Over the last year I have read more books than ever before. As well as reading a lot more than I normally would, I have also broadened the kinds of books that I’ve chosen too and that’s been great because it’s meant I’ve discovered so many special books that I otherwise would have ignored!
I’ve been trying to think of which books are my favourites and it’s been really tough as I have read some amazing books so these books below have really stood out to get included!
Thank you to lots of lovely authors who have been extremely thoughtful and kind in sending me so many books over the last six months. I appreciate them all.
Best book to relate to
Perfect Daughter by Amanda Prowse.
I loved this book because the main character was so easy to relate to. I found that a lot of her thoughts I’d had myself… wondering how she’d come to living the life she did… it wasn’t a bad life, she had a lovely family but she still questioned what could have been and what would happen if she met up with her first love again. Whilst reading the book I kept thinking ‘yes! I’ve thought that!’ not just about the big things like how life has come to be a certain way but the smaller things like children announcing school projects the morning that they’re due in! When reading this I had to log on Twitter, search for the author and message her right away to tell her how much I was enjoying reading it. Such a clever skill to be able to create a character that has your readers instantly ‘get’ them.
Best for that warm feeling
Mistletoe and Mayhem by Cathrine Ferguson
I was going to award this book the best festive read but thought that was a bit too much of a narrow category as there’s more to this book than it ‘just’ being a festive read so this book gets the best ‘warm feeling’ where when you’ve finished reading it you feel like all is OK with the world and you’re left with that warm, uplifting feeling. Since as long as I can remember I have always loved a Christmas book on the run up to Christmas but I’ve found there are so many which are a let down and wishy washy. When I bought this book I thought it would be a good one as I had enjoyed the first festive read from this author which I’d read last Christmas. This book didn’t disappoint! It is really great to read a book that is based around Christmas and has a lot of depth and emotion in it too. There’s plenty of funny moments as you’d want from a festive read, like your neighbours over hearing you trying to sing (I’m glad I live in a detached and not a flat for this very reason!) and as well as the humour I found this quite a moving book too with family members coming to terms with an event that happened many years ago, it was very touching to see them dealing with it and moving forward. The end of the book is that perfect Christmas moment with family all coming together and it left me feeling really happy.
Page turner – Women and children first – Gill Paul
This is probably the longest book I’ve read this year but was one that I read the fastest, I just couldn’t put it down. Based on what happened on board The Titanic, this book follows various people who were aboard at the time. The characters were all very different from a steward right up to the very rich first class passengers. I was gripped right from the start and there was lots of drama- not just with the sinking of the ship but much more to follow in the weeks and months afterwards as the survivors rebuild their lives. There was lots of mystery around some of the characters which is what really had me gripped and reading into the small hours as I wanted to know what had happened, why a bedroom door on the ship had been locked, why nobody had seen one of the passengers… I really couldn’t stop turning those pages! I’ve read two books by this author now and both have been brilliant.
Best to make you think- The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull.
When reading this book it made me rather introspective. It is about a girl who is deaf and blind, about how she struggles to communicate and understand the world around her. The way it’s written really drew me in and imagining the world from such a very different perspective and it was this that made me think about my own life and what I take for granted. The girl within this book seems so positive, she almost embraces her lack of senses and uses it to help others, it really did lead me to reflect upon my own life. It was a very special read.
Best book to inspire. How To Be Brave- Louise Beech.
This is a debut novel and based on a true story. It is a brilliantly written and very inspiring. It is based around two different generations- a granddaughter and a grandfather. The granddaughter is having a difficult time with coming to terms with her diagnosis of diabetes and how it is affecting her life and causing a strain on her relationship with her mother. Her grandfather was considered lost at sea during the first world war and his diary inspires Rose (the granddaughter) as she reads about what happened to him. Whilst lost at sea Colin has to survive with tiny rations and at times was at a complete loss and in despair but he kept going and found strength even in the most difficult of times. I found it a very inspiring read and thought the two stories were woven together beautifully.
Best chick lit. Little Big Lies- Lianne Moriarty.
I bought this book on a whim and loved it. It’s about the things that happen within the playground and how rumours start and spread before becoming out of control. I found it a very insightful read, yes, it’s very dramatic at times but lots of what happens in it- how one small rumour can lead to huge consequences is definitely true to a lot of playground situations. I thought it was interesting how the children had forgotten the original incident yet it was the parents still playing it out and unable to move on from it, definitely something which I could relate to there! I thought it was a great piece of chick lit as there was lots of important issues discussed in it too- domestic violence, bullying and so forth.
Best for that ‘wow’ moment. I Let You Go- Clare Mackintosh
I read this after hearing great things about it and i wasn’t disappointed. It is a book about a little boy who is killed in a car accident and then the police operation which follows. There’s lots of tension and dark moments as well as a big twist which happens part way through that suddenly makes you read the story in a completely different way. I never guessed the twist, nor did my husband when I told him he had to read it too and I think it’s really clever that you just don’t see it coming! I liked that the rather taboo subject of domestic violence was within this story and told through the eyes of the husband which I think gave it even more of an impact, a very different view. I loved this book and it was my favourite book of the year for quite some time!
But I Let You Go was knocked off the top spot when I came to read what is my Best Read of 2015…
Best book of the year- Letters To The Lost- Iona Grey.
This was one of those books that when I read it I wanted to be on my own to really appreciate it and be lost in the world of the characters. It is a cleverly written book with the lives of very different people being woven together perfectly. When Jess finds a letter sent from America by a Dan to what sounds like his old lover she decides to try to find out just who it was meant for. As Jess investigates we begin to learn about Dan and the mysterious Stella. The story completely drew me in and I was lost within this world cleverly created by Iona Grey. I was very moved in various places and felt lost once I had finished it, I missed reading it! I have recommended this book to many people, everyone so far has reported back that they loved it too. I adored this beautiful book and nothing else came close to it this year, a wonderfully crafted story indeed.
I’ve absolutely loved reading so much this year and have a lovely full bookshelf now. The next book I’m going to read is Before The Fall by Juliet West and the book I’m predicting will be soaring up my 2016 charts is Goats an Sheep by Joanna Cannon…
Thank you again to lots of lovely authors for supplying me with many books. All opinions my own.