Favourite Reads of 2016

Hello and Happy 2017 to you all. I hope you had an awesome new year. Today is the first of my yearly favourites for 2016. Containing all the books I've read, loved and need to cement as the best of the bunch in 2016. There's a mix of novels, non-fiction and that poetry volume I love and have to mention one more time. So without further ado, here is the books I loved and rate highly from 2016...

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur-Raw, real, important. Those three words probably best summarise how I feel about this book. I have passages underlined, pages dog-eared and the book's cover is smudged with fingerprints. It is one of those books I have been recommending and gifting to people because I feel like everyone, women especially need to read this. 

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson-Mara's first book of essays was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I loved it. It reveals enough about Mara without being a full-on expose of her life so far. She's a fantastic storyteller and I found this book so gripping. I actually reread it again a couple of weeks after first completing it, which is not something I do very often. Biographical writing is something I want to do more of so I am sure this one will get a reread again this year at some point.

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes-The beauty writing of Sali Hughes is always going to appear magical in my eyes. There is just something so wildly charming about it. Her latest book was crammed with beauty's most legendary products, both in her opinion and that of the wider beauty loving community. They're the products that you're likely to remember from childhood, that Gran has used for ages and the newcomers that have become fixed in our minds thanks to the digital age. Sali's personal anecdotes and insights about each product makes this book all the more brilliant. I love it.

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham-Another of my book club reads for 2016 was Lauren Graham's and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I want to track the audiobook down at some point. I read this over a day and loved it. The conversational tone made it feel like Lorelai Gilmore was on a long-winded, caffeine fueled speech but in the best way. It's hilarious, engaging and crammed with some fantastic insights about Stars Hollow. If you're a Gilmore Girls fan you need to get ahold of this.

The John Lennon Letters by Hunter Davies-I remember seeing this book in the shops when it was first released and being so irritated by its ridiculous price tag. It was forgotten about until watching Nowhere Boy inspired me to look up literature about and written by John Lennon. This hefty tome contains letters, notes, scraps of creative writing and even some of John's to-do lists. All meticulously catalogued and analysed by Davies, who also wrote an authorised biography about The Beatles. If you're a Beatles fan I think you'd find this incredibly interesting. I certainly did and despite its mammoth size, I got through it rather quickly. 

Autumn* by Ali Smith-I've read a few of Ali Smith's books now and the more I read of her work, the more I find myself loving it. Autumn is a particularly poignant, insightful read that is incredibly timely after the year that was. Shining a magnifying glass on the political fibres of the United Kingdom, relationships and their alterations with the passing of time. This book is comforting. Cosy up under a pile of blankets and have a hot beverage nearby.

Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson-This collection of twelve tales for twelve days was simply brilliant. As well as Winterson's short stories, it also contained twelve recipes and anecdotes about the memories behind them. The stories all shone, my favourite in particular was The Silver Frog but they were all fantastic. I will more than likely purchase this to reread annually in December.

Eligible* by Curtis Sittenfeld-This modern-day interpretation of Pride and Prejudice was the one book I recommended the most last year. It may look hefty but it is a quick read. It's witty and just as cleverly done as the original.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig-For anyone whose found themselves facing difficult times, either currently or in the past, this is such an important book. I'm not going to lie, it is not always the easiest to read. That being said there is something comforting and reassuring about it. If you are going through a rough patch it's well worth having a flick through. 

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett-After seeing this novel on Olivia's blog I was intrigued and it ended up surpassing my expectations. This novel again considers the passing of time and the 'what-ifs' of the protagonist's lives, depending on what paths they take. There are three different narratives and they all explore these different alternatives, determined by which individual the protagonists choose to continue their lives with. Each blended together seamlessly and all bought something different to the story.

Carol by Patricia Highsmith-The Price of Salt, nowadays more commonly known as Carol was one of the first books I read in 2016 after buying it on a whim in The Women's Bookshop. Side note: I miss working literally doors away from there. It tells the story of Carol and Therese who enter a somewhat scandalous romantic relationship, for the time at which the book took place. As well as looking at their relationships it offers microscopic analysis of the two women as individuals. It is these details that make it the most delectable, visually pleasing novel. Read it and then watch the film because it is equally as brilliant. 

-What books did you read and love in 2016?

*Review Copy

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