Top 20 for 2020!

Oh my goodness, I can safely say that even if 2020 was not an amazing year, I read some pretty phenomenal books! Which is why I decided to expand the list to twenty for a change! Yes, that’s right- the reason I’m not doing 2 posts this year is because there were just TOO MANY INCREDIBLE BOOKS TO TALK ABOUT! This was one of the hardest years to narrow down and rank because SO MANY OF THESE WERE OUT OF THIS WORLD! And even though I increased the number to 20, I still had too many books to talk about!! But since it’s my blog and I make the rules, here’s a few honorary mentions before we get started:

Yeah there’s a couple there that easily could’ve been in the top twenty in a normal year… which should give you an idea how good this list is going to get! ***As usual all pics link to reviews*** Now let’s kick off because there are so many great books to talk about! 

Sorcery of Thorns– I had loads of fun with this. The romance was adorable and the characters cute- but what I enjoyed the most was the magical library setting!

Winter Rose– I read my first two Patricia McKillip books this year and enjoyed both of them. While Atrix Wolf may have been technically better, this is the one that really snared me. I can’t explain it- I just have a weakness for creepy, enchanted forests… and this was done so exquisitely well.

Uprooted– this Russian-inspired Beauty and the Beast somehow managed to feel really fresh and different. The world was vivid, the protagonist striking and the romance especially tantalising. And one can only stand back and admire Novik’s writing style.

Enchantment of Ravens– it may surprise people that this is higher on the list than Sorcery of Thorns, but the heart wants what it wants! This is not a perfect book and yet I liked it so much more than I thought I would. I loved how Rogerson explored the idea of immortality here and found she made craft something special. I’ve been under this book’s spell for months and can’t shake the enchantment!

Winterwood– as I’ve said many times, I have a real weakness for witchy woods. This had an intensely dark and mysterious atmosphere- I couldn’t help but be captivated by it. I will admit that I could see a lot of the paths that this would take, yet that didn’t make them any less enticing and exciting. I couldn’t look away from this haunting tale. I gobbled it up faster than two lost children coming across a gingerbread house 😉

Labyrinth of the Spirits– this was not my favourite of the series, but it absolutely did the story justice. Taking us back through the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, along for stories of war and beyond, this tied everything together. Zafon clearly showed us he had the string to guide us through this labyrinthine saga all along. 

Lair of Dreams– I’m rather excited to give this series a mention, because it is surely a definitely part of my reading year. And for once I’m not cheating and plonking the whole series on the list, just going with my favourite! (Although, honestly, if you get into book 1, why would you stop there?!) Starting out as a straightforward (but pos-i-tutely fab-u-lous) ghost story, this is the kind of series that expands in scope. What I loved most about this quartet was how the intriguing powers intertwined with characters and backstories. I also loved how all the family relationships, friendships and romances were to die for. Plus, let me tell you, I listened to the audiobook version, which was insanely long, and yet I was entertained for hours on end!

This is How You Lose the Time War– a hate-to-love story in space about two people on opposite sides of a time war falling in love?! Yes please! However, what ultimately makes this so vivid in my mind is how wonderfully written it is! By both authors!

The Huntress– this memorable historical fiction crosses deftly into thriller territory. Chasing a Nazi called the Huntress, this is a story of how the hunted become the hunters. With multiple timelines seamlessly interweaving, this story had so much scope. Everything about this story held power to me. I have definitely found a new amazing author to follow.

Art of War- (not to be mistaken for the war of art 😉). I learnt so much from this! No, I’m not planning on going to war any time soon 😉 I just found the advice more universal than I was expecting! 

Nevermoor– this perhaps deserves to be even higher on the list, because it’s one of the best MGs I’ve ever read! In a lot of ways it deconstructs the typical tropes of the category, whilst bringing all the whimsy and delight you’d expect. It’s really a wonderful take and I know I’d have loved it even more if I was a kid!

With the Fire on High– there’s no two ways about it: this was a delicious read. A masterful contemporary with colourful prose, this brought heart and soul to the table. The plot revolving around culinary ambitions and the realistic characters were paired perfectly on this plate. I especially appreciated how this gave light to stories we don’t typically see in YA.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase– this was more than just an enjoyable YA retelling of Christmas Carol. It had a depth I wasn’t expecting, taking the classic in a unique direction. Exploring every facet of redemption and what leads someone to become a Scrooge in the first place, this packed an emotional punch I wasn’t expecting. This got to the heart of the original and thought beyond it. That’s a bold and brilliant move. I also listened to this on audio and loved every second of it.

Alias Grace– no one is more pleasantly surprised than me that I loved this so much. I’ve always admired Atwood’s writing, but haven’t clicked with her stories… but this was different. It’s one of the books that made me the most obsessive this year. Not only is it masterfully written, it’s so addictive and layered and conjures incredible pictures to my mind even now.

Inheritance– I can’t stop thinking about this thrilling genealogical memoir. Set up like something of a detective story, I found myself turning the pages at an alarming rate, wanting to know what was going to happen! Beyond being utterly compulsive, I liked the depth of themes. It begins by tussling with the question WHO AM I and ends by getting to the root of WHO ARE WE? It doesn’t give you any firm solutions either- leaving you thinking. It’s truly an experience if you want to be intellectually stimulated and challenged.

Wild Swans– this is more than just an intergenerational memoir- this story covers so much of China’s history and gets into the truth about what happened under the Mao regime. This does more than take you on an emotional journey- it is a true education. Everyone should read it.  

Big Magic– an inspiration and a must-read for any creative, there’s something so delightful about this book. Elizabeth Gilbert has a way of bringing joy to her non fic. If you like to procrastinate, this will surely prod you in the right direction. And if you need it, this will give you the spark to keep going.

Ten Thousand Doors of January– I haven’t been able to shut up all year- and for good reason. This took me beyond this world- into countless others. A layered fantasy, it opens the door to something new.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue– the more I think about it the more I just love this book. On the surface, it’s about a girl cursed in exchange for immortality. Yet it’s so much more than that simple description. It is quite simply one of the most unique and compelling books I’ve ever read. It’s the kind of story that stays with you. 

Once and Future Witches– this was undoubtedly my most magical reading experience of the year. I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. Interlacing history and fantasy and myth in a remarkable way, this book utterly bewitched me. I couldn’t stop reading: for the characters, for the beautiful writing, for the story. Harrow must know something about how to command the ways and the words herself, because I am absolutely spellbound by her work. There’s more than a pinch of genius here.

So, have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And what was your favourite book(s) of 2020? Let me know in the comments!

My favourite memoirs!

I’m very excited for this post, because one of my great joys in reading these days discovering people’s true stories. There will be some crossover with my must read non fics, because, well, I can’t help it! 😉 I will, however, resist the urge to mention Man’s Search for Meaning for the millionth time… although I kinda just did 😉

Eat, Pray, Love– part self-help, part memoir, this was really worth reading. Not just because it offers a trip across the globe at the budget price of a book, it also offers a lot of positivity and spiritual guidance.

This is Going to Hurt– this one absolutely will sting a bit. Not just for the personal stories, but how it points to the current state of the NHS and what a junior doctor goes through. However for all of the discomfort and emotional moments, this does offer some medicinal humour to make the pill less bitter.

Educated– I didn’t review this, because the experience of reading this was so unusual that I couldn’t quite pin down my thoughts. What’s interesting about this memoir is that Westover doesn’t give her retrospective feelings or impose her will on the writing- she let’s you draw your own interpretations from events. It is a unique way of telling a lifestory and all the more compelling for it. It also happens to be a memoir that occupies my thoughts long after reading.

Infidel– it’s been a long time since I mentioned this- however I can’t think of many books more important. This is the origin story of a champion of free speech and a woman of tremendous courage. Before this, she was a refugee, an intellectual and a former member of the Dutch parliament.

March– I read this in the graphic novel version. And I found this moving and important and well worth reading.

Maus– speaking of graphic novels, this was a book that proved to me how great the format can be. It was heartbreaking, powerful and original. I loved how this intertwined Spielberg’s parents painful experiences with his own story growing up with them. It was beautiful how the narrator came to understand them with the telling of it. I can’t recommend it enough.

In Order to Live– I’ll admit I had this in the last list, but I simply couldn’t leave it out! Park is a North Korean defector and she gives a peek behind the iron fences of that regime. Her perseverance in the face of such adversity is inspiring beyond belief.

Wild Swans– this family epic made me so emotional. Spanning three generations of Chinese women, it gives a close look into China’s history, including of Maoist China. It’s not just worth reading for the personal stories, but for the significance of the history. It can help understand the modern context of China.

Man in the White Sharkskin Suit– oh this one made me cry- for many, many reasons. Telling of the 20th Century exodus of the Jews from Egypt, it has a personal touch, developing Lagnado’s relationship with her family across its pages. Beautifully written, it was not a book I expected to love quite as much as I did, and yet it had a great impact on me. 

Becoming– I listened to the audio version of this and completely get the hype around it. What’s interesting is I found the parts pre-presidency far more compelling (mostly because, for good reason, there were a lot of things in those 8 years she couldn’t talk about) and I recommend it more for her story than anything else. 

Inheritance– this is a book I read recently and can’t get out of my head. In this genealogical detective story, Shapiro discovers the truth about her parentage. Fundamentally, it is asking the question “who am I”, but I felt like it was answering the question “who are we”? It explores everything that goes into making us who we are and how we guide each other through life.

*BONUS!!!*

I Partridge, We Need to Talk About Alan- AHA we have a winner! Okay, yes, this isn’t a real memoir, but it is a damnably hilarious parody of celebrity memoirs! Definitely worth a read- but all the more fun if you’re at all familiar with the character Alan Partridge!

And that’s all for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? And what are your favourite memoirs? Let me know in the comments!

My Top Ten Books for 2019

top ten 2019.png

As ever, I’m tremendously excited to talk about my favourite books from this year (pretty much bouncing off the walls!!!). And as ever, this is a really mixed list in terms of genre- though all of them are top quality! Of course, not all of these were released in 2019, though there are a few! And of course, I’m not including rereads. All book covers link to reviews as well. Okay, I think I’ve covered all my bases- let’s just jump into it and talk about some *brilliant books*!!!

number 10

skyward

Skyward– here’s a joyous read to kick off the list. Spensa has stolen my heart and become one of my all-time favourite heroines. This was so much fun and drama from beginning to end- really recommend this space opera and can’t wait to continue with the series!

number 9

wolf in the whale

Wolf in the Whale– this deliciously dark and highly unusual captured my imagination. A wintry fantasy, where Vikings meet Inuit culture, has been a bit of a divisive new release this year. And I get why- some of the events were pretty chilling, so obviously it’s not going to be for everyone. Yet, I found this completely absorbing and was impressed that it wasn’t afraid to show the past as it really was.

number 8

wayward son

Wayward Son– this very late addition was another book that brought me joy (though not always joyful). Really though, given how I’ve carried on about Carry On over the years, is it any surprise I had a soft spot for this second Simon Snow story? Guaranteed to satisfy long term fans and make you smile- even through tough times.

number 7

radio silence

Radio Silence– this book just meant so much for me. I know that there a lot of people who say “this book spoke to me”, but guys, this book really felt like it was speaking to me. That’s the magic of a truly relatable story- somehow it connects with so many different people, from all different backgrounds.

number 6

Impossible Times trilogy– aka One Word Kill/Limited Wish/Dispel Illusion– yeah, yeah, I know I’m cheating by counting this as one book, but I do it every year, so are you surprised? 😉 Also, you can whizz through them so fast you may very well feel like it was one book/you have a time machine 😉 To be honest, every book in this series earned its place here. No other book series has entertained me as much as this in 2019! And I was blown away by the cleverness. I know that in the future, I’m gonna look back on this with nothing but happy memories 😊

number 5

winter of the witch

Winter of the Witch– Arden *one hundred percent* managed to stick the landing. The Winternight series has easily become one of my favourite series of all time. A perfect ending to a perfect trilogy. What’s amazing is how good the other books were to beat this out of the top three. Any other year and this easily could’ve taken the number 1 spot, which is just my way of telling you to get excited about the books that are above this on the list 😉

number 4

beowulf

Beowulf– I loved every second of this. I’m so happy I finally picked this up- but even more grateful I read the Seamus Heaney version, thanks to Joelendil, because it truly was a masterclass in translation.

number 3

in order to live

In Order to Live– now we’re getting to books that made me emotional. I don’t have a full review for this one, because I just struggle to find the words, so I’m gonna try my best to describe how poignant, powerful and important this book is. This memoir was a memorable portrayal of life in North Korea. I learnt so much from it and was moved to tears. It’s just one of those *must-read* books, so you must read it if you haven’t already!

number 2

the man in the white sharkskin suit

Man in the White Sharkskin Suit– this is another book which made me cry. It’s the story of the 1950s Jewish Exodus from Egypt, told in a very personal way, where Lagnado really showcases her relationship with her father. Rather sadly, Lagnado passed away this year, after a lifelong struggle with cancer. Her voice survives in this beautiful book.

number 1

sadie

Sadie– ahh this book- I can’t seem to stop recommending it! Beautifully told and immensely powerful, the reason this book is so good is because too often serials/podcasts/true crime focuses on the perpetrators. I think it’s time we gave the victims a voice and no book could have done a better job than this. It also introduced me to the wonders of a well-done audiobook- for which I am immensely grateful. And yes, it made me cry (a lot).

So, have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And what was your favourite book(s) of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

Just *Some* of the Incredible Books I Read in 2019…

Before we get to my top ten, I always like to do a little teaser to share some of the other amazing books I read this year. All of these are TOP BANANA- so they deserve some love and attention! Here are just a few of my reading highlights from the year…

Aurora Rising and Cruel Prince were excellent series openers. Soul of the Sword got me excited to read more! Holy Sister and Crowfall were both excellent ways to wrap up a series. Daisy Jones has been playing on my mind ever since I listened to it on audiobook. I got tried Laini Taylor’s delectable Night of Cake and Puppets. Woman in Black was *freaky*. Evelyn Hardcastle was one of the most unique books I’ve ever read! Woke made me laugh out loud! And I fell in love with Cait @Paper Fury’s books this year as well. And, of course, Secret History has been making reminisce ever since I read it.

And that’s all for now! Feel free to get excited about the top ten, because they rock!!

My Top Ten Books for 2018

Woohoo my top ten is here! Nothing makes me feel more warm and fuzzy inside than looking back on the year’s greatest hits. It’s like I get to curl up with my faves and get all cosy with my positive thoughts for them 😀 What could be better? *Cue the satisfied monkey*!

my top ten of 2018.png

As always, not all of these were published in 2018, I’m not including rereads and all book covers link to reviews! Alrighty then, enough of the preamble, let’s get to my semi-incoherent-adoration-addled-reasons as to why these books are *awesome sauce with a side of bananas*:

number 10

ravencry

Ravencry– as many of you know, last year I was blown away by Blackwing, so when the second instalment in the Raven’s Mark series stormed onto the scene, I had to pick it up. What’s so cool about this is the immense depth behind the hysterics. Though there can be no doubt that the world was well drawn, the plot was compelling and the characters were to die for, what I liked the most about this was there’s more to this book than meets the eye. Already in the first book psychological complexity was established- but this delves deeper into the psyche with one of my favourite folklore motifs of venturing into the wilderness and returning changed (you may notice a trend in some of the books on this list 😉 ). Incorporating this idea is just one of the ways there’s more to this story than meets the eye- and that’s what keeps drawing me back and back and back to the Misery. I can’t quite get this haunting story out of my mind.

number 9

guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– when I read this I just *had to* share this with my sister- contrary to my review, I didn’t actually write her a letter- instead I immediately put it in her hands and said READ IT. Because that’s what everyone should do. It’s one of the best historical fiction books I’ve ever read and one of the finest in the oft-oversaturated market for WWII. I’m not usually a fan of epistolary novels and only recently discovering how well collaborative books can work- and this one really does work. Guernsey will take you on quite the journey- I can’t recommend this enough.

number 8

titus andronicus

Titus Andronicus– it’s absolutely staggering how shocking this is hundreds of years after publication. Even though I knew what was coming, I still ended up scarred by this story- and that’s quite the feat! Now it’s obviously redundant to describe the finesse of Shakespeare’s language or the substance of his place- but I can say that this is now a firm favourite. I also recommend the 1999 film version- it’s a truly sensational adaptation (and this is coming from someone super fussy about takes on Shakespeare)

number 7

grey sister

Grey Sister– what is most incredible about this book was its ability to drag me out of a slump. I was super busy in June and yet I still managed to read the entirety of this book in one sitting- I just couldn’t help myself! For pure entertainment value alone, I’d have loved this book. However- as I often say on these posts- IT WAS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! All the intricate details from Red Sister were taken to another level. Most importantly, this book *excited me* and whenever I think about this book I want to jump right back in- and for a bookworm it doesn’t get much better than that!

number 6

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue– I need a little courage to talk about this one, because *this book broke me*. I cried from beginning to end. I’m not joking (kinda wish I wasn’t that much of a sap, but there you go). It’s think of book that holds you under its spell- I felt breathless and emotional by the end. The characters, the romance and the story were all *swoonworthy*. I’m also *a complete sucker* for book love in books and this did explored that topic so well. With some genius strokes to the narrative structure, this plunged into much deeper waters than I expected.

number 5

circe

Circe– even though I read this right at the end of the year, I knew while I was reading that I *had to* find a place for it on my top ten. In fact, it rose in my esteem as I got further and further into the book. I often find myself at odds with Goodreads choice awards, but I can safely say this deserved its win. Forged from myth, its epic proportions are well balanced and creatively engineered. It’s more than simply well researched- the stories woven into the narrative feel lived-in. I’d say this is Miller’s aristeia, only I predict she’s going to keep being victorious with every book she releases. Dorky classics allusions aside, it’s such a wondrous retelling that I know I’m going to love this more and more with time. Needless to say, Circe has me under her spell and I can’t wait to see what this author pulls out of her repertoire in the future.

number 4

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– this book combined two of my favourite things: fairy tales and stories within stories. What a match made in heaven! Yes, this goes at a steady pace, yet this still managed to be twisty and unexpected. Perfectly drawing up the veil between a dreamscape and the real world, I was enchanted by how I couldn’t quite pin it down. Somehow it manages to be a retelling of folklore with a Gothic flavour- whilst also having a life of its own. That indefinable quality made feel like it has its feet in multiple worlds- and that’s why I love it!

number 3

girl in the tower

Girl in the Tower– I loved stepping back into Arden’s reimagining of Russia’s mythic past. For me, this exploration seems so enticing and different and lovingly evoked. One thing I adore about the Winternight Trilogy is how each book seems to stand so well on its own. Like the first book, this presented a world that most people cannot see. However, what made it stand apart was that the uncanny elements were ratcheted up and it was darker than its predecessor. That haunting note clung to every facet of this beautiful venture. The writing was just as lyrical, immersive and gorgeous as Bear and the Nightingale; the characters made me fall in love all over again. I’m so freaking wowed by this series- I can’t wait for the last book! Bring on January 9th!

number 2

strange the dreamer duology

Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares– yes I am putting them both on the list and counting them as one- but you guys should know cos I do it every year… so really this is your fault for letting me get away with it 😉 Anyway, shh, these books are both brilliant, deserve to be here and I couldn’t pick between them! I adore Taylor’s writing and am always spirited away by her world building. I can’t help but feel like her series embody escapism and brilliant stories. They leave nothing behind in terms of what I look for in a book: the characters, romance and intrigue are top notch. Laced with a dreamy quality, this duology lived up to every hope I had for it.

number 1

the master and margarita

The Master and Margarita– simply speaking, I haven’t read a better book in a really long time. Where some of these I had to squeeze into position, I didn’t have to think when it came to placing this book. Describing what I feel about it though? Now that’s nigh on impossible! Perhaps it makes sense, since this is a book of where the impossible meets reality. Surreal and hard to pin down- and yet not totally otherworldly- Master and Margarita deserves more than the accolades and bananas I can give it. It’s strange on the surface- however lurking at its core are more truths than I can possibly articulate. A true artistic endeavour and literary masterpiece, it feels more real than reality. If you’re searching for a classic that’s more than a little magic, look no further.

So have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And what was your favourite book(s) of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

Just *Some* of the Incredible Books I Read in 2018

All of these got top bananas from me and I’m surprised that a lot of them didn’t make it on to my top ten (but also not cos the books on there are frickin’ out of this world- wait till you see it 😉 ). Even if it takes more time for me to do it this way, I really enjoy celebrating the highlights of the year and these books deserve some love. Without further ado, here’s some honorary mentions:

Okay that’s all for now- hope this gets you PSYCHED for what’s to come… I know I am!!

My Top Ten Books 2017

my top ten books of 2017

It’s finally here! One of my favourite posts to do every year! My Top Ten list! Wahey!! And after a lot of deliberation, I’m finally ready to share! Obviously, these are the best books I read in 2017, so not all of them were published this year. Also I don’t include rereads on these lists, because I clearly already love it if I’m rereading it. All reviews will be linked to with the picture of the book. Anyhoo onto the list! Here’s my top ten books of 2017 in ascending order:

number 10

red sister

Red Sister– when I think of books that really WOWED me this year, this jumps right into my mind. The world building was divine, the characters were kickass and this reminded me why I fell in love with the genre in the first place- you can’t ask for more than that!

number 9

Sisterhood everlasting

Sisterhood Everlasting– *avert your eyes if you don’t want to be vaguely spoiled* oh my goodness I don’t think any book has destroyed me as completely as this one did. Because I was A MESS before/during/after reading this- but in a oh-this-cathartic-kick-is-just-what-I-needed kind of way. An amazing end to a wonderful series. And on a completely different note…

number 8

Blackwing2

Blackwing– !!!! – that’s right- we’re barely into this list and I’m already at a loss for words. But I can’t help it- cos this book was crazy mind-blowing!! Beautiful, atmospheric, creepy, unique, gripping- this book had everything you could possibly want in a fantasy!

number 7

going postal

Going Postal– there is tight competition right now for my favourite Pratchett, but if ever there’s a gun to my head and someone tries to make choose one, this will be one of the books I’ll be frantically debating over (hopefully this horrible mental metaphor won’t end in my head being blown off). Pratchett at his best, this satire really got to the heart of what is most important to us Brits: the Post Office and so obviously that’s why I love it 😉

number 6

six of crows duology.png

Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom– yes, I’m cheating to put them both on here under one heading, but c’mon, I cheat every year, at some point… Anyway, frankly, they both deserve to be on here because I LOVED THEM BOTH. Choosing between them would be like choosing between MY CHILDREN (or perhaps something a bit less dramatic). Whatever, this duology was just that good.

number 5

wizard heir

Wizard Heir– okay I have to pat myself on the back for not just putting the whole darn series on here- though I realise that might have been a bit cheeky, even for me. That’s why I’m going with the one that made me fall in love with Chima’s urban fantasy- and nothing else- final answer… sort of (just read the whole series will you?)

number 4

maus complete

Maus- gosh this is one of the most memorable reads of the year. I think the imagery will be seared into my brain forever. What’s even more amazing is that I had never read a graphic novel before this year, yet thanks to books like this, I know that I’ve now got some serious catching up to do when it comes to the genre. Because this was magnificent and showed how moving art infused with literature can be.

number 3

fahrenheit 451.jpg

Fahrenheit 451– another book that is burned into my mind for all eternity is Fahrenheit 451. Chilling and profound, this book brought me to my knees. Still, for all its darkness, it also carries a hopeful message and passes the beacon of freedom onto the reader. Truly a masterpiece.

number 2

all that still matters at all

All That Still Matters At All– again, I cannot truly articulate what this book means to me. A seriously underrated Hungarian poetry collection, this was deep, striking, beautiful, complex and heart breaking. Worth reading for poetry fans and layman alike.

number 1

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– I reckon regular readers of this blog were probably getting suspicious as this list went on with no sign of this book… but of course that’s because it had to be here on the list. The heart knows no reason and this book spoke to me on the most primal level. In case you didn’t already know, I’m a little (A LOT) in love with it.

So have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And what was your favourite book(s) of 2017? Let me know in the comments!

Books That Really Deserved To Be On My Top Ten For 2017

Well, this is becoming a bit of an annual tradition. Namely that I’ve read so many great books this year that I can’t possibly narrow it down to a top ten. Many of these were *definites* for my 2017 favourites most of the year, but some other awesome book forced them to budge over and make room. So here’s a quick teaser of some of the amazing books I’ve read this year:

Hope that whets the appetite for how awesome my top ten is… see you all again VERY SOON!

Top Ten Books of 2016

Alrighty then- it’s finally time for my top ten of 2016!!! I’m really pleased to say competition for a spot on my top ten was really tough this year- I’ve read some incredible books- so much so that I felt the need to highlight my honorary picks yesterday in a post all of their own! Honestly, it got to the point in the year when I felt like I should stop reading good books so there would be less competition on this list!

For that reason this year’s list is special- these aren’t just great books- but books that are going to stay with me for years to come. I hope that some of them will do the same for you. Without further ado- here’s my top ten in ascending order:

(All reviews are linked to the pics)

10 monster calls.png

a_monster_calls

This is the only book on the list I didn’t review- but that was actually because my emotions were too fraught after reading to come up with anything coherent. What I will say now is that it was nothing short of beautiful– beautifully written, beautifully conceived and beautifully illustrated. It was quite simply, the perfect story. (For the record it gets *all the bananas* from me!)

9 infidel.png

infidel

Such an important book to read– this book is only lower down on this list because, while brilliant, it is a heavy subject. That description of FGM at the start is not for the faint of heart!

8 red rising.png

Red Rising Pierce Browns

This series blew me away. It’s bloodydamn brilliant!! Shout out to Kat and everyone else that told me to read this- so, so grateful!

7 the martian.png

the martian

One of the best things to come out of this year has been my sudden interest in sci fi- I am so excited to read more in the coming years, but I feel like this was my gateway drug. Ever since I read it, I just kept going back to how perfect it was- sciencey terms and all! (Come on, it’s got Mark Watney!)

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war and peace

I can’t believe this was the year I finally read War and Peace! This tome has been on my tbr forever- but this year I felt spurred on to tackle it- and I’m so glad I did, because it turned out to be rewarding for all the right reasons: fantastic plot, realistic characters and thoughts that will make your head hurt! (In a good way 😉 )

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The_Golem_(Isaac_Bashevis_Singer_novel_-_cover_art)

And this is the point in the list where things get really personal. This may be a children’s story, but I was moved so much by this and found Singer’s version to be truly telling about some of the horrors faced by Jews during the pogroms.

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MissPeregrineCover (1).jpg

I read the second one of the series the other day and was just as blown away as with the first one. The imagery and symbolism here is simply magnificent. I love what this series is doing and adore Riggs unique style.

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the chosen

This book didn’t just feel personal to me, it had a universal message– the central allegory of this story, of letting go of baseless hatred, is one I think we can all learn from. This story is bound to stay with me for quite some time!

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NeverendingStory1997Edition

A book about books, when it’s done well, has to be one of my favourite things ever! And this book is one of the finest I have ever read. Imaginative, philosophical and just plain beautiful- what more could one ask for! I am also eternally grateful that this book was recommended to me by Zezee– book blogging gets you the best recommendations!

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shadow of the wind

Yes, the top two books on here are books about books! This book is up there for me as one of the best books I have *ever* read. It is in the realm of the Book Thief and is without a doubt the best book I have read this year.

That was so fun to do! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And what was your favourite book of 2016? Let me know in the comments!