Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top 10 books of 2017

Even though it's only December 21, I'm ready to give you my top 10 (actually 11) now.  You might be wondering how I can post this list now when I've still got 10 days left in the year.  I've got the answer in 5 words (with 1 hyphen):  Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng.  As you know, I wasn't a big fan of Celeste's 1st book, Everything I Never Told You.  But I'm reading her 2nd one because it was the #1 pick by readers in the TBR voting.  But 37 pages in tells me that I'm not going to love this one either.  And by the time I finish it, I probably won't get through another complete book before 12/31.

So without further ado, here they are, in order:

1.  A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles.  This is just flat-out one of the best-written books I have ever read.  I had to divide my review in 2 parts because there were just too many passages that I had to quote.

2.  Close Enough to Touch, Colleen Oakley.   A late 20s woman has a very rare allergy in which she can't have skin contact with another human. She hasn't even left her house in 9 years!  Then she meets a man who is a little bit older and who has a 10-year old son that he adopted when his best friend and wife died in a crash.  Great story.

3.  The Orphan's Tale, Pam Jenoff.  My top historical fiction novel of the year (and among my favorite historical fictions ever).  Before WWII, there were lots of circuses in Germany, some of them Jewish-owned. During the war, the Jewish circuses were eliminated.  In one of them, the daughter of the owners gets away and joins a non-Jewish circus. Really interesting.

4.  The Things We Keep, Sally Hepworth.  The 1st of 3 Hepworth books I read this year, all of them in the top 11.  This one is about a 38-year old woman with Alzheimers who ends up in a residential facility.  Some tough moments, but so well done.

5.  The Mother's Promise, Sally Hepworth.  Yep, #2.  A dying mother and a teenage daughter, also with issues.  And the 2 women who come into their lives.  If you haven't figured it out yet, Sally addresses some pretty difficult issues.

6.  The Alice Network, Kate Quinn.  I just finished this one today!  It's historical fiction with a lot of actual history in it.  It's the story of a famous female spy network during WWI in Germany-occupied France. Like The Orphan's Tale, it's a fascinating piece of history.

7.  The Marriage Lie, Kimberly Belle.  What would you do if you found out your spouse was killed in a plane crash but it was a different flight than he told you he would be on?  Hmmm.

8.  The Secrets of Midwives, Sally Hepworth.  #3.  This story revolves around 3 generations of midwives.  I liked the story a lot and enjoyed learning about midwifery.

9.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  This is my 3rd, and last, historical fiction in the top 11. It also takes place in Western Europe.  It's 1946, and a writer from London wants to write about the German occupation of the island, Guernsey. She learns a lot more than she planned on.

10. An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir.  This is my one and only fantasy. And I only had 2 the whole year.  (The 2nd one was book 2 in the series.)

11. Irresistible in Love, Jennifer Skully & Bella Andre.  This is book 4 in one of my favorite romance series of all time.  It's called The Maverick Billionaires.  Great collaboration.

I will end the year with 71 or 72 books.  And I had a bunch of good reads.  In fact, I have had (so far) 54-3.0s or higher!  Have I had a good year or what?  And these 11 are on the top of pile.  Way to go, guys.

26 comments:

  1. Great list! And wow, you've read a lot this year!

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    1. My darn job is preventing me from reading more!

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  2. Great list. I'll have to check out The Alice Network. Heard good things about it.

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    1. I will definitely try to get more of Quinn's books on my TBP/TBR piles.

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  3. My wish list groans this time of year. I've only read one book - #9 - and I loved it too.

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    1. For sanity purposes, it's probably better not to look at anyone's Top 10!

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  4. What a great list! I always add your recommendations to my TBR. I've got several already in there based on your past reviews, but I've added the rest! I've read the Sabaa Tahir books (once again based on your reviews) and I'm anxiously waiting for the third. And one book not on your list, I just finished Column of Fire by Ken Follett, the third book in his Pillars of the Earth series. Loved that one, too. You're the one who got me hooked on that series! And thank you for mentioning Irresistible in Love! I'm honored it made the list!

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    1. For some unexplainable reason, I keep putting that off. I know it's long, but that's never stopped me before. Obviously, it was good. I will get to it sooner rather than later (unless #5 of the MB comes out 1st!).

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    2. Yes, Column of Fire was very good. I'm sure you'll enjoy it once you get to it. And MB5 comes out at the end of April! John Hart also has a new book coming in February! You got me hooked on him as well!

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    3. Believe me that I've got Hart's book release on my calendar! And I definitely can't wait for MB5. P.S. John Hart is a good guy. He always responds to messages left on FB. Unfortunately, he won't be making a Northern California stop on his next book tour. I've seen him once and liked him a lot.

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  5. I have read 1 and 9 and far preferred 9 in spite of the epistolary style. I have 3 waiting on my Kindle and 6 is in my list. My number 1 for 2017 has to be The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. YA reality, very timely, how to be Black in a White world.

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    1. I understand perfectly. I have a friend who couldn't get through it. But I thought the writing was more important even than the story.
      I will also be ordering the Thomas book. If it's your #1 of the year, then I need to pick it up and get it into my TBR pile.

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  6. Wonderful list, Lloyd. I read #4,5,7 and 9 - all good reads! Here's hoping 2018 is just as good. I'll try to get a post of my favorites up next week. Interesting about the Ng books. I've been considering reading LFE and haven't read her first one.

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    1. I have to say that LFE started to pick up on page 75. I'm liking it now. I'm pretty sure that I will end up liking it more than #1.
      Isn't Hepworth a terrific author? And The Marriage Lie is a good one too.

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  7. I read and loved 2 of your top 11. I need to add Sally Hepworth to my TBR pile. Coming in with 3 of your top 11 must make her something special.

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    1. Isn't that crazy? I rated all 3 of them 3.75. I'm looking forward to you reading one and letting me know if you agree...or not.
      Hi to Mark and Merry Christmas.

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  8. I've already starting reading the books on your best list! I finished The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth. What a fabulous book! I'm not terribly fond of women's fiction, but this was great. I'll have to pick up the rest of her books! And right now I'm reading the Marriage Lie by Kimberley Bell. Thanks for all the happy reading recommendations!

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    1. It is truly my pleasure. And I think you will like Sally's other 2 books about as much as Midwives...I hope.

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    2. I'm sure I'll enjoy the others as well. Right now I'm reading The Marriage Lie. Another great recommendation! You never steer me wrong!

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    3. That first time is going to be mighty depressing!

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  9. I keep hearing great things about Gentleman in Moscow. I really must read it! I have The Alice Network and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society on my TBR pile, and am glad you loved both. Sounds like you and I weren't too far off number wise from each other. I managed 70. I probably could have pushed another one, but decided I liked the even number best. Haha! Happy New Year!

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    1. The Alice Network and Guernsey are no-brainers. But Gentleman is not an automatic. I was blown away by the writing. But a friend of mine couldn't get through it. So I will be interested to see what you think, if you decide to read it.

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