Best Picks 2016


There has been some great reading in 2016. I have binged on psychological thrillers, loving the genre. However it is the mix of good fiction, and a little bit of non-fiction, that has stretched and engaged me over the year. These are my top ten reads for 2016:

1.Koch, Herman (2016) Dear Mr M. Hogarth. This complex psychological mystery unfolds over forty years, told by a number of unreliable narrators, making us struggle with the nature of ‘truth’. Totally addictive.  November Picks 2016. 

2. Hall, Sarah (2015) The Wolf Border. Harper. A beautifully constructed and lyrical tale of a wolf recovery project in Northern England, with a political, ecological and human face. Intelligent and wonderful. February Picks 2016.

3. Myers, Steven Lee (2015) The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. Knopf. This comprehensive biography plots Putin’s rise to power from childhood poverty, to KGB and local government functionary, to world leader. Full-bodied and riveting. Jan’s Holiday Reads – January 2016.

4. Donoghue, Emma (2016) The Wonder. Little Brown. Donoghue draws on the phenomena of prepubescent “fasting girls” to build a suspenseful mystery set in an impoverished Irish village, in a clash between science and faith. Melodramatic and clever.  November Picks 2016.

5. Harper, Jane (2016) The Dry. Macmillan. The town of Kiewarra is in the midst of its worst drought and tempers are fraught in the baking heat as Aaron probes into his friends’ murder-suicide. A stunning debut thriller. July Picks 2016.

6. Ferrante, Elena (2014) Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Europa. The third instalment in the brilliant Neapolitan saga about Elena and Lina, during the social unrest and sexual politics of the 60s and 70s. Subversive and visceral. July Picks 2016.

7.Quindlin, Anna (2016) Miller’s Valley. Random House. The people of Millers Valley struggle to save their home which the government plans to turn into a reservoir. A moving tale of loss, memory, and the inevitability of change. September Picks 2016.

8. Hoffman, Alice (2016) Faithful. Simon & Schuster. An emotional story of a broken survivor who eventually finds her way through grief and guilt, to recovery and redemption. Magical and sharp. November Picks 2016. 

9. Melandri. Francesca (2016) Eva Sleeps. Europa. A sweeping modern epic of family, conflict and forgiveness bounded by the dark history of South Tyrol (Alto Adige), from 1919 to the present day. Rich contemporary Italian novel. September Picks 2016.

10. Loseby, Richard (2016) A Boy of China: In search of Mao’s lost son. Harper Collins. Mao, and his third wife He Zizhen, gave birth to a son during the Long March. The child was given away. In his search for the son Loseby traces Mao’s journey, encountering along the way the modern day realities of the revolution. Epic traveller’s tale of adventure and chance encounters. September Picks 2016.



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