As the year comes to an end, it’s always nice to reflect back on the books that really left an impact and made 2016 such a great year for literature. Here is a list of some of the best books that our friends at the Girly Book Club loved. Good news is that if you didn’t get around to picking up a copy – they will still be on the shelves in 2017.
1. The Girls by Emma Cline
If this title isn’t ringing any bells on its own, then the cover will – it’s all anyone could talk about – and for good reason. Set in Northern California at the close of the 1960s we meet Evie Boyd, a teenager on the verge of self-discovery. Then in comes Suzanne, an older influential friend that leads her down all the wrong roads and the girls find themselves in a soon to be infamous cult that will push them towards a fate they could never imagine.
2. Faithful by Alice Hoffman
This is one of my favourite books this year because of the erratic story line. Shelby, the protagonist is born in Long Island with a silver spoon in her mouth and a bright future ahead. Until a fateful day when she and her best friend get into a car accident while Shelby’s at the wheel – her friend is comatose and kept alive by the help of machines while Shelby’s bright future turns into a shallow hell built on guilt and remorse. A quick but powerful read.
3. A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi
Hashimi is a break-out artist with four books under her belt all written since 2014; all with incredible reviews. Where she finds the time is anyone’s best guess as she’s also a Dr and mother of four. But find it she does and each of her novels is prize-worthy in their own right. A House Without Windows is her newest triumph. Not yet out in paperback but well worth the investment for the hardcover.
4. Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris
As far as psychological thrillers are concerned BA Paris has all the right ingredients from split-personalities to hidden rooms, this one will have you guessing and everything you think you know will be turned upside down. An intriguing break-out novel for this French novelist. Her second novel, The Breakdown is due out early 2017.
5. Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino
If you only pick up one of the novels in this list, choose this one. I seldom come across a book worthy of a one-sit reading but this was exactly that. I could not put it down. Meet Emiline, a writer with a troubled past, the details of which very few people are privy – but when her roommate gives her a copy of the newest book she is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson. It hits way too close to home as she realises she’s reading her very own childhood – clearly written by her first love with whom she lost touch 12 years before. So very well crafted, you’ll be sad when you hit the last page.
6. The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang
If you’re looking for a good laugh, look no further – this story is full of good humour and outright belly laughs as we tag along with Charles Wang and his family on a cross-country road trip after they lose everything in the financial crisis. A riches to rags story that looks at immigration in America and how you have to give it all up to find what’s really important.
7. The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
A thoughtfully imagined historical novel set in both 1914 Russia and present day America where two worlds collide over an impossible secret. Love, romance, royalty, money and family all interwoven to take you on a journey across the map.
8. Heart of Stone by James Ziskin
An unimaginable accident sends two men, seemingly unconnected to a strange coincidental death, but all the clues point to something amiss. Ellie Stone, a young reporter decides to take it upon herself to find out exactly what happened. One thing is clear, no one is interested in answering her questions and she soon realises nothing is as it should be.
9. TED BOOKS
TED, (technology, entertainment and design) a not for profit organisation released several box sets this year and the “completist set” is well worth the price tag. This group of ten books covers everything from architecture to business, space travel to love including: The Terrorist’s Son, The Mathematics of Love, The Art of Stillness, The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings, Beyond Measure, Judge This, How We’ll Live on Mars, Why We Work, The Laws of Medicine, and Follow Your Gut.
Words by Erin Woodward.