10. The Doris Day Vintage Film Club - Fiona Harper
6. Tennison - Lynda La Plante
Tennison will shortly become a TV series to celebrate 25 years of Prime Suspect and I for one cannot wait and think it will be one of the standout dramas of 2016.
5. Evil Games - Angela Marsons
4. The Wronged - Kimberley Chambers
I am also part of Simon and Schuster's #TaskForceCarter and one of my tasks was to introduce Chris's books to some new readers and so I picked three of my favourite bloggers; Vicki, Christine and Gordon, and all three of them fell in love with his books too. Everyone I have recommended Chris Carter's books to have all came back with glowing reviews, and so if you haven't read them yet yourself, what are you waiting for?
2. The Santangelos - Jackie Collins
As most readers will know Jackie Collins sadly passed away earlier this year. As my favourite author I was devastated by the news, and wrote a tribute to Jackie and her books which you can read here.
And so to my Book of the Year for 2015!
1. The Spice Box Letters - Eve Makis
When I read the Tweets from my fellow bloggers about their difficulties in choosing their Number One read of the year, some even choosing not to rank them such was the difficulty, I thankfully couldn't relate to that because I have known what my Top Read of 2015 would be since March of this year. Only a very special book could have changed my mind, and some one hundred and odd books later and my choice hasn't changed. That book is The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis.
Eve Makis wrote a book that drew genuine and real emotion from me as a reader. She wrote a story that has remained with me since I turned the very last page and it is a book I recommend that everybody pick up and it is one that I will be rereading in the New Year. Published to mark the centenary year of the Armenian genocide, it tells the story of Katerina who travels to Cyprus after her grandmother dies and leaves behind a wooden spice box containing letters and a diary written in Armenian. In Cyprus she meets Ara, who translates the diary for Katerina, revealing Mariam's long-buried secrets, and revealing to Katerina and the reader a life that started with her grandmother being exiled from her home in Turkey and separated from her brother Gabriel, her life then marred by grief and the loss of her first love.
The Spice Box Letters was difficult reading in places but the writing and storytelling was absolutely necessary to highlight the pain and suffering these people went through, and made the emotional connection that I felt as a reader to these characters all the more powerful. The characters in this book are fictional, but the basis for the story lies in fact and the story has so much more of an impact because of that. Eve Makis is a truly wonderful writer, and the book is beautifully descriptive when Eve is talking about Cyprus, which is my favourite place in the whole world. She really captures the setting, and I loved her descriptions of the food consumed by her characters. I was practically salivating reading about all the foods that I love so much. On the other hand her harrowing descriptions of the genocide, the horrible deaths of the characters, and the emotional turmoil those who survived went through left a lump in my throat, and towards the end of the book tears streamed down my face I'm not ashamed to admit. The book is an emotional read, but there's also positives to be taken from it as well.
Below is how Eve Makis describes The Spice Box Letters:
I would like to think of the book as a spice box, not only peppered by tragedy, but also evoking a distinct sense of culture through food, folklore and customs, an attempt to balance a dark, turbulent past with a lighter, more hopeful present. It is essentially a story about intimate family secrets, slowly unraveled and the enduring quality of love.
I was lucky enough to be able to share an exclusive guest post from Eve Makis to celebrate publication of The Spice Box Letters back in March and you can read that here. Given just how much I loved this book it was a real honour to be able to share the story behind it.
And that's my Top 10! For personal and family reasons I have had to take a longer break than I originally planned towards the end of 2015 but I hope to return with some reviews and posts in 2016 and hope that those that visit my blog and keep in touch with me on Twitter bear with me and hopefully normal service will resume sometime in the New Year! Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I hope that you will take a chance on some of the books in my Top 10 if you haven't already.