Sunday, 1 January 2017

Top Reads of 2016 and Looking Ahead to 2017

For some reason, I feel like I didn't have a great reading year this year. I didn't read as much as I would have liked to have read and the majority of my reading time in 2016 was spent reading books send to me by publishers, authors, or via Netgalley. I have so many books I want to get to that have been getting neglected due to other reading obligations. So, I am planning on changing my reading habits for the year ahead.

I plan in 2017 to read more of the physical books that I have on my shelves. I will still be reading books I receive for review, but I will be more strict with what I accept for review, and more strict with myself to make sure I make a point of reading my own books alongside them. I do try to accept books for review that I know I will enjoy, but I seem to have been a bit less successful on that front in 2016. At one point during the year, I felt myself getting into a bit of a reading slump and I realised that I wasn't enjoying reading as much as I usually do. It had started to feel more like a chore rather than my favourite pastime. I want to make sure I avoid that in 2017, so fingers crossed I will have a more successful year ahead.

Now that my blethering is done, let's get to my top reads. In previous years I have had a pretty decent list of books to choose from at the end of the year, this year, however, there are only a few books that have stood out over all the others.

The following, in no particular order, are my top reads of 2016:

Beloved Poison by E.S. Thomson

I was completely captivated by this book. The imagery was so vivid that I was transported completely to another time. I was so wrapped up in the dark and gloomy world of victorian London, surrounded by the sights, the smells, and the crumbling old buildings, that the world around me ceased to exist. When I wasn't reading I found myself thinking about the world and the people that I had left behind on the pages, eager to get back to them... click here for complete review

Wrathbone and Other Stories by Jason Parent

Wrathbone sat on my mantel for a full month tempting me to read it, but I was determined to save it for Halloween night and I'm so glad that I did. I couldn't put it down. This is how you write a short story collection! I can honestly say that each story was easily 5 star worthy on its own.
Wrathbone is not only the first short story collection to ever make it onto one of my top reads of the year, but it's also the first short story collection to ever to make my favourites list!... click here for complete review

Prince of Nightmares by John McNee

The premise of Prince of Nightmares really intrigued me and as an added bonus I discovered that not only is John McNee a Scottish horror author, the story is also set in Scotland. Result! Being from Scotland myself it's a real treat to come across a Scottish horror author, especially one who sets their story in Scotland, and one who's book is now one of my top reads! Prince of Nightmares is expertly written, a pleasure to read and much more than I was expecting... click here for complete review

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

It's not very often that a book surprises me in the way that Dark Matter did. Just when I thought I knew where the story was heading and had prepared myself for what was ahead, I was totally blindsided and catapulted down an expertly crafted, extremely clever and mind blowing path...
click here for complete review

 All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a book that not everyone is going to be comfortable reading. It's a book that had me questioning myself, my feelings and my emotions. On finishing it I wasn't sure how I felt. I enjoyed it but at the same time, my mind was all over the place trying to analyse what I was feeling. It's controversial, it's uncomfortable, it's shocking, it's raw and it's a very powerful and emotional read that will take you out of your comfort zone but it's because of this that I enjoyed it so much. Not many books can create this kind of reaction... click here for complete review


Before I sign off, I would like to give a couple of honourable mentions to a few books which, despite not making it onto my top list, I really enjoyed and have stuck with me and deserve a mention:

A Living Grave by Robert E. Dunn 
Fantastic female protagonist.
click here for review

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield
A tragic, beautiful and heartbreaking read.

 The Hatching: A Novel by Ezekiel Boone
Man eating spiders who think and move like a hive,
out thinking and outsmarting their prey. There's no escape...
click here for review

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach 
A very poignant story told by a very memorable character

They Rise: A Deep Sea Thriller by Hunter Shea
The sea can be a scary force to be reckoned with on its own
but throw in the horrors found in this book and you have a
whole different level of scary.
click here for review


 So, there you have it folks! All that is left for me to say is that I hope you have a great 2017 and may all your reads be 5 star worthy.

Happy Hogmanay tae ane an'aw’ an' mony may ye see!

Scarlet x

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  1. I realise that every such list is both personal and limited. But I was eagerly scrolling through, looking for Jodi Picoult's 'small great things'. You had given it a good review with 4 stars and it is on my to-buy list (the book has not been released yet). So now I'm wondering why it did not make it to even the honorable mentions ;-)

    1. Hey muskaan! Nice to see you here. I hope you had a great holiday season and have a great new year ahead :)

      Small Great Things was definitely noteworthy and I would recommend it, but the honourable mentions were the ones knocked off the top. I tried this year to break it down into categories and have one from each genre that I read, so they were pipped to the post so to speak.

      Most of the authors on my list this year are newer up-and-coming, lesser known, or indie authors so it's an added bonus to be able to promote new talent that perhaps people aren't aware of. Not that better known authors don't deserve the mention, but Jodi's book has a huge buzz going on about already and I think it's going to fly off the shelves.

      I think you would also enjoy Beloved Poison. It's historical fiction. A mystery/crime novel set in Victorian London and I couldn't put it down. It's the author's debut novel and it's a wonderful, atmospheric, well written debut. Never thought my top read of the year would be a historical fiction book lol.