Best of the Best

Every year, around this time, I pull together a top ten list of books that I’ve read.  This is usually a difficult choice because over the course of 12 months I usually manage to fit in a good number of books and given that I don’t force myself to read those that I’m not enjoying these are mostly all good reads.  This year is no exception although for once (in perhaps 15 years) I haven’t read 100 books.  This is a new all time low for me which I put down to a mid year hiatus where I read and blogged very little.  My reading is back to normal now, I’m pleased to say, and I have plenty of great books to look forward to so far this year. So, this is part 1 of my ‘Best of’ list.  I’ll be doing a further post to highlight some of my other great reads but this is about choosing my absolute favourites.  Without further ado:

January

The Girl and the Moon by Mark Lawrence

In a nutshell.  This book has so many winning elements.  A thrilling adventure.  A twisted ending.  Characters that you can love (and hate), a jaw dropping conclusion and also one that is packed with emotion and a series that manages to be fantasy and science fiction combined.

TGatM2

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

This story compelled me to keep turning the pages into the early hours.  I loved the choice of narrator, the world is developed with (more than likely) deceptive ease, the murder mystery is intriguing and more complex than first meets the eye and, well, put simply, it just won me over so easily and quickly.  I can’t wait to read the second instalment which is now waiting on my shelves.

Justice

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

I would say that not only did I like Insomnia but I liked it even more than Behind Her Eyes.  It’s a perfect jumble of crazy mixed up, spiralling out of control, sleepless insanity.  Every time I thought I had a handle on what was going on it turned out I was wrong and I just love the way that the ending is totally out there – let’s just say #wtfthatending

Insomnia1

The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

Gwynne is an author who excels at action scenes and all them are breathtakingly described.  I had my heart in my throat every time shields locked wondering whether any favourites would fall under the axe.  There’s also wonderful moments of camaraderie and banter, or cunning snippets of other scenes playing out and weaving the story together.  The pacing is just so well planned and I loved the way that as the story progresses you have these shorter chapters that really pack a punch and I have to acknowledge it drove my reading on into the early hours with the age old ‘just one more chapter’.

TheHunger

Nettle and Bone by T Kingfisher

Fairytale style stories are absolutely one of my favourite reads and I’m always on the lookout for more.  This is an author that I hadn’t read before but have wanted to do so for quite some time and now, with the benefit of Nettle and Bone under my belt, I can genuinely say that I will be visiting all her previous books.  I loved this book so much.  It’s full of everything that I enjoy, it’s got elements of old fairy tales but as the same time feels unique.  It takes us on a wild ride to a far away kingdom.  There are princesses in distress, people who can talk to the dead, a dog that came back to life, amazing characters and the beginnings of a sweet romance.

Nettle1

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandell

I am in complete awe of this author and can’t even begin to outline how impressive this book is.  On the face of it this is a standalone story that fundamentally connects the lives of four people who share an experience through a strange anomaly, a glitch in the system if you will, that in the future will be scrutinised and investigated by a time travel agency.  Dig a little deeper and this novel actually brings together elements from the author’s previous works (definitely The Glass Hotel and also I think Station Eleven) in the most eye popping feat.  If that wasn’t enough, one of the characters is an author herself, of a post apocalyptic book that has become a bestseller.  There are so many little twists and turns in this book all finished off with a mouth dropping conclusion that is simply brilliant.  Read it – please.

Seaof

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

I picked this one up and was immediately intrigued with the storytelling voice. There’s an almost ethereal feel to the way the narrative is delivered and this is strengthened by the unusual setting and the dysfunctional family that we are introduced to.  Feeney starts out with a captivating hook, she then lets us run on the line enjoying the freedom to explore the remote setting and the histrionics of the Darker family before reeling us in to a climatic and dramatic grand finale.  Brilliant.

Daisy Darker

A Dowry of Blood by ST Gibson

I will say from the outset that I loved this.  I was gripped from beginning to end and couldn’t put it down.  This is my catnip.  Retelling famous stories from the point of view of side characters, victims or misunderstood characters is popular without a doubt at the moment and I for one am enjoying this trend.  Dowry of Blood is no exception.  Take the classic vampire story, Dracula, and take a look at him and his life through the eyes of three of his ‘children’.  Dracula’s chosen ones.  A story with a message.

Dowry2

Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson

Miss Percy is an absolutely delightful, regency period, fantasy of manners style story that won me over with ease.  The writing is wonderful, the plot is well thought out and totally absorbing, the characters are Austen-eque but with a slightly more uptodate sensibility and for those readers out there who usually shy away from fantasy elements, but who are in good need of a period drama, I implore you to give it a try, because, whilst I cannot deny that the inclusion of a dragon definitely falls most firmly into the realm of make-believe, the way this story is told, it feels almost less sensational than forgetting to wear a bonnet.  Please give it a try, I’d love to discuss your thoughts about this one.

MissPercy's

Emily Wilde Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

I don’t have a link to a review for this book yet as it’s a recent read that I’ll be posting about shortly.  I did love this book though and highly recommend it.  Simply superb.

Emily

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13 Responses to “Best of the Best”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Some of my favorite books for this year are in your list, with T. Kingfisher’s Nettle and Bone being the book that made me discover this amazing author 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I loved that book and want to read ALL her books now.
      Lynn 😀

  2. pagesandtea

    Sea of Tranquility was so good. I only realised where it was going a moment before it was revealed and I loved the way it was all drawn together in the end.
    Definitely want to check out more from T. Kingfisher this year too, so glad to see Nettle & Bone on your list as I do fancy reading that.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Nettle and Bone was so good, I can’t even express how good it was – just SO GOOD. Hope you get a chance this year.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Lexlingua

    I love year-end posts and collecting favorites of fellow bloggers. New year, new shiny books for the old TBR! Nettle and Bone was one of 2022 favorites too. Everything else on your list, I’m all for it, esp. the Feeney book which seems perfect for a winter late-night read.

    Hope you have been well and wish you a very happy new year 2023.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Happy New Year to you too.
      Ooh, the Feeney book was brilliant. It was so unexpected and it’s one of the books that I simply can’t stop raving about. I hope you get a chance to pick it up.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Tammy

    Awesome list, Lynn. And I’m glad to see we have a few of the same books on our lists, especially Sea of Tranquility😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep, I can’t stop gushing about that book, I just want everyone to read it – is that asking too much? Really??
      Lynn 😀

  5. Zezee

    A lot of what you have here is on my TBR. Looking forward to Justice of Kings, Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons, and Emily Wilde Encyclopaedia of Faeries.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Oh my, you have such a lot to look forward to – I hope you get a chance to pick them up, they’re all so good.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Justice of Kings was probably my favorite read of the year! Also loved Nettle and Bone and Daisy Darker.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, we had some fabulous reads last year didn’t we. I hope 2023 is just as good.
      Lynn D

  7. Friday Face Off : Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] very last books that I crammed into the end of the year and I loved it, it even made my favourites list of the year.  I’ve not posted a review yet but that will soon be happening.  For now, […]

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