Wednesday, 7 December 2016

My Top 15 Reads of 2016

My Top 15 Reads of 2016

2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year - personally as well as nationally (or, rather, internationally). So I haven't managed to read nearly as many books as in 2015. Since November 2015, I've also been writing my own novel alongside work and family life.

As with last year, I've really struggled to choose my Top Reads of 2016. This is mainly because I've chosen very carefully which books to read - so most of them are brilliant - and I've read more books from certain publishers than others. To make my choice easier, I've ruled out any books that haven't been published in print form in 2016 (i.e. are currently ebook only) but I'll mention some of these at the end. There are some amazing books coming up next year.

Books that have made my Top Reads list fit my blog description - 'Brilliant books I want to recommend to the world. They've made me cry, laugh, scream, cringe, gasp, hold my breath, feel uneasy...'

So here are my Top 15 Reads of 2016 (sorry, but I really couldn't cut it down any more than this). If you follow me on Twitter, you may not be too surprised by some of them!

Here they are (in no particular order)…

Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus
"Yet again, Orenda Books has found a novel that will grab your attention straight away - from the very first line (yes, it's that good) - and stir up all of your emotions (from fear, disgust and anger to sadness, surprise and joy)."

Read my full review

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen
"When She Was Bad kept me guessing from start to finish. It's a dark and creepy page-turner that will leave you reeling and make your spine tingle."

Read my full review

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings
"I know already that In Her Wake is going to be one of my top reads of 2016. I can't praise it highly enough. It's eerie and haunting in a captivating Cornwall setting, with a deep and tragic plot. This book will stay with me for a long time."

Read my full review

Black Night Falling by Rod Reynolds
"Black Night Falling is a book that you won't want to put down. I was so immersed in the plot that I didn't even notice the time and finished it in the early hours. It's a winning formula of intriguing plot, believable characters and fascinating setting."

Read my full review

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone
"A Suitable Lie is stunning, heartbreaking, passionate and tense. A book that packs a powerful punch - in more ways than one - and left me reeling and totally drained."

Read my full review 

The Constant Soldier by William Ryan
"The Constant Soldier is yet another novel that I'll be recommending widely (and already have been). It's powerful, heartbreaking and highly thought-provoking - a book that shouldn't be missed."

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn
"The Bird Tribunal isn't just about the words on the page, but also what's between the lines, with a flood of emotions bubbling under the surface. I read most of the book in one sitting, unable to tear myself away from the powerful emotional pull of the haunting prose."

Read my full review

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
"Wow, this is one evil book that kept me reading late into the evening. I literally couldn't put it down and had to finish it before I went to sleep. And then when I did finish it, my head was buzzing so much that I couldn't even sleep properly!"

Read my full review

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
"Dark Matter is compelling, thought provoking and sheer brilliance. For much of the book, I couldn't breathe, I was exhausted and in a daze. This is a true rollercoaster ride..."

Read my full review

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
"This psychological thriller is a brilliant page turner that will keep you guessing, with lots of surprises, twists and turns. It's dark, compelling and disturbing."

Read my full review

The Mountain in my Shoe by Louise Beech
"The Mountain in my Shoe is a fascinating page turner that wrenches at your insides. It's dark, compelling and highly thought provoking and left me with tears rolling down my cheeks. The story and characters will linger on long after you've finished reading the final page."

Read my full review

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
"Girls on Fire is likely to leave you feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. The author has the most amazing talent of describing EVERYTHING in the most vivid and hard-hitting language."

Read my full review

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary
"Tastes Like Fear is chilling and terrifying in places with a complex yet easy-to-read entertaining plot. Sarah Hilary certainly loves to play with her readers' minds."

 Read my full review

Blood Symmetry by Kate Rhodes
"Kate Rhodes' Alice Quentin series gets better and better. And reading Blood Symmetry felt like coming back to an old friend, comforting and familiar..."

Read my full review

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
"Try Not to Breathe is yet another book that I devoured in just a few sittings. It's an intense, beautifully written psychological thriller... It was like a breath of fresh air. It's so cleverly plotted."

Read my full review

There are many more books I can recommend and would love to mention.  I could easily have published a Top 20 or even Top 30. Check out all of the reviews on my blog.

Click here to see my A-Z index.

I've already read some brilliant 2017 books. Watch out for:

Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

The Two O'Clock Boy by Mark Hill

The Damselfly by Susi Holliday

Rattle by Fiona Cummin

Sealskin by Su Bristow


  1. My TBR list always gets out of control at this time of year with fab books to add - I've not read any of your Top 15 yet! The Bird Tribunal looks just my sort of read and I like Amanda Jennings too :-)

    Stephanie Jane @ Literary Flits

    1. Obviously I loved all of these books, but The Bird Tribunal & In Her Wake really are brilliant!

  2. ooh, good list. I've read a few of them, and have a few more on my TBR shelf. Some new ones to add to the ever-growing list though!

  3. Constant Soldier just went on my list! Thanks

    Lisa @