It’s the last day of the year and I am reflecting on my Top Ten Reads of 2017. I have read so many great books this year that it wasn’t easy to choose my favourites … but here goes. I hope you will find the time to read a few of them and also suggest a few that I might enjoy in the New Year. Happy reading everyone!
“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.”
- Eleonor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the debut novel by Gail Honeyman, who incidentally, wrote the novel while working a full time job and submitted it to a writing contest! A truly moving (and sometimes sadly comical) portrait of loneliness, social isolation and the power of kindness.
- A True Novel by Minae Mizumura and translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter, is a brilliant remaking of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan. This rags to riches epic tale examines racial and cultural prejudice with love at its core.
- Little Fires Everywhere is brilliantly written by Celeste Ng author of acclaimed novel Everything I Never Told You. Set in the progressively perfect Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, Little Fires Everywhere is a riveting tale that demonstrates the gravity of secrets and that all is not as it appears.
- Things That Happened Before The Earthquake by Italian journalist and screenwriter Chiara Barzini, is best summed up in this quote from Vogue Magazine “A Feverish, Unflinching Look at Coming-of-Age in 1990s Los Angeles.” I loved this book!
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is historical fiction at it’s best! Set in WW1, the Alice Network is an all female resistance group who’s members loyalty is the only guarantee of survival. Riveting, fear inducing and triumphant … one of those books you will not be able to put down!
- One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, is so realistic in it’s telling of a covert and controversial “Brides for Indians” program intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man’s world, that I needed to conduct further investigations to verify the truth. The wild west comes alive when pioneer women are at the helm.
- Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman by Pulizer prize winning author Robert K. Massie is the incredibly accurate account of the woman who modernized Russia during her 34 year reign. This compelling biography is a must read for history buffs and lovers of Russian intrigue.
- The Wonder by Emma Donoghue is based on the many cases of “fasting girls” reported across the world from the 16th to the 20th centuries: women and girls, often prepubescent, who claimed to live without food for months or even years. This is a real thriller of a story so I won’t tell you more … just remember that Emma Donoghue’s last novel was ROOM.
- A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman is not only a International Bestseller but is also being adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks as the quintessential angry old man next door. The film will be a remake of the 2016 Swedish film that received an Oscar Nomination for Best Foreign Film. It’s hard to believe, but this inspiring and heartwarming tale was initially rejected by publishers.
- Bear Town is Fredrik Backman’s latest and is also garnishing rave reviews! This hockey story set in small town America could just have easily been anywhere in Canada and in some ways has all the ingredients of so many classic right versus wrong scenarios. But it’s Backman’s storytelling skills that really engage the reader. The way he gets into the heads of the characters to reveal their fragility is quite extraordinary.
Interesting Update: I love to use goodreads for book reviews and suggestions when choosing what books to read. I just checked out the goodreads Choice Awards 2017 and discovered that the Top 3 were in my own list of Top Ten Reads of 2017! I’ve also read 5 of their other top choices so really, you can’t go wrong!
For more book reviews click here.
Happy New Year!