2017 Book Review

I decided for 2017 to up my reading goal from my usual 52 to 60. I did it by finishing my final book a mere 7 hours before midnight! Here is a recap and recommendations!

Favorite Book of the Year

  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Don’t let the slow start dissuade you. Just keep reading and you will be so happy that you did. What an wonderful world that Amor Towles creates in the Metropol Hotel.

Best Non-fiction

  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. There’s a reason this was shortlisted for the National Book Award award. The story of the systematic murders of the Osage Indian Tribe due to their extreme oil wealth that can only be passed on through family. Such a sad story in American history and it definitely needed to be told.

Best Sci-fi

  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I don’t read a lot of science fiction so anything I recommend in that genre is going to be probably “sci-fi lite”. This is definitely a good pick up if it’s not your typical genre either.

Best Series

  • Crazy Rich Asians (three books) by Kevin Kwan. I found this series to just be really fun. I think it helps that I have had experience living and traveling in Asia to be slightly more familiar with references. I think even without this knowledge you’ll find it just as enjoyable as well. The characters are ridiculous and rewarding. Bonus – the first book was seen filming this summer in KL and Singapore!!!

Best Bio

  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson. First off, I felt like all of the bio/ memoir/ autobiographies that I read this year were pretty top notch. How can I not be fascinated by a Kennedy story? I found it a very interesting story – starting with the beginning of Jack and Rose’s relationship and showing a quite full picture of how the family functioned and going through to the amazing things Eunice pushed forward because of her sisterly love and bond she had with Rosemary.

5 Stars

  • A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (also wrote Rules of Civility)
  • Beartown, Frederick Backman (Author of my favorite book of 2016 A Man Called Ove)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and Birth of the FBI, David Grann
  • The Price We Paid: The Extraordinary Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Pioneers, Andrew D. Olson

4 Stars

  • Hum if You Don’t Know the Words, Bianca Marais
  • The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, Chris Whipple (Very fascinating especially in our current political climate)
  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, Sarah Vowell (If you love Hamilton read more about America’s Favorite Frenchman)
  • The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown
  • Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1), Sylvian Neuvel
  • Waking Gods (Themis Files #2), Sylvian Neuvel
  • The Dry, Jane Harper (listen as an audio book if you like an Australian accent)
  • The Sound of Gravel, Ruth Wariner (Memoir of growing up in a polygamist colony in Mexico)
  • The War that Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • A Long Walk, Brian Castner
  • The Ashes of London, Taylor Andrew
  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
  • Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rish Asians #1), Kevin Kwan
  • Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
  • The Muse, Jessie Burton (author of the Miniaturist)
  • Be Frank With Me, Julia Claiborne Johnson
  • Morality for Beautiful Girls (Ladies #1 Detective Agency #3), Alexander McCall Smith (Overall quality series and lovely narrator if reading via audiobook)
  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, Kate Clifford Larson
  • Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue
  • Goodbye Days, Jeff Zentner (author of last years YA favorite The Serpent King)
  • One in a Million Boy, Monica Wood
  • Victoria, Daisy Goodwin (If you like the Queen Victoria TV series definitely pick this up).
  • Going Solo, Roald Dahl
  • Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng (Also a Reese Witherspoon pick and author of Everything I never Told You)
  • Orphan Island, Laurel Snyder
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, Lindy West
  • Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton
  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  • Our Souls At Night, Kent Haruf
  • Gulp: Adventures in the Alimentary Canal, Mary Roach (Author of Grunt and Stiff – lots of funny science non-fiction)
  • My Lovely Wife in the Pysch Ward, Mark Lukach
  • The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, Kathleen Flinn

3 Stars

  • The Forty Rules of Love, Elif, Shafak
  • First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, Kate Anderson Brower (definitely full of goss)
  • Artemis, Andy Weir (I probably wouldn’t recommend this if I didn’t love The Martian so much)
  • The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon
  • Not Becoming My Mother, Ruth Reichl
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave
  • The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood (The Handmaids Tale meets Lord of the Flies)
  • The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware
  • Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
  • Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
  • Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
  • Finding Aubrey, Sophie Kinsella
  • The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window, Jonas Jonasson
  • The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
  • Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians, #3), Kevin Kwan
  • China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2), Kevin Kwan
  • I See You, Clare Mackintosh
  • Dark at the Crossing, Elliot Ackerman
  • The Yard, Alex Grecian

2 Stars

  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (completely bonkers)
  • The Nest, Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney
  • Taking the Titanic, James Patterson
  • Killer Chef, James Patterson
  • Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly (skip the book and stick to the movie)

 

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