A Year in Review: Favourite Books of 2016

“Because every day with a book is slightly better than one without, and I wish you nothing but the happiest of days.”


It is that time of the year already. Choosing favourite books of the year is not always an easy task, especially when there are so many great ones to choose from. For me, the favourites are the books that really made an impression on me and ones I would love to revisit and reread at some point. These are ten standout books I read in 2016:

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Select a book for the full review!

I thoroughly enjoyed these books and if any of them look like something you might enjoy as well, I absolutely recommend giving them a try.

Happy reading!

Top Five Summer Reads

IMG_1846“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” – Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

Summer is such a wonderful season for reading.  Even with work, classes, or whatever activities occupy your time, there is an atmosphere of relaxation.  After we have fulfilled our daily obligations we can enjoy the beautiful weather, breathe in the fresh air, and be very thankful that the winter is well behind us.  When I think of great summer reads I think of page-turning stories that you can’t help but get lost in.  These are my favourite summer reads from my virtual bookshelf:

1. 300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
In order to get away from career and relationship troubles, Joanna decides to embark on a trip to Faro, Portugal where she meets Nathan, a man in search of information on a kidnapping that occurred decades ago.  Nathan asks Joanna for her help with his investigation due to her background in journalism.  Their search leads them to a book that was sold as a work of fiction but in truth may hold the answers they are looking for.  A total page-turner that brings the sights and sounds of Portugal to life.

2. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Finding herself stuck and lost in life, twenty-nine year old Hannah Martin moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles, determined to turn her life around.  Upon her return, her best friend Gabby throws her a welcome home party where Hannah runs into her high school love, Ethan.  As Gabby is set to leave the party, Hannah has the choice of either going home with Gabby or staying out later with Ethan.  As we all know, choices have consequences. The book splits into two timelines showing us what happens with each scenario.  A fascinating look into how one choice can affect the entire course of a person’s life. Continue reading “Top Five Summer Reads”

300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson

IMG_1579“We cannot go back to what we once were, she thought, none of us can.”

300 Days of Sun takes us to Faro, Portugal.  Joanna is in Faro in order to get away from a failing relationship and career troubles, when she meets Nathan, a young man looking for information on a kidnapping that happened over twenty years ago.  Nathan looks to Joanna for assistance due to her background in journalism, and she sets out on a search that leads her to a novel that may hold the answers.  Split into parts, three sections of the overall story are passages from The Alliance, a novel that turns out to be more fact than fiction. 

Intriguing and enjoyable, 300 Days of Sun is an excellent summer read.  There are numerous elements to the story; romance, mystery, historical events, espionage, along with a thriller aspect that make it quite a page-turner.  The author does a wonderful job of integrating all of these themes together and each works very well.  I found the passages from The Alliance (the book within the book), and the sections with Joanna’s account to both be interesting and captivating, although I did prefer when the story switched to Joanna’s perspective.  I feel this was just due to preference on my part as I don’t tend to read a lot of historical fiction.  There is an understatement and subtlety to the romance in the novel that is absolutely lovely, and it was all handled beautifully.  And the ending… perfection.  300 Days of Sun is a great beach read that offers the ultimate in escapism.