Once again, I’m joining in again with Feature & Follow hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week they post a prompt, which you respond to, and then spend some time visiting and following other blogs (the following is an important part). This week, I’m lucky enough to be the featured post so there is a way to sign up to the linky at the bottom of this post as well. Feel free to join in – it’s fun and a great way to meet other bloggers.
This week, the prompt is…
What are your best and worst reads for 2016.
Which would you recommend and which would you not?
This has come at quite a good time for me as I’m currently working on a page that lists books by loved, liked and loathed (because, yes there are books I wish I hadn’t picked up) so I have some that are easy to bring to mind for both the best and worse categories. It’s not often I feel that prepared to respond to prompts so “yay!” on that.
However, I was a bit worried I would overshare because there were a lot of good books read last year so I decided to stick to my top three for each. Without further ado, they are (drum roll)….
The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which I reviewed a year ago today and still haven’t gotten out of my mind. This book isn’t for everyone with it’s focus on mental illness within the confines of Korean society but I found it an amazing read – well written, well translated, and a story that drew me in and wouldn’t let me go.
The Girls by Emma Cline, which was possibly the most beautifully written book I read last year and a fantastic debut. Based on the Manson family murders it takes you into the minds of the disillusioned and vulnerable young women who followed their leader right through to prison.
Find Her by Lisa Gardner, which left me breathless – able to say little more than “wow” in this clever story about a kidnapped girl and what she will do to survive.
Close contenders were…
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, with one of the best twists I think I’ve ever come across in a book
The Children Act by Ian McEwan, which brought me to tears (and not many books do that) as a young man is given the choice over whether he chooses to live or die
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, which I’ve mentioned more than once as a favourite of the year because I really didn’t know what was coming next (in a good way)
All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman, which was my most frustrating read of the year as I spent the whole of it wanting to yell and shake the central character as she basically made one bad choice after the other. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the book was just too, too, long.
Girl Number One by Jane Holland, which was a suspense / thriller by the numbers. It sounded like it would be great but, if I’m honest, just felt like a lot of clichés thrown together by an author who didn’t love her characters or her subject.
A Different Class of Murder by Laura Thompson, which promised to reveal the truth about the Lord Lucan murder but instead left me more confused about what happened than I already was – mainly because the book was confusing too with a lack of structure and a tendency to go off on tangents that weren’t needed and led nowhere.
I felt I had to pick “real” books for the worse but if I could add one more it would have to be Eat, Nourish, Glow by Amelia Freer which said it would help me be happier and healthier in ten steps. It didn’t tell me, though, that I would also be in the poor house as I bought pink Himalayan salt and chick peas in jars not cans. Not for anyone who isn’t rich and doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands.
And that’s it for me. What about you – what were your best and worse reads of 2016?