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.