Segnalibro’s Best Books of 2016

It’s that time of year again when I review the books I’ve read this year and try to pick my favourites. However, first of all, I feel I should open this post with an apology. I had all the best of intentions to read and review a multitude of books this year, and due to a promotion at work mid-year and other commitments that cropped up along the way, I’ve been sadly finding I have much less time time to read and review. I apologise to all the authors whose books I promised to read and as yet are still on my TBR list. I have every intention of getting to each and every book I promised to read.

All that being said, I’ve read some absolute crackers this year. I went for a Top 3 format in my “Books of the Year” last year, which was an almost impossible  task. It would have been absolute madness to do that again, as I have read some truly amazing books this year, so I’ve painstakingly narrowed it down to 10 (and that was a struggle, I can tell you!)

In descending order (just to add a bit of excitement to the proceedings), here are my top 10 books of 2016.

10: Surviving Faith – Joy Eileen

My most recent read, this is the sequel to Breaking Faith, from August 2015. I’ve been looking forward to this sequel for quite some time and I loved it. I’d go so far as to say I liked it better than book 1. Faster paced and gripping from start to finish, a really great read.

9: Wicked Game – Matt Johnson

Those who have read my blog regularly will know that this book holds a special place in my heart as the first book I ever reviewed, at least in its self-published  format. This year Wicked Game got the Orenda Books treatment and whilst great before, it was a brilliant makeover. Very excited about the release of Deadly Game, the sequel, in 2017.

8: Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus

Epiphany Jones is a wonderfully dark novel, which blew me away when I read it. Another Orenda Books success, (I’ll be honest, there’s quite a few in this list!), I couldn’t put this book down. Hilarious, poignant, brilliant.

7: Road to Nowhere by Steven Suttie

I was waiting with baited breath before this third book in the DCI Miller novels was released. Having been a tad disappointed with book two, Neighbours From Hell, yet so floored by book one, One Man Crusade, that it was in my top 3 of 2015, I was over the moon that this book was Suttie at his best. Twists and turns where you least expect them, I can’t wait for book four!

6: In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

It took me no time at all to read this fantastic book. Again, published by Orenda Books, this book is a perfect example of the wonderfully innovative books that come out of this amazing publishers this year. A wonderful suspense novel that keeps on surprising right to the end.

5: The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas by David F. Ross

It’s been a very good year for sequels and this sequel to last year’s The Last Days of Disco was a great one. I’d really looked forward to reading this and, as with the first book, the second novel made me laugh and cry numerous times. A third book is on its way shortly and I can’t wait!

4: Rowan’s Well by CJ Harter

If ever there was a book with that one moment that drops your jaw so hard it reverberates off the floor with such force that aftershocks can be felt for days after, Rowan’s Well had it! This is a brilliantly disturbing book that still gets mentioned on a regular basis between me and my friend Nichola, whenever we talk about books, as one that stands out from the crowd. I can safely say that this is one of those books that will never quite leave me.

3: The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

This book is another one of those can’t-put-down books that Orenda Books are so brilliant at publishing. This is so beautifully written and such an emotive read, I really couldn’t find a single fault with it. An absolutely stunning read.

2: A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone

Whilst not always the most comfortable read, this book was truly fascinating and left me questioning everything I thought was true about domestic abuse. Taking a rarely-walked path, Malone has written a really brave, striking novel that very easily made my top three.

So that’s two to ten. My favourite novel of the year was one of my first reads of 2016, and I was a little late to the party, if truth be told. However, having read this book in January, I have been telling everyone who will listen that they should read this book. Having read it back then, it set the benchmark and has never quite been toppled for me this year.

Segnalibro’s Book of the Year for 2016 is…

1. How to be Brave by Louise Beech

I absolutely adored this novel and I am still telling anyone who will listen that they should read it. The second (or first, depending on which order you are considering them), by Louise Beech in my list, I wept so many times reading this novel and laughed out loud at feisty little Rose, and no book has had such a lasting effect on me this year. I have read so many wonderful books since this one, yet this is the only book in my top ten whose spot I haven’t re-ordered or rejigged. I truly cannot recommend this book enough.

So, that’s it for another year. I wish you all a fabulous New Year and I hope to have more reviews coming your way very soon.