Tuesday 29 March 2016

My Top Ten Best Books for 2016

This week our Top Ten Tuesday list is "10 of our Most Recent 5 Star Reads (or 10 of the Best Books Read Recently if you don't 5 star stuff)."

I only use the star system on goodreads and almost never give a 5 star rating!

However, going back through my blog for the year, I see that I have plenty of new favourites to pick from - classics, Australian, non-fiction, rereads and contemporary stories all shine out.


This was my #ccspin #11 book which introduced me to Pulitzer prize winning author Edna Ferber.
I'll definitely be back for more Ferber after enjoying So Big so much!


An Australian memoir and family history about growing up in the 70's and 80's, Reckoning was funny, fascinating and poignant.


Just A Queen is part two in Caro's YA story about Elizabeth I.
I adored it and hope that Caro is quick to write the final part in this fabulous historical fiction trilogy.


I thoroughly enjoyed Freya at the time of reading it last month, but my memory of it's brilliance is increasing day by day.


Extraordinary, powerful and symbolic.
The Singing Bones is Shaun Tan's artistic interpretation of the Brother's Grimm's fairy tales.


The Story of A New Name is the second book in the Ferrante series, and currently my favourite of the three I've read so far.


What's not to love here?
Little Women/Good Wives was a reread for me and I was happily reminded of why I loved the March girls so much as a child.


The Midnight Watch is not just another Titanic story.
It's sooooo much more than that. It's a psychological study in human nature, leadership and responsibility. Fascinating stuff and a page-turning story.
Highly recommended.


I read Being Mortal over the Christmas summer holiday period.
It wasn't always the happiest of reads (I nearly broke down and sobbed out loud in two separate cafes), but it was very compelling and thought provoking.
Anyone with aging parents or a seriously ill family member should read this sooner rather than later.


Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss.
Quite simply - read this now - it's stunningly produced and non-fiction at it's best.
You wont regret it (unless you absolutely hate science, biography, art, history and philosophy).

Have you read any of my Top 10 Best Books for the year so far?

What is the best book you've read so far during 2016?
I'm always curious to see/find/rediscover great books!


  1. Glad to know ther So Big was so good! I have it on my kindle which is downloaded for the Classic Club as well, but I haven't read it yet. That's an interesting cover in Ferrente's second book, new to me and not how I have pictured the series. I liked each one more than the one before, so I'm not surprised you liked the second better than My Brilliant Friend, too.

    1. The black and white photographic covers appear to be an Australian edition of the book - the overseas covers have a softer more romantic feel to them. These ones probably reflect the gritty side of the story more.

      I got a little annoyed with book 3, so I've put off reading reading the last one until I feel more kindly towards the series again!

      I think you will enjoy So Big when you get round to it.

  2. Anonymous29/3/16

    Interesting that you never give 5-star ratings outside of GoodReads! Anyway, great list, yay for Elena Ferrante's book :) I can't say I have a favourite...I pretty much liked all of the books in the Neapolitan series except the third :3

    My TTT

    1. Glad to hear that I wan't the only one whole struggled with book 3!

      Everyone kept telling me what a shock ending it had, but when I got there, I was like, "what? That was it? The title of the book told me what was going to happen! No shock there!!"

      Happy to note that book 4 is good :-)

  3. I didn't know about Shaun Tan's book. Whoa, give me a minute to put it on my next order. Yes! I totally agree with you that BEING MORTAL is a 5-star book.

  4. Anonymous29/3/16

    The Singing Bones looks like something I'd really enjoy! I'm intrigued! Fab list. :-)

  5. The Midnight Watch sounds really awesome and up my alley. Also I'd never heard about Shaun Tan's Grimm's fairy tales, and considering how wonderful his artistic style is, I'm sure I would enjoy that.

    1. I have a few page pics of Tan's book with the review if you have time to click through.

      And, yes, The Midnight Watch is tremendous - do yourself a favour and grab a copy now :-)

  6. Anonymous29/3/16

    I haven't read any of these books! Searching for my next read...your post is a life saver!
    My best read 2016 so far...was a simple, toughing story. Short, you could read it in 2 sittings.
    Grimbert, P. Memory: a novel
    ...is the story of a family haunted by the secret of their past: an illicit love affair, a lost child, and a devastating betrayal dating back to the Second World War. I read it if French and it still lingers. Those are the best books!

    1. Anonymous29/3/16

      ..."Memory" is based on Grimbert's own family story.

    2. Sounds like my kind of story too - I'll check if it's possible to get an English translation.

  7. Ooh, I so need to read The Singing Bones! Aaaaand also Just A Queen. XD So many books, omg, I need like a million more hours in my day. (And you're Australian?! *hi five* Yay for Aussie book bloggers!) :D Here's my TTT!

  8. Didn't know there was a new Shaun Tan! Thank you. And I loved Radioactive, too. I thought I was the only one in the fan base for the Curies!


  9. Anonymous30/3/16

    I broke my book-buying ban last week when I spotted So Big in a second-hand store. I remembered how much you enjoyed it, and it's also on my CC list. I'll have to go check out The Midnight Watch now.

    1. Glad you found your own copy of So Big and yes, you must check out The Midnight Watch - it's a tremendous read.

  10. I'm with you on Being Mortal and The Story of a New Name!
    Must read So Big...

  11. I haven't read any of the books on your list this week. I'll be adding a few of the book titles to my ever growing reading wishlist.

    Here's a link to my TTT post this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2016/03/5-of-my-latest-five-star-reads-5-of-my.html

  12. Anonymous31/3/16

    Lots of great picks Brona! Have heard such good things about Magda's autobiography and So Big sounds interesting.

    I've just started the Ferrante series - unfortunately the Stella Prize shortlist is getting in the way a bit and I've started and stopped the first one a few times - I suspect I'm doing it a disservice reading it like this!

    1. It took me a little while to get into book 1 Ferrante too. I had heard sooooo many rave reviews about it, I was expecting it to be 'fabulous darling' from page one and with every word!

      I've only managed to get to one of the Stella's so far, although I have two more by my bed.

  13. I've never seen those Alcott covers before - very cool!

    Thanks for visiting my blog earlier! :)

  14. I have "Midnight watch" on my TBR for April, so wonderful to see it as a recommended read :)
    I also love the editions of Little women, never seen those before. So beautiful!

    Great list :)

    My TTT: http://booksbeautifylife.blogspot.de/2016/03/top-10-tuesday-favorite-5-stars.html


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