At the beginning of 2016 I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 70. Every year I go up by 10 books, and I really thought I’d struggle to reach my target this year. I’m not an English Lit student anymore, so I thought my reading would take a dip…but instead it turned out I read a load of books I’d been meaning to read for ages…and a lot of new books too.
2016 may have been a grim one in a lot of ways, but it’s been my best reading year yet! If you want the statistics, then check out my year in books.
I’ve decided to pick out my top 5 books from a list of 75, and share them with you. They’re a good bunch, and I’d highly recommend all of them.
These are presented in the order I read them:
1. Fishbowl – Bradley Somer
I devoured this book. And I’ve recommended it in real life to a friend as well. I didn’t expect this book to be as good as it was, and I was blown away by it. It’s funny, but very meaningful. It made me reconsider what it means to be alive, and made me aware that we are surrounded by other lives, and that our actions have consequences that have direct impacts on those around us. There’sa chain of events that is always in motion, and that’s what makes up our life. Read this book, I can’t stress enough how brilliant it is. I’d be proud to have written this.
Read my full review: Fishbowl
2. More Than This – Patrick Ness
Okay, you’re going to sense a theme. This one is also a good one for contemplating what it means to be alive, because when the book opens, you quickly realise that our main character has died. But then he wakes up, and he must figure out what this strange afterlife is, and why he has ended up there. And what it all means. This is fast paced, but it still gives you time to contemplate on the important stuff. This book sealed Patrick Ness’ place as one of my favourite YA writers.
Read my full review: More Than This
3. milk and honey – rupi kaur
This book seemed to be everywhere at a certain point this year, so it was inevitable that I would read it eventually. I hadn’t read short-form poetry before, and I’m glad I began with this collection. Split into four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing this book deals with some really hard subjects such as abuse and rape, and some lighter subjects such as finding love and hope again after trauma. Illustrations accompany the poems and make this collection one that I think even non-poetry readers will enjoy.
Read my full review: milk and honey
4. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
This is a chunky book to say the least, but don’t be put off. The prose within is beautiful, and is one of those rare books which puts into words the way we we feel about life, love and relationships. I selected many great quotes from this mighty novel, and they are quotes I can visit time and time again. The first half of this had me struggling a bit, but then I took a break and raced through the second half. It broke my heart and mended it all at once. It’s not easy to cause an emotional reaction in me, but this book channeled emotions I didn’t know I had. It’s unforgettable.
Read my full review: A Little Life
Read my favourite quotes: A Little Life: Favourite Quotes
5. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
Yes, another Patrick Ness book. This was my very last read in 2016, and it was the perfect book to end on…because the ending left me with my mouth wide open, almost tearing my hair out. I have the next two books in the series, and it’s very very tempting to read them next. I’ve wanted to read the Chaos Walking series for a while now, and this book was not a disappointment. It’s the kind of book that provided the reading experience we’re all searching for in the books we read, so if you haven’t read it, find a copy of this book and get turning pages! One of the best dystopian novels I’ve ever read.
Read my full review: The Knife of Never Letting Go
I’m hoping that 2017 will be yet another great year book-wise. I’v got plenty of books piled up just waiting to be read, so I better get a move on!