Five Favourite Reads of 2016

Five of my favourite books from 2016

Five of my favourite books from 2016

I enjoy reading but I over the past few years I noticed I wasn’t making as much time to read and I didn’t realise just how much I missed getting lost in a book and how much it can spark my creativity

So I thought I would share my Five Favourite Books of 2016, I have no idea why I gave myself the almost impossible task of picking only five but I have some incredibly good books to recommend. Let me know if you have read any of my recomendations and what your favourite books of 2016 were.

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

I’m drawn to books that are set in my favourite city of Amsterdam and this book is centred around a young dutch girl called Hanneke who lives in Amsterdam during the Nazi Occupation. Through buying and selling goods on the black market for her boss she is asked to find a young girl that has gone missing and this is a lot more dangerous than she ever thought. This book is heartbreaking, heartwarming and makes you think if you’d ever have the strength to be that brave and selfless in such an impossible time.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

What a charming story of a father and his young daughter, Marie-Laure during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Marie-Laure is blind and her father builds her a scale model of Paris so she can learn where everything is and navigate around the streets by counting drains, trees and other points of interest. Doing this she memorises her favourite routes but they have to flee Paris, along with some precious cargo that her father is sworn to keep safe and out of the hands of the Nazi’s. They stay with family by the coast and this is when the story introduces you to a young German boy called Werner whose story runs parallel to Marie-Laure and you’re wondering when their paths will cross. This is much more than a war story its about resistance, propaganda, trust and the kindness people show one another even in the most desperate of situations. This is quite an unusual read but although sad at times it has moments of magic and hope.

Favourite books of 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This is about widower who is unapologetically grumpy and although he has always enjoyed his own company, after his wife died he became more solitary. That was until his quite life was interrupted by a young family moving in next door. They see something in Ove and take him into their hearts and through them we begin to learn there is a softer, gentle side to Ove. This is a book that will leave your heart full and a tear in your eye.

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

This is about real life couple Helen & Russell who are young professionals from London who move to Denmark (initially for one year) after Russell is offered his dream job at LEGO. Helen is less then enthusiastic about the move to rural Denmark but it actually turns out to be a year of discovery for both of them. This book was born out of Helen’s findings after researching just what makes the Danes the happiest people in the world. I found this so interesting, learning all about how the Danes put emphasis upon the work life balance, take time to socialise and really explore what job makes them them feel fulfilled. I would find myself reading passages out loud to my husband and trying to find ways of implementing a few of the key factors in my own life, mostly the eating of more sweet treats! My friend Hayley & I often talk about what it would be like to live there and how the Danish really seem to be the happiest people.

The Lady in The Van by Alan Bennett

I loved this book and the story told by the incredible playwright and author Alan Bennett. It is a true story, quite often heartbreaking but ultimately a story of kindness. I think because Alan has such a way with words and the ability to describe a situation so you feel like you are seeing and experiencing it first hand. The Lady in The Van is Alan documenting a series of events & encounters with Miss Shepherd a homeless lady who comes to park her van in his driveway and stays there for 19 years!

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