I love to read. I track my books read on Goodreads. My goal is to read 52 books per year. So far, for the last two years, I’ve exceeded this goal. One thing I love about Goodreads is that I can track the books I read. I can also track how I rated them. This is great because I can look back at books I loved. I can track authors that I’ve enjoyed reading and find their latest books. Here are my five star books from last year. These were the best of the best from my perspective.
Revelation – Carter Wilson
This was one of the first books I read on my Kindle during vacation, and I loved it. Wilson is not a well known author. The book only has 255 ratings on Goodreads. Still, it’s a great book if you love dark reads. A man wakes up trapped in a room with a typewriter, and instructions to write a story. He knows his kidnapper, but he has to figure out how to write what the kidnapper is looking for. It bounces back between the kidnapping and the prior couple of years. It’s a very creepy and disturbing read but very intense and well written.
Setting Free The Kites – Alex George
This book was set in the 1970’s and tells the tale of two teenage boys who become friends among shared tragedy. You really feel like you get to know both of them, and the events and experiences that bond them together are written so that you feel you’re really there. Being able to visualize myself watching the story is a sign of a well written book. I couldn’t stop reading this book once I started. I think it only took me a couple of days.
A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley
I had written a previous review on The Last Hundred Years trilogy. While the final book in that series disappointed, I loved the first two. This is one of her older books, that got her on the map, and I loved it. It’s again set in the Iowa cornfields, but from the perspective of three sisters who are turned against each other when their father reveals his intention to his 1,000 acre farm to them. It isn’t a peaceful transition by any means, and it’s fascinating to watch things unfold. Smiley has a way of making you root both for and against characters at the same time. I love this and loved reading this book.
Beartown – Fredrik Backman
This is a book about a hockey team. This is a book about the players and coaches of the hockey team. Also, this is a book about the town where the team plays. Honestly, this book is about so many things but it’s just wonderfully written. Characters are unfolded in layers. You start hearing the story of any character, and you form a first impression. As the stories are told throughout the book, your perspective will shift slightly. Then it will change again and again. This effect happens with a whole bunch of characters, and it’s done almost flawlessly. This was probably my favorite book that I read all year.
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
As you can tell, I love books about characters, and this is a book that fits the bill perfectly. It touches on a family and the dynamics that build and break bonds. Understanding of how parents become who they are and how it impacts who their children become are major themes. This isn’t a book full of twists and turns. You see much of what’s coming. But, how everybody gets there and the stories that go into that are what make this book great.
A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman
Since Beartown was such a great book, I wanted to read another Backman book. And, it did not disappoint at all. This is a book that is about an old man who hates the world. Or does he? As the book unfolds, he gets ripped out of his routine. He isn’t happy about this and isn’t afraid to let everyone around him know about it. Even so, it happens anyways, and his acceptance of change is the story here. You want to pull your hair out as you read about Ove. At the same time, you nod along as he describes some of his many frustrations. This book has a lot of laugh out loud moments, many involving a character simply known as ‘the cat’.
That’s it. Those are the books that stood out in 2017. I’ll definitely be checking out more from these authors, both older books and future releases.
Readers, what books did you read that stuck with you recently?