Saturday, 31 December 2016

Top Books of 2016

Another year over, and what a fantastic reading year it has been for me. I read more than I ever have (admittedly to the detriment of my other hobbies) and quite honestly I don't think I could manage reading over 100 books again! I missed binge watching TV shows, crocheting snuggly things, colouring, gaming, training my cat to sit (I have been quite spectacularly unsuccessful thus far with that last one). Nonetheless, I have enjoyed reading this year and I don't regret spending almost all of my free time doing so BUT I shall have a much more balanced approach towards reading and doing the other things I enjoy in 2017.

I did rate twenty-seven books this year 5 stars so this list consists of a small selection, if you would like to view all of my 5 star ratings in date order you can click here. But enough of my waffling, below is a list of my top reads of 2016. Some were published prior to 2016, some were 2016 releases. Regardless, I wholeheartedly recommend all of them. In no particular order...

Absolutely hilarious, I was literally crying with laughter whilst reading this graphic novel. It is about the stories of Iranian women, from their marriages, relationships and sex lives. The women are sat drinking tea just gossiping and telling their personal stories with hilarious results. This graphic novel is so relatable, the art style is fantastic, and I could re-read it again and again. Once you know what an 'embroidery' refers to, you can't forget it!

A beloved classic, I am pleased to announce it is one of my favourites also. I am shocked it took me until this year to read Jane Eyre and I fell in love with the writing and the story. It is the perfect gothic love story, particularly the use of weather and landscape was what made the story so atmospheric and suspenseful. It was just brilliant. Deserves every bit of love and praise that is heaped upon it. What more could I say?

This book gave me goosebumps. It is a dark fantasy told in a style reminiscent of fairy tales. This is not a children's tale though, I'm afraid... A young twelve-year old boy, David is trying to deal with the grief of his mother's passing when he hears her voice calling to him through a hole in a wall in a sunken garden. David is then trapped in a very dark world where horror and fantasy blend together. I was genuinely terrified at some points in this story, it would make a perfect Tim Burton movie. The ending is perfect. Absolutely brilliant book.

I was initially reluctant to pick up this book as science-fiction is still a bit out of my comfort zone but man, am I glad I picked up this beauty. The story is told through mixed media such as: interview transcripts, IM chats, emails, journal entries, surveillance reports, full page artwork, and the list could go on. At its heart though, this is the story of Kady and Ezra who inadvertently find themselves as refugees on a spaceship as an enemy has attacked the planet they were living on. Why was their planet attacked? Well they ever reach jump station Heimdall? So much mystery and action, with a sprinkling of romance. I absolutely adored this book and this series in general as I rated the second book, Gemina 5 stars also.

Colleen Hoover has been the author that I have been beyond ecstatic to have discovered this year. I just love her books and I read four of them this year alone and rated them all 5 stars. Crazy I know. It Ends with Us is my favourite out of all of them as I had such a profound emotional response whilst reading this book and I could not stop thinking about it. It follows main character Lily as she embarks on a new relationship with a neurosurgeon. That's all I feel comfortable revealing as any other details will spoil something for someone. The story has so many layers and it presents a certain issue in a way that actually challenges the conventional black and white thinking many people have. Brilliant book. Love Colleen Hoover.

A beautiful poetry collection exploring trauma, love, hope, femininity and abuse. I was profoundly touched by many of the poems in this book. One in particular actually brought me to tears. Never have I encountered a book of poetry that has spoken directly to my soul. I could have written this, its just amazing. The poems are very short and have accompanying black and white line drawings. I think this is the first poetry collection I have ever read, and certainly the first poetry I had read since I was a school girl. It has ignited my interest in poetry and I think it is the perfect book to give somebody who like me, doesn't read poetry or is not sure about it.

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