book list

Best 10 Books of 2017

What makes a book a GOOD book?

For me, a good book is one I can’t stop reading. It’s a book that I stay up late reading because I keep saying “just one more chapter, then I’ll go to sleep.” A good book is a story that sticks with you long after you are done reading it.

I read a lot of books. I like gritty, well-written mystery/suspense books. Sometimes they can be a little graphic, which I know is not for everyone. I also love books that evoke serious emotions while reading it. These are the ones that stay with me for a long time.

Since I’ve already done full reviews on these books in previous posts, I won’t do it again here. But I did want to share my favorite 10 books of 2017. These are books that were so beautifully written, so poignant, so important in some way, that I hope everyone reads them! You can follow me on Goodreads, too.

Without further ado, the BEST BOOK I read of 2017 was LUCKY BOY.

1 ) Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Most heart-breaking and most heart-warming story


2 ) The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Most Beautifully Written

3 ) Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Most “Feel Good” book with a great message

4 ) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Best characters

5 ) Stillhouse Lake #1 by Rachel Caine

Most exciting, can’t-stop-reading book


6 ) Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Best story that stays with you

7 ) The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Best Happy Tear-Jerker

8 ) The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Best book about grief, healing, motherhood and love

9 ) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Best social movement/social justice book

10 ) Arrowood by Laura McHugh

Best gothic/atmospheric thriller

Happy reading! 

Books #5


We’re getting into the dark, rainy months here in the Northwest. I don’t know about you but winter makes me want to curl up with a good book and a blanket and some tea. If you’re looking for some good books to add to your list, check out my Book Review Page, follow me on Goodreads or check out the books in this post! 🙂

1 ) The White Lioness: Wallander Book 3 by Henning Mankell

This book started out really strong. An upstanding, religious woman is reported missing be her husband. Wallander instantly thinks there’s more to the story than just a missing woman. Turns out to be true–she was murdered. The book is blazing along, great story, then it shifts point of view to the killers, who happen to be part of an assassination plot against Nelson Mandela. This part of the book was not as interesting–the politics, etc–and I was disappointed with the book. Then it flipped back to Wallander and the story got good again.

Despite the parts of the book I found uninteresting (I didn’t want to read about politics, I wanted to read about Sweden and detectives solving crimes), the story ended really strong and redeemed itself. So if you can get through the other “stuff”, it’s worth a read.


2 ) The Psalmist: A Bowers and Hunter Mystery by James Lilliefors

This was a good, solid mystery/detective story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was interesting enough and detailed enough to keep me guessing but without making it confusing. I liked the characters a lot. Amy Hunter, the homicide investigator, is a strong female lead. She’s smart and determined, despite having the “old guard” of the sheriff’s department standing in her way at every turn, trying to undermine her. It was a good start to a series and I look forward to reading the second book.



3 ) A Trick of Light (Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 7) by Louise Penny

You would think that the story line of “someone gets murdered in Three Pines” gets old, but somehow it doesn’t. Each murder in the books is new and different and the beloved characters in Three Pines are back! This time, the story was very evolved–involving a lot of issues and several characters and it was picking up the threads from a few previous books. Shocking things were going on with favorite characters.

In this book Clara is finally having her cake and eating it too! Her first art show is a roaring success, but the jealousy of certain people comes to the surface. And then a body is found at the after-party and it points to Clara? How could that be? This was a great story and great book! Another success in the series.


4 ) The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives by Theresa Brown, RN

This a memoir written by a nurse and it covers one shift in a cancer ward. It’s a peak into the crazy, hectic, chaotic, sometimes sad, sometimes happy life of a nurse. She gives details of medical care and procedures and it really is an interesting insight into the workings of a hospital, the politics and the issues surrounding care. In the book she talks about four patients with different issues and you grow to care about each patient–even the difficult one. It was a fast read, a short book and really interesting.



5 ) Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder Book #1) by Linda Castillo

LOVED this book! 5 stars!

Kate Burkholder is the Chief of Police in a small Ohio town. She was a homicide detective in Cleveland but recently took this job because of her unique background–she used to be Amish. This is the community she grew up in, before leaving the Amish ways, and she knows the people and the culture and speaks Pennsylvania Dutch. She’s also keeping a secret–one of the reasons she ended up leaving the community was a tragic encounter with a serial killer when she was a teenager. Now it seems as though he’s back and killing again–but how is that possible? She was sure he was dead. Is it a copycat? Did the wrong man die 15 years ago?

The book was SO well done! Loved the writing style. Loved the characters. Loved the conflicts. The story was unique and fascinating and I enjoyed the whole book. I was fascinated by the Amish lifestyle and the book handles it without being patronizing. I guessed who the killer was about 75% into the book but that didn’t ruin it for me, the ending was still very, very satisfying and I immediately downloaded the second book.



6 ) Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder Book #2) by Linda Castillo

Book 2 in the series. I downloaded it immediately after finishing the first book because I loved it so much. This book was really good, too. An Amish family of 8 is murdered brutally and the Chief of Police has to solve the crime that hits a little too close to home for her. Just like the first book, the character development was excellent, the scene was set and you felt like you were really there. The story was interesting and I liked the detective process in the book. Another winner!


7 ) The Crossing by Michael Connelly

In this book Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller have joined sides. Harry is no longer a detective with the LAPD, having been pushed out in the previous book. This leads him to sue the department and Mickey is his attorney. Then Mickey comes to Harry with a proposal: work on a case for him to prove that his client is innocent.

Harry isn’t wild about the idea. While he’s no longer a cop and is suing the LAPD, he still sees the defense as “the dark side” and doesn’t want anything to do with it. But little things about the case start to bug him and he realizes that the wrong man is sitting in jail awaiting trial–which means the killer is still out there. So Harry takes the case.

It’s a good book and I loved the combination of the two characters in one novel. It was weird not having Harry as a cop, but in a way it was cool because he had more freedom to investigate the way he wants to do it–no department rules hanging over his head. It was really well done and a fast read!


8 ) Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder Book #3) by Linda Castillo

This is the third book in the series. Chief of police, Kate, is back in a story about the Amish. This time it’s about hate crimes against the Amish in her community. It starts out with small things, but escalates to sheep being murdered, buggies being bombed with Molotov cocktails and finally murder. In the previous two books I guessed who the killer was around the 75% mark of the book (but that didn’t ruin the ending for me either time) but this time there was a definite twist and it kept me guessing until the very end! Another good book in the series.


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