The New Year is upon us, and with it comes list after list of everyone’s favorite books of 2016. However, here at Zoetic Press we don’t let the constraints of the calendar dictate what thrilled us. Welcome to the Zoetic Press Best of Books List, curated by the staff and placed here in your timeline in hopes it will inspire you to read and discuss. What were your favorite books this year? Let us know! It’s like a comment section book club!
All the Birds in the Sky is a story of friendship and the threat of apocalypse, of magic and scientific discovery. The story centers around Patricia and Laurence, a natural witch and a scientist, both of whom survive and cope with their rough childhoods in their own flawed ways. Almost-friends as kids, they become almost friends when they find each other as adults, as well. Their two very different people, each with different philosophies on how to fix the screwed-up world. It’s their failure to understand each other that brings magic and science into a clash that threatens to destroy the world instead of save it. Anders’ writing is a beautiful mixture of details, humor, and emotional resonance, and it’s fascinating to explore the differences and similarities in how magic and science view the world.
In The Underground Railroad, Cora escapes slavery through an actual network of trains hidden underneath the United States. Her journey takes her from Georgia to South Carolina and beyond, presenting a landscape of systemic racism in a variety of forms, some overtly violent and blunt, others subtly disguised as aid. Cora’s journey is thrilling, moving, and powerful. The story is often uncomfortable, as I expected it to be. It’s also beautifully written and a book that will linger with me for a long time to come.
-Andrea Blythe, Associate Editor