Among the books I read, these truly stand out as my favorite books of the year:
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood ~ This novel is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Project series and is a modern retelling of The Tempest. In Atwood’s hands Felix is a theater director out for revenge. His long-game plan isto direct Shakespeare’s classic story of magic, fantasy and hatred–in a correctional institute with a cast of mostly non-violent criminals. Nothing could go wrong there, right?
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett ~ Jim and Eva live out three realities and their lives collide in each of them. This novel about the different paths that our lives might follow is great read for anyone enjoyed Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life. It’ll certainly make you think– What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?
At The Edge of The Orchard by Tracy Chevalier ~ 19th-Century America comes alive, warts and all, in a novel that begins in the muddy Black Swamp of Ohio and travels west to the giant Redwoods of California. Think Little House on the Prairie for adults.
The Trespasser by Tana French ~ French continues her gritty Dublin Murder Squad series by focusing on Detective Antoinette Conway in this procedural, that has Conway questioning her loyalty to the job. It’s book #6 but don’t let that stop you. Go now. Read them all.
Be Frank with Me by Julia Claybourne Johnson ~ Reclusive literary legend “Mimi” Banning hires Alice Whitely to care for her awkward, eccentric and endearing 5-year-old son, Frank ,and the result is is a captivating and charming story. Need a smile? This will help.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett ~ Two families are broken apart when Bert Cousins and Beverly Keating fall in love. The result is a multi-layered family drama that I dare you to take your eyes off of.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld ~ This smart and sassy modern updating of Pride and Prejudice works in every way and was oh, so satisfying of a read.
My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout ~ Filled with line after line of quotable prose, this novel about author Lucy Barton’s extended hospital visit might be one of my favorite reads of the DECADE and is a powerful story about moving on and learning from one’s past.
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters ~ Victor lives in a present day where the Civil War never happened. A free black man, Victor tracks down escaped slaves for the U.S. Marshall service. This literary thriller will have you racing to its final pages and leave you thinking about it for days.
Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead ~ This 2016 National Book Award winner tells the story Cora, a slave traveling the underground railroad and desperate for freedom. Excellent writing propels this grim, but ultimately hopeful must-read.
Have the happiest of holidays and keep on reading! ~Carol