Monday, January 1, 2018

My Favorite Reads of 2017

In 2017, I read 88 books. Of that total, I rated 24 (27.3%) of them as "5 star" reads. Yes, I read a lot of very good books in 2017.

In looking at the list of my favorites, I was interested to see that 17 of them (slightly more than 70%) were written by women. I'm not sure what, if anything, that says about me as a reader. Moreover, thirteen of the books were set wholly or partly in another country.

A five star rating from me does not necessarily mean, of course, that the book is great literature, although some of these certainly are. It just means that the book really connected with me and that I found it exceptional. 

If you look at my list, you'll see that there are three titles there from Tana French, because I was reading her "Dublin Murder Squad" series last year and I really, really liked those books! Also, you'll see titles there from old favorites Sara Paretsky and Michael Connelly. Of all Connelly's Harry Bosch books, The Crossing may just be my favorite, and I thought Paretsky's Fallout was one of her best in her V. I. Warshawski series. 

There are several titles on my list that fall into the category of books that I had long meant to read but never got around to, at least one that is a reread, and fourteen that were published in recent months, several by writers that I had never read before. 

Here, then, is the list of my favorite reads of the year, in the order that I read them. I've given you links to my original reviews should you wish to look at them. (Incidentally, I was interested to see that in Barack Obama's list of ten favorites of the year, he had three books that also made my list.)  

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Faithful Place by Tana French

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Broken Harbor by Tana French

The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis

Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani

Between Them by Richard Ford

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Fallout by Sara Paretsky

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Trespasser by Tana French

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

4 comments:

  1. Wow, Dorothy! Twenty-four books rated five stars?! You were on a roll this past year. Here's to 2018 being equally good if not better reading-wise and in all other aspects of your personal life...And hopefully without monster hurricanes! :-)

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    1. I had an exceptionally good year of reading in 2017. I could hardly hope for better, but a hurricane-less year would be most welcome!

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  2. Yes, it was an awesome year for reading! As you know, many of our titles overlap. Congrats on a good year and may 2018 be even better!

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    1. It's amazing how much really good writing is being done now. We are fortunate to have all of it available to us.

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