My Top 5 Reads of 2016

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The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

About the book:  Sorry old sport, but Gatsby has a bigger house than you, prettier friends than you and a Rolls Royce to cart them all round in. To a backdrop of popping champagne corks and orchestral jazz, our hero bids to buyout his old adversary, perennial jock, Tom Buchanan and reclaim Daisy, his favourite bit of High Society totty. Pulp! The Classics is a new imprint that gives the nation's favourite classic novels original retro covers in a pulp fiction style - with a dash of wry humour. Redesigned and reset, using the original unabridged text from some of the best writers that have ever lived, Pulp! The Classics promises readers their favourite books with stunning and highly original jackets.Sorry old sport, but Gatsby has a bigger house than you, prettier friends than you and a Rolls Royce to cart them all round in. To a backdrop of popping champagne corks and orchestral jazz, our hero bids to buyout his old adversary, perennial jock, Tom Buchanan and reclaim Daisy, his favourite bit of High Society totty. Pulp! The Classics is a new imprint that gives the nation's favourite classic novels original retro covers in a pulp fiction style - with a dash of wry humour. Redesigned and reset, using the original unabridged text from some of the best writers that have ever lived, Pulp! The Classics promises readers their favourite books with stunning and highly original jackets.


Notes:  The Great Gatsby is such a wonderful little novel, packed with beautiful writing, symbolism and fabulously unlikeable characters. I absolutely adored this story and has since become one of my all time favourite novels.

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The Amity Affliction - Pittsburg
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Hold Your Own

by Kate Tempest

About the book:  Kate Tempest's first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias. This four-part work follows him through his transformations from child, man and woman to blind prophet; through this structure, Tempest holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a direct and provocative way rarely associated with poetry. A vastly popular and accomplished performance poet, Tempest commands a huge and dedicated following on the performance and rap circuit. Brand New Ancients, also available from Picador, won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and has played to packed concert halls on both sides of the Atlantic.


Notes:  I adored this poetry collection. Hold Your Own is shockingly relevant, powerful and layered collection that is full of grit, passion and honesty. Tempest explores the ideas of love, sexuality, age and gender, whilst asking what it means to be male or female. I can't recommend this collection enough!

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And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie

About the book:  Four of Christie's magnificent stage dramas are compiled in this Large Print edition. "And Then There Were None" Ten people arrive in a house where they must face their past crimes. Agatha Christie's baffling and ingenious masterpiece, the world's best-selling mystery.


Notes:  And Then There Were None was a fabulously cam 'Whodunnit', featuring an array of complex characters with conflicting personalities. It was fascinating to slowly watch characters begin to suspect and turn against each other. I adored this complex and layered novel, Christie kept me guessing until the very end.

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The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

by Kirsty Logan

About the book:  Winner of the Scott PrizeTwenty tales of lust and loss. These stories feature clockwork hearts, lascivious queens, paper men, island circuses, and a flooded world. On the island of Skye, an antlered girl and a tiger-tailed boy resolve never to be friends – but can they resist their unique connection? In an alternative 19th-century Paris, a love triangle emerges between a man, a woman, and a coin-operated boy. A teenager deals with his sister's death by escaping from their tiny Scottish island – but will she let him leave? In 1920s New Orleans, a young girl comes of age in her mother's brothel. Some of these stories are radical retellings of classic tales, some are modern-day fables, but all explore substitutions for love.


Notes:  I loved this short story collection, I've adored all of Kirsty Logan's other two works but I think The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales might be my favourite, This is beautifully written collection features Logan's wonderful spin on fairytales and her typical magical realist style. I can't recommend this collection enough!

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The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

by Aimee Bender

About the book:  In The Girl in the Flammable Skirt Aimee Bender has created a world where nothing is quite as it seems. From a man suffering from reverse evolution to a lonely wife who waits for her husband to return from war; to a small town where one girl has a hand made of fire and another has one made of ice. These stories of men and women whose lives are shaped and sometimes twisted by the power of extraordinary desires take us to a place far beyond the imagination.


Notes:  Although I didn't love every story included, I really enjoyed this quirky short story collection. This collection really allows Bender's typical quirky, beautifully written, fabulist style to shine.

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