OK, OK, so I’m not quite original. So everyone is writing their “Favorite Books” posts these days. So I’m a little late to the party (Hey, I’ve been sick for the first two weeks of 2018!). I still think it’s fun to see what people are reading and what people’s taste in books looks like.
Every year I start out with one reading goal, and even if I don’t write it down, it’s there, tucked in the back of my head. My goal is simple—read more. I don’t always do a good job with my simple goal, but this past year I did, thanks, I think, to Goodreads. I joined Goodreads sometime last year and started keeping better track of what I’ve read. Last year I surprised myself by reading 34 books! That’s a lot for me!
So this year my goal is still the same—read more. Want to follow me on Goodreads and see how I do?
A friend said to me recently, “You really love your non-fiction!”, which is sort of true. But while I love non-fiction (and my friends who write non-fiction) I really love reading fiction. Fiction, especially historical fiction, is my favorite genre to read, probably because I could never write it. I’m always amazed at the talent it takes to write a great fiction book.
Anyway, here are my favorite fiction reads for 2017. Next week I’ll share my favorite non-fiction reads.
1. A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
This is, hands down, the best book I read in 2017. It’s a book that is destined to become a classic because, not only is it long, it is complex and beautifully written. When I picked it up I wondered how on earth an author could make one setting interesting, but Towles has done it. I will probably go back and read this one again and again.
2. Today Will Be Different – Maria Sempl
OK, granted, this didn’t get great reviews on Goodreads. It’s not a masterpiece like A Gentleman in Moscow—they aren’t even in the same category!—but this was a fun read by the author of Where’d You Go Bernadette? Plus, it takes place in Seattle, where my daughter lives, so I could picture many of the places she talks about. The ending was my favorite, and, although I don’t want to give anything away, I think she handles the subject matter really well.
3. Can You See Anything Now? – Kate James
Kate is a personal friend in my writer’s guild, but even if I didn’t know her I would probably have included this book in my list. This book won the Christianity Today Fiction Book of the Year for 2017, a well-deserved award. But it’s not your typical “Christian fiction” book, which is probably why I liked it. This book is gritty, raw, even a bit edgy, but most of all it’s real. And why shouldn’t Christians, of all people, deal with subject matter that’s real? This one stuck with me for a long time.
4. Silence – Shusaku Endo
I didn’t want to read this one, but it was Wheaton College’s pick for the 2016-17 school year, and when my daughter read it as an incoming freshman and said, “Mom, you HAVE to read this book! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read,” I knew I had to do it. Thankfully, my friend, Lisa, agreed to read and discuss it with me, so I had the motivation. This was not an easy read, but it was so thought-provoking that I’m glad I read it.
5. A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman
I loved the movie before I read the book, but in this case both were wonderful. I was actually glad I saw the movie first so that I could picture Ove’s house and his neighbors. The characters make this a good book, but the writing itself makes it wonderful.
So there you have my five favorite fiction books of 2017. What were some of YOUR favorites?
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