1. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
This has replaced The Poisonwood Bible as my all time favourite book. The novel is narrated through the eyes of 11 year-old Darling, a Zimbabwean child who lives in grinding poverty. We see the world through her eyes, first as a child living in Zimbabwe and then as a teenager experiencing life as an illegal immigrant living with her Aunt in America. It is funny and grim and raw and enlightening.
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Nick and Amy are seemingly a perfect couple. Then on their fifth wedding anniversary Amy disappears. As the book progresses we discover that all was not well with the marriage and the mystery of Amy’s disappearance deepens. Without giving anything away there are some surprising twists and turns.
3. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
A novel about Victoria, a troubled young woman who has grown up in the foster system. Her story is intertwined with her gift for understanding the meaning and language of flowers. Beautiful and gripping.
“I’m talking about the language of flowers,” Elizabeth said. “It’s from the Victorian era, like your name. If a man gave a young lady a bouquet of flowers, she would race home and try to decode it like a secret message. Red roses mean love; yellow roses infidelity. So a man would have to choose his flowers carefully.”
4. Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin
You are either into this kind of fiction or you’re not. My family had to get used to me being absent until I had waded through all the books in the series so far. Total escapism.
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The tragic tale of the beautiful and unhappily married Anna and her affair with the dashing Count Vronsky.
This novel was first published in Russia in 1873 yet it’s themes of morality, love and family still resonate tonday. It “explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.” from Goodreads.