Friday, December 1, 2017

Favorite Books Read in 2017

So I missed Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (my favorite local small bookstore closed anyhow), but I was just enjoying John Medina's Brain Rules for Aging Well, and thought, "I love this book! Everyone should read this book!" Which leads me to my yearly list of possible gift inspiration for ya.

What the inside of my Kindle secretly looks like. [Photo by Glen Noble on Unsplash]

According to Goodreads, I read 129 books January-November, but I didn't finish six of them, and there were maybe another four that I started and so disliked that I just deleted them from Goodreads. So let's say 123 books. Anywho, some of them were marvelous! Anything I mention here I gave 5 stars.

1 star = I probably just deleted it. Unless the author is dead and won't have his/her feelings hurt by a 1-star review. (Sanctuary by William Faulkner fit this category. I read it for the Bestseller Puzzle Reading Challenge and absolutely loathed it.)

2 stars = also rare. I've pretty much stopped reviewing these books too, for reason above.

3 stars = I liked the book enough to finish it.

4 stars = I really liked the book and was spellbound by at least parts of it.

5 stars = I loved it and tore through it.

Let's start with fiction.

Favorite Recent Books:
If you love old Hollywood movies and Sunset Boulevard and stories with precocious kids, this was great fun.


This fictionalized version of his grandfather's life was funny and moving and beautifully written. The only problem is that your recipient may already have read it.


Also great fun. My teenage son read it, too. Just know ahead of time that the teenage boys are trying to steal a copy of the Vanna White Playboy issue, so if that's a problem for you, you've been warned.

And, if you yourself are looking for a good read (i.e., free from the library because it's old), my favorite older fiction books were The Godfather by Mario Puzo and Roots by Alex Haley.

Hmm... I seem to have read a lot of nonfiction this year.

For the true-crime lover:
Baseball lovers might recognize that name from the famed founder of Sabermetrics. James applies his love of research and statistics to solving a serial killer mystery and does so in (I think) convincing fashion. If you don't like to read about axe murderers, obviously this isn't the book for you.

For those dealing with fading brains in themselves or loved ones:
A rather hopeful book of various treatments and terribly interesting. As was

I love brain books. This one has hope for just about every brain condition. Exciting!

For WWII lovers:
It's not Unbroken, but it's a compelling story in itself and likely to appeal to those who enjoy that era and genre. Probably my stepfather will be getting this one.

For American history lovers:
Speaking of my stepfather, I already foisted this one on him, and he found it just as exciting as I did. It's got Comanches, mutual scalpings, kidnapped folks, horse tricks--what more could you ask for?



And because I always throw in adventure/survival...


I have no desire to be uncomfortable or climb even the nearest hill, but I sure like to read about it. Danger, freezing to death, crevasses, explorers...wonderful!

Oh, and I should mention that I got my fourteen-year-old daughter to read Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters finally, and of course she enjoyed it. And my teenage son and I both liked this one:

Materials science at its most anecdotal and interesting.

Hope this helps!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Christina! The only books I had read on this list were The Godfather and Roots; each was a revelation to me at the time they came out. Got some gift ideas from your list. 👍

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