Best Books of 2016

Welcome one, welcome all, to the inevitable and downright obligatory Best Books of 2016 post that isn’t at all subjective or biased in any way. (Disclaimer: that sentence was entirely a lie.)

(If you’re looking for my more stats-based wrap up of 2016 then please do pop over to my 2016: A Bookish Year In Review post!)

I’m sure you’ve seen enough of these lists floating around in the past week or so but, basically, I’ve decided to draw a line under (let’s face it a pretty crappy) 2016 in the most positive way possible – by celebrating some absolutely brilliant books that I’ve read this past year. They may not necessarily have been published in 2016, but all of them were read by yours truly in these past twelve months and, it’s safe to say, if they made this list and have stuck around despite my patchy memory, then they must have been something special. Each of these books has well and truly earned their place on this list and I’ve detailed the not-at-all-incoherent reasoning behind each choice below so that, hopefully, my flailing might persuade you to read them yourself if you haven’t already.

Right, without further ado, let’s do this like the music charts, in reverse order, shall we?

burialritescoverHonourable Mention: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Why?: When people say a story is “haunting”, I finally know what they mean thanks to Hannah Kent’s novel. Set in Iceland, it follows the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be sentenced to death in the country. From the outset we are told what Agnes has allegedly done and this characterisation of her as a “murderess” haunts her every word and interaction from this opening page. Add onto that Kent’s chilling writing style which masterfully evokes the harsh, bleak, but beautiful, Icelandic landscape, and you have an absolutely astounding book that has stayed with me for many months.

“To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.”

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Friday Reads | 10th June

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today where I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead.

It will be no surprise to learn that I’m still working my way through A Game of Thrones (slow but steady wins the race, right?) for the #readasoiaf readalong and I plan to continue this weekend. I have to say that the colouring in circles for each chapter method really does work, I feel like I’m making progress! Actually, since we’re being optimistic, I hope to finish it this weekend but with 250ish pages left, we’ll see how it goes. 

I also have a book to read for review: Lara Williams’ Treats. It’s a short story collection (something I don’t ready nearly enough of) but it seems to be focuses around the trials and tribulations of life as an emerging adult in the twenty first century. It’s promising considering the first story starts with the person (you, as it’s addressed to) graduating university and moving back home with their parents. I know a little something of that feeling… so I hope it proves to be authentic and relatable as the blurb claims it is!

The third book I might dip into is Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. I feel like this book needs no introduction since it’s been everywhere but in case you missed it so far then it’s a memoir of Paul Kalanithi who was just about to complete his neurosurgery training when he was diagnosed with lung cancer, so it’s a look into the doctor-patient relationship, and about facing up to the fact of our mortality, and what it means to live life. Or so the summary and numerous quotes of praise claim. I’m sure that will be the case.

So those are the books I will hopefully be reading today and this weekend. What are you reading at the moment? Have you any weekend plans, reading-related or otherwise? Have you read any of the books I’m planning to read – what did you think? Share below!

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