Sunday, December 31, 2017

Favorite Books of 2017

It's time. I know there's one more day, but this is my definitive list. As I say every year, this is not a "Best of 2017" list of books. We all know I usually don't read the literary novels that make some lists. I'd much rather read a good mystery, a story with interesting characters. And, there are so many other books out there that I didn't have the chance to read. This is only a list of my favorites read in 2017.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. This is a book that celebrates the people and objects that come into someone's life. The author sums it up. "It was a sweeping story of love and loss, life and death, and, above all, redemption." It starts out as the story of a man who rescues and stores lost items, including a young woman who needs rescuing. It's so much more.

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock by Terry Shames. I told the author that we tend to forget about the books we read in the early part of the year. But, this one stayed with me. It's the story of the new police chief in Jarrett Creek, Texas, Samuel Craddock, hired despite his youth and inexperience. When Craddock believes a man has been wrongly arrested for a crime, he won't let up, and he's willing to take on the entire town, including his wife. We learn about Craddock's moral beliefs, and his dawning awareness he was unprepared for his job.

The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day. As I said, I read for character. Anna Winger is a flawed, determined character, a woman who has always been on the run. She never doubted that she was doing what was right, until the day her son disappears. She finds unknown strength in her determination to find her son.

Hell's Detective by Michael Logan. The gritty story of a detective condemned to Hell for her final act. Bloody, gritty, and redeeming. For all of us who love Simon R. Green's books.

Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett. A delightful caper that introduces a hot couple, a woman who takes home a blind college professor. That night, he wins the lottery, and a few too many people are interested.

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods. Take one miserable thirty-five-year-old, and put her in daily contact with another woman determined to have one hundred happy days. Noisy, boisterous, with a wonderful cast of characters. There's a tearjerking moment or two, but worth it.

The Western Star by Craig Johnson. A young deputy Walt Longmire travels on the annual train across the state with the Wyoming sheriffs on board. While dealing with marriage problems, Longmire has to contend with murder, and he's the suspect. It's Johnson's homage to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. And, there's a cliffhanger!

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams. This intense, riveting mystery kicks off a new series featuring four strong, damaged women who band together to learn who killed a man who had come to Miracle Springs, North Carolina looking for the help that good books can provide. A book lover's mystery.

Murder in Mayfair by D.M. Quincy. The wit and setting bring this Regency mystery to life as adventurer Atlas Catesby buys Lilliana Warwick at auction, only to see her return to her husband. But, when the man is murdered, Atlas teams up with Lilliana to find the killer because the two are suspects in the eyes of a shrewd Bow Street Runner.

Honorable mention to Pete Souza's gorgeous book of photographs, Obama: An Intimate Portrait. A beautiful book that reminds us of the dignity that once graced the White House.

And, my number one book for the year was Louise Penny's Glass Houses. A recent book discussion reminded me why Penny continues to take first place. Her latest Armand Gamache book is a powerful story that deals with the greater good while involving all of the townspeople of Three Pines in a perplexing current mystery.

Are there a couple books that stood out for you this year? What books might top your list?


Grace Koshida said...

Lesa, I also liked The Secret, Book & Scone Society a lot. And yes to Glass Houses... I love how Louise Penny does not stick to the same formula and isn't afraid to try something new in her Gamache books.

Since I read so many new authors this year, I have not read the latest in several series I like that you list here (Craig Johnson, Terry Shames). It's good to know that I will have some more great reads in 2018.

Lesa said...

Discovery! Isn't it wonderful, Grace, to discover new authors? Even so, there are some I can't leave behind - Penny, Johnson, Shames. Actually, it seems as if it's fiction authors I discovered, and the mystery authors I love continued to shine.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Lesa, I agree with you about the Longmire, definitely on my list as well. I will email my list to you.

Charlotte said...

Lesa, Out of your list above I read only Craig Johnson's book and I do have Glass Houses stacked on books to read. Just got it for Christmas.

These are a few that I did enjoy in 2017:
The Ex by Alafair Burke
The first six books by Angela Marsons

Of course there are many others.

Have a blessed New Year's Eve Lesa, Jeff, Grace and the rest of the group.

Lesa said...

Jeff, I'm looking forward to your list. I know it will be quite different from mine.

Lesa said...

I'm so glad someone gave you Glass Houses for Christmas, Charlotte. Now, there's a new title, "Glass Houses for Christmas". Might not be the happiest book, though.

Thank you, Charlotte. Have a beautiful, safe New Year's Eve. And, a year ahead filled with wonderful books.

Sharon said...

I also loved The Keeper of Lost Things. Definitely one of my favorites in 2017 and I have not been so excited about a new mystery series as I am about D.M. Quincy's. Let's hope book two does not disappoint. The Secret Scone book is on my bookcase to be read.
Happy New Year!

Lesa said...

I know, Sharon. D.M. Quincy's mystery is probably the one I've talked about the most in the last few months. I have book two, and I'll be reading it as soon as I can. I'm looking forward to it. I hope you enjoy Adams' latest. Happy New Year to you as well!

Glen Davis said...

Nice list!

I'll email you my list probably on January 3 or 4.

SandyG265 said...

Some of the mysteries I enjoyed this past year were HOUSE OF SPIES by Daniel Silva, ASSAULTED CARAMEL by Amanda Flowers and HUNTING HOUR by Margaret Mizushima.

On the non mystery front ROLLING IN THE DEEP by Mira Grant and MISS FROST CRACKS A CAPER by Kristen Painter.

Happy New Year

Kay said...

Lesa, wishing you a very Happy New Year! I'm doing a reread/listen of all Louise's books. I've been saving GLASS HOUSES for a special treat and then decided to read them all again. I'm going to Malice this year again - so excited - she's the special guest. And I'm back to blogging again tomorrow. Life is good and different around our house. :-)

Lesa said...

Glen, I'll look forward to your list!

Sandy, I always enjoy seeing a list that is not at all like mine. I love the variety!

Kay, I know of more people who reread Louise's books than any other series. I think we get more out of them every time. I'm glad life is good in your house. Happy New Year!

Grace Koshida said...

Lesa, I will be sending you my 2017 list today.

Kathy Reel said...

Lesa, I've bought The Keeper of Lost Things based on your enjoyment of it, and I'm looking forward to reading it soon. Terry Shames, Lori Rader-Day, and Louise Penny are on my Favorites List, too. The Secret, Book & Scone Society is on my wish list.

Marce said...

I really must get my hands on a Louise Penny, they always sounds so good. Great list. Happy New Year

Lesa said...

I have it, Grace! Thank you.

I think you'll like The Keeper of Lost Things, Kathy. I hope you get Ellery Adams' book!

Marce, Yes, you really should start with Still Life if you're going to read a Louise Penny.

Terry said...

Lesa, thank you so much for your support. I didn't realize that people reread whose series and last week got a note from a woman who said she just reread my series for the third time. She knows the books better than I do by now! If I have question, I'll be emailing her for the answer!