Books. I do love them so. One of my greatest fears is running out of books to read! Thankfully it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

These are a few of my recommendations for the best books of 2016 that I read . . .


This book came to life as a result of Daphne sharing her days of solitude in a series of blog posts while she was chasing her dream. She choose to live on an isolated Greece island during the winter to see if she had what it took to be a writer.

The characters that she shares her days with, Antagonist, City Chick, Dippy Hippie and Sifnos Chick, are fabulous. We all have those voices in our head and I loved the way that Daphne makes them characters in their own right.

Daphne’s book kept me company as I travelled in solitude through Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I love being part of someone else’s journey, to see what her every day looked like and compare her thoughts of solitude to mine. She had me nodding in agreement and laughing out loud at her experiences. If you need the inspiration to be brave and reach for your dreams, or would simply like to read a wonderful book, I can highly recommend 100 Days Of Solitude.

Do you ever have the urge to hug a book? I did with this book. I bought the hardback for my birthday and it was a very huggable book.

It was also eye opening to get a glimpse into Liz’s creative world and discover where the ideas for her books come from.

She thinks that you shouldn’t expect your creativity to fund your life as that is putting too much pressure on your creativity to perform. She talked about the many jobs she had over the years.

I loved this theme of the book, that ideas have a life of their own, mainly because I completely agree! I love the idea that ideas are out there seeking out the right person to bring them to life.

If you have a creative urge of any kind then I’ll recommend diving into Big Magic.

An intriguing book that looks at why we can have great success in some area of our lives, yet create problems for ourselves at the same time. Gay writes about how each of us have an “upper limit” in terms of the happiness, financial success etc that we expect for ourselves.

I wasn’t sure about this concept when I first read about it so I began to watch my behaviour more closely. I soon spotted examples of upper limits occurring – I had my first travel story (and photos) published in two newspapers back in New Zealand. The next day I was irritable all day – hello upper limit.

If you’ve ever found yourself with a great success one day then a downward spiral the next day (or a cold!) take a look at The Big Leap.

Grit is an extraordinary book. The one you casually pick up while pet sitting a cat called Pumpkin then ask the owner if you can borrow it because you’re glued to it’s pages.

Angela shows anyone who is striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

She blends her scientific research with plenty of interesting real life stories in a way that is captivating. If you’ve wondered why you’re not achieving what you want I suggest that you take a read of Grit.

From advertising to novels to Hollywood scripts then back to novels (fiction and non-fiction), Steven has had a long ranging career as a writer.

Yet of all that he learned, his most important lesson came on the first day of his first job, “Nobody wants to read your shit”.

Steven takes us on a journey through his career, sharing his many lessons along the way. If you are a creative person I’d highly recommend you read his book.

This is the kind of book that you want to read again, as soon as you’ve finished it.

My best books of 2016 also include work by Ann Patchett (Run), Kate Atkinson (Life After Life and Behind The Scenes Of The Museum), Kristin Hannah (Winter Garden and Firefly Lane), Sandra Brown (she does a twist at the end like no other) and Lee Child (any of the Jack Reacher series is great).

What were your best books of 2016?


What I’ll Be Reading In 2017 . . .

The links in this post are affiliate links. You don’t pay extra but Amazon pays me a little bit each time you purchase via that link.

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