Thursday, 16 February 2017

Treasured Tomes // My Favourite Reads of 2016

During 2016 I really got my read on and devoured a good number of fantastic books, over the year. I felt a little odd that I hadn't shared my overall favourites with you, so here is my round up of recommendations!

10. De Vrouw in het Zwart / The Woman in Black by Susan Hill  5* {208 pages}

If you're a fan of classic ghost stories with a subtle yet spine chilling amount of suspense and a deliciously gothic setting then this little gem is for you! The perfect horror novel for the more delicate reader, as this book isn't a slasher gore-fest but a cleverly unfolding story with just enough of a creep factor to make you sleep with the light on. I give myself extra Brownie points as I read this sucker in Dutch (go team!).

9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon  5* {896 pages}

Although this book could easily double as a deadly weapon (896 pages!!), it really takes you on a journey. Through it's pages you will travel across lands and through time, following the experiences of a post WW2 nurse, visiting the brisk wilds of the Scottish highlands during the Jacobite risings of 1745 and discovering how love can grow in the strangest of situations. This is one to savour and enjoy, curled up in a blanket.

8. A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast (book 5 part 2) by George R R Martin  5* {560 pages}

The last book in the series so far, and boy what a beauty! Filled with all of my favourite Game of Thrones characters (well, the ones that make it past the first few books that is...) and over flowing with adventure and treason, battles and romance, not forgetting our beloved dragons! A fantastic addition to this mammoth collection of books but be sure to take your time over reading it, as the next part of the story is yet to be released.

7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss  4* {722 pages}

Being perfectly honest I was rather nervous to start this one, as it is a favourite book of so many people and often with a hype that big things can be a bit of a let down... But thankfully not this time! Good old fashioned fantasy fabulousness, everything you want and need in a gigantic feast of a novel! Pick up a copy of this is you're seeking magic and wonderment, tragedy and romance filled with tales of mystical beasts and deadly demons and over flowing with fantastic characters that will have you struggling to put the book down.

6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling  5* {652 pages}

This guy needs no description, but I will say that I flipping loved this instalment of the Harry Potter legendary series and find myself at a loss now, knowing that only one more book remains. A classic story of friendship and love overcoming the tragedies and destruction's of evil, with a healthy sprinkling of magic, of course! Such a great story, no matter what age you are!

5. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich  5* {320 pages}

Oh boy, where to start with this book? Heartbreaking, honest and original. This novel knocked me for six and left me thinking about it's characters and story line long after I had put it back on my shelf. There is something touchingly vulnerable about this novel, one not to be rushed.

4. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters  5* {608 pages}

Everything I love in a novel. Set in the dark, grimy depths of Dickensian London this character led story is one heck of a ride! Tragedy and unrequited love mixed in with orphans, pick pockets and lunatic asylums, this novel is a real treat if richly described historical drama is your bag.

3. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt  5* {624 pages}

I devoured this tome of a book and embraced it's lengthy yet nostalgic, heart wrenching and characterful story not wanting it to end. For me, this was the perfect book to fall into and enjoy every page. I have set my sights on reading more work from Tartt in the hopes of recapturing the all encompassing feeling I had, whilst reading this one. A relatively simple story, no flash bangs or crash wallops, just a bitter sweet tale of family, innocence and forgiveness.

2. Bird Box by Josh Malerman  5* {480 pages}

This book! Such a fantastically original and pant wettingly tense story! Don't even read the synopsis just pick this sucker up and dive in head first. Although, a word of warning, if you've a rather wild imagination this may not be the book for you!

1. Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon  5* {672 pages}

Well, I certainly didn't think my most favourite book of the year would have been a piece of non fiction. This little treasure really knocked my socks off. Such fascinating subjects told with a truly graceful hand, I really can't recommend this book enough. Gordon offers a most captivating insight into the lives of writer, philosopher and fore front advocate of women's rights Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley (of gothic masterpiece Frankenstein fame). This book brings together a pair of visionary women who despite not sharing a life continue to share a literary legacy. Biography at it's best.

I'd love to know if you've read any of these books and if you have any recommendations of similar reads, for me to check out. If you'd like more literary reviews / bookish recommendations or simply just fancy a nose at what else I read last year then you can check out these page turning posts. Or head over to goodreads and lets be book buddies. Either way make sure to fill your days with beautiful books packed with your favourite adventures! Happy reading, friends!

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