As I finish up my year of reading 100 New Books in 2017, I am looking back to all the brilliant writing, yes, but, especially enjoyable hours - and hours, of reading and highlighting the best of 100 books. It still blows my mind that I read 100 books in 2017. I must preface this list with this: It was difficult compiling this list. Truly. Except for that top spot. Read on, readers!
Firstly, I must say that I will forever adore my beloved J.D. Robb series, In Death, which follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her trusty sidekick Detective Peabody but this years best series is undeniable. Of course, I read both In Death novels that were published this year. They day they are on the shelves I'm pulling them off the shelves and into my hot little hands.
I had Still Life by Louise Penny on my bookshelf over a year before I picked it up one day and I. Was. Blown. Away. I followed that first beautiful offering, and it truly is an offering, with the remainder of the series that is already in paperback.
I loved every minute I gave to reading the Chief Inspector Armand Garmache of the Canadian Sûreté du Québec series. This series, by far, was my favorite series this year.
Honorable mention: of course, the In Death series by J. D. Robb and Honorable, honorable mention goes to the Amos Decker series by David Baldacci
Best book to read after you have seen the movie
The Martian. Truth be told I watched the movie first. And I am glad I did. The technical jargon in the book would have not had the same ring of understanding without having seen Matt Damon's witty and humorous rendition of the lone Mars astronaut Mark Watney, first.
Honorable mention would go to Hidden Figures because I'll admit I watched the movie before reading the book because I'd heard the book is quite technical. Truth be told I still haven't read the book because - again - I'd heard the book is quite technical. But - I have watched Hidden Figures more than once - and maybe more than twice.
Best book set during World War II
Hands down All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is the best book I read set in WWII. It is an exquisite masterpiece! I remember reading it thinking two things, "Every word is perfectly placed. And, I feel like I am a part of the story, walking beside the characters, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, experiencing their same feelings.
Honorable mention: The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Best Christian Non-fiction book
I'm going to have to go with Women of the Word by Jen Wilken. This book on how to study your bible was life-changing! Normally, I read more Christian non-fiction books than fiction but this year was not the case and surprisingly I didn't have a big list to choose from, or the list was, dare I say, disappointing. But, the best and the honorable mention are definitely stand-ups - and stand-outs.
Honorable mention: Max Lucado's Anxious for Nothing.
Best Historical Non-fiction book
I read four historical non-fiction books this year and they were all really good. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, though, topped the list of best of the best. A close second goes to Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson.
Honorable Mention: Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly. I also read Into Thin Air and liked it but it definitely wasn't Alfred Lansing or Erik Larson caliber.
Best Un-put-down-able book
I read several books that were Un-put-down-able. There was A Man Called Ove; Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage which received top historical non-fiction billing; The Hate U Give was another book I could easily slide into this category (along with other BEST categories); but, I think I'm going to have to go with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows fictional account set during WWII (and could easily have been on my best of the best books set during WWII).
Honorable mention: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Best Children's Book
I'm giving this category a place because I surprisingly have read quite a few children's books. My favorite this year was a Christmas book that I sent to my grandkids, Ella and Noah, for a Christmas Advent Book tradition, Christmas Day in the Morning, by Pulitzer Prize winning author Pearl S. Buck.
Honorable mention: The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
Best Non-fiction Book
It Starts with Food by Melissa Hartwig. Because it was life-changing. And, it is a clever and funny, self-help, non-fiction, read.
Honorable mention: Reading People, How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel
15 Best Books of 2017 (in no particular order)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Brackman
Still Life by Louise Penny
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Albert Lansing
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Women of the Word by Jen Wilken
Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows
It Starts With Food by Melissa Hartwig
Peace Like a River Leif Enger
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Reading People, How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel
The Fix by David Baldacci
Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb
Shall I give one book its place as...
Best Book of 2017
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows - without hesitation, or flip-flopping back and forth.