Christmas News & 2016 Recommended Reads!


So I was looking for a picture of a meerkat with books but all I found was this!  So here is some news followed by (meer)cat’s recommended reads this Christmas!


First to the news.  Like last year this blog will be active over the Christmas period with continual book reviews.  However I will be spending quite a bit of time offline so the poetry and other articles are likely to be absent for a little while.  I have some much needed catching up to do with reading list of books.  For those authors who are reading this who I’ve promised to review, please forgive the fact I’m behind in my reading.  I WILL read your books but life has caused delays so it will take me some extra time.  I’m also taking some time off because of health reasons.  I’ve been suffering some terrible headaches the last few days and given the problems I’ve had previously with my eyes I’d rather not damage them with too much screen time, so I’ll be spending more time away over the next couple of weeks, just posting out reviews when I’ve read the books.  Anyway, onto happier news…

Happymeerkat’s Recommended Reads of 2016!


So, it’s nearly the end of 2016 and while I may get some other books reviewed before the new year, I’d like to share some of my favourites as book recommendations of some great titles to read over the Christmas period and beyond.  While these are my 2016 recommended reads, these aren’t necessarily all books that were released in 2016 – just a selection of ones I’ve read in 2016 which I’d recommend for a good read or a great book to gift to someone this holiday period!  Now there are plenty of books and I hope no one gets upset if the book they were hoping for isn’t listed here (authors I’m thinking of here) but these are some of my personal stand-out favourites for 2016 (and clicking on a book cover will lead you to my review of that book- but it won’t open in a new tab!):

Now I’m a fantasy and sci-fi nut!  So I’ll always gravitate to these genres but a few stand out above the others.  For a start there is the amazing debut novel by talented author Suzanne Rogerson, titled Visions of Zarua. 

Visions of Zarua Book Cover

This is an amazing gripping tale and stands out as the perfect fantasy book for me.  It’s so well written and still amazes me that this is a debut novel.  When Paddren’s master is found dead he and his friends must uncover the sinister truth about the past.

Another two I can recommend in the fantasy genre are The Silver Portal and Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper.

the silver portalkingston raine and the grim reaper

The Silver Portal is a great start to the ‘Weapons of Power’ trilogy and is perfect YA fiction.  Featuring several misfit youths who end up with powerful magical weapons that were intended for warriors.  It kept me engrossed with fast moving action and a bit of humour thrown in too and I’m eager for part two (due out 2017).  Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper is the first of the Kingston Raine series and perfect if you want something a bit weird and funny with Kingston Raine being a ficticious character who appears in Limbo while Death, CEO of Death Inc, is facing an uprising.  I’ll be reviewing the second book in the series very soon and Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper is available free on amazon!!!

So onto science fiction and there are quite a few I’d recommend but the stand out ones for this year are these:

For a start we have the sci-fi comedy Mission Improbable.

Mission improbable

A slightly silly sense of humour, the story revolves around Carrie Hatchett who’s just accidentally become a Transgalactic Intercultural Community Crisis Liason Officer.  This book features strange aliens and is very funny, it’s the start of the Carrie Hatchett series of books which has even spawned a Christmas short story, and Mission Improbable is just 99p (and other country equivalents) on amazon!!! [Apologies to those that read this post yesterday believing it to be free- my mistake, but it’s still worth such a small price!!!]

If you are looking for more serious science fiction then these titles are worth looking at Sadana 999 and The Navigators which is a milder sci-fi book.

sadana999The Navigators

While Sadana 999 is set in the future featuring aliens and secret military bases with horrific experiments going on, and was an exciting read; The Navigators takes place in today’s world, featuring a thrilling adventure to keep a time machine hidden from authorities and questions over what happens when it’s used.

If you’re looking for something a bit different in the sci-fi genre though, I would suggest reading The Whale Kingdom Quest.

The whale kingdom quest

Though it’s not as exciting as some, it features a future world filled with only oceans and mainly sea creatures.  Looking back on this book it reminds me a little of the videogame ‘Echo the Dolphin’ – if anyone remembers that? 🙂

I’ve read YA fiction since I was a teen and still enjoy it to this day.  The pace of these books is fast and they often tackle adult issues but the genres within YA are huge and cover even historical fiction.  Now one book has stood out above all the others I’ve read this year as THE book to read.  Max.


Now Max is not an easy read and hardly a ‘fun’ or ‘heartwarming’ tale for Christmas but this historical novel from the point of view of Max, a child of the Nazi Eugenics programme, is amazing.  It’s chilling and very dark and will shock anyone reading it.  It’s also a book that feels it can span into the adult genre of books and will tell all about the brutal truth of what happened in the second world war, from the point of view of this Nazi baby.

Now kids books from picture books to middle grade are great fun to read and there are so many it’s hard to choose some favourites but these stand out: We Found A Hat and Scout and Malcolm.


We Found A Hat caught my attention as being very different and something that adults might enjoy along with kids.  Scout and Malcolm is the first in what will hopefully be a series.  It’s a very funny middle-grade (older kids)  story told from the point of view of Scout, a dog detective.  This book is so well written and needs shouting about as it flagged up on my Goodreads Year of Books as the least read title 😦 .  I believe it’s a brilliant book all ages will love and is available on amazon for just 99p (and whatever the equivalent that is in the US and other countries)

Another kids title I really enjoyed was Rosie The African Elephant.

rosie the african elephant

Now I technically reviewed Rosie The African Elephant in 2015, but it has such a message about conservation and didn’t get much blog exposure last year that I wanted to include it.  When Rosie is playing with her friend Circus something terrible happens that leave Rosie orphaned.  It’s a sweet tale that adults will enjoy reading as much as the kids.

Now the last book I want to share with you is non-fiction.  I’ve read quite a few non-fiction books this year though I prefer fiction.  There’s a few books that stand out but there’s one that stood out more than the others, The Belt Boy.

the belt boy

The Belt Boy is a memoir of  Kevin Lueshing, a boxer.  I know nothing about boxing but his story of overcoming abuse and a very dark past really captivated me and despite having some very dark parts to it I recommend the read if you enjoy memoirs.

So that’s it!  I chose 12 books -one for every month of the year- from this year (ignore the fact Rosie’s from last year!) that I have really enjoyed and if you are looking for a good book I can recommend these titles!  There are many other equally great books but I set myself a limit on picking just 10 so here they are 🙂 .  Any books now reviewed will count toward 2017’s potential list of Recommended Reads which I hope will still be something I am doing next year 🙂
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year Everyone!  And Happy Reading!!!

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12 thoughts on “Christmas News & 2016 Recommended Reads!

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