I’m proud to announce my five favourite books of 2015. As far as I’m concerned, the talent of these authors shines brighter than the star of Bethlehem.

As you know, I only post about books that I’ve really enjoyed and feel I can recommend to you, so anything included on my Book Corner should be considered to be on a shortlist of excellence.

But just what have been my favourite books of the year? I’ve split them into two distinct categories: Nature and Crime. Here’s my countdown:

NATURE

CLAXTON: FIELD NOTES FROM A SMALL PLANET

By Mark Cocker

From the woodcut illustrations to the vivid language, Claxton details nature around a small Norfolk village. Read more

MEADOWLAND

By John Lewis-Stempel

I can’t praise this enough. The language is gorgeous, the scenes so evocative, that you will fall in love with the countryside all over again. Grounded, realistic, stunning, this is a book I urge you to read. It’s my favourite nature book for a very long time, and one I plan on reading again and again. Read more

 CRIME

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

By Paula Hawkins

I read this book back in February, and the fact it has still stayed with me shows what a great read t is. Yes, it divides some people as the characters aren’t likeable, but it’s a brilliant read, and totally sucked me in. Read more

A LINE OF BLOOD

By Ben McPherson

Domestic noir at its best. There have been bigger hitters out this year, but I loved this intense, well-written tale of a family falling apart after the death of a neighbour. Read more

THE KIND WORTH KILLING

By Peter Swanson

Enough twists and turns to give you whiplash. You think you know what’s going to happen? You don’t. Right. Up. To. The End. This is my book of the year. Read more

  • Can YOU spot today’s Christmas-related reference in this blog? If you can, email it to invisibleauthor@outlook.com to enter my competition – and YOU could have a character named after you in my next novel!

MORE WAYS TO WIN! Three lucky people will have characters named after them in my next novel. They might be a baddie, or a nosy neighbour, they might even be bumped off, who can say, but they could have YOUR name.

To be in with a chance of winning this unique prize, all you have to do is take part in my Christmas countdown search. Every day for a fortnight I’ll be hiding a Christmas-related reference in a post on this blog, or somewhere over on my website www.barbaracopperthwaite.com All you have to do to enter is email me that days’s reference (e.g., I might randomly mention seeing ‘three wise men’) at invisibleauthor@outlook.com

You can enter as many times as you like. The more days you take part, the more entries you’ll accrue – so the greater your chance of winning!

I’m also running similar competitions across Twitter (you can follow me @BCopperthwait) and my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Author BarbaraCopperthwaite) and you’re free to enter those as many times as you like, too.

Over on Facebook, every day for a fortnight I’ll be posting a fun, easy question based either on Christmas, me, or my books. Just ‘like’ the post and leave your (correct!) answer in the comments section, and you’ll be entered into the prize draw. 

Over at Twitter, you simply have to retweet me using the hashtag #FlowersForTheDead. Each retweet is an entry and, again, you can enter as often as you want.

Good luck to everyone! 

* The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve

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