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Favorite Books Read in 2017

I read a total of 178 books in 2017. Some were audio books, some were short e-books, some were heavy tomes. Not all of them were good, but there were plenty that I enjoyed. These are not all books that were published in 2017, just my favorite books read in 2017.

Here is my list:

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance – Ruth Emmie Lang: Published 2017

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Beasts is Ruth Emmie Lang’s first novel, and it’s spectacular. It’s a romp into the magical. I loved nearly every word she wrote. It was poetic, and you could tell every word she wrote had purpose and meaning.

The settings were my favorite part of this novel. Her words immersed me in the locations. I could smell the smells, see the colors, and feel the air. She is a powerful storyteller, and I can’t wait to read more from her.

Grog Wars – Anne Sweazy-Kulju: Published 2014

My in-laws loaned me a copy of this book. They picked it up at our local farmer’s market from the author herself.

As an Oregonian, and beer lover, I was excited to read this. Sweazy-Kulju knows her stuff about historical Oregon, and it shows throughout her novel.

This is a book that pulls you into the trials of the Oregon Trail, and making it out west during Portland’s infancy.

Life After Life – Kathy Atkinson: Published 2013

This novel left me feeling many things: sadness, hope, love, despair.

I loved the unique aspect of the plot. The main character dies and is reborn over and over again, and we follow her as she learns to alter her current life in order to avoid pain in previous lives.

Set in the early 1900’s through WWII, we are forced into uncomfortable, dangerous, and some amazing situations with the MC. I learned a lot about WWII that I didn’t know before. The war feel was intense, and tragic.

I was somewhat disappointed with the ending, I wanted more after investing over 500 pages, but this is a story that will stick with me forever.

Sinnet of Dragons – Athena: Published 2017

Sinnet is a prequel to the Pillars of Dawn series. This book fills in the back story of the main character, and questions raised in book 1 are answered in the prequel.

Athena has a true talent for writing conflict. Her action scenes are well developed and flow perfectly. I feel fully immersed in the story. There is nothing out of place that would take me out of the action. This is something I absolutely appreciate in a story. I hate when the author loses me during conflict.

Her world and characters are also full of dimension and feeling. I can’t wait to read each of the novels in this series, as they are released.

Pandemic (The Extinction Files #1) – A.G. Riddle Published 2017

Pandemic (The Extinction Files #1)

How much do I love stories that tell of population destruction and REALLY bad guys? A whole lot! I also love to support self published authors.

This is a book about an outbreak. The characters are rich and well developed. The settings are descriptive, and the medical details are extremely well researched. Riddle’s main character, Dr. Peyton Shaw, feels so real and sympathetic.

I devoured this novel, and can’t wait to read the next in the series – Genome. Pandemic literally scared the crap out of me.

A Quiet Life in the Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1) – T.E. Kinsey Published 2014

Cozy mystery fan? You will love this novel. Set in the early 1900’s, it’s got two plucky main characters; a British lady and her maid stumble upon a body in the woods.

These two women are hilarious, strong, curious, smart, and a tad nosy. They will stop at nothing until the mystery is solved.

I’ve been a mystery fan since I picked up The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun from the tiny Molalla Public Library while in grade school. The largest section of the library was their mysteries. There is something so rewarding about trying to figure out the mystery before it’s actually revealed.

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman Published 2014

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove was such a sad, beautiful novel. I had a rocky relationship with my grandfather, and this novel made me more thoughtful to how a mean old man’s slipping mind can affect relationships with others. Ove was not a carbon copy of my grandfather, but close enough to make me feel.

I loved this novel in it’s simplicity, and it’s character depth.

Crosstalk – Connie Willis Published 2016

Oh, Connie Willis, how I love your novels! The first Willis novel I read was The Doomsday Book. I loved every second!

While Crosstalk is nothing like The Doomsday Book, I loved it just the same. It has a cool plot about technology, and how it affects our interactions with others. I cared so much for the characters. Their paths had me fully engaged. This is a definite re-read!

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) – George R.R. Martin Published 2005

All time favorite epic fantasy series? Yes! Don’t tell Tad Williams… but Martin replaced him as my favorite epic fantasy writer.

Book 4 had me all kinds of shocked! And while it took me plenty of starts and stops to get through it, I finally finished it. Let me just say, I cannot wait to find out what happens with Cersei!

Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris Published 2016

Anyone who has jumped on the new-age thriller bandwagon will love this read. This book had me from the first sentence. I could not wait to unravel what was happening in this novel. A husband and wife with a strange relationship. Is our narrator unreliable? Or is she being honest as she unravels details about her life?

I listened to this on audio book, and while I tend to fade in and out during most books, this one had me fully engaged.

Born to Run – Christopher McDougall Published 2009

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

I like running novels. I love them in fact. They help motivate me, and inspire me. Unfortunately, not all of them check the boxes for me. This one had everything.

What I got from this book was more than motivation. It was a history lesson and insights into a really cool culture. I learned that shoes don’t matter as much as I thought they did, and that chia seeds are a great cure for a hangover.

What amazing books did you read in 2017? I love book recommendations!

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