The 11 best books of 2024 (so far)

It looks like we’re about halfway through the year now. I’m not 100% sure when the official halfway date is, but about June/end of June seems about right.

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Therefore, I wanted to write something about the best books I’ve read so far this year. I wanted to try and narrow it down to just a few but after going to my bookshelves and picking some out, I ended up picking out 11!

The list of books below are in no particular order at all – they’re literally just in the order that I remembered how much I enjoyed them.

I’ve read some absolutely fantastic books this year already and so actually narrowing these down was quite hard. As I do at the end of every year, I’ll do a round-up of the best books of the entire year. And when it comes to that list, I’ll definitely be narrowing down the list to 10 instead of a completely random number of 11. So expect to see some of these books struck from the list.

How I’ve formatted the list below is I’ve decided to pull my summary from my review of the book rather than try and rewrite my thoughts on each book. I’ve then provided a link to the full review itself if you want to see more specifically what I thought of the characters and plot.

Then, because I like to make things as easy as possible, I’ve added a link directly to Amazon so you can quickly go and buy these absolute bangers from Amazon!

So, without further ado, let’s get into the best 11 books of 2024 so far.

None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

Reading None Of This Is True felt like when you watch one of those Netflix documentaries where you can’t quite believe there are people out there that would do such a thing. As a thriller, None Of This Is True is one of the best I’ve ever read – it’s Lisa Jewell’s best book to date. It’s full of suspense, full of the constant want to know what’s coming next and had me constantly pulling literal shock emojis whilst I was reading and listening to it. If you can, listen to the audiobook because it’s immense, but either way, this is, for me, at the very peak of the mountain of best thrillers I’ve ever read.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

I don’t give books a 5/5 rating because I feel no book is perfect. However, The Heart’s Invisible Furies would be the first in line if I ever did. This book will beat you up, pick you up again, dust you off and then make you look back at everything you’ve read and realise you’ve read a masterpiece. A combination of incredible  writing, beautiful characters and almost perfect storytelling make The Heart’s Invisible Furies one of the greatest books I’ve ever, and I can tell you now, will likely ever read in my life. This will now be a book I tell everybody is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

The List of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey

I’m always nervous about a book being overhyped when it’s recommended as much as The List of Suspicious Things was, but this book deserves the hype. If you’re looking at a tick list of what makes great a great novel, this book would tick them all. You’ve got loveable characters, hateable characters; you’ve got shocking moments, you’ve got a wholesome story that also covers some serious mature topics and you’ve got an ending that so quickly breaks and mends your heart, you come out traumatised. I already know The List of Suspicious Things will feature on my “Top Books of the Year list” already and it’s only February and you should consider it a must-read for 2024!

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

One Day by David Nicholls

I’ve not given a book five stars since I started my new .25 rating system and I’m not going to start now. But if I did, One Day would be the first to get it. A true love story filled with heartbreak and genuine emotion, One Day‘s Emma and Dexter “Em and Dex. Dex and Em” are two characters who will live in my head for the rest of my reading life. The on/off relationship, the actually believable conversations and interactions, the gripping plotline and the one moment that will leave all readers regretting they’d ever picked up this book make for not just one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever read but one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read full stop. Put down what you’re reading and read One Day now.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

The Whalebone Theatre was a genuinely beautiful read. Not only was it wonderfully written but it featured a powerful storyline, impactful plot moments and deeply likeable characters. There’s a lot to be said for a book that can cover three decades, multiple characters and be over 500 pages and still keep you interested throughout.

I love books like The Whalebone Theatre where you feel like you’ve been on a life journey with the characters too. It’s staggering to think this was Quinn’s novel considering how composed and, at times, experienced it feels. I shall be adding Joanna Quinn to my list of authors of whom I will most definitely be picking up their next book.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove was a book that, I’ll admit, at first, I didn’t really get. I thought it was a generic cowboy story about a bunch of men talking, shooting and expressing misogynistic views over women. However, about halfway through something absolutely changed that for me. The characters started having transformative moments, I started to understand the deeper and higher stories and lessons McMurtry was trying to tell here. I began to fall in love with the characters and never really wanted it to end in the end. The more I think about Lonesome Dove, the more I want to read the sequel.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

Sea State by J.M. Simpson

Sea State is a brilliantly brave first book from J.M. Simpson. Not only is she not afraid to talk about some dark topics but she’s written some fantastic characters who you genuinely care for. There are some debut nerves in here with the plot pacing but this is counteracted with some great storytelling techniques and a story that builds to a crescendo that will have you really engrossed in the final third of the books. I will definitely be picking up the rest of the series and after a quick chat with Simpson, it seems I’m yet to meet the best character!

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I absolutely adored Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, it was funny, light-hearted and heart-warming but also deeply sad, moving and sometimes quite dark. Eleanor is brilliant, Raymond is brilliant and Eleanor’s mother is the worst person in the world. I’ll always rate any book that can make me feel more than one emotion highly and I think Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine had me feeling quite a few. Yes, I may be a few years behind the hype, but I’m so glad I finally caught up.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

River East River West by Aube Rey Lescure

I adored  River East, River West. The characters were so utterly believable and going through such difficult situations that I couldn’t pull my eyes away most of the time. Rarely does a book have me so engrossed anymore that I’m excited to keep picking it up. Alva and Lu Fang have two fascinating stories that happen during different times in Chinese history that feel so genuinely real too. All of this makes for a book that I think will break your heart multiple times over and yet you’ll still find yourself loving.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow is my first sleeper hit of the year. Yes, I’d heard good things about it but I did not expect to find it quite so light and heart-warming. Towles’ writing is a joy to behold and makes you, the reader, feel like a gentleman (or equivalent) whilst reading it. The Count is a new favourite character of mine and his confinement to the Metropole turns out to be a real treat for us as readers as we get to experience so many colourful and great characters whom he meets during his time there.  A Gentleman in Moscow went from a book I picked up because I just needed something to read into likely featuring in my top books of the year list at the end of the year.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

In Memoriam by Alice Winn

In Memoriam is a resounding success of a book if you’re looking for a real honest, human story. Gaunt and Ellwood are utterly brilliant characters and Winn’s ability to write believable, deep human beings is real talent. The plot will take you on an emotional journey that you may or may not come out the otherwise safely of. In Memoriam isn’t for the light-hearted – there’s death, heartbreak and constant reminders of the darkness of humanity. If you’ve got the resolve or are just emotionless like me though, I couldn’t recommend In Memoriam more, it’s utterly fantastic.

Read my full review | Buy a copy from Amazon

In summary…

So there you have it – the 11 books that I just couldn’t narrow down any further. This year so far has been one of the very best for reading so far. I think asking all of my followers to suggest me one book I should read and then choosing from those has meant I’ve read some absolutely fantastic books already this year.

If I had to pick two books from this list that I can guarantee will feature in my favourite books of the year list at the end of the year, I would pick The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne and One Day by David Nicholls. These two books will stay with me for a very long time and I imagine I will still be absolutely in love with them at the end of the year.

What books have been your favourite of the year so far? Have you read any of the above? Let me know in my comments below.

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