20170109

My Year in Books


1. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena - by Anthony Marra - This is a long tale that takes place over the course of only five days and has three major characters. It takes place in a rural town of Chechnya during war time. I am not sure how I felt about this book. It was a very long slow read not something I felt compelled to read. With young kids reading is often a luxury and I want to be reading a book that I really want to be reading. But then again it had some really beautiful moments, some heart wrenching scenes that made me want to finish the book.. eventually. And I did and am glad I did.. though I did skip paragraphs here and there.


2. Triptych - by Karin Slaughter - A crime thriller based in Atlanta. I read three books in this series this year, particularly the Will Trent series. This is the first in the series and it was a great fast paced read. It's brutal and gory and if you can stomach it then I highly recommend it. 


3. The Girl on the Train - by Paula Hawkins - Every day is the same. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. She watches a couple every day living their seemingly perfect lives. Until one day she seems something shocking.. This is one of those books most have heard of if not read or at least seen the movie. It was a good read but it could have been better. It started to get desperate and predictable towards the end. Not a must read and I didn't watch the movie either.

4. Hidden Bodies - by Caroline Kepnes - Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him. This is the second in the series and I had not read the first and while reading the first may have given me a better understanding of Joe and some references I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was murderously funny.


5. The Crooked Branch - by Jeanine Cummins - This books tell two stories. One of Majella after the birth of her baby Emma in present day, exhausted and overwhelmed. The other of her ancestor Ginny Doyle in Ireland. I think I'd call this my dullest book of the year. While Ginny's story was interesting Majella's constant whining made it difficult to get through this book. Yes, motherhood is hard, we all know that but when compared to the hardships Ginny faced Majella's complaining sounded more like that of a spoiled child. 


6. The Wrath of Angels - by John Connolly - In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of an airplane is discovered. There are no bodies, and no such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. What the wreckage conceals is more important than money: it is power. This was a suspense thriller with a hint of religious conspiracy theory. It was the 11th book in a series. I had read none before. It was a pretty good read. 


7. The Rosie Project - by Graeme Simsion - Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date.His lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone as he embarks upon The Wife Project. Here enters Rosie Jarman who represents everything he hates but has a project of her own. This is the sweetest book. Even though you sort of know they are going to end up together it's the journey that makes for a great read. 


8. Leaving Blythe River - by Catherine Ryan Hyde - Seventeen-year-old Ethan Underwood is totally unprepared to search for his father in the Blythe River National Wilderness. Not only is he small, scrawny, and skittish but he’s barely speaking to the man after a traumatic betrayal. Yet when his father vanishes from their remote cabin and rangers abandon the rescue mission, suddenly it’s up to Ethan to keep looking. Angry or not, he’s his father’s only hope. This one surprised me. I didn't expect to like it. I almost gave up on it before even starting it. I had won it in a giveaway. I am so glad I stuck with it. It was a beautiful book about self confidence, inner strength and family.


9. Undone - by Karin Slaughter - When a tortured young woman enters the trauma center of an Atlanta hospital, Dr. Sara Linton is thrust into a desperate police investigation with Special Agent Will Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell. Though guarding their own wounds and their own secrets, Sara, Will, and Faith find that they are all that stand between a madman and his next victim. This was the 3rd book in the Will Trent series but the second book I read. Wow, this was one majorly messed up book. So good. While this is fiction it scares me to think of how real it also is, how many seriously f'ed up people there are in the world.


10. The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms - A young painter, Lily has reached a crossroads in her life. Her career hasn't taken off, her best friend may no longer be the trusted friend she thought, her boyfriend is a disappointment, and now she can't keep up with the rising cost of living in the city. With no one to turn to, Lily is forced to move from her beloved apartment, but while packing she comes across a piece of mail that had slipped to the back of her junk drawer: a letter detailing further action needed to finalize the annulment of a quickie Vegas wedding. Ten years ago! I don't usually go for the rom com. But sometime you just need a light read, a change of pace especially after the horrors of a Karin Slaughter book. And this fit the bill perfectly. I didn't find myself cringing at the sappiness.. I found it surprisingly sweet.


11. The Martian - by Andy Weir - Don't think this one really needs a description. Everyone has read it, seen it or heard of it. I read it and then watched it and as always the book wins. I wasn't sure how interesting it would be to read. I didn't understand a lot of the science stuff but man was this an awesome book. Must Read!


12. Kill You Twice - by Chelsea Cain - Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Gretchen Lowell—the serial killer whose stunning beauty is belied by the gruesome murders she's committed—is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she's inflicted on him and start moving on with his life. And then Archie gets a message he can't ignore—Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder he is working. Again I jumped in the middle of a series. This was book 5 and there is a lot of back story that was hinted at. The story was gruesome and the concept intriguing but not enough to make we want to read more of the series. I by far preferred Karin Slaughter to Chelsea Cain.


13. The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd - Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke who has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women and her slave Hetty “Handful” Grimke, who yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. Wow. This was an amazing book. It makes me thankful for being born in the world I was born in. 


14. Fallen - by Karin Slaughter - There's no police training stronger than a cop's instinct. Faith Mitchell's mother isn't answering her phone. Her front door is open. There's a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother's house, gun drawn. This is the third book I read by Karin Slaughter this year. 5th in the Will Trent series and as expected it had plenty of twist and turns. Though I must say this was my least favorite of the three books. The first in the series was by far my favorite!

and my proudest moment.. 


Seeing him read a few chapters every night makes me so happy, so proud. :)
       
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24 comments:

  1. Love The Girl on the Train. Great one!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

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  2. This is an awesome list! I have read Girl on the Train but not the others. Need to think about trying some of these for my book club. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  3. How I wish I've read this much! I really would like to do it this year though! Happy New Year.

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  4. You have read a lot of books. Great!
    Happy New Year and a wonderful week:)

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  5. You've read some great books this year!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  6. Aaaaaw...Roald Dahl books are the best for kiddos:)
    And good on you for all these books. The Wrath of Angels sound really good. Will check out the series.

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  7. I loved the Girl on the Train... I read the Martian when it first came out and just finally got around to seeing the movie!

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  8. Lots of interesting reads, I might pick up one or two of your titles, particularly the Sue Monk Kidd one.

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  9. The only one I've read is The Martian and this was only because my husband liked it so much. Of course we watched the movie after we both read the book :)

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  10. I always loved Roald Dahl! So good to see kids reading :)

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  11. So many great reads to add to my list! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  12. These all sound like books my mom, sister, and I would love! We have been reading thrilling kind of style books, similar to girl on the train. You might like a book called "the memory box" and "behind closed doors" SO GOOD!

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  13. Kudos to you for all of the great reading you did this past year!!

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  14. What a great list! I should catch up on my reading. Thanks for sharing these titles =)


    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

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  15. I still haven't read The Girl on the Train - I so need to!

    xx

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  16. I'll have to check these out!! Thanks for sharing!
    Adi xx
    fancycorrectitude.com
    instagram.com/fancycorrectitude

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  17. You did very well with your 2016 of books! I always love seeing a child immersed in a book. I hope your latest read is a good one for you.

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  18. A lot of good reads there, especially Charlie!!! One of the best books EVER!
    I read and liked Girl On the Train a lot, but I found, like you, it petered out in the end. It was one of those books that didn't really have any likable characters and I find that hard in a story. I actually REALLY liked the movie. I'm pretty critical of books made into movies, and this one is hard because if you've read the book, you know the outcome (That happened with Gone Girl too). But this one did a good job changing it up just a bit that there were some surprises and it was well done. I would recommend it.

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  19. Thanks for sharing... always like a good new book to read. I've read a couple of these too. Have a wonderful week!

    blessings,
    Jill

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  20. Thanks for the honest recommendations. I need to read so badly this year! So good your kiddo is reading along with you :)

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  21. Sounds like some good books! I need to read more!

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  22. Amazing reads!

    God bless,
    XO, Claire
    Http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

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  23. I really need to read some of Sue Monk Kidd's books! Everyone raves about them. I read Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter, which was also messed up. I like dark books though, so I want to read the Will Trent series! I also loved The Martian and The Rosie Project!

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  24. We are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the kids right now!

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