My Top Picks of 2016: Books for Your Christmas List


Book wrap up and yearly book lists are some of my favourite blog posts to read!  I love seeing what other people have read and what books they recommend; almost all my book choices come from recommendations be it from friends, other bloggers, or publishers.  Needless to say, I am always on the hunt for my next, great read!

I have only been blogging since September, so this is my first opportunity to participate in a yearly top picks list!   I am so excited.   In 2016, to date, I have read 102 books!  72 of those are ones that I have finished in the few months I have been blogging; needless to say, I am a busy lady and I have had lots of books to choose from.   I decided to narrow them down by these three rules:

  1. Book Must Be Released or Releasing in 2016 in Canada:   There have been several upcoming books that I have read this year (that I know for sure will make my list for next year), but that isn’t fair to talk about some books that everyone can’t get now!
  2. Book Got a 5 Star Rating from Me on Goodreads
  3. I was CRAZY about this book; I found myself being a creeper and trying to make people read it…sometimes against their own free will #sorrynotsorry

Without further ado, in no particular order, here we go!  Get your wishlists ready!!

 Baby Doll by Hollie Overton


Ah!  Where do I even start with this one?!  I honestly feel like I was a psycho with this book; I recommended it to literally anyone who would listen, I move it on displays so it’s in the front at the bookstore and I constantly retweet this title whenever I see anything about it mentioned.  The novel opens with Lily who, after being held captive for 8 years, escapes her prison with her six-year-old daughter, Sky.   She arrives back home to pull together the life she has left and is happily reunited with her mother and twin sister, Abby.   Once she arrives, she leads the police to her captor, a popular teacher at the local high school, Rick Hanson.  The rest of the story quickly unfolds with twists and turns, as Lily navigates her way back into her life and as Rick faces life in prison.

READ THIS IF…..You enjoyed Room by Emma Donohuge. They have a similar vibe, but Baby Doll is much darker.

You can read my full review for this one here.

 The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle


 I, along with everyone else on the planet, became obsessed with the domestic thriller genre this year.  This novel is a twist on the domestic thriller AND IT WAS SO GOOD!

Iris and Will are living a peaceful, married life: a nice, Victorian home, careers they love and the plan to start a family. Iris is shattered when she hears the word that Will has died; he was aboard a plane heading towards Seattle that crashed. Iris finds herself with so many questions: Why was Will on a plane to Seattle when his business trip was in Orlando? What else has Will been lying about? Desperate to find answers, Iris begins digging into Will’s past.  She soon finds out that even the perfect marriage has its dark side.

READ THIS IF…you were a fan of books like Behind Closed Doors or The Couple Next Door.  This book was better. Promise!

You can read my full review for this one here.

 The Girl Before by Rena Olsen

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This one goes down as one of the most powerful books I have read this year.

The novel follows Clara Lawson, after being ripped from her home, as she participates in the police investigation into her husband. Told between past and present, the layers of Clara’s past unfold; we see her growing up with her sisters with Mama Mae and Papa G, we see her falling in love with their forbidden son, we see her take over the “family business”. In the present, we see Clara trying to come to terms with what she believes to be true and the reality as the past and present collide.

READ THIS IF…you like a book that attacks some heavy subject matter with ease.

You can read my full review for this one here.

 The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

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This isn’t your run of the mill apocalyptic thriller, this one is about spiders. I know. It sounds wacky; I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this one up.  I had no idea it would become one of my favourite books of the year!   It is actually the first in a trilogy (the next one releasing in 2017) so it would be a perfect time to get started on this one!

And Ezekiel Boone is Canadian.  You can’t go wrong.

READ THIS IF…you like a post-apocalyptic thriller but are sick of the typical zombies and disease ridden story.  This one is completely original.

You can read my full review for this one here.

 Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

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The narration of this novel was amazing!  I loved every bit.  This novel had me constantly guessing with a superb ending.   

Julie, a thirteen-year-old girl, is kidnapped (at knifepoint) while her sister, Jane, helplessly watches from the closet.   The family is shattered but never gives up hope that their daughter could potentially come back to them. Eight years later, the doorbell rings. It’s a young woman, seemingly Julie, finally home safe. Julie’s mother, Anna, is overjoyed; soon after, she starts getting a feeling that something isn’t right. She hires a private investigator and is soon deeply involved in figuring out what happened to her daughter- and if this woman is truly her daughter or an imposter.

READ THIS IF…you want a novel that will continuously keep you guessing.

You can read my full review for this one here.

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

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This is one of the novels in the psychological thriller genre.  This one takes a little while to get into, but once the story sets into motion, I found myself hooked.

Zoe Whittaker has it all. She has a handsome, rich husband, a bustling social schedule and all the world’s finest things at her fingertips.   While at a charity benefit, Zoe is stopped by a woman who calls her Hilary. Zoe dismisses this. But what no one knows is that years earlier, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then she wasn’t Zoe. She was Hillary. And now all her old secrets are coming back to haunt her

READ THIS IF…you enjoy novels by Mary Kubica.  They have a similar vibe.

You can read my full review for this one here.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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I rarely read any science fiction, let alone a science fiction thriller, so I was shocked with how much I loved this book. Dark Matter truly had a little bit of everything. A fantastic love story, science fiction elements, elements of a thriller and underlying philosophical questions. This book had me on the edge of my seat.

READ THIS IF…you like a book with straight to the point narration and a completely different storyline.  Fans of sci-fi and thrillers alike will enjoy this one!

You can read my full review for this one here.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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I had been dying to read this book after countless recommendations from my blogging buddies.  I am so glad I listened.  This book was unreal.   There are so many things to say about this book but you truly need to just read the book and see for yourself!

The book opens with reports on the news speaking of people going insane; they are becoming viciously violent, killing themselves and others.   First people assume it’s a hoax, but as they become more frequent and impossible to ignore. Something is out there. Something is making this happen. Five years later, Malorie is alive with two young children. They cannot open their eyes; the children have never seen anything outside of their small, abandoned house.   Malorie needs to travel to safety, it’s their only hope, but to do so, they must travel.  They mustn’t open their eyes. They must listen carefully.  They don’t know what’s out there…

READ THIS IF…you want to read something that is absolutely consuming.  You will not want to put this one down.  This one seems to capture the attention of the most sporadic or the most avid reader!  Would make an awesome gift.

You can read my full review for this one here.

Brother by Ania Ahborn

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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Ania Ahlborn.  This was the book that ignited my Ahlborn love!

The book opens with Michael Morrow, our protagonist, in his room, listening to the sounds of a screaming woman on his front lawn. This is seemingly a typical experience, as he does not react more than to complain about the noise keeping him awake.   Talk about a beginning! Throughout the book, we see Michael’s struggle with his role in the “family business”- murder- and his budding relationship with a young woman who works in a record store.

READ THIS IF…you enjoy finishing a book and thinking to your “WTF just happened”.

You can read my full review for this one here.

You by Caroline Kepnes

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This is another book I have recommended countless times!  It was one of the most delicious books I have read.  It is addicting and ominous.  I was equally repulsed and attracted to Joe (who is our main antagonist).

The novel opens with an aspiring author, Becks, walking into the bookstore where Joe works. She pays with her credit card and he googles her name from her card.  After this, the story floats down a slippery slope as he accesses her social media accounts and then finds her address.   I will not give any more details to how this story unfolds, because truly, it is something you have to read for yourself!  But I think you can see where this one is going.

READ THIS IF…you want a twisted book that reads like Gone Girl meets Fatal Attraction.

You can read my full review for this one here.

 Wrong Number by Carys Jones


Wrong Number, by Carys Jones, is another twist on the domestic thriller genre that has become so popular this past year. Amanda and Will are living an idyllic life until she receives a phone call- seemingly a wrong number- and then Will goes missing without a trace. As tensions build and she searches for her husband, she opens doors into her past that she had tried to firmly hold close as she realizes her husband was never who he appeared.

This one was seriously addicting, but one of the lighter ones I have read this year, which was perfect.  A nice change of pace.  This one will have a sequel releasing next year, so now is the perfect time to pick this one up!

READ THIS IF…you want a novel that combines suspense with a classic love triangle.

You can read my full review here

Well, there you have it!  My top picks of 2016!

I’d love to hear your top picks of 2016….and add them to my TBR list if they aren’t already a part of it!!









12 thoughts on “My Top Picks of 2016: Books for Your Christmas List

  1. I love this list Sam! I mean it def extended my TBR a bit but all sound Amazing & right up my alley for psychological thrillers & the sorts. Next month I’ll be adding Good As Gone to my Bookofthemonth box since it was a past selection & they charge only $9.99 to add it to your mthly box which isn’t bad for a hardcover. Baby Doll, Birdbox, and The Girl Before I’ll be picking up. You & Dark Matter are on my shelves screaming my name every time I walk by *hangs head in shame* LOL. Enjoyed this list, thank you for the recs! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are too many interesting sounding books on the list to name that I want to read. I like how you have said read this if you like that – a great way to narrow down my choices.

    Liked by 1 person

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