Top 10 Books of 2016 – Worldwide

 

Last year saw some of the best books vie for the top spot; these books spanned several genres and even a few memoirs made it to some of the best seller lists. These books have been outstanding in terms of the narrative techniques used, riveting story lines and the innovative approach to the main underlying theme of the book. Anyway here’s the list and frankly, all are a must read

 

The Association of Small Bombs

The book paints a rather poignant picture of the impermanence of human lives as a terrorist attack claims several lives in a Delhi market. Carried out by Kashmiri terrorists, the tale follows the Khurana family as they come to terms with the loss of both their sons in the attack while another young boy, as a result of this attack takes up the radical line. A thought provoking book and one of the finalists for the booker prize but what makes this book stand out is that it mirrors real life terrorist attacks in Delhi. The book makes you wonder at how everyone is able to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and move on

Read it For:
tight plot, strong characters
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into this type of story, you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the narrative style and techniques used, the poignant moments; it makes for a good read and stands out as one of the top 10 books of 2016

The North Water

Think ice station zebra and you would have this book in a nutshell. The story is set abroad an artic bound whaling ship as the opium addicted doctor realizes that there is a psychopath on board with the usual blood-letting, with the resultant gore. The book makes for a good read, especially on wintry nights, in front of a cozy fire. The book, though fiction still stands out in terms of the vivid descriptions used in each scene as well as the narrative, making for a riveting read from start to finish.

Read it For:
a good thriller, and a tight wells-scripted story line
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into thrillers you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the narrative style used and the fast paced story line; definitely stands out as one of the top books

The Underground Railroad

This book, as the title suggests is built around slaver and how underground railroads were often used to smuggle slaves out of the Deep South. In reality, the underground railroads were a network of safety houses, hidden trails that were used to smuggle out slaves where as in the book it takes on the shape of an actual Underground Railroad track with actual trains and box cars. While the premise may seem a tad improbable, what makes this book stand out is the new perspective it offers in terms of slavery and their narrative.

Read it For:
a new approach to slavery and their quest for freedom at any cost
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into the topic, you may want to sit this one out
What makes this book stand out?:
good story line, strong characters, new perspective which is why this book features on the book recommendations

The Vegetarian

A thought provoking novel that starts of rather innocuously with a transformational dream that causes the housewife to become a vegetarian overnight. While on the outset this may seem like a health fad book, it is anything but that. The dark undertones ripple through the whole book as her family from her husband to her father comes to term with her physical changes and the impact it has on them. Eating disorder, of any sort is a serious enough topic and this book covers the whole ambit, from the initial stages to the final one. A must read book; it is also one of the top 10 books of 2016

Read it For:
the various inter connected layers, the descriptions and strong characters
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into reading about eating disorders you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the vivid story line, and the tight paced story
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War and Turpentine

This book is fiction though it is based on Stefan’s accounts of this grandfather who had been a painter and served in Belgium in the First World War. This book manages to artfully combine war, love and art into one mesmerizing novel. Stefan travels to the places that his grandfather had been and starts to muse and see from this grandfather’s perspective.  The book manages to weave the distant past into the present perfectly and stands out because of the narrative styles used which is why it is featured as one of the top books.

Read it For:
for the narrative techniques used and the easy going story line
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into reading about wars or anything from that time period, you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
good characters, nice storyline

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails

existentialism has always been thought provoking and this book, a collection of biographies of some of the top philosophers of our time is indeed that.  The book jumps right into the middle of existentialism and the issues that many of these philosophers from the likes of Beauvoir to Hervedigger debated about are brought to the fore. What makes this book stand out is the narrative used and the fact that it goes on to underscore some little unknown facts about these famous personalities like how Sarte thought that he was being followed everywhere by Lobster like beings. This book stands out for all the right reasons and is one of the best books.

Read it For:
for a closer look at the lives of various important personalities
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into biographies, you may want to give this boo a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the narrative techniques used and attention to detail

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

This nonfiction book explores how the Koch brothers spent billions getting conservatives elected to various government positions. What Jane has done is to take a closer look at the relationship between big money and the government. What makes this book stand out is the depth of information put out

Read it For:
for a closer look at the lives of various important personalities
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into nonfiction, you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the narrative techniques used and attention to detail

My Name Is Lucy Barton

This book manages to paint a riveting and yet poignant tale of isolation, to alienation and as the book’s main protagonist gets admitted to the hospital with a severe infection, all of the suppressed emotions come to the fore. This sets the stage for an interesting showdown between the mother and the daughter as each come to terms with the shortcoming in both their respective lives. It is a beautiful book from start to finish and definitely is a must read for obvious reasons.

Read it For:
the narrative style used, the tight paced plot
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into this type of fiction, you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the vivid descriptions used, the fast paced plot makes this book stand out when it comes to book recommendations for 2016

The Trespasser

This book is pulp fiction at its very best and revolves around a female detective trying to fit in with her male colleagues. Soon, a grisly murder of a young woman catapults this young detective front and center and what follows next is a gritty tale as she tries to unravel the mystery of this Dublin murder. This book stands out for its fast paced plot line, and the vivid descriptions; this is why this book ranks as some of the top books of 2016

Read it For:
a fast paced thriller set in Dublin
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into thrillers you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the narrative techniques employed and the fact that it is riveting from start to finish

Imagine Me Gone

Though fiction this book underscores the serious nature of depression, dementia and a host of other health issues that continue to have a deep impact on the patient and their loved ones. The book revolves around Michael after he learns that he has inherited his father’s severe depression and soon his mental health starts deteriorating and this starts to affect his personal relationships with the rest of his immediate family

Read it For:
the well-paced story, the strong characters
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into this type of fiction you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the techniques used for storytelling, the narrative and the fact that it makes for a riveting read; the book certainly stands out as one of the top books.

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