviewed Books of 2016

We're counting down our best books of 2016, beginning with the Top 10 First Impressions books of the year.

First Impressions is a great source of truly impartial reviews. Only BookBrowse members who are assigned a copy of the book can share their opinions as a First Impressions review. This means that it is effectively impossible for people associated with the book to sway the reviews, as can happen elsewhere. You can see which books have been reviewed recently in our "What's New" section, and here are the top 10 finds culled from more than 1,500 reviews of 60 books.


Rated 4.7 out of 5 Stars

Cruel Beautiful World Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Hardcover & ebook Oct 2016. Paperback TBA. 352 pages. Algonquin Books

"Caroline Leavitt's ability to bring complex characters to life in a way that touches the reader to the core is amazing. I found myself completely immersed in each subplot as the novel progressed. This ability to engage the reader in such a complex way is the mark of a great novel." - Melissa S. Rowland, NC (read all 23 reviews)

Reviews, beyond the book article & excerpt


The Midnight Watch The Midnight Watch: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer

Hardcover & ebook Apr 2016. Paperback Apr 2017. 336 pages. St. Martin's Press

"I was fascinated by the idea that such a very small sliver of time could be the subject of a full-length novel. But Dyer fabulously investigates and portrays the facts around the failure of the closest ship to the Titanic to rush to her aid." - Erica M. Chicago, IL (read all 23 reviews)

Reviews, beyond the book article & excerpt


Miss Jane Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Hardcover & ebook Jul 2016. Paperback Jul 2017. 224 pages. W.W. Norton & Company

"It is not often that you happen upon a book so eloquently written, interesting in subject matter and overflowing with emotions. Simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, this wonderful novel tapped every single feeling possible." - Aleksandra E. Alpharetta, GA (read all 24 reviews)

Reviews, beyond the book article & excerpt

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Mysteries + Travel = The Best Kind of Books

As winter closes in, is there a better way to spend the long, dark nights than with a mystery series set in a foreign locale? These mysteries set in drop-dead destinations around the world will satiate your appetite for travel on a budget. Even better? No jetlag. You can't beat that! So find yourself a comfy chair and dive right into these clever whodunnits. And once you're done, go back for more in the series!

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Love Poldark? Here's What to Read Next

Poldark on PBS Poldark's Cornwall
Historical fiction doesn't get any better than this. Written in the 1940s and '50s, the Poldark series continues to resonate in contemporary times with its tales of a returning war hero reinventing his life and rallying his country in the wake of devastation and loss. Ross Poldark makes a dashing hero and his world an inviting escape; and the windswept, sea-hugging Cornish countryside adds a splash of romance to the stories, which are peppered with dramatic clashes about morality, class and ego.

PBS's Masterpiece series follows the story-line of the books closely and truly captures the spirit of Winston Graham's characters and the stunning countryside. You will find much more about the Poldark series at PBS, including podcasts and information for book clubs.

Poldark on PBS In addition to the 12-book series, Winston Graham wrote a gorgeous illustrated companion volume, Poldark's Cornwall. This coffee table book is back in print with an introduction by Graham's son. For those who can't get enough of the TV series, we recommend The World of Poldark by Emma Marriott which is packed full of behind the scenes photos from the series and vistas of Cornwall.

If your appetite is whetted for more stories that whisk you away to a different era, BookBrowse--in response to a request from PBS's MASTERPIECE--suggests these titles that fit the bill.

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Ten of the Best Fall 2016 Novels

Early Fall is a great time for those of us who love quality fiction because this is when publishers, with an eye on the holiday season and best of year lists, release many of their strongest titles.

Here are ten of the most anticipated. You'll find more of this season's best books in our recently published/coming soon section. Enjoy!

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Ten of the Best Books of Summer 2016

Summer used to feel like a slow time in the publishing calendar, at least for those of us who look for substance in our reading. But not any more. This summer is awash with excellent books, among the most notable of which are our Ten BookBrowse Buzz Novels for Summer 2016, half of them debuts. Read about them below!

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BookBrowse's 2015 Award Winners

2015 has been great for books and as we come to the end of the year, we round off our reading with our stamp of approval for a select few books with our annual BookBrowse Awards.

BookBrowse's 2015 Award Winners

The Nightingale Book Jacket H is for Hawk Book Jacket Goodbye Stranger Book Jacket Bull Mountain Book Jacket
Best Fiction | Best Nonfiction | Best YA | Best Debut

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