Twenties Girl (Sophie Kinsella) I've previously read a couple of Sophie Kinsella's books and, whilst I've enjoyed them, I wouldn't say I've loved them. Twenties Girl, however, was one of those books that had me almost running home from work to get back to it as I enjoyed it so much; again, I really empathised with the characters and felt like I really got to know them over the course of the story.
Our Story (McFly) As a dedicated McFly fan (some would say obsessed..) I was gifted three copies of this book last Christmas - I only read one, but I absolutely adored it. I laughed and cried and thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. It's so easy to forget that you never see everything about a celebrity, even when you love them as much as I love McFly, so to read this incredibly open and personal story was amazing and felt almost invasive in its intimacy. I'd definitely recommend this if you like McFly or even if you don't (but I would say that, wouldn't I!?)
Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) This was another book I purchased on my Kindle after reading a review by Jennie, and although I loved the story and the way it was written, I did find the ending incredibly disappointing - if you've read the book, you'll probably know what I mean. I found this a really interesting exploration of the way people present themselves and how you can ultimately never truly know another person and I did find that it really made me think.
January First (Michael Schofield) I think this book was an Amazon recommendation which I downloaded and proceeded to absolutely devour; the true story of Schofield's daughter, January, this was fascinating and heart-breaking in equal measure. The book tells the tale of the Schofields' battle to have their daughter diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the impact it had on their family life. I know that it's partially the psychologist in me that meant I enjoyed this so much, but then again, I think it's a really important book as mental health issues are still so poorly understood; I'd love for everyone I know to read this.
Gingerbread Man (Maggie Shayne) I've always been partial to a good murder mystery, and this one was unusual in that it had a sort-of happy ending which I have to admit I didn't see coming until we found out who the killer was - this was a really tense, well-written read which I thoroughly enjoyed and I'll be looking for more of Shayne's work in the future.
The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult) I really enjoy Picoult's work and have since I first read My Sister's Keeper when I was around 14; I've always liked things that make you think and lead you to question your beliefs and opinions. I found the subject matter of The Storyteller really fascinating and found that I learnt a lot as well as enjoying the story and seeing how it unfolded. The story switched between present-day America and WW2-era Europe, which I thought was a really interesting way to narrate the story and worked well. I know some people aren't keen on Picoult and if that's you, I'd recommend this book as it is quite different to her usual style.
Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness (Susannah Cahalan) Another one that was mostly for my inner psychologist; this chronicles the illness of the author, a journalist, as a rare autoimmune disease attacked her brain causing psychotic symptoms which saw her confined to a psychiatric ward. I found this an immensely interesting read and, as always, the fact that it's a true story made it even more so.
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) It seems this was compulsory reading in secondary school for most of my friends who are my age, but I never read it at school and have somehow passed it by ever since; I think it was recommended to me by one such friend who thought I'd enjoy it and indeed, I did. Again, it's a story that makes you think and one I found to be a fascinating, though in some ways harrowing, read.
The Night Rainbow (Claire King) Another Amazon recommendation as I recall, The Night Rainbow was written from the perspective of five-and-a-half-year-old Pea, and narrates the story of her and her four-year-old sister Margot's summer. This was another story which made me think, addressing important issues such as grief and community responsibility, but through the innocent eyes of a child. I found it a really enjoyable read and I really didn't see the twist at the end coming!
So, those are my top ten books from the last year; if you've enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my other 2013 Favourites posts - Make-Up and Skincare & Body Products.
What have been your favourite books this year? Are you a big reader? Have you got any recommendations for me?
My Featured Blogger this month is the lovely Anna from AnnieMAC; hop on over to her blog for tutorials, reviews and more!