There’s nothing quite like indulging in a really great book, getting lost among the pages, burying your head deep into a story. I’ve always been a bookworm, but in 2017 I really rekindled my passion for reading, and made it a priority. It’s been one of my favourite ways to wind down, and it’s an especially nice way to get off the internet.
I do however use a Kindle these days (it saves space, and paper!), so please enjoy this generic book photograph for now.
I wanted to round up my favourite reads for you guys, that I’ve enjoyed this year; in the hopes you might find something new to love. I’d also love your recommendations on books you think I might enjoy too, so leave me any suggestions in the comments!
So here are my five favourites I’ve read this year:
1. ‘How Not To Be A Boy’ – Robert Webb
This one seemed to get a fair bit of publicity on Twitter and I seen Robert Webb doing the rounds with interviews promoting it. I’ve always liked him, and it seemed interesting enough so I thought I’d give it a try, and I’m really glad I did! How Not To Be A Boy sees Webb sharing stories and lessons from his life, from his childhood, through his developing years, right through to adulthood and being a ‘real grown up’. It focuses on masculinity, feminism, sexuality, family and many of the social ‘norms’ that we often overlook when growing up. I found it SO interesting, and I devoured this in just a few sittings. He got a bit of flak online, from people saying he’s just done a book on what feminists have been saying for years; and I understand why. But I don’t see why it’s a problem that he’s talking about things that NEED to be talked about, especially as he credits so many women before him (both in the book and in interviews I watched) who have also discussed this. I also found it fascinating to read about growing up around toxic masculinity, from the perspective of a man; because obviously… I wouldn’t have a clue what that’s like. Robert Webb makes you laugh in one chapter, makes you cry in another, and then has you question how we’re encouraging young boy/men to act in society. A must read!
2. ‘The Burning Wire’ – Jeffery Deaver
I’m a huge fan of the Lincoln Rhyme series, and have already read so many of them before. This is the ninth out of fourteen novels (with a fifteenth coming next year!), so there are plenty of books to keep you busy if crime fiction is your thing. Lincoln Rhyme is a former NYPD Homicide Detective who is now a Forensic Consultant with the department since he became a quadriplegic. His partner Amelia Sachs acts as his eyes as they study crime scenes together and piece together clues to solve crime. I find this series easy to read and gloriously creative with its crimes each time. I can’t wait to start the next one!
3. ‘The Thirst’ – Jo Nesbo
This is my most recent read, after just finishing this one this very week. Another detective novel (always top of my list), and Harry Hole is one of my all time favourite fictional detectives ever. Jo Nesbo is one of the greatest crime fiction writers I’ve ever read, and his stories always keep me guessing about the killers identity. Even when I’m convinced I’ve guessed it right, he usually surprises me in some way and always keeps me on my toes. I can usually be found audibly gasping when reading a Harry Hole novel, and ‘The Thirst’ was no different. It seems a killer is on the loose, who chooses metal teeth as his weapon, and has a thirst for blood. Could it really be a vampire?! (Don’t worry, this is NOT a terrible vampire story. Give it a chance!). Plus Harry Hole’s dry sense of humour and depressing view of the world is kind of addictive.
4. ‘And Then There Were None’ – Agatha Christie
I read my first Agatha Christie EVER this year, which I had been determined to do for the longest time. So many people were shocked I hadn’t read her before, since I’m such a fan of crime and mystery; and I’ll admit now it was pretty stupid of me. This classic ‘WHODUNNIT’ kept me on the edge of my seat and promising myself ‘Just one more chapter’ each night before bed. It did feel a little old fashioned, but not enough to distract me or take away from the story itself. I found the ending surprising and dark, and I’m definitely going to take suggestions on what Christie I should read next!
5. ‘The Gargoyle’ – Andrew Davidson
I might be cheating here with this one. I’ve read this many, many times before. However I read this AGAIN this year, and it’s one of my all time favourite books EVER; so I had to include it in this post. The Gargoyle begins with the narrator telling the story of how his new life begins. A cynical porn star with dangerous addictions, one night his life changes forever. Driving along a dark road at night, he sees a wave of arrows flying overhead, and he crashes into a ravine. This horrible crash results in him being burned over almost all of his body, and is left recovering in hospital for the longest time afterward. One day, a woman named Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed, and insists they were once lovers in a previous life. As crazy as she seems, our narrator indulges this stranger, and listens to her stories of their past experiences she claims she had. The book is nothing like I expected, and I was AMAZED with how much it deeply touched me. I first read this story years ago, and it’s stayed with me ever since. It’s the one book I recommend to everyone looking for something completely unique, and it never fails to astound me even today. I don’t want to give too much away regarding the story, but I promise you it’s worth a read!
Have you guys got any book recommendations you think I’ll love?
*Any items sent for review are written about 100% honestly and in my own words. Sometimes sponsored content and collaborations with brands will appear on this blog, and will always be marked as such with *. Please see my disclaimer for more info.