Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Best Books Read in 2017

I went through a lot of reading spurts in 2017.  I like different little rituals that I do in different situations.  Listen to a gazillion podcasts? Monday, I go by the most episodes per episode and the least amount of episodes back and forth when I have time to listen.  Tuesday, the latest downloaded episodes and the newest.  Wednesday, I scroll down twice and pick the shortest length podcast.  Thursday, I scroll down once and pick the shortest podcasts.  And Friday, I go to specific podcasts I want to catch up on.  I am a bit weird.  Also, in the card and need a new one? That's one scroll and a random pick.

Around November I decided to help pick up my reading by grabbing one book from the New Section of the library which was a two week check out and one from the Express Section that was a one week section.  I'd say since I read 15 books between November and December it was a good decision. So this new reading ritual (obsession) may be my new thing.

Some of my favorites in 2017 in no particular order...

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio
I read this very early in 2017.  I was a super quick read and I wanted to then put it in the hands of all my friends that are going through rough patches and need a little encouragement.

Description: Goodnight Moon is an adored childhood classic, but its real origins are lost to history. In Goodnight June, Sarah Jio offers a suspenseful and heartfelt take on how the "great green room" might have come to be.

June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
I love Laura Lippman's books,  and this one did not disappoint. 

Description: Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.

As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Wow.  This was so good.  Such a good book about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley.  An interesting fictional insight into the Jazz Age Paris and the artists they came in contact.  What a time it must have been!

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh
This was a great book I heard about on one of the Book Riot podcasts and one of my ritual pick ups from the library! Definitely recommend!

Description: Imagine a place populated by criminals-people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime, or just witnessed one. What’s clear to them is that if they leave, they will end up dead.

For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace—but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her—and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway. It’s simmering with violence and deception, aching heartbreak and dark betrayals.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Ah! I loved this.  It was good ole Karin Slaughter at her best.  If you are into  suspenseful thrillers you need to check it out! I mean any book that has the description.. "Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind."

Beartown by Fredrick Backman
This was probably the book that was recommended the most that I held off the longest.  The description was sort of off putting to me, especially coming after reading A Man Called Ove, which I liked but took a bit to get into!

Refugee by Alan Gratz
This is a middle grade book that I highly recommend! It goes back and forth between 3 young kids in different time periods in different places throughout the world that need to seek refuge in other countries.  It is heartbreaking as hell and it makes you want to throat punch people who do not want to help those less fortunate than us lucky enough to not be a minority, under rule of a dictator or persecuted because of our religion. 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I love The Daily Show.  It's been a nightly ritual going back to 2002.  I was very leery when Trevor took over for Jon Stewart as Jon was my guy for so long.  So I was skeptical, but Trevor is Trevor.  And he's gotten my late night approval.  This collection of essay's of his life growing up in South Africa under apartheid was so damn good.  Highly recommend it and you don't even need to be a fan of the show.  Nothing about his current career is touched upon, but really focuses on his childhood and ridiculous adventures.

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence

This is so so good.  Highly recommend to all lovers of books.  Especially those of us who write letters to them in our heads or on paper or on the internet.  And you will then need to add 23434234 more books to your TBR list.

Description: A Gen-X librarian's snarky, laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and break-up notes to the books in her life.

Librarians spend their lives weeding--not weeds but books! Books that have reached the end of their shelf life, both literally and figuratively. They remove the books that patrons no longer check out. And they put back the books they treasure. Annie Spence, who has a decade of experience as a Midwestern librarian, does this not only at her Michigan library but also at home, for her neighbors, at cocktail parties—everywhere. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, she addresses those books directly. We read her love letters to The Goldfinch and Matilda, as well as her snarky break-ups with Fifty Shades of Grey and Dear John. Her notes to The Virgin Suicides and The Time Traveler’s Wife feel like classics, sure to strike a powerful chord with readers. Through the lens of the books in her life, Annie comments on everything from women’s psychology to gay culture to health to poverty to childhood aspirations. Hilarious, compassionate, and wise, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover's birthday present, stocking stuffer, holiday gift, and all-purpose humor book.

What were some of your favorite reads of 2017? Which book should I pick up next? Did you read any of these picks this year? What were your thoughts?

No comments: