My top reads of 2016

Its been a fabulous reading year and I struggled to narrow down my choice to ten, but after a lot of thought I have come up with a final list! 

For the first time I have seperated my choices into a fictional top ten and a non-fictional top five. All the books have been 5* reads and there were a number of books that only just missed making the final list, just because I read so many great books.                                                         


The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon took me right back to the long hot summer of 1976. Charming and beautifully written, I look forward to more books from this extraordinary talented writer. 

The Watch Maker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley is a intricate combination of a Victorian mystery and a fantasy story. Added to that is the unexpected love story at its heart. 

The Past by Tessa Hadley. was one of Waterstone’s recommeded fiction books in 2016 and it charmed me. I loved the focus on characterisation and the time given to each member of the family. 

Dark Water by Sara Hadley is a clever study of adolescent yearning and obsession.  Making the most of the claustrophobic setting of an island community, the writer gives us a novel, that explores the inner turmoil suffered by a women running from her past.

The Year of The Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota is the story of a group of illegal immigrants forced to live hidden away from normal British society.  Touching and often revealing, The Year of Runaways reminds us all that these are people with stories.

Odd and the Frost Giants is beautifully written by Neil Gaiman and stunningly illustrated by Chris Ridell. I don’t often read illustrated books, but this was magical and I will certainly be reading more in 2017.

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler is a novella that tells the life story of a man who has little to say, but heart that is bigger than the world around him. Beautiful and simple, but also utterly captivating.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent is utterly captivating. Whats not to love about a book about books, friendship and love?

Welcome To Wherever You Are is a addictive thriler and my favourite of John Marr’s books so far.  I loved the way he wove the story of so many characters into a high quality tale. You can run, but your past always catches up with you.

A Place Called Winter is my first Patrick Gale book and I loved it.  When a forbidden love story destroys his marriage and carefully constructed life, Harry is forced to emigrate to the frozen wastes of Canada.  Its a moving story of a generation lost to history and their families.

I also read some amazing no fiction reads in 2016, from hstory to autobiography.

John O’Farell’s Book The Utterly Exasperated History of Modern History of Modern Britain had me laughing and nodding in agreement throughout.  I need to read his other books.

I was attracted to the cover of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot while having a coffee in Waterstone’s coffee shop. A powerful story of a women’s battle against addiction. 

At a time when society seems determined to blame immigrants for all of societies ills, The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma Jane Kirby is powerful and moving book should be read by everyone.

The Fish Ladder by Katherine Norbury is one women’s journey to healing and discovery. 

I love Sue Perkins and her book Spectacles was charming, funny and emotional. 

Well that was my top reads of 2016. I’m looking forwarding to more amazing reads in 2017.

Happy New Year to everyone and here is to a year full of bookish delights.

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