This post contains affiliate links
— As of August 2017 —
All 5 books on this list are an auto-recommend for me and I really do hope that you get around to reading each one of these (if they tickle your fancy!). I’m happy to say that there is a little bit of variety so hopefully you’ll be compelled to pick up at least one 🙂
The most recent addition to this list, which I’ve also done a review for here.
“You have to be careful,” Pwnage said, “with people who are puzzles and people who are traps. A puzzle can be solved but a trap cannot. Usually what happens is you think someone’s a puzzle until you realize they’re a trap. But by then it’s too late. That’s the trap.”
The Nix, Nathan Hill’s debut novel, was something that I really wasn’t expecting to like at all but had me laughing constantly throughout the entire 40-something hour audiobook. Like I said in my review, The Nix isn’t really about the main story, it’s really all about the people. Multiple perspectives allow us to see each characters personality flaws, which reflect various stereotypes in real life. Some characters make you stop and think, ‘what an absolute idiot,’ and then realise that you know someone who is that character in real life, or even see these flaws in yourself. (Like me. I’m Pwnage.)
If the cover is putting you off – don’t fret. The Nix isn’t about politics. The cover actually has some significance later in the book, but this is definitely not a political novel. The Nix is incredibly relatable and puts a funny spin on some very tragic, albeit common events. I really loved this one and found it such a light, funny read and really hope you pick this one up.
I’ve gushed non-stop about this duology since I read it 6 months ago, and hey. It definitely holds up.
Six of Crows is Leigh Bardugo’s second book in the Grishaverse and is about a rough and tumble young man called Kaz Brekker. Kaz was raised in the dumps and has developed a name for himself amongst the thugs – ‘Dirtyhands’. Kaz and his crew of misfits look to pulling off the greatest heist known to man.
Diverse and unique, you find yourself falling in love with each of the characters and really hoping that everything works out for them before the end of the book.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
Edgy, funny, witty, Six of Crows will have you reading faster than you ever have before, chomping at the bit for more.
What would a favourites list be without this epic space opera? The third book in this insane series is out next month and I can not wait.
Illuminae is a story told in the format of logs, email and word art. While this style is definitely out of the ordinary, it doesn’t detract from the storytelling at all and at times, makes a stronger impact than words alone. For example, at some point there is a mass casualty on one of the spaceships and the next two pages were a full spread of all the portraits of the people who died. My heart stopped at that moment! I was just staring at the faces, knowing it wasn’t real but feeling the heartbreak all the same.
Illuminae is a great starter for people who aren’t sci-fi fans as there’s more of a focus on the drama, rather than the actual sci-fi elements. On top of that, the format makes it easy to read and quick to get through despite the 608 page count. I’d definitely recommend getting into this one as soon as you can, so you’re just in time for book 3!
I’d basically recommend and love every single Brandon Sanderson book. I actually met him this year at Sydney’s Supanova and he is just as intelligent and articulate as he shows in his writing!
The Mistborn series is set in Sanderson’s Cosmere – an 18 book universe (so far!) and I started with Mistborn: The Final Empire. This series will blow you away. While Sanderson is known for writing long novels (Way of Kings has 1007 pages!) his writing is so smooth and easy to follow, you breeze through quite quickly. I slammed through this part of the Cosmere (Final Empire, Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages) in about a month, where each book averages at 600 pages.
The Final Empire is set is a world where ingesting particular metals will give you powers. Sounds weird, I know, but it totally works. A young slave named Vin is being exploited by her brother for her power, and she is soon taken in by a group of people who need her help overthrowing the empire.
“Yes,” Sazed said. “Tell me, Mistress. What is it that you believe?”
Vin frowned. “What kind of question is that?”
“The most important kind, I think.”
Sanderson breaks up the serious setting with some really enjoyable characters and some epic action. When you think you’ve got everything figured out, there’s always another secret about to blow you away. The best thing about Sanderson’s writing is that his foreshadowing is so subtle, but obvious at the same time. He’s told you time and time again that something is going to happen in one way or another, but when it happens you’re still in awe.
And finally. A Little Life hasn’t budged from my number 1 spot since the day I finished it. This book impacted me so deeply that even after more than a year of reading it, I can still remember the way it made me felt, the intricacies of each character and the small details of events that happened to each of them.
““Jude,” he says, “there’s not an expiration date on needing help, or needing people. You don’t get to a certain age and it stops.”
Aside from being my favourite book, A Little Life is also the saddest book I’ve ever read. We follow 4 pals in college, Willem, JB, Malcolm and Jude and watch them grow together, being there for each other well into their old age. While this may sound pedestrian, the example of friendship in A Little Life is something I now strive for personally.
There’s not much in the way of plot. Reading through this novel is like growing old with someone, and learning more and more as your relationship reaches new heights. I had that unique feeling at the end of the book like it was the last time I was ever going to see a close friend again. Beautiful and touching, but also jarring and surreal, A Little Life deserves all the praise it gets and more.
Other notable mentions: Mort by Terry Pratchett, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
This post includes affiliate links.