Star Books

At LoveReading we read a LOT of books. Here you can find a selection of our favourites, the ones that really stand out from the crowd. If you are only going to buy a few books this year, pick from this list as they are all stars! Each calendar year the books featured here become our Books of the Year.

Unhinged

An all-in all-out absolute belter of a read, and I’m still coming down from the most amazing reading high. Bear with me, as it’s also one of those books where I don’t want to say too much in case I inadvertently include spoilers! Police Officer Alexander Blix and news blogger Emma Ramm investigate a ...

When We Were Birds

Ayanna Lloyd Banwa’s When We Were Birds casts a soulful spell as it tells the interlocked stories of a young man, Darwin, who’s newly arrived in a Trinidadian city to work as a gravedigger, and Yejide, a young woman with ancestral gifts. At once gritty and soaringly mythic, it explores estrangement, death, grief, and the unbreakable ...

Dalvi: Six Years in the Artic Tundra

An ancestry test suggesting she shared some DNA with the Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic tundra, tapped into Laura Galloway's wanderlust; an affair with a Sami reindeer herder ultimately led her to leave New York for the tiny town of Kautokeino, Norway. When her new boyfriend left her unexpectedly after six months, it would have been easy, ...

Em & Me

Beautifully glorious, this book danced into my heart and soul and I want to dangle from the rooftops to shout about it. Since Em was born Delphine has spent her time as a single mum protecting her daughter and a secret, as she begins to taste the joy of life, her past starts to unravel. This compassionate, generous, and heart-warming ...

The Impulse Purchase

A friendly and heart-felt embrace awaits in this wonderfully entertaining and rewarding novel. You’ll find a multi-generational story covering tots to great-grandparents and a return to the village of Rushbrook as visited in A Home from Home. This is a standalone novel, but if you follow Veronica Henry there will be some recognisable elements. Cherry, Maggie, and Rose ...

The Trawlerman

Quite simply a class act, the characters, setting, and plot fuse into the most readable and thrilling whole. Despite being off with post-traumatic stress, DS Cupidi begins to investigate the discovery of two dead bodies and a linked scam that involves her friend. If you’ve not met William Shaw’s books before, please do introduce yourself. ...

The Leviathan

Set in the 17th-century during “a time of witches, a time of saints”, an era of “Gods and monsters, myths and legend”, Rosie Andrews’ The Leviathan smoulders with atmosphere and the tension of its turbulent political context. It’s unique enchantments will surely delight fans of The Essex Serpent, The Binding and The Familiars. ...

Lives Like Mine

I’m thrilled to introduce you to the most thought-provoking and intoxicating debut novel. Constantly ambushed by prejudiced in-laws and estranged from her own parents, Monica struggles to play happy families. Her loving husband fails to challenge his racist family, however a chance meeting on a school outing brings Joe into her life. The style of writing conjures a ...

Black Cake

Taking in generations of troubled lives, reinvented identities and family connections across the Caribbean diaspora, Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake is a stirring triumph with an unforgettable matriarch, and love, at its heart. When she dies in California, Eleanor Bennett's children are forced to face a succession of long-buried secrets about their mother’s life  - and ...

The House of Ashes

Compelling, compassionate, yet deeply unnerving and dark, this is a novel that will delve into and haunt your thoughts as you’re reading it. Mary knocks at the door to Sara’s new home claiming it’s hers and demanding to know what she has done with the children. As Sara begins to investigate, she opens up ...

In The Shadow of the Mountain

Silvia grew up in Peru, suffered sexual abuse between the ages of 6 and 10 by a family friend. This is such a vivid and honest story which must have taken such strength and courage to write. We join Silvia on her journey to the warrior and absolute "badass" she is today, healing her trauma through nature. Climbing over the Hillary Bridge ...

1979

A new book by Val McDermid is to be celebrated, this is up there on my list of favourite novels by the queen of crime, so you can party like it’s, well, 1979. Bright and ambitious journalist Allie Burns heads back home to Scotland and teams up with Danny Sullivan, but in breaking one major story and investigating another, ...