My favourite store in the world is Dymocks.  If you’ve never heard of them, they are a book chain store in Australia (to be completely honest, you can get better pricing and a bigger range from the Book Depository online, but I love the smell of a bookstore, and being able to browse all the titles).  But this isn’t what I love about Dymocks.

My absolute favourite Dymocks store is Melbourne Collins St, but I also really like the Canberra City and Belconnen stores.  What makes these stores my top three is not the books or the ambience (although they have both of these in spades), but the knowledgable staff.  I know that I can go to any of these three stores, find a staff member and issue them a challenge to find me my next ‘must read’ books or series.  Some of my favourite authors and books have been recommendations I have had from the staff members:

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – Laini Taylor
  • Study series – Maria V Snyder
  • The Checquy Files – Daniel O’Malley
  • The Southern Vampire Mysteries – Charlaine Harris
  • Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  • The Witches of Eileanan – Kate Forsyth
  • Adored – Tilly Bagshawe
  • The Legendsong series – Isobelle Carmody
  • Women’s Murder Club – James Patterson
  • Can you Keep a Secret? – Sophie Kinsella

My love for these books and many more usually ended up with me reading (or devouring in some cases) many other books written by the same author.  Once I started following these authors on social media I started to read books that they also recommended.

So anyway, it’s now 2016, and according to my Goodreads account, I’ve read and rated just shy of 500 books.  Some of these I read many years ago, but a lot are more recent.  Every year Dymocks conducts a voting poll by readers, which is available internationally, for the top 101 books of the year.  My votes this year were as follows:

  1. Throne of Glass series – Sarah J Mass
  2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – Laini Taylor
  3. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
  5. Obernewtyn – Isobelle Carmody
  6. The Old Kingdom series – Garth Nix (this was originally a trilogy, but now has 5 books and two short stories)
  7. The Rook – Daniel O’Malley
  8. The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare
  9. The Witches of Eileanan – Kate Forsyth
  10. The Belgariad – David Eddings

Now, I know there are a lot of fantasy and also young adult series in here; however, these are generally the best stories that I have read – I seriously enjoy an epic prophecy.  There are also a lot of Australian authors – I love supporting my fellow Aussies.

Further, I’d like to make some honourable mentions to the list.  These books have either been on my previous years’ vote lists, or I just genuinely wish I could make more than 10 votes.  Extras nods this year go to: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, Fallen series by Lauren Kate, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, and Shall we Dance by Maggie Alderson.

I highly recommend voting (you can access the link here), as I love using this list to supplement my TBR piles too, plus you can go in the draw to win a gift voucher with the organisation.  You can also recommend any books you think I would like, or add me as a friend on Goodreads!

NOTE: While you can vote for any book in any series, I generally vote for the first one even if I prefer a later one – for example I absolutely loved Empire of Storms (book 5 in the Throne of Glass series), but I still voted for book 1.

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