What to read in 2017

Everyone has a weakness of some description. For me, that weakness is books. I can not resist snuggling up on the sofa, with a cup of tea or a mug of hot chocolate, topped with frothy milk and marshmallows, and getting lost in a good book. My ever expanding book collection takes up most of  the space in my bedroom and I can not wait for the day when I have my own house and a library of my own, something similar to the Beast’s library in Beauty and the Beast but perhaps not on such a big scale.

Working in the publishing industry I am lucky enough to receive proofs, some of which have made my top ten favourite books of twenty seventeen so far (I will enviably have found some more favourites before the year is out).

1. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

I would not be at all surprised if this book becomes the new big thing. Un-put-down-able. On multiple occasions I almost missed the stop on my train beings so caught up in the main character’s trials. It’s a wonderful page-turner of a children’s book that is full of magic, enchanting and memorizing characters and a sassy protagonist with a strong moral compass and real zest for life. I can not recommend this book enough- it’s up there with one of the best books I’ve read this year.

2. Room by Emma Donoghue

Published a couple of years ago, this book could not be more different to the book above. It follows the story of a young mother and her small son, who live in Room 24/7. As the plot untwists, the reader is faced with a series of questions- who is Old Nick? Why does the mother and child never go out? Why is the Room and everything in it personified? A dark story, with twists and turns throughout. It demonstrates a mother’s pure unfaltering love for a child in the most dire circumstances. Well worth a read and a story that will stay with you long after you’ve turned over the last page.

3. The Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Pulling at the readers heartstrings from the very beginning, this novel opens with what seems like an incredibly broken marriage and family. The son is at the centre of this- diagnosed with autism, Sam, sees the world in a very different way to other boys. His struggle to communicate and to understand the world is apparent from the outset. It is a beautiful story about a father mending his fraught relationship with his son and making a real difference in his life. An uplifting novel, shining a light on autism- something that is still not altogether understood or accepted in our society. It’s an uplifting reminder to never give up when things seem to tough or too hard- relationships can be re-ignited if you are willing to give things another try and time.

4. Jo Cox: More in Common by Brendan Cox

Written from the heart of somebody so close to Jo Cox, this book could not fail to be a moving tribute and celebration of a wonderfully inspiring woman’s life. Like many others, I had not heard of Jo Cox before last year, when her life was tragically cut short. As Brendan so eloquently writes in the book, it is ironic, that an action intended to silence a voice and encourage hatred did quite the reverse. Following her death, there was an undeniable out pour of love and support from people around the world, complete strangers, who came together to show respect for a lady campaigning to do what was right, not only in her home town but also overseas. Thousands of people, now know of Jo Cox- what she stood for, her work, her dreams, her ambitions. It is tragic, that her children, husband, family and friends and the wider community will never see what she could have gone on to achieve, however she lead her life to the full- something I myself would love to be able to say. This is a very touching and real account of a loving friend, mother, wife, politician and humanitarian. It is a reminder that we are stronger together and that we have, in Jo’s words, more in common than that which divides us. Her voice will never be silenced- her work and spirit will continue through others. I can not recommend this book more- a simply beautiful account of a feisty, passionate and seemingly fearless woman.

5. It by Alexa Chung

I loved this book. On a recent trip to Slovenia, this book provided amazing fashion inspiration and perfect beach reading. If you are a fan of the ridiculously talented Alexa Chung, then you undoubtedly need this book in your collection. The retro, stylistic and simplistic vibe of this book makes it somewhat different to other fashion centered works I’ve read this year and puts in up there with my top favourites. Well worth a read/general flick through- will definitely be revisiting it come the autumn when my wardrobe needs a bit of a makeover.