Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Top 20 of 2016


It's been bumper year of reading for me with 212 books read compared with 147 last year, and with so many fantastic books it is quite difficult to choose my top 20 reads of the year.  I did try to make it a top 10 but there were too many books that I thought deserved to be recognised.

After many hours of deliberation, you can see my top 20 of 2016 below in no particular order.  I wish I could have included many more books, so for those books not quite making my top 20 this year, and in the words of the tragically late great George Michael:

💗 You Have Been Loved 💗

Click on any image to go to my review with Amazon links for you to purchase any copies for yourself - I heartily recommend that you don't miss a single one of these books!

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Heavenfield and Angel by LJ Ross – set in my native North East, the DCI Ryan series just keeps on getting better and better. Angel left us with a huge cliffhanger making High Force my most eagerly awaited book of 2017.
The Brief and An Honest Man by Simon Michael – The Charles Holborne series is simply brilliant. Set in the 1960s with genuine court documents this is BritCrime at its very best.

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone – devastatingly brilliant, I don't think I have ever read anything like it. It completely blew me away and it is so emotional and raw.

Moondance by Diane Chandler – if ever a heart and soul has been poured into a book it's in Moondance. A beautiful and poignant novel about IVF and its effect on a relationship.

The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech – this book is as close to perfection as you'll ever get. It is breathtaking, tear-jerking, heart-breaking and heart-warming.

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris – a fraught relationship story balanced on a knife edge as the main character thinks she has early onset dementia, but nothing is as it seems.

A Life Without You by Katie Marsh – an emotional and compassionate story about a family dealing with dementia, so emotively written as to result in both laughter and tears.

The Last Night by Cesca Major – breathtakingly vivid and based on true events, this book broke my heart. It is an unforgettable fabulous book that should not be missed.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – a splendid piece of imaginative fiction with a supernatural edge and well deserving of the social media marketing with #WTFthatending

Almost half of my top 20 is made up of debut novels, highlighting the superb talent introduced to me in 2016:
My Sister's Bones by Nualla Ellwood – a book read in one sitting will always get top marks and this book kept pulling surprises out of the hat. Definitely one to watch out for in 2017.

Valentina by S.E. Lynes – a twisty gripping psychological thriller that had me questioning everything I was reading and kept me on my toes.

Sweet Breath of Memory by Ariella Cohen – an absolute literary masterpiece that had me completely entralled. An awe-inspiring and inspirational piece of heart-warming fiction.

Wanderlust by Simon Foster – a hidden gem based around an Aussie bar owner in New York and the murder of one of his patrons. Oodles of humour and the laid back Aussie style made this a bonzer read for me.

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon – an absolutely unputdownable emotional story that had me hooked from first page to last.

As If I Were a River by Amanda Saint – beautifully written and compulsively addictive this is a book so completely out of the ordinary that it deserves every accolade.

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall – reviewer turned author, Lisa Hall, packed a punch in her page-turning debut which had me flicking back through the pages at her killer twist.
Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – full of twists and turns, clues and red herrings it's an all round gripping read.

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker – a thought-provoking, gripping and compulsive psychological thriller that gave my brain quite a workout.

With very best wishes for a happy, healthy and book-filled 2017


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