Cat's Book Club

Cat’s Best Books of 2016

To kick off 2017, I thought I’d share my round up of the best books of 2016, that I have read.

I had been an avid reader before the girls came along.  Many an evening was spent reading a classic novel or a light-hearted chick lit. My part-time student job was in the local library.  I loved it!   The perfect job for a bookworm with a love of multiple tea breaks.  Borrowing the hot off the press non-yellow books before they hit the shelves was a massive perk!  To this day I cannot get away with reading from a tablet or kindle.  It’s all about the paper novel for me!

In life there will always be distractions and I am easily distracted. TV watching, facebook messaging and a candy crush addiction had all got in the way of reading.   Sky plus and smartphones make it so easy to be distracted too!   I had forgotten how good it was to just switch off and transport myself to another time or place.

Using the phone app Good Reads I set myself the 2016 Reading challenge of 30 books and managed to just exceed this at 32.  The app is so handy as it allows you to track, rate, and connect with friends,  The ability to search popular books when you are lacking in inspiration also helps. If you are reader or would like to get back into reading I would urge you to download. The app really helps with the motivation.

My top 5 best books of 2016:

‘While my Eyes were Closed’ by Linda Green.

'While my Eyes were Closed' by Linda GreenThis was my Christmas holiday read.  The book wasn’t a festive one though.  Imagine playing hide and seek with your 4 year old daughter in the park, opening your eyes after counting to 100 and the child is missing. Every parents worse nightmare! We know early on that Ella, the little girl, is safe and being kepy by her brothers piano teacher, Muriel.  As the story unfolds we see things from the point of view of Muriel, the child’s mother Lisa and Muriel’s son Matthew in a three way narrative. There are twists and turns to this read which keep you engaged to the end.


‘In Her Wake’ by Amanda Jennings

'In Her Wake' by Amanda JenningsThis was my book of the year! The story starts with Bella travelling back to her childhood home for the funeral of her mother.  We are introduced to her her over-bearing older husband David who was her university lecturer as a student.  Bella recalls her lonely childhood.  She was home-schooled by her mother and kept away from other children.  The day after her mother’s death she discovers her father at his desk having committed suicide.  A note telling her that she’s not their daughter is placed next to him. Eeeek! This is where Bella find out her real mother is alive and living in Cornwall.   Along the way she finds her real family and discovers some shocking murky secrets along the way. Highly recommended!

‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn

'Dark Places' by Gillian FlynnGillian Flynn is probably best known for her book ‘Gone Girl’ which was made into a movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike a few years ago.  If you liked the style of the movie and that bestselling book I would urge you to go back and check Flynn’s back catalogue. Each one has been unique but I’ve really enjoyed them.  Dark Places is probably the darkest book I read last year and one which has really stuck in my mind.

Dark Places is the tragic and grim story of the Day Family, told in the voices of Libby Day (main character), Patty Day (her mother) and Ben Day (his brother). 25 years ago, Libby was the only survivor in a massacre where her whole family was wiped out.  Libby testified against her big brother Ben landing him with a life prison sentence.  When a group of amateur detectives and true crime fanatics called ‘The Killing Club’ invite her to speak at a conference, she is intrigued by their incidence that her brother is innocent.  Tempted by the cash Libby goes along with their plan, and makes some discoveries that will change her life. No details are left out of the massacre so not one for the faint hearted!

‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty.

‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty.I absolutely love Liane Moriarty and have managed to read all of her books now but this was the best (and first one) I read.  The story is centred around a school playground in a Sydney suburb and the lives of the parents who’s main common ground is their children’s school! Sometimes it is hard to distinguish who are the children and adults in the way they behave. The book is funny as is told in a gossipy tone but tackles some extremely serious issues underneath the comedy! Must read!  This one is being made in a movie starring Reece Witherspoon and will be set in LA, so intrigued to see if it matches up to this best seller.

‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh.

‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh.This was a fantastic psychological thriller which involved a young woman Jenna running from a tragic accident and attempting to create a new life for herself in a rural welsh community.  The story is split between the Detective who is trying to track her down and Jenna who is on the run, The gripping twist at the end was a total shocker!  hooked! This was Clare’s debut novel so I’ll be keeping an eye out for her next release.

Book Club is back

This month I’m relaunching my monthly book club and would love you to join me with recommendations.  I would love to expand the genres of books i read as i’m stuck in a bit of a rut with psychological thrillers and family dramas.


24 responses to “Cat’s Best Books of 2016”

  1. Oooh, love a good recommendation! Have you read Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris? I couldn’t put it down and was finished within 24 hours! Gripping.

    1. No I’ll put it on my list!

    2. Here Come The Hoopers bump it to the top, you won’t regret it!!!

    3. Here Come The Hoopers it’s a must read Cat. I’ve jotted a couple of ones I’ve not read from your list. Have you read “after the fall” by Charity Norman….think you’d like it….x

    4. Rhonda Crosby ooh don’t think so! Loving these recommendations ladies! Xx

    5. Behind closed doors is brilliant! Diane Chamberlains “necessary lies” I also loved. Have you read Apple tree yard? I see they’ve made it into a tv prog which is coming on soon…..not sure I loved that book tho, was an ok from me! X

    6. Rhonda Crosby yes I read that apple tree yard ages ago! Let’s see what they do with it on BBC!

  2. Ooh In Her Wake sounds good, I must try and read that. I’m currently reading Gone Girl, years after everyone else! I’m enjoying it but it’s a bit long! I’ve got some books for you Cat, I must get them to you somehow xx

    1. Fab got some for you too x

    2. Can you drive past one night after Rainbows? I can’t bear to walk up there on a January night!! ☃️❄️☃️

    3. Joanne Schofield yeah I will! Xx

  3. Ooooo! I love this! Can I join in virtually?! I know Jo! X x

    1. Ooh brill!! I’d love you to join in!

    2. Just read The Loving Husband by Cristobel Kent. Very dark and cold. Not mind blowing but OK. Off to read A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart to see if I can break my thriller reading ways!

    3. I’ve got The Loving Husband to read Kerry. Not heard of the Keith Stuart one so I must investigate! X

  4. Thanks for these recommendations – I’ve added Big Little Lies to my amazon wishlist and will take it to Cuba with me x

  5. And I agree, While My Eyes Were Closed was one of my favourites of the year too. I recommend that one Kerry, if you haven’t already read it. Xx

  6. Charlotte walker avatar
    Charlotte walker

    I also recommend behind closed doors! And between you and me by lisa hall, fab twist at the end xx

    1. I need to get on board with behind closed doors asap!!

  7. i’m always on the look out for recommendations so I’m going to pop these on my list and download the app. I have to have a proper book, read time and time again by Ben Elton really good, the ice twins s k tremayne, the darkest secret Alex marwood and I would highly recommend the Miss peregrines home for perculiar children series, the first book is far far better than the film that was released last year

    1. I’m just about to read Miss Peregrine – I’ve had it on my shelf to read for what seems like forever. Good to hear a heads up for it! X

  8. I’ve read the Ice twins..the darkest secret looks right up my street!

  9. I struggle to find time these days to read sadly. Thanks for sharing your favourite books of 2016. #weekendblogshare

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