Hello my fellow bookworms, 2016 has been another great year of reading for me. Now it is time to round-up my favourite 10 books from the past year; these are new-to-me books but were not necessarily published in 2016. It took some time to whittle it down to just 10 however here’s my final choices (ordered alphabetically by author):
~ 1 ~
The Romanovs by Virginia Cowles
An epic non-fiction that chronicles the ups, downs, dreams, disasters and extreme personalities of the Romanov dynasty; from the unwilling Tsar Michael (1613-1645) to the doomed Tsar Nicholas II (1894-1917). A fascinating, colourful and educational read for me.
~ 2 ~
The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
While this was the last one for me to read, it is actually Doyle’s second mystery novel to feature his famous, private sleuth Sherlock Holmes and lovable sidekick Dr Watson. What can I say other than this is another excellently crafted mystery.
~ 3 ~
The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
A sweeping, romantic suspense set in the Renaissance Villa Dante on the beautiful Italian coast; which had me hooked with family rifts, forbidden love, heartbreak, war, divorce and ethics.
~ 4 ~
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
The highly anticipated retelling of gothic classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. And, with a beautiful, lush setting; a colourful cast of characters; a gripping mystery and a darker edge it didn’t disappoint.
~ 5 ~
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Finally I read my first Gaskell! Which was an utterly charming tale of the day-to-day lives, trials, tribulations and joys of a small, rural town’s inhabitants. I loved it so much I read Mr Harrison’s Confessions later in the year.
~ 6 ~
Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley
Another immersive and gripping mystery from one of my favourite authors. This time I was swept away to the beautiful, ancient coastal town of Angle, Pembrokeshire; where I was hooked by the history, Arthurian legend, romance and magic of it all.
~ 7 ~
A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin
After watching the sixth and perhaps best series of Game of Thrones, I threw myself into the fourth instalment in Martin’s excellent, epic fantasy series. Like the previous books, it was jam-packed with action, adventure, intrigue, love, war, lies, fighting, secrets, and shocks!
~ 8 ~
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
My eighth jaunt into Pratchett’s magic, weird and fantastical Discworld. Where I re-joined the witches – my favourite set of Discworld characters, so far – Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and young Magrat for another hilarious adventure.
~ 9 ~
Turn of the Tide and A House Divided by Margaret Skea
Technically two books but they both tell the dramatic tale of the bloody feud that ran between the Cunninghames and Montgomeries, during the reign of the young James VI of Scotland. An utterly gripping and fascinating trip back to the 16th century.
~ 10 ~
The Martian by Andy Weir
Stunning debut novel that follows astronaut Mark Watney after he is stranded on Mars! A gripping and immersive science-fiction drama which had me on the edge of my seat and, surprisingly, laughing from start to finish.
With so many great reads in 2016 honorary mentions must also go to fictions: Best Left in the Shadows by Mark Gelineau and Joe, The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, Blood on the Bayou by D. J. Donaldson and The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. And Christian non-fictions: Out of Darkness by Stormie Omartian and The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Plus cookbooks: Save With Jamie by Jamie Oliver and The Hairy Dieters: Fast Food by Si King & Dave Myers. Finally, I also loved re-reading The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis.
Have you read any of these? What were your favourite books in 2016?