Saturday, January 6, 2018

Best Reads of 2017!

As we enter 2018 I will be starting my 10th year of book blogging. As in past years,  I keep discovering great authors and my reading continues to be eclectic. And I'm pleased to say I read some awesome books!

In 2017, I read a total of 103 books compared to 85 last year. Here is the breakdown:

21 children's books (picture books)
   3 middle-grade books
11 YA books
45 adult fiction
23 adult non-fiction

This year, I want to read more books from my favorite authors and will continue to be an advocate for kidlit, even though my kids are teens and are no longer reading books with me.

Here are my favorite reads of 2017. It doesn't mean they were published this year, only that I read them this year:

In the category of Children, Middle-Grade and YA Books:

I am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer
This special book is part of Ordinary People Change the World, an engaging and fun series that bring American history to life. With skillful writing, humor and fantastic illustrations, the story of how Jackie Robinson came to lead the way to equality in sports in America was lively and a page-turner, even for us adults.

My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo
A moving, gentle story of one refugee's experience in the Syrian civil war. This book is a work of art with dimensional illustrations created through Plasticine, polymer clay and other mixed media. The birds especially are so detailed, they come alive and seem to pop out of the pages.

Written in light and lyrical free verse, Shari Green’s warm and wistful novel brings Bailey face to face with both hard and beautiful truths about growing up and growing into her own ability to shape the world.

Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Although this is late middle-grade/YA fiction, I was carried away by Sofia and her story. This book made me burst into laughter and it made me burst into tears. If you think MG books are only for kids, think again!

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Fans of Jane Austen will be delighted by this witty and charming tale. It's a clean read with romance, mystery and humor.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
This book was refreshing, sobering, funny, at times heartbreaking, but always hopeful. It was also an eye-opener, letting the reader catch a glimpse of what it's like for a teen girl to live with agoraphobia and OCD.

Warcross by Marie Lu
This was the first time I read a book by Marie Lu and it will not be my last. Wow! Enter the world of virtual reality, competitive gaming, a kick-ass YA heroine and the will to survive.

In the category of Adult Fiction:

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
Well-written, rich with unforgettable characters, romance and heartbreak, The Velvet Hours is an entrancing story perfect for lovers of historical fiction and the Parisian setting.

The Garden of Letters by Alyson Richman
Once again, as with The Velvet Hours, this book was well-written, rich with unforgettable characters, romance and heartbreak. Another entrancing story perfect for lovers of historical fiction and the Italian setting.

The Wicken City by Beatriz Willimas
The Wicked City was such an absorbing tale that I fairly raced through it to see how it would all come to an end. And the clever dialogue and repartees! Think Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The main character was a smart-mouthed, independent and modern 1920s woman. 

New York City Haiku from the Readers of The NY Times
An entertaining, thought-provoking and worthy collection of haiku from people of all ages that captured the spirit of New York City, its people, places, food, culture and attitudes. Some of these cracked me up and others made me reflect.

The Blue Hour by Vicky Righettini
In this well-written debut novel, Vicki Righettini succeeds in transporting me fully to a woman's arduous and coming-of-age journey on the Oregon Trail in the 1860s. I found it to be an unforgettable tale of one woman's epic journey of life and love,

Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette
For a debut novel and the first in a Biblical fiction series, this was amazing in its portrayal of the Exodus account with all the exotic rich details of Egypt. There are two more novels after this one that I now want to read.

More Than a Soldier by D.M. Annechino
Based on the true account of the author's uncle, this is the incredible story of eighteen year-old Angelo J. DiMarco, an American soldier who fought during WWII in Italy, and survived the bloody battles, malaria, capture by the Germans, starvation, and an incredible escape behind enemy lines.

This book is one of the best time travel novels I've read and reminded me a little of The Time Traveler's Wife, except this book made me laugh. And I mean laugh-out-loud belly laugh. I'd find myself bursting into spontaneous laughter at some of the scenes. It's been a long time since any book did that for me.

A feel-good well-written story set in 1972 by one of my favorite authors. Not only is it an amazing story of healing and choices, but it also explores the nature of friendship, attraction and why we love who we do.

The Painter's Apprentice by Laura Morelli
Laura Morelli's The Painter's Apprentice is a real treat for lovers of historical fiction and Renaissance art. It has drama, star-crossed lovers, and the beauty of art set in the midst of the terrible time in history when the black plague ravaged Europe.

And there you have it!
Have you read any of these books?

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1 comment :

  1. I've only read one of those but I've jotted down quite a few from the list.


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