2017 was the year I fell back in love with reading. I have always loved reading but like many in recent years I couldn’t seem to ‘find the time’ to read for fun. In late 2016 I joined a book club and it helped rekindled my love of reading.
So in no particular order here are my best reads of 2017. It’s a mixed bag of reads but what they all have in common is they were easy reads. I also read my first (& probably last) Stephen King book this year and it was a slog to get through so you won’t find it or any other book I struggled to get through here.
Two of my best reads this year were debut publications from Irish authors. There is so much Irish writer talent out there right now!!!
The Other Side of the Wall
Meet Sylvia, an under pressure working mom dealing with all the stressors of a young family. Sam & Kate move in next door and something seems amiss. Is Sylvia cracking under pressure or is she more intuitive than she realises?
Andrea Mara’s debut novel kept me reading nonstop. With well developed characters and storylines that link flawlessly with a few surprises along the way I couldn’t put it down. The gripping story line will have you wondering how much you know your own neigbours next door. Don’t let the fact that this is Andrea’s first novel fool you, The Other Side of the Wall is a thrilling read.
Nicola is another debuting Irish author I read this year. I told you there is some serious Irish female talent out there! December Girl is a novel about Molly Thomas, a strong protagonist growing up in Ireland in the 1890’s. Life takes a tragic turn for Molly (several actually) and throughout the book your heartbreaks for her as she fights on. Nicola’s writing not only brings Molly to life but also paints a vivid picture of life in Ireland and London in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
**Nicola sent me a digital copy of December Girl but as always my thoughts are my own. I enjoyed it so much I have also bought a copy as a gift.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was a book club read I never would have picked up on my own. It is a biography/memoir of Henrietta Lacks and her family that also tells the story of the researcher/author who was trying to tell this important story. Science savvy people will know Henrietta Lacks as HeLa. She was a poor, southerner farmer with limited formal education whose cells – taken without her knowing in the 1950’s – are one of sciences most important advances. HeLa cells are the first and human cells to survive and multiply in culture. They have led to countless modern medical advancements. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks digs to find out who is Henrietta and along the way to meeting her family and exploring a whole American subculture. There is just enough science in this book to explain HeLa and share a gratitude for Henrietta and all she unknowingly did for us. The book will leave you questioning if despite the advances made, were the cells taken and reproduced ethically? Should they have been taken at all?
**There is a 2017 film adaptation of the book starring Oprah Winfrey. Promise me you’ll read the book first.
Without Merit is a story of the complex of family relationships. Families come in all shapes and sizes and the Voss family is no exception. Merit collects trophies (ones she hasn’t won) and all the secrets her family keeps. Fed up with it all, Merit spills all the secrets before leaving her family for good. When leaving doesn’t happen she is forced to deal with the consequences of telling the truth. It’s a story about self discovery as much as it is about the relationships and secrets of families. Beatufully written with captivating characters I found Without Merit difficult to put down.
Glennon Doyle Melton
Love Warrior is the second memoir from Glennon Doyle Melton founder of Monastery.com and TogetherRising. I’ve been following Glennon on social media for some time and was delighted when my sister sent me a copy of Love Warrior for my birthday. I absorbed it on holidays and every page of this honest and raw journey had me feeling all the emotions. Love Warrior is a journey of Glennon’s own personal battle with addiction and her road to recovery. There was love, and heartbreak, anger and frustration. Reading this book makes you feel, think and reflect and every so often we all need to be encouraged to do just that.
Looking for more reading inspo?? Check out Books- Glorious Books and The Rick O’Shea Book Club groups on Facebook.
*This post contains affiliate links for Bookdepository. That means if you purchase any book through link provided I get a small percentage. It doesn’t mean they have asked me to recommend any specific books, the books I mention are all ones we know and love in our house. It doesn’t matter where you get your books just get them!!! BUT….bookdepository does offer FREE shipping to just about everywhere..who doesn’t love FREE?!?