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My best books for 2017

What were your best books for 2017?

We are into the last few days of the year. It is time to dig up those monthly shortlists, compare journal entries, scratch our heads and come up with the books that really made an impression on us this year.

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What were your best books for 2017?

We are into the last few days of the year. It is time to dig up those monthly shortlists, compare journal entries, scratch our heads and come up with the books that really made an impression on us this year.
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I've narrowed it down to 5:

A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastri
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
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I have A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles in my massive 'to be read' pile, so will have to find it and move it up the list to read.
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I just started Edward Rutherfurd's novel London - over 1000 pages, which I will certainly not finish this year, and I have no other book with me right now (traveling in Nepal's west), so I can make my list already.

(in no particular order)
Fiction:
Amitav Ghosh: Flood of Fire
Manjushree Thapa: All of us in our own lives
Rose Tremain: The Road Home
Mohsin Hamid: Exit West
Paolo Bacigalupi: The Windup Girl
Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone
Kevin Brockmeier: The Brief History of the Dead
Pranaya SJB Rana: City of Dreams
D. H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers

Non-fiction:
Prashant Jha: Battles of the New Republic
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow
Charles Allen: The Prisoner of Kathmandu
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Paolo Bacigalupi: The Windup Girl

Are there any trigger warnings for this one?
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The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo
The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward
Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach
Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help by Robert Lupton

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Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See


I have this novel in my massive 'to be read pile', so I'll have to pull it out to read this year for sure!!
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My best book of 2017 is:

Uncle Tungsten a memoir by Oliver Sacks

followed by:
Cloudatlas - David Mitchell
Red, Green and Blue Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson (See how I cheated here; this being a trilogy in three books :) )
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami
Beloved - Toni Morisson
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My best book of 2017 is:

Uncle Tungsten a memoir by Oliver Sacks


Glad you enjoyed that one - it's one of my favorites of Sacks' books! My comments here: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13175536/
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My best book of 2017 is:

Uncle Tungsten a memoir by Oliver Sacks


Glad you enjoyed that one - it's one of my favorites of Sacks' books! My comments here: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13175536/


It has been on my shelve for a longer time as I wanted to update my chemistry knowledge before I read it.
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My best book of 2017 is:

Uncle Tungsten a memoir by Oliver Sacks

followed by:
Cloudatlas - David Mitchell
Red, Green and Blue Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson (See how I cheated here; this being a trilogy in three books :) )
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami
Beloved - Toni Morisson

I suspect I should try reading the Murakami book since all the rest you list have been favourites of mine. I've only read Kafka on the Shore and it didn't do anything for me but maybe I should give him another chance.
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I suspect I should try reading the Murakami book since all the rest you list have been favourites of mine. I've only read Kafka on the Shore and it didn't do anything for me but maybe I should give him another chance.

I liked them both, but Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is very different from Kafka on the shore, much more straightforward storytelling.
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I enjoyed Cloud Atlas very much! It was my last read of 2017.
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I started off by listing the books that scored a 9 this year: 14 of them. In reading order, these were the following:

1 We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler (library audiobook)

One of the best books I'm likely to encounter this year! Told with autobiography-like, personal insight, yet with the balance of having had time to reflect on it from a distance, this tale of an extraordinary family bowls one over. The author gives new understanding to aspects of human-animal interaction that we often tend to give little more than superficial thought. It would have been so easy to slip into oversentimental simplification. It's not a book that I will forget quickly.

A special note on the sequence of the storytelling: the author, by her own admittance, starts in the middle, but there is a lot more to it than that. Her choice of the sequence in which all the parts of the story are pieced together is superb, adding a lot to its impact.

2 On a Wild Sheep Chase – Haruki Murakami
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13975764

3 The Honorary Consul – Graham Greene
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14046043

4 Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13975765

5 Night Train to Lisbon – Pascal Mercier
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13975766

6 This is How – MJ Hyland
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12549852

7 The President's Last Love – Andrey Kurkov
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14059754

8 Unless – Carol Shields
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13975755

9 The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundathi Roy (own library)

"How to tell a shattered story?
By slowly becoming everybody.
No.
By slowly becoming everything."

And that says it all. Somehow Arundhati Roy achieves exactly that in her unique way. Instead of trying to describe the history, the politics and the systems, she describes at grassroots level how all of these affect ordinary human beings, animals, and things. She doesn't shy away from the severity of what transpires, yet never succumbs to gratuituousness, moroseness or sentimentality. Things are what they are, and people miraculously survive, even allowing beauty and grace to shine through. A powerful work, with serious "book of the year" aspirations – definitely on my shelf.

10 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13975757

11 The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13699296

12 The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy, comprising three books: (i) Man of Property, (ii) In Chancery, and (iii) To Let — plus two interludes: Indian Summer of a Forsyte, and Awakening — all from my own library.

The books turned out to be an enjoyable read. Well written, witty and with a lot of insight in the human condition.

13 An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12727993

14 Homeland – Barbara Kingsolver
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13166384

Pruning those into the following shortlist was the next step:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundathi Roy
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
Homeland – Barbara Kingsolver

From these I finally chose the three books that had the most impact on me this year .

Third: Homeland – Barbara Kingsolver
Second: An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
Best book of the year: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundathi Roy

Most enjoyed book of the year: The President's Last Love – Andrey Kurkov
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I'm glad you liked Ministry of Utmost Happiness.... I've been looking forward to it.
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Mine were:

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
World Without End by Ken Follett
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Mine were:


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


we really liked The Nightingale at bookclub. But so heartbreaking
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Mine were:


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


we really liked The Nightingale at bookclub. But so heartbreaking

I just finished it yesterday and it will be one of my best for 2018.
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Just looked through the lists... and spotted quite a few of my own favourites of past years :-) Cloud Atlas, Midnight's Children, A Tale for the Time Being, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Remains of the Day, Wild Sheep Chase... and Siddhartha! I'm in Lumbini right now (the place where Buddha was born).
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Just looked through the lists... and spotted quite a few of my own favourites of past years :-) Cloud Atlas, Midnight's Children, A Tale for the Time Being, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Remains of the Day, Wild Sheep Chase... and Siddhartha! I'm in Lumbini right now (the place where Buddha was born).

I am reading Siddharta now and listening to Gorecki, symphony no3. Very view times this happens, reading and music and breathing and heartbeat pulse in the same rythm; that is there and everything else disappears.
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... listening to Gorecki, symphony no3

Now there's a piece of music that demands one's full attention, invariably with profound rewards. A comprehensive retreat in under an hour. :)
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One of my all time favorite reads!
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Okay, here are the best of 2017 for me... 12 of them. Just didn't feel right to pare it down more than that!

"Love on Trial" by Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (10 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14715761/

"The Signature of All Things" by Elizabeth Gilbert (10 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13526539/

"The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd (10 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12646027/

"March: Book 3" by John Lewis et al. (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14413942/

"Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11263090/

"Euphoria" by Lily King (9 stars)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14610222/

"The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7418339/

"A Short Course in Kindness" by Margot Silk Forrest (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14620075/

"Girl Waits with Gun" by Amy Stewart (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14497819/

"Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14475453/

"The House of Belonging" by David Whyte (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14475491/

"Felicity" by Mary Oliver (9 stars)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14404998/
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Too many favorites to list in this post.... But I am narrowing it down to my top ten picks as follows:

1. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
2. The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
3. The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
4. Kentucky on the Rocks by Gwendolyn Grace
5. Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee (Read this book twice this year!!)
6. Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame
7. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
8. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
9. Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera
10. Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
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Too many favorites to list in this post.... But I am narrowing it down to my top ten picks as follows:

1. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
.....


So glad to see this lovely book on someone else's top 10 list!
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I had quite a few really enjoyable reads last year, including several that really surprised me for one reason or another. Among my favorites:

Narrow Dog to Indian River ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11357565/ ), comedic travelogue

Through a Howling Wilderness ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14564488/ ), non-fiction about Benedict Arnold's amazing - if tragic - march to Quebec through the Maine wilderness

My Brother's Husband ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14618688/ ), a manga about a Japanese single father who's surprised to find his late brother's husband on his doorstep

The Devourers ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13776117/ ), intriguingly dark horror-fantasy

Lovecraft Country ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14679906/ ), intriguing historical horror - with surprisingly upbeat plot twists, given the Lovecraftian influence

Singing the Dogstar Blues ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14729955/ ), a YA science-fiction novel with an effective take on human/alien communication

One Day ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10459492/ ), a romantic-comedy-type novel about two people's intersecting lives through the years

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I had quite a few really enjoyable reads last year, including several that really surprised me for one reason or another. Among my favorites:

Narrow Dog to Indian River ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11357565/ ), comedic travelogue


Glad you liked it. What a surprise to see it on someone else's wishlist.
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Narrow Dog to Indian River ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11357565/ ), comedic travelogue

Glad you liked it. What a surprise to see it on someone else's wishlist.

@NancyNova @GoryDetails
Then you must look out for Narrow Dog to Carcassonne. Incidently, it was the first BC book I found and the catch was my first journal entry.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8643277
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Then you must look out for Narrow Dog to Carcassonne. Incidently, it was the first BC book I found and the catch was my first journal entry.


That's very cool! And I did get a copy of that book, now waiting on my TBR shelves. Would also like to read Narrow Dog at Wigan Pier.
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For non-fiction, it was July's read:
Showing Up for Life by Bill Gates, Sr. http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13872143
Yes, it's written by the father of the Microsoft guy. Lots of gems in this one

For poetry - which I don't read that much of, it was both of them
Always a Reckoning and Other Poems by Jimmy Carter http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/5909310
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9753240 - a heartbreaking book

Lit & Fiction - I can't just one of these either. The best were:
The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12913226
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7688239 (if you have a choice, listen to this one for the dialect - the reader is wonderful)
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6181007
Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman https://www.librarything.com/---/reviews - what if part of the house you inherit includes caring for the elderly Alzeihmer's inhabitant?
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14349611 the companion to Harold Fry, but I thought this one was better
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6929627
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American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Lords and Ladies by Terry Partchett
Where am I Now? By Mara Wilson

And I listened to the audio book of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone again, which is an all-time favorite.
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Stopped reading in 2017. My no 1 would have to be:

"Toughen Up" by a NZ jeweller called Michael Hill. The book is more than his own business story and there are hundreds of golden nuggets of advice which include how he uses visualisation and mindfulness.

I read Michael Connoly's latest and a wonderful self-help book called "The Power of Focus" by Mark Hansen et al.

I aim to read 20 books in 2018 and set my Goodreads reading challenge.
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My best

I didn't get to as much as I wanted this year, but that is the usual. I did enjoy most of what I read though.

Favorite books of 2017
01. Mr. Robot: Red Wheelbarrow - Sam Esmail, Courtney Looney
02. If the River Was Whiskey - T.C. Boyle
03. Without A Hero - T.C. Boyle
04. A Line Made By Walking - Sara Baume
05. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
06. Version Control - Dexter Palmer
07. The Bone People - Keri Hulme
08. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
09. The Twenty Days of Turin - Giorgio de Maria
10. The One Eyed Man - Ron Currie
11. Roadside Picnic - Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
12. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised By Wolves - Karen Russell
13. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
14. Grief is the Thing With Feathers - Max Porter

Honorable Mentions:
High Dive - Jonathan Lee
American War - Omar El Akkad
The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen
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Waiting for Bojangles (En attendant Bojangles) by Olivier Bourdeault
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
The Paper Menagerie, amazing short stories by Ken Liu, a revelation.
Barkskins, by Annie Proulx. This one didn't get very good reviews but I loved it (no comments on my bc shelf as it was a library book).


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Mine...

My very best read for 2017:

*Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey

Other good ones, in the order read:

*Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

*The Secret of Raven Point, by Jennifer Vanderbes

*Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith

*The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food, by Jennifer 8. Lee

*Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler

*The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood

*When Will There Be Good News, by Kate Atkinson

*John Dies at the End, by David Wong

Overall, it was a pretty good year and there are several more I could probably include...
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On LibraryThing I participated in the Top Five Books of 2017 so I'll repeat those here.
That's My Baby by Frances Itani - third book by this author dealing with the people of a small Ontario town through the twentieth century and into the 21st. This was the best of the trilogy and the others were great so that's saying a lot.
Farthing by Jo Walton - first book in an alternate history trilogy in which Britain did not continue the war against the Nazis after Dunkirk
Silk by Alessandro Baricco - short, wonderfully written book about a Frenchman who goes to Japan to buy silkworms and falls in love with his host's concubine
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood - Atwood's retelling of The Tempest set in a prison in contemporary Ontario
As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross - a marriage falls apart in a small town in Saskatchewan during the 'Dirty Thirties'

Note there is quite an emphasis on Canadian works (4 out of 5 by Canadian authors) which may reflect the fact that it was Canada's 150th birthday and over one-third of the books I read were written by Canadians.
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I own a newly published copy of Silk, with beautiful drawings like these https://ciaotutti.nl/---/een-zinderend-nieuw-jasje-voor-zijde-van-alessandro-baricco/ (Site is in Dutch, but you can enjoy some of the drawings). Is it published the same way in the US?
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I own a newly published copy of Silk, with beautiful drawings like these https://ciaotutti.nl/---/een-zinderend-nieuw-jasje-voor-zijde-van-alessandro-baricco/ (Site is in Dutch, but you can enjoy some of the drawings). Is it published the same way in the US?



oh, those are wonderful drawings for a wonderful book. If it exists in English or French, I will snap it up.
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so I looked up the illustrator, who is French, and see she published it in French in 2012.
She has also illustrated Alice in Wonderland, Babayaga and more.
http://www.rebeccadautremer.com/home

And now I have ordered it, in French! It has also been published in Spanish.
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I received my copy of Silk today (in French). It is absolutely gorgeous, I am in love! Thank you for mentioning it, iiwi.
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I received my copy of Silk today (in French). It is absolutely gorgeous, I am in love! Thank you for mentioning it, iiwi.


!

:)
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I own a newly published copy of Silk, with beautiful drawings like these https://ciaotutti.nl/---/een-zinderend-nieuw-jasje-voor-zijde-van-alessandro-baricco/ (Site is in Dutch, but you can enjoy some of the drawings). Is it published the same way in the US?

My copy of Silk was without illustrations but it was quite an old copy. Those drawings are gorgeous and certainly would give even more enjoyment to the book.
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I really enjoyed:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Rook (and the sequel, Stiletto) by Daniel O'Malley
Brain on Fire by Susannah Callahan
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe

I also did a reread of some old favourites: some old Neil Gaiman and my favourite translation of Beowulf.
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Read 228 books

FICTION
Sleep Toward Heaven by Amanda Eyre Ward
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
Rules of Betrayal by Christopher Reich
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
All The Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doerr
The Lady of the River by Philippa Gregory
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

NON-FICTION
Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Eric Larson
Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

1001
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

REREAD
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly (1001)
The Shack by William P. Young

CHILDREN
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The Road to Memphis by Mildred Taylor
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I've tried - but it's over a fortnight into the new year and I still haven't succeeded, so I'm giving up!
I completed 264 books in 2017 and thought too many of them were too good for me to come up with any sort of short list of manageable length!
I have enough trouble trying to make my monthly choices . . . . :-)
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Well at least it is awesome that you can read that many and consider so many of them too good not to mention. A true book lover. :D
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I read horribly slowly last year so there aren't many to choose from ! Think my favourite was Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondjaate, followed by No et moi by Delphine de Vigan...

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