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Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Can you believe Christmas is only two weeks away and in three weeks we’ll have entered a brand new year? Time is certainly flying, and in my book world I’ve already stepped firmly into 2018 with several upcoming releases. However, I spent much of last week in 2017, honing in my choices for “Best Books of 2017.” It hasn’t always been an easy reading year for me and selecting my top books wasn’t easy either, but I’m very happy with the 12 that ended up on my list. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to see my favorite books of 2017.
Last Week’s Reads
Last week’s reads were indeed good to me. My first 2018 book, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, got the year off to a very good start. I liked so much about this story of four young siblings who on a hot summer day visit a fortune teller and their lives are never quite the same again. (Review coming in January.) I have a thing for WWII novels, but have read few nonfiction accounts of that war and none about life after the war. Forty Autums by Nina Willner proved to be a great introduction. Her account of her German family, trapped in the East after the war, and her mother who escaped to the west had me all in. Willner’s tribute to her family often brought tears to my eyes. (Review coming soon!)
I know some of my blogging friends are going to be disappointed in me, but I have struggled with Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen. It’s not that I don’t like her memoir, it’s just that the life lessons she’s talking about aren’t very revelatory to me. I feel like my friends and I have been talking about them for years. I think this is a book I’ll read in bits and pieces between others, but this week I needed to move onto books with stories. I’m listening to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and reading Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates. This highly-lauded YA debut and sophomore suspense novel have one important thing in common: both open with events so stunningly awful that you have to keep going. Right now I’m completely torn between reading and listening!
Likely to Read Next
After several contemporary novels, I think I’ll turn next to historical fiction with Melanie Benjamin’s The Girls in the Picture. I’m not always big on Hollywood stories, but loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Benjamin has proved herself to me with The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviators Wife, so I’m expecting great things from The Girls in the Picture.
I hope you have a great week in books!
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Sarah's Book Shelves says
Oh no – I’m sorry you’re not loving Lots of Candles! I didn’t feel like they were revelations per se…more like “yes, that’s exactly how it is” observations about life that I could 100% relate to.
And I’m now about 65% through Grist Mill Road…it’s so good! A little confusing at times with letters to various people, but a book I really just want to sit down and read straight through in one sitting.
I’ve had very little reading time today, so have only made it to about 75% in GMR. I have to say the Matthew storyline is bogging it down a little for me. Very curious to see where it’s going to end up.
I’ll come back to Lots of Candles. I just was really craving a good story.
I’m just finishing The Hate U Give on Audio. The narrator is fantastic. I think my next one is Evelyn Hugo and I have the Girls in the Picture from NetGalley too that I’m looking forward to. Great to have so many good books in common with you.
Oh! I loved Evelyn Hugo on audio. Fantastic narration. I love it when I can share similar book tastes with another blogger.
Susie, I’m so glad that you’re enjoying The Hate U Give and Grist Mill Road and I’m super excited to read The Immortalists now! YAY! Hope your day is off to a great start!
Thanks, Tara. Looks like we’re on the same reading path. (Surprise!)
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing says
Sorry to hear about Lots of Candles… Sarah’s thoughts mirror mine, but I hope you enjoy it more in smaller doses. I enjoyed The Hate U Give in print and was happy to discover the audio of Forty Autumns is available from my library via Hoopla. Hope to listen soon!
I think you’ll really like Forty Autumns. I found it especially interesting when it got into times that I remembered.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on The Immortalists; I’m really looking forward to that one! I’ve never read anything by Melanie Benjamin, but her books look really good!
Melanie Benjamin has always been solid for me, so fingers crossed on her latest. Thanks for stopping by.
Laurel-Rain Snow says
I loved Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake…but everyone has a unique take on books.
I will soon be reading The Girls in the Picture…I enjoyed her book Alice I Have Been, as well as The Swans of Fifth Avenue.
The Hate U Give is on my list…and now I’ve added Grist Mill Road.
Enjoy your week…and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES
Thanks for stopping by Laurel. It looks like you’ve been VERY busy!
Beth F says
I too agree with Sarah about Lots of Candles. Sorry you’re struggling — perhaps just put it aside.
I have both The Hate U Give and Grist Mill Road on my list. Hope to get to them soon.
You’re always so great at getting through audios and the narration on The Hate U Give is good, so you might want to try audio on it.
Kathy Martin says
I have already started whittling down my 2018 review books while still trying to lower TBR mountain. Of course, my TBRs are from earlier than this year but I will get to 2017 releases (probably in 2021). Come see my week here. Happy reading!
You’re a smart lady, Kathy. My 2018 TBR pile just keeps growing (and at an alarming rate).
I’m trying to squeeze in a few more 2017 books but I can see the appeal of upcoming books! 2018 already looks like it has some great ones.
I hope you enjoy your historical fiction this week!
Hi Susie: I’m definitely interested in tuning back in to see what your favorites are for 2017, but I bet The Power is pretty high up on your list, right? I’m curious to listen to The Hate U Give if you end up liking it. I rarely read or listen to YA books but usually a couple a year is fine.
You seem to know my book likes very well, Susan!
I usually avoid YA like a curse, but had to give into all the good things I was hearing about The Hate U Give. (Plus hearing it was banned by a TX school district made me even more interested.)
I just started Grist Mill Road last night and so far so good although that opening scene was disturbing! Can’t wait for your best of list
I completely agree, but that scene also really drew me into the book. My list will have a few surprises for you.
Sarah @ PussReboots says
I loved The Hate U Give when I read it over the summer. I’m looking forward to her next book. Come see what I’m reading.