Friday, 30 December 2016

My Top Ten Reads of 2016

I can't quite believe that 2017 is almost upon us. It seems like a week ago since this year started.

I hope everyone has a good year, and to those who haven't, I wish you the best of everything in the year ahead.

So as the year draws to a close I pondered on the book highlights of 2016, and here they are:

The Things I Should Have Told You by Carmel Harrington

I cannot tell you my love for this lady. An incredibly talented writer, who is also the most wonderful lady. The Things I Should Have Told You was more than a book to me, it was a gift reminding me of how special life is, how important family is, and how to live life to the full. Never leave things unsaid, and do the things in life that make you happy. Thank you Carmel for the gift of your wise words.

Miss Wrong and Mr Right by Robert Bryndza

Sometimes in life you just need a book that is filled with humour, shenanigans, great characters, and fun. Miss Wrong and Mr Right provided that in bucket loads. This was the book that gave me my reading mojo back, and I loved it!

The Girl in the Ice / The Night Stalker / Dark Water (The Erika Foster Series) by Robert Bryndza

I love a good thriller, and I started the year with The Girl in the Ice which set the standard against which all thrillers I have read since have been measured. New to Robert's work I was blown away by the first instalment, and the next two have only re-enforced what a talented writer Robert is. I love Erika Foster and would rank this series up there with Karin Slaughter. Being set in South London was another bonus for me as it is my local area, and bought it even more to life for me.  Cannot wait for book 4!!

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

I fell in love with the cover of this book which compelled me to pick it up and read it. Inside I discovered the most beautiful story which made me laugh and cry. The main character is Rose who has been widowed at a young age. Watching her experience loss and slowly re-emerge into life left me inspired and uplifted. I love this book.

A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh

As soon as I started this book I was hooked, and struggled to put it down. This is the first of Rebecca's books I have read, and it certainly won't be my last. She has a style of writing that drew me in and made me feel connected to fab characters, in a setting that I could imagine being part of. I loved the uplifting and homely plot and felt warm and happy when reading and after.

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

The synopsis of this book caught by eye and put it top of my to read list. Why do people become fixated with prisoners and write to them? I am a long time fan of the crime and thriller genres and this was irresistible - and it certainly didn't let me down! Fascinating, tense, and with twists I loved this book and had to have it prised from my hands as it was almost connected to me!!

See How They Run by Tom Bale

For me, See How They Run was my adrenaline fuelled book of 2016. The opening scene captured my worst nightmare, waking up in the middle of the night with strangers looking at you. I was literally on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what where this was going to go next. The book is just great. Short chapters move the book along at break neck pace, with an unease running throughout, building to a climax that had me up late into the night.

Last Kiss Goodnight by Teresa Driscoll

Having read, and loved Recipes for Melissa last year, I was waiting with baited breath for Teresa's new work, and it was worth the wait. A wonderfully written book which is very emotional, touching and uplifting, Last Kiss Goodnight will tap straight into your heart and pull at those heart strings. A beautiful story.

We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

What year would be complete without a Lindsey Kelk book? We Were on a Break hit my kindle in October and as it downloaded I knew it would be like meeting up with an old friend. Whilst this is a standalone book, it is written in Lindsey's unmistakable style, so like her, is full of humour, wit, friendship and all round warmth. I was also incredibly lucky to be well enough to attend an event with Lindsey, Mhairi McFarlane, and Giovanna Fletcher this year. It was one of my highlights of the year. Hearing her speak bought this book to life and made it even more special.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Joanna Bolouri

This book is a must read in my opinion. I just love it and could rave about it for hours!!! Filled with humour, sassiness, friendship, strange families, and hot men, this is everything I have come to expect from Joanna's work, and then some. I sat up until the early hours reading this and in a way didn't want it to end. My face never stopped smiling and it hit the spot as one of the last reads of this year. I loved it!!

And one more book for luck...........

Making Friends with Anxiety by Sarah Rayner

I won't lie, parts of this year have been pretty rough for me this year. But along with amazing family and friends, I have had this trusty companion by my side to dip into for comfort and inspiration. Sarah is not only a talented author (check out her works of fiction too), but a great person. She is kind, giving, caring and very knowledgeable in all things anxiety. Her book provides hope and inspiration, as well as practical tips on how to cope with that beast that is anxiety. She also has a Facebook group under the same name that is incredibly supportive.

Have a fabulous 2017 and I would love to hear what your favourite books have been.

Lots of love

Jill xx

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