Book Recommendations

Top 10 International Reads of 2016

I have reviewed 24 titles by international authors here at Booklover Book Reviews so far this year (out of 48 books in total). But just as I have done for my Top Aussie Reads of 2016, I am sharing my favourites before Christmas this year in the hope that some of the lesser known gems find their way onto wish lists and holiday reading piles.

So without further adieu, here are my

Top 10 International Reads of 2016

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Top 10 International Reads of 2016

My Last Continent by Midge RaymondMy Last Continent by Midge Raymond

The quality of Raymond’s prose struck me from the opening lines. An uncompromising, multi-layered story of love and admiration — of people, animals and environment — in which authenticity and beauty is born from their imperfections. Vivid and emotionally astute, both heartrending and hopeful, Midge Raymond’s My Last Continent is a novel I recommend without reservation.  Read our full review…

 

Jane Doe January by Emily WinslowJane Doe January by Emily Winslow

This title surpassed my expectations. The window into her life, hopes, frustrations and insecurities that Winslow affords readers is stunning, and her consideration of both the selfless and selfish elements of these, worthy of the deepest respect. If, like me, you don’t typically gravitate to memoirs, Emily Winslow’s Jane Doe January is one I urge you to make an exception for. Such searing honesty is a rare and beautiful thing. Read our full review…

Jonathan Unleashed by Meg RosoffJonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff

If you are a dog lover, and are inclined not to take yourself (or the human species in general) too seriously, then this is the perfect novel for you. The true stars in this farcically funny New York romantic comedy are Dante and Sissy (border collie and spaniel), touchingly drawn as the only ones who really know what’s going on at any given moment… think Must Love Dogs meets Devil Wears Prada. A great weekend read – sweet, light-hearted and highly entertaining. Read our full review…

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna CannonThe Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

A delight to read. While an endearing young female sleuth is nothing new — think Alan Bradley’s precocious ‘Flavia de Luce‘ and the charming naivety of Mari Strachan’s ‘Gwenni Morgan‘ — narrator Grace and the loyal, but fragile Tilly are an inimitable double act. I was captivated by Cannon’s writing style, her beguiling descriptors, poetic nuance and disarming insight. A literary mystery, moving coming of age story and potent cautionary tale about insular societies. Read our full review…

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy StewartGirl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

If you are going to write fiction based on fact, Stewart’s Girl Waits With Gun is in my opinion the perfect example of how it should be done. From historical records of events she has inferred unique personality traits and with these developed a cast of credibly wilful and engaging characters. The prose and character voices come alive with lovely touches of sarcasm and irony. An entertaining, page-turning drama. Read our full review…

How Happy To Be by Kristina OnstadHow Happy To Be by Katrina Onstad

Described as ‘a thinking woman’s answer to chick lit’, something about Katrina Onstad’s writing style just clicked with me – sharp and wise in a wholly understated manner, finding both humour and heart in the detritus of the everyday. The ‘pop culture noise’ that surrounds lead character Maxime is only heightened by the influx of publicists, actors, directors and critics to her hometown for the Toronto International Film Festival. This setting provides ample fodder for darkly comedic moments and acerbic observations. An infectiously amusing grown-up coming-of-age novel. Read our full review…

The Ice Child by Camilla LackbergThe Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg

This is the first of this prolific author’s novels I’ve read. I was eager to see what in particular Lackberg had brought to the Scandinavian crime genre to garner her bestselling status. The tenacity of real-crime writer Erica Falck and dedication of police detective husband Patrik Hedstrom make a formidable team, and highly likeable leading duo. While not as fast-paced as some thrillers, Lackberg uses the harsh physical environment to heighten tension and the juxtaposition of childhood purity with such evil intent to great effect. Read our full review…

United States of Japan by Peter TieryasUnited States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

I’m a big fan of Peter Tieryas’ work, having admired his earlier avant-garde titles Watering Heaven and Bald New World. I’ve always considered his artistic choices bold but those made in this novel are brave — from the alternate history portrayed, ethnic and religious categorisation, to the level of violence depicted. In United States of Japan Peter Tieryas delivers a story which leaves a mark on your psyche and many important things to reflect upon. Read our full review…

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzieThe Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

My inherent radar for the combination of literary, quirky and witty drew me to this novel. McKenzie’s prose is a delight to read, at times whimsical, but always with a strong emotional connection. The characters’ introspection (and undoubtedly other psychological categorisations) lead them to identifying meaning in the smallest things – the results ranging from wonderment and appreciation, to unhealthy obsession and compulsion. Hilariously deadpan dialogue and a beautifully farcical denouement. Read our full review…

The American by Nadia DalbuonoThe American by Nadia Dalbuono

What first attracted me to this novel was the mystery’s complexity evident just from the publisher synopsis. Even so, I’d still underestimated both the intricacy and sheer scale of the web of lies and deceit Dalbuono orchestrates. This story’s many settings come alive in Dalbuono’s hands – so atmospheric, the ghosts of those who had gone there before lurking in the shadows. An intriguing crime puzzle, international adventure thriller and a moving human drama. Read our full review…

Are any of these titles on your Christmas wishlist?

In the comments below, share with us some of your favourite International Reads during 2016.