In 2016 I read some amazing books, a few of them have even made it to the list of my all-time favorite books (along with The Little Prince, the Harry Potter series, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and South of the Border West of the Sun, among many others). It’s hard to narrow it down to only 7, but here they are.
I’ve always been interested in historical fiction, particularly the ones set in WW II. The Book Thief had me from the go. I mean, how often do you read something that’s narrated by Death? The beautiful prose, the poignant story, and the heartbreaking fates of the people, it all worked well in turning on the waterworks. One of the most beautiful and riveting books I’ve ever read. 5/5
Still about WW II fiction, this is another book that I couldn’t put down. The story follows 2 sisters living in France during the WW II, both leading vastly different lives. Some critics say this is a bit on the dramatic side with a soap opera potential, bordering on cheesy. But I personally liked it (maybe because I like the right amount of cheesy?), as it gave me the portrayal of life in the wartime. 4/5
This book gave me a glimpse of life in Afghanistan from a personal side. It was one thing to see things happening there on the news, but reading all the hardships and suffering that people have to go through sometimes made you feel more. Hosseini eloquently paints the picture of lives in Afghanistan, how it was before the war and how the war changes it. For me, this book was harrowing, painful, haunting, and beautiful at the same time. 5/5 stars.
The first book of Jhumpa Lahiri that I read. Lahiri successfully narrates a hauntingly distressing story. This would usually be my kind of book, historical fiction with facts thrown here and there through the real events happening decades ago, written with such eloquence that it got me crying a few times. But somehow the ending left me feeling unsettled, and I’m not sure how I felt about this book. It’s an amazing book, but maybe I just read it at the wrong time (do not read it when you’re feeling out of sorts!). 4.5/5 stars.
I’m a bit cheating here, putting in 3 books instead of 1. But I couldn’t choose 1, and I think this series is brilliant (where have I been?). A journalist and a hacker might not seem like a compatible duo, but they truly are a perfect match in cracking some of the darkest mysteries in Sweden. I love books good mysteries and riddles, even more if they’re packed with some actions and suspense. The plots and endings were cleverly written, I couldn’t put this down until all was revealed. 5/5 stars.
This is a book about a girl suffering from a rare medical condition called SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency), an illness that forces her to be confined to her house. She’s accepted her fate of not being able to venture the outside world, until one day a boy moves into the house next door. I have to say this is the first YA book that I loved after such a long time. I felt like I’d grown out of this genre, but this book’s convinced me that maybe not all YA books are cringey. Anyway, Yoon did an amazing job for this debut novel. Lovable characters, a unique story, unpredictable plot twists, and a great delivery. 4/5 stars.
The last book I read in 2016, and this book blew me away! Poirot is presented with a case where he’s asked to prove the innocence of a suspect. True to his style, he keeps everything to himself and makes grand revelations at the end. Thanks to all the red herrings, the ending turned out to be a surprise. Sad Cypress has made it onto the list of my favorite of Agatha Christie’s books. 4.5/5 stars.
What’s the best book you read in 2016? I’d love to hear your recommendations :)