1. The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra: This was hands down my favourite book of the year.
2. The Diviners by Libba Bray: A paranormal and super creepy story set in 1920s New York. I was gripped from the get-go and I can't wait for the third installment.
3. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson: A beautiful and strange story set in Venice and during the Napoleonic invasion of Russia. I liked it so much that I sent it as part of my Secret Santa gift to Melissa over at Writer Grrl Reads. Except that they had changed the cover from what I was used to and the new one has a topless woman on it, so I spent 20 minutes agonizing in the store about whether I'd be creeping out a stranger by sending her a book with nudity on the cover. I sent it anyway, and we both had a laugh over it.
4. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Gripping and beautifully written novel set in post-War Barcelona. I loved reading it while I was visiting that city.
5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: I plowed through this in a couple of hours while killing time at the library. So. Many. Emotions.
6. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng: A complex and layered novel set in wartime Penang.
7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: I put off reading this book for so many years, but I ended up find it to be a real page turner. Sure, there are parts that I skimmed (mostly battle scenes), but I felt really involved with the diverse cast of characters. I'm so glad that I finally read it!
8. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: I don't know what to call this book exactly. It's in some ways a series of stories about the aftermath of an affair that leads to the break-up of a marriage.
9. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: I just love World War II novels, and this one did not disappoint.
10. Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: A series of letters that the author wrote to his son about his life and what it means to be African American. I listened to the audiobook of this book in the car and found it so compelling that I was sorry I didn't have a print copy so I could underline everything.
Persuasion by Jane Austen: It was my third time reading this book, so I didn't want to count it amongst the books I'd read for the first time, but I find that I appreciate this book more as I get older. It is probably my favourite Austen, and that's saying something because my love for Pride and Prejudice runs deep.