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Book People's Top 10 Best Books of 2016

2016 has been a turbulent year to say the least, so why not escape the world's woes for a while with some of the brilliant books below? From gripping fictional tales to inspiring non-fiction works, here are some of the best books of 2016.

1. When Breath Becomes Air

  • £10.39
  • RRP £12.99
  • Save £2.60

Paul Kalanithi

On the cusp of completing 10 years of neurosurgeon training, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. In this stunning reflection on life and mortality, Kalanithi chronicles his transformation from medical student to patient, considering what constitutes a meaningful existence and how to face life when it is devastatingly interrupted.

2. Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups

  • £3.99
  • RRP £7.99
  • Save £4.00

Bruno Vincent

This hilarious new series is great for Enid Blyton fans or anyone who enjoys a laugh at modern culture. George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy face a host of new challenges. Can their friendship survive Brexit? Can they find a decent gluten-free cream tea? How will they fare when they attempt to give up booze for charity? Find out in these riotous reads.

3. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

  • £4.99
  • RRP £9.99
  • Save £5.00

Meik Wiking

Embrace the new craze of 'hygge' - a term that more or less means comfort, warmth and togetherness - and live life the Danish way with this inspiring, beautiful book. Choose the right lighting, organise dinner parties, dress comfortably and more with the practical steps provided.

4. Swing Time

  • £18.89
  • RRP £18.99
  • Save £0.10

Zadie Smith

This enthralling novel travels from North West London to West Africa and features two girls who dream of being dancers, but only one has the talent. The other has ideas about rhythm, time, black bodies and black music, and more. The close and complicated friendship between the girls ends in their early 20s, but is never forgotten.


  • £8.79
  • RRP £10.99
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Mary Beard

Discover the fascinating history and culture of Ancient Rome in this engrossing book. It explores its empire, conquest, cruelty and excess, its journey from an insignificant village to a dominating world power, its politics, social structure, and religious controversy, and explains why the Romans are still important to us.

6. The Sellout

  • £10.49
  • RRP £12.99
  • Save £2.50

Paul Beatty

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016, this cutting satire follows a protagonist who sets out to put his hometown of Dickens back on the map by reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which ultimately lands him in the Supreme Court. It challenges the sacred tenets of the US Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and more, in a humorous, perceptive way.

7. Planet Earth II: A New World Revealed

  • £11.99
  • RRP £25.00
  • Save £13.01

Stephen Moss

Planet Earth II has been captivating us on TV with phenomenal footage of incredible animals and stunning landscapes. In this beautiful new book, you can continue to marvel at jaw-dropping photography and fascinating facts, with over 250 breathtaking images and lots of information on different creatures and environments, from arid deserts to lush jungles.

8. Hurrah for Gin

  • £3.99
  • RRP £12.99
  • Save £9.00

Katie Kirby

Perfect for any parent, this riotous read contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever, but does prove highly entertaining with its candid portrayal of the wonderful highs and desperate lows of parenthood, complemented by amusing stick-man illustrations.

9. The Underground Railroad

  • £11.99
  • RRP £14.99
  • Save £3.00

Colson Whitehead

Follow Cora and Caesar, slaves working on a cotton plantation in Georgia, as they embark on a daring escape through the Underground Railroad across America. Whitehead's imagining of its physical form sees it as a dilapidated box car pulled along by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar must travel state by state, encountering a new world at every stop, trying to evade the slave-catcher on their heels.

10. Before the Fall

  • £14.24
  • RRP £14.99
  • Save £0.75

Noah Hawley

After the Batemans' private jet crashes into the ocean, anonymity will no longer be possible for Scott Burroughs and the Batemans' small son, JJ, the only survivors. A flurry of speculation follows, which soon peppers the official investigation with false conjectures. Was there a bomb, a missile perhaps? Who is Scott Burroughs? Discover the intricate lives of those who were on board as you read this intense, exhilarating novel.