Sarah’s picks of the year

The first part of 2016 was taken up with writing my MA dissertation and I did think that as a result I might have read fewer books than usual this year. This doesn’t seem the case as with two weeks to go (and ten days off work for reading) I’ve already read 215 books…

9781474601900My absolute favourite book of the year however is one that I read last year but that due to embargoes I couldn’t talk about at the time. Others agreed with me as my top book is East West Street by Philippe Sands which went on to win the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction. Join the waiting list.

9781910655153A special mention also has to go to The Apprentice Witch by James Nichol – James is a friend but hand on heart this was one of my top reads of the year. The book is a mix of two of my favourite children’s series – Harry Potter and The Worst Witch. I can’t wait for the next book. Reserve a copy.


Now for my other favourites – these are just split into categories, no top 10s this year!

Young Adult

normalAm I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne

Chasing Stars – Malorie Blackman

Nina is Not Ok – Shappi Khorsandi



vinThe Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 ¼ – Hendrik Groen

Cartes Postales – Victoria Hislop

Five rivers met on a wooded plain – Barney Norris

The Infinite Air – Fiona Kidman

The Summer Before the War – Helen Simonson

Mrs Tim of the Regiment – D E Stevenson

Vinegar Girl – Anne Tyler


Non Fiction

berlinElizabeth Jane Howard – Artemis Cooper

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly & Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World – Matthew Goodman

The House by the Lake – Thomas Harding

Frontier Grit: the Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women Marianne Monson

Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City – Guy Delisle

Sentenced to Life – Clive James

The Print Museum – Heidi Williamson


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