If I was a better blogger then this post would be a snazzy top ten of my favourite books of 2015 but as it is, I’ve struggled to narrow it down to just sixteen-ish (and even then I couldn’t possibly put them into any sort of order because I loved them all in completely different ways!)
Looking back on the books that I have read this year though, there have definitely been more thrillers than I have ever read before. I can’t work out if it has just been the year for thrillers generally or if personally enjoying one has led me to seeking out more? Either way, I have read some absolute crackers this year. Rarely does a book live up to its hype for me but The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was the exception to this rule for me. It was superb and kept me guessing right up until the very last page. Another favourite thriller was The Book of You by Claire Kendal which was the most terrifying book I have ever read but I loved it! Oh and I can’t not mention I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh which was full of twists and turns and so cleverly written that I immediately wanted to read it all over again the minute I finished it.
On a much lighter note I really enjoyed Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell. I think it was my favourite of all her books and I have read every one! I’m a huge fan of Jill’s writing but this book was especially good and I loved how the lives of the different characters were so cleverly woven together. Another of my favourite authors is Liane Moriarty and I really enjoyed Big Little Lies by her this year. Her books definitely follow a formula but they work because she is such an amazing storyteller. It’s Not Me It’s You was yet another brilliant book by Mhairi McFarlane. I really love her style of writing and have read all of her books too. These are definitely three of my very favourite authors and I’m glad they all managed to sneak on to my reading pile this year.
One of my all time favourite books is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and if you haven’t read it already then you really must! I still think about that book eighteen months or so after reading it. This year saw the release of A God in Ruins which followed on from Life After Life. It was billed as a companion book rather than a straight sequel but I do think that you need to read them in the correct order to really appreciate them if that makes sense? The two books are completely different in style yet go together perfectly.
Most of the books I read are recommended to me by friends on social media but it was my eldest daughter who recommended Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen and I read it in a day I couldn’t put it down! I’m not sure how I haven’t read it before now but what a book! I think my daughter is lining up some Sylvia Plath for me next.. Hmm we’ll see! Ha!
Other favourites this year have included The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters which was a huge book and also one that demanded that you take your time reading. Three weeks well spent though I really enjoyed it. Another book that I enjoyed taking my time over was The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. I loved the idea of how one decision could change the whole course of your life. Really fascinating stuff.
Other favourites that really don’t fit into any category were The Followers by Rebecca Wait which was seriously dark but beautifully written and also Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey which I found heartbreaking but utterly compelling. And now I’m tempted just to make a huge list of all the books that I have read this year it is so hard narrowing it down to favourites – I told you I was rubbish at this!
Looking back on the books that I have read has reminded me that I started the year by reading some of my favourite comfort reads including Wuthering Heights, One Day and The Great Gatsby. I must admit that I’m tempted to start next year in the same way although I suspect I would read the very same books again.
I worked out that I read something like fifty books this year which is probably the most I have read in many years. I’m often asked how I find the time to read so much but the truth is, that I make the time. Sometimes it is an afternoon with my feet up with my book but more often or not, it’s a snatched page or three while I wait for dinner to cook! When you have as many children as I do, you have to learn to pinch some time for yourself or else it will get swallowed up by everything else!
I usually share the books that I am reading over on Instagram using #mostlyreading and I also have a (mostly reading) page here on my blog if you want to see what else I’ve been reading this year. I’m afraid that this has turned into a bit of a rambling review of my year in books but I hope some of you might enjoy it anyway! Oh and as always, I would love to know some of your favourite reads from this year too so please do leave me a comment here or over on Instagram!