Well as 2016 is drawing to a close (where has this year gone!) it’s time for me to share my favourite books that I have read in 2016 (most but not all have been published this year). I tried so hard to narrow it down to a Top 10 but it just wasn’t happening!
So here are my top books, mostly in the order that they were read….
The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse – this was one of the first posts on Have Books blog and was actually the book that got me thinking about starting a book blog in the first place. I read this book alongside the other members of the Poppy Loves Book Club on Facebook in January – an amazing book that I couldn’t put down but, at the same time, didn’t want to finish!
The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick – a beautifully written story about widower, Arthur. Whilst sorting out Miriam’s items, Arthur comes across a charm bracelet, hidden in a boot, that he has never seen before. This sparks a hunt into finding out the stories behind each of the charms. This is a very poignant, amusing and heartwarming story which draws you in right from the start.
The Second Love Of My Life by Victoria Walters – This book certainly had me laughing one minute and with a lump in my throat the next. I loved all the characters, and Talting which is a much as a character as the people themselves! It is a fantastic story about the recovery after a devastating lost, finding yourself once again and accepting that you can have a future again full of happiness and hope.
In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings – In Her Wake has a very strong female lead with the majority of the narration focusing on the female characters and the challenges that they have faced overtime. The stories from each of the characters are wonderfully interwoven into a novel that is frankly fabulous!
The Dark Iceland series by Ragnar Jónasson
Snowblind | Night Blind | Black Out – OK, I am cheating with this one, recommending 3 books in 1 🙂 I love this series. There is a strong cast of characters, each of them are well thought out and their backstory providing real perspective as to who they are. Iceland and it’s wintery landscape is as much of a character as the people themselves.
DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons
Lost Girls | Play Dead | Blood Lines – I first discovered Angela Marsons in December 2015 following a recommendation of her books through a Facebook group. Having read the synopsis for the first in the series, Silent Scream, I purchased all 3 as I could tell from the start that they were ‘me’ books.I proceeded to read Silent Scream and Evil Games back to back (which is pretty unheard of for me!) and then Lost Girls in January. I love Kim and Angela Marsons’ writing style.
The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola – Historical fiction is not normally my genre of choice but the premise of this book, the fact that it centres about the life and conviction of a real woman, intrigued me. A fantastic combination of real life and fiction, of history and crime.
The Hope Family Calendar by Mike Gayle – I am a long-term fan of Mike Gayle’s books right back from the first one My Legendary Girlfriend which was first published in 1998. Gayle’s books have always been a combination of humour and emotion however The Hope Family Calendar is amazing. The Hope Family Calendar is both brilliantly funnily and heartrendingly sad, I did not want this book to end and actually slowed down my reading to make it last that little bit longer.
I See You by Clare Mackintosh – a horrific and harrowing story that could quite easily happen in real life (really hope it doesn’t though!!) as many of us are absolute creatures of habit, especially when it comes to the daily commute and public transport. I think that is the most terrifying part of this story – the reality of the situation. I loved Mackintosh’s writing style and the relentless pace of this book.
Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry – What a fantastic story which is full of twists and turns whilst being sensitively written about an absolute horrendous subject! I really enjoyed this book, it was a difficult and brave subject to tackle but Mistry does it exceptionally well with narrative that flows despite changes in time periods and with wonderful characters who come alive from the page.
A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart – it is a beautiful, eloquently written novel that makes the reader both laugh and cry. Stuart has shared both the reality of living with autism and that it isn’t the terrifying diagnosis that it is often portrayed. From the very first pages, I knew I was reading a book that was very special, I was completely immersed in the story and felt like part of the family.
The Deviants by CJ Skuse – It is classified as a Young Adult novel which I’m not ordinarily drawn to but this synopsis and that cover was too good not to give it a try – and I was most definitely not disappointed. The way in which Skuse weaves the general story line, bringing out further details of each of the characters and giving the layers to the story line is spectacular!
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole – This isn’t actually out until February and is going to be HUGE! Ragdoll is everything that a reader wants from a crime thriller; gruesome, a high death toll, so many red-herrings and a fantastic detective in the form of DI William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes. This is crime fiction at it’s very best.
Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell – first in the DS Ruby Preston series, and what a fantastic start this is to what is lining up to be a tremendous series! This is a slight change in direction for Mitchell as she’s moved away from having the paranormal edge that we saw in the DC Jennifer Knight series, but she has done it extremely well!
Frailty by Betsy Reavley – I had heard so mainly fantastic things about Reavley’s The Optician’s Wife through social media and fellow bloggers that I started this book with high expectations and was not disappointed! Reavley has written a stunning thriller which is fast-paced and full of twists and turns. I was completely invested in this narrative, submerged by the tension and gravity of the situation.
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood – My Sister’s Bones is a beautifully and sensitively written novel about some very difficult subjects, particularly the reality of life in Aleppo, Syria.This is most definitely a slow burn thriller with the current plot interwoven with the back-story of the sisters, but my gosh does it work tremendously well!! I was completely engrossed, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the plots and the flashbacks were so haunting and realistic that, at times, I got confused as to what was happening.
The Gift – Louise Jensen – Wow! What a gripping thriller with a truly unique subject. The Gift explores the impact of organ donation upon the recipient and the concept of Cellular Muscle Memory (whereby human cells retain their memories after transplantation) alongside the psychological thriller as to what happened to the donor herself.
So there we have it, my top books of 2016 which was SO hard to whittle down as I have read so many fabulous books this year! Here’s to the fantastic books that 2017 has to bring.