I meant to write this at the end of 2016 but I kept putting it off in case I read an amazing book late in the year and I would have kicked myself for not including it within my favourites. And then of course came the lovely inbetweeny week of nothingness between Christmas and New Year where quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered to open my laptop. But I figured better late than never, eh?
Over the last year in particular, my book posts have proven to be quite popular on Instagram and I love being able to share recommendations (as well as hearing what other people are reading too!) I read 50 books in 2016 which is actually the same number as I read in 2015. Pure coincidence though, I never set out to read a certain number of books in a year but 50 certainly feels like a nice round number. I was surprised that I had read so many actually considering that one of those books was War and Peace.
Which leads me nicely on to what was without doubt my favourite book of 2016. Yes. War and Peace. Granted, it’s not for the faint-hearted but if I can read it, anyone can. There is no getting away from the fact that it is a BIG book but it is surprisingly easy to read. After about a hundred pages, I was absolutely hooked and relished every last bit of it. It felt like it could have been written yesterday, not 150 years ago. Absolutely timeless. An incredible book and one that will stay with me forever. Everybody should at least attempt to read it in their lifetime I think. ‘As long as there’s life, there’s happiness. There’s much, much still to come.’
Now if I was a better blogger, this post would be a nice neat round up of my top ten books but I couldn’t narrow it down I’m afraid, let alone put them into any real order. It was easy to pick War and Peace as my numero uno as it really is one of those once in a lifetime kind of reads. But I have read so many other good books this year, so it was really very difficult to put the rest into any sort of order. So without wittering on too much, here are some of my favourites.
Moving by Jenny Eclair was the first book I read in 2016 and it was superb. She is the most amazing writer and I can recommend every single one of her books. Invincible Summer was an astonishingly good debut by Alice Adams. I don’t like to compare books it never seems fair, but if you liked One Day by David Nicholls then I think you’ll love this. One thing that I always try to do is read older books that have somehow passed me by over the years and one such book was The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Without doubt one of my favourite books of all time never mind this year. Razor sharp and oh so clever. You really begin to question yourself as a person when you find yourself siding with a murderous sociopath. Now that is amazing wtiting!
I was really looking forward to the release of Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas and I loved it from start to finish. Rachael’s writing has a way of transporting you into another world. True escapist reading. I haven’t read any Judy Blume books since I was a teenager so I was intrigued to read her new book In the Unlikely Event and it did not disappoint. A really interesting read and one of those books that I immediately passed on to a friend. The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis was quite unlike anything else I have read this year and although a little gruesome at times, was utterly fascinating.
Actually, this year seems to be a year when a lot of my favourite writers brought out new books. Another much awaited release was Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I couldn’t put this down. Another un-put-down-able book was The Girls by Lisa Jewell. I thought I might struggle with the subject matter of this book as it was really very dark but the writing and superb characterisation pulled me in immediately. You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell was utterly brilliant and my favourite book of hers yet (and I have read them all!) Although I am quite sure that I say that about every one of her books, I just love her writing so much.
The Woman Who Ran by Sam Baker was a great pacey thriller and as a huge Bronte fan, I loved the Yorkshire connections. I hope there will be more to come from Sam this was such a brilliant book. Dietland by Sarai Walker was one of the strangest books I read this year but I loved it. It is described as the feminist makeover story that we have been waiting for and I would have to agree. I passed this straight on to the teen to read who also loved it.
Now, I write a round up of all the books I read every month here on my blog but to make it easier for you, I have linked to them within this post so you can read more about what I thought about each of my favourites rather than repeat myself here (I am aware that this is quickly turning into a mammoth post so thank you if you have made it this far!) Or if you pop ‘mostly reading‘ into the search bar at the side there, that should bring up all of my archived posts. Alternatively, you can find my book lists over on Instagram if you search under #mostlyreading
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I have to say that it has been great fun to look back on the books that I read in 2016. There really have been some absolute crackers. Here’s to plenty more in 2017 too!