In 2016, I read 31 books but there were very few that rocked my world!! Lots were okay, three I gave up on (Zola…yawn) but a few were truly wonderful! These were my best books of 2016 and ones I would really recommend you check out from the library.
When breath becomes air – Paul Kalanithi
I read this book on our cruise in April. It was much hyped in the media and I knew the outcome before I read it, but this book lived up to the hype. The memoir of a young oncologist who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it’s a very thoughtful, beautifully written reflection on death. It’s not a light read (I sobbed and sobbed) but it’s genuinely beautiful and his final paragraph is one of the most heart-breaking, poignant, breathtaking paragraphs I’ve ever read. Definitely recommended.
The Little House on the Prairie series
I started reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books with the Dude this year. He loves them and we’re working our way throughout the 9 books in the series. They are great books, bringing to life the hardships, challenges and ingenuity of the pioneers who populated the west. The early books are very much ‘kids’ books, but the latter books are much more sophisticated. ‘The Long Winter‘ for example is almost stressful as the family come close on several occasions to starvation.
There are some very uncomfortable passages about attitudes towards Native Americans but they’re a good spring board for conversations with small people. It’s been great reading these books over the year. We have a few more in the series to read and I am genuinely looking forward to reading them.
I read a number of other kids’ books this year including Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ for the first time and although it terrified the Dude and I had to stop reading it to him, I thought it was fantastic!
Home – Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson is one of my very favourite writers. I did NOT like Homecoming, but Gilead was wonderful and this year I read Home. It’s a slow read, I took about a month to read it because I wanted to wallow in it, I wanted to cherish every sentence. It is incredibly beautiful and moving, it’s a real treasure. Definitely my favourite book of 2016.
I also read Robinson’s Lila this year and I also enjoyed it very much but it didn’t measure up to Home.
Harry Potter and the Philospher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone – JK Rowling
I think I am the very last Brit in the world to read Harry Potter but last month, I gave it a shot. Clearly I loved it. LOVED it. Cannot wait to read the next one. But most of you knew that already!
I’d genuinely love to know your best few books of 2017. I need inspiration. Comments below, please!