I mentioned in one of my posts last week that I had signed up again to the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2016. I intend on reading 50 books this year – I am well behind on my goal to read 500 books before I’m 50 but I’m not panicking about that too much yet. (I’m kidding myselfI’ve got LOADS of time!)
I got out of the habit of doing book reviews on the blog over the past year – life got so busy but I quite missed them. I love revisiting a book I’ve read – Its so easy to forget about a good author you find and I’ve even been known to start reading the same book twice. There are few books in the world good enough to make me re-read them when there’s so many new ones to choose from.
I may from time to time, post book reviews here on Casa Costello but I anticipate most 2016 reviews will be over at my other site, 2 Adults 3 Children.
So without further ado, I give you my Best Reads of 2015
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
I fully expected not to enjoy this as the hype was everywhere. I don’t tend to follow the books that most people like – I am that person that didn’t really enjoy The Time Travellers Wife or We Need To Talk About Kevin. It was when my mum arrived at my sister’s house talking about The Girl on the Train that I thought I’d give it a go. She had had to stop reading it on the bus as she thought she was going to miss her stop! I loved it – It helped that I read most of it in one day when I was in London waiting for Millie at training but it just grabbed me. I always forget that I love a good suspense or thriller but this was even better than a usual one. Put me off alcohol for a while though! (You may have noticed by this point that I’m trying not to give too much of any storylines away – definitely no spoilers here)
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
This book is a life changer – Once you’ve read it, you can’t go back. Warning, you need to be of stern stuff to get through it. Not only is it really long but the word harrowing is made for this book. I heard the author talking to Claudia Winkleman on her art show late one Friday on the way back from training, and knew I had to read it. It covers childhood, abuse, disability and friendship – Friendship is what will stay with you forever. I think this is my book of the year.
I Let You Go – Clare Mackintosh
The twist in this will make you gasp – One of the most clever surprises since A Thousand Splendid Suns. I raced through this book and cannot wait for her next one.
All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
There are so many war stories around and this is one of the good ones. This book gets better and better as it goes on. Its another long one but worth it as the story weaves in and out of various perils.
The Silent Hours – Cesca Major
Another story set in the Second World War – I was sent this book to review and at first thought it was going to be similar to other war stories I had read. The end though is phenomenal and will stay in your mind long after you have finished the book. Even more incredible is the fact it is based on a true story.
I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes
I was unsure whether to include this or not – there were periods of this book that felt a little too long and drawn out but glimpses of brilliance. For anyone who has read it, did the eyeballs bit bother you for ages? It a really long one but worth pursuing.
The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton
If you like a really good story that draws you in, then this is the book for you. I get book jealousy when I hear of people reading it for the first time. I really felt for the main character, Nella – How desperate life must be as an 18 year old bride. I mustn’t be the only one who loved this book though – it won tons of prizes during 2015. I would have liked more about the actual Miniaturist though.
And so onto this year, I’ve allocated a handful of books to start me off for the first couple of months, one of which needs to be finished by book group a week on Sunday:
Tea Planter’s Wife – Dinah Jefferies (Book group choice but initial reports from other members of the book group suggest it will be a good one)
Moving – Jenny Eclair
My Name is Leon – Kit de Waal
We are all made of stars – Rowan Coleman
The Good Son – Paul McVeigh
Have you read any of these? What would you class as your book of 2015? Feel free to leave me any recommendations for 2016. I’d love to hear them.