Well it’s been over a month since I last compiled a Top Ten list and thought instead of favourite serial killers or characters I’d most like to marry I would simply select my most recommended books.
These 10 are in no particular order or genre, in fact some may even surprise you given that my go-to genre is psychological thrillers and most of these aren’t thrillers at all. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my Top Ten and what books you would choose as your most recommended and if you do pick one of my recommended books if you love it as much as I do:
Perfect People is a compelling and thought-provoking thriller from bestselling author Peter James.
John and Naomi Klaesson are grieving the death of their four-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder. They desperately want another child, but when they find out they are both carriers of a rogue gene, they realize the odds of their next child contracting the disease are high.
Then they hear about geneticist Doctor Leo Dettore. He has methods that can spare them the heartache of ever losing another child to any disease – even if his methods cost more than they can afford.
His clinic is where their nightmare begins.
They should have realized that something was wrong when they saw the list. Choices of eye colour, hair, sporting abilities. They can literally design their child. Now it’s too late to turn back. Naomi is pregnant, and already something is badly wrong . .
There on her forearm, next to a small brown birthmark, were six tattooed numbers.
‘Do you remember me now?’ he asked, trembling.
She looked at him again, as if giving weight and bone to a ghost.
‘Lenka, it’s me,’ he said. ‘Josef. Your husband.’
During the last moments of calm in prewar Prague, Lenka, a young art student, falls in love with Josef. They marry – but soon, like so many others, they are torn apart by the currents of war.
In America Josef becomes a successful obstetrician and raises a family, though he never forgets the wife he thinks died in the camps. But in the Nazi ghetto of Terezín – and later in Auschwitz – Lenka has survived, relying on her skills as an artist and the memories of a husband she believes she will never see again.
Now, decades later, an unexpected encounter in New York brings Lenka and Josef back together.
From the comfort of life in Prague before the occupation to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the endurance of first love, the resilience of the human spirit and our capacity to remember.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a moving story of hope and forgiveness, and an international bestseller.
The Victorians used flowers to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. For Victoria Jones, flowers and their meanings are her only connection to the world – although for her, they are most useful in expressing feelings such as grief, mistrust and solitude.
After a childhood in the foster care system, Victoria – now eighteen – has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes a meeting with a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realize what’s been missing in her own life. As she starts to fall for him, though, she must confront a painful secret from her past – and decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
Shtum – Jem Lester
Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, SHTUM is a novel about three generations of a family learning to get along. Not to be missed by readers who loved Jojo Moyes and David Nicholls. ‘Will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think’ Graeme Simsion
Powerful, darkly funny and heart-breaking, Shtum is a story about fathers and sons, autism, and dysfunctional relationships.
Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.
When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
When You Disappeared – John Marrs (Previously published as The Wronged Sons)
When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing—except him.
Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.
But Simon knows the truth—about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.
While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.
But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.
And wish she’d stayed in the dark.
Priscille Sibley’s The Promise of Stardust is a haunting and unforgettable debut novel about life and death and love, set against a moral dilemma that may leave you questioning your own beliefs.
Matt Beaulieu has loved Elle McClure since he was two years old. Now married and expecting their first child, Elle suffers a fatal accident. To keep the baby alive, Matt goes against his wife’s wishes and keeps his wife on life support. But Matt’s mother thinks that Elle should be euthanized, and she’s ready to fight for what she believes is the right thing.
A stunning, compassionate examination of one of the most intricate ethical issues of our time, The Promise of Stardust, will stay with you, long after the last page has been read.
Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.
The Memory Book – Rowan Coleman
When time is running out, every moment is precious…
When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?
A Sunday Times bestseller and Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club pick, The Memory Book is a critically acclaimed, beautiful novel of mothers and daughters, and what we will do for love.
On the day she was abducted, thirty-two year-old Annie Sullivan had three goals – sell a house, forget a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend.
Then a van pulls up outside the house she is selling. Annie thinks it’s her lucky day.
But nothing could be further from the truth…