Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Wrap Up: The Best of...

Hey everybody,
As I'm sure for many readers and fans of my blog, 2017 was a year of highs and lows. This is the time of year that many bloggers put up the best books they have read throughout the year. Since my blog is mostly focused on historical fiction and while there are good reads from contemporary, thriller and mysteries, I feel as if I should make one post wrapping up all awesome books I've read in 2017. Some of the books were published earlier than 2017, and that's okay; some reads are indies; and many others are from the big 5 publishers. Anyways, whatever you might be seeking, I hope you'll discover it in my post and enjoy. And yes, I will have honorable mentions in the next post. Without further ado, here are  my top 21 reads for 2017 from youngest to oldest publishing date: 

By Love Divided by Elizabeth St John (Indie historical fiction)

Why I chose it: Normally sequels tend to lag or are not as good as the first books in the series; however in this case, the author continues the sequel without lagging and I loved how neatly she lays out reasons for English civil war.

To be a Queen by Annie Whitehead (indie historical fiction)

Why I Chose it: Its rare to find a novel that features a woman of times and a woman caught up between duty and family. I also loved snippets of 9th  and 10th century England and watching Aethelflaed grow up.

Lucky boy by Shanthi Sekaran (contemporary multicultural read)

Why I Chose it: It's a very timely story and I hope that it might become a story people will go back to over and over to study our culture. As more and more people deal with infertility, and as more and more people deal with illegal immigration, its an amazing story that combines both sides in an explosion of unwanted answers.

Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole (historical fiction)

Why I chose it: First of all carpe diem, second of all a beautiful story of roads traveled and a diary of two women on a road trip. I also loved learning about the little piece of history when it came to prices and about the clock making of early 20th century.

The Quest for the crown of thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller (Indie historical mystery)

Why I chose it: This is an amazing historical fiction mixed with mystery with awesome character and recreation of what travel and life was like in 5th century Italy.

Life Long by Ronald L Ruiz (indie contemporary multicultural)

Why I chose it: Umm, a guy of Latino origin suffering from schizophrenia, travel across Greyhound bus from California to Texas and a creepy feeling of not being sure what's real and what's not? Loved it!

The Luster of Lost Things by Sophia Chen-Keller (contemporary multicultural)

Why I Chose it: A beautiful story of the kindness of others and what's important in our lives as well as how we all matter no matter the disability or our past. Perfect for these divisive times.

The woman behind the waterfall by Leonora Meriel (indie contemporary)

Why I chose it: I loved how the story dealt with depression and showed the true side of motherhood, be it ugly or beautiful. I also loved the magical realism of the story and the fact it takes place in Ukraine.

Lili de Jong by Janet Benton (historical fiction)

Why I chose it: This seems to be the other half of motherhood; that of a single mother living in 1800s and doing her best to keep her daughter with her in a society that looks down on her. Its a heartbreaking story where the world is against simple mistakes,  and what will happen should the safety nets be pulled from women.

Woman no 17 by Edan Lepucki (contemporary)

Why I chose it: Another aspect of motherhood,  although this one is contemporary and seems to be more taboo. I also want to think of this book as what Jocasta thinks when she is with Oedipus due to a certain couple in the book. The characters are unforgettable and its designed to elicit emotions of love or hate.

Waiting for Aegina by Effie Kamenou (indie contemporary)

Why I chose it: I loved the author's previous book, Evanthia's Gift, and in this book as she continues the story of Sophia and her friends through early 2000s, doesn't disappoint. For friendship, Greek recipes and culture as well as something nostalgic, don't miss this book.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Historical fiction multicultural)

Why I chose it: Umm, Koreans living in Japan from 1930s up until 1980s. For someone who's into Korean culture, and who loves long and multigenerational stories this book was a dream come true. I also loved how she tackled on immigration and assimilation through Sunja's son and her grandsons.

The Last chance matinee by Mariah Stewart (contemporary women's issues)

Why I chose it: For a wonderful and a bit of a detailed read that examines the relationships between the sisters as well as that of a town and if you love The Chesapeake Diaries, check the book out. You won't regret it.

A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr (indie mystery)

Why I chose it: I loved how the author characterized dogs and I also loved watching the teamwork between the husband and wife. Its definitely a book designed to hook the reader.

Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie (historical fiction)

Why I chose it: Definitely an amazing exploration between two women who are polar opposites but have one thing in common: to be recognized and loved by King Louis XV. This is definitely the author's masterpiece.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (contemporary mystery)

Why I chose it: For those wondering what summers are like in the south, check out the book. Also, the whole creepy vibe and the whole taboo issue of incest is too tantalizing to pass up.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (historical fiction multicultural)

Why I chose it: Very beautifully written and another true masterpiece of African-American/African lives and how one single event affected families for generations.

The Chilbury Ladies' choir by Jennifer Ryan (historical fiction)

Why I chose it: In the dark stories of WWII, its rare to find a story about people who are trying to simply live lives. Its both comedic and warm and unforgettable.

Human Acts by Han Kang (contemporary multicultural)

Why I chose it: Very beatiful and brtual story of the worst of people as well as memory that is designed to hurt. Its a side we'd rather close our eyes, but must see and understand.

Illusions of magic by j.b. rivard (indie historical mystery)

Why I chose it: First of all, illustrations which are rare in books of today. Second of all, loved the story of second chances and the fact that the times are recreated very faithfully.

Which book are you most likely wanting to read or have read? 

1 comment:

  1. How exciting to see so many HFVBT clients up on your list! Thanks for hosting our authors this year, Svetlana. I am thrilled that you enjoyed them so much. Here's to another year of great books!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


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