Favorite Books of 2017

On Goodreads, I read and reviewed 52 books in 2017. Many friends have asked if I would share my favorites of the year. This is a challenging task, but I will attempt to narrow it down to my 2017 best reads for you. To see all my reviews, be sure and see my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge and connect with me there for ongoing reviews.

Favorites in Fiction:

A Gentleman in Moscow

What a treasure! I was enchanted from the beginning and fully engaged all the way through. The reader on Audible is delightful and brought the character to life. It made driving a pleasure even in heavy traffic to hear the voice of the narrator and the story unfold.

Here are some quotes I enjoyed:

“The principle here is that a new generation owes a measure of thanks to every member of the previous generation. Our elders planted fields and fought in wars; they advanced the arts and sciences, and generally made sacrifices on our behalf. So by their efforts, however humble, they have earned a measure of our gratitude and respect.”
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow

“if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow

“For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow

The Nightingale

My review: I was swept away with this book. Although the book was fiction, it was based on the courage of real French resisters to risk everything to assist and hide Jewish children and fallen airmen during World War II. It was insightful and sad. The author did a good job of bringing to life an aspect of the war that is important-the courage of ordinary people to help strangers even if it meant the possibility of imprisonment or death. Well done!

Favorites in Non-Fiction:

Marrow

Powerful read. Even if you don’t have a sister or you aren’t close with a sister, this book is about love. It can be applied to any relationship. I marked it as I went along and now will re-read those notations to let the messages sink in even deeper. I am suggesting it to my daughters and to my friends. Thanks to my niece for her recommendation we read it at the same time. I am looking forward to talking about it with anyone who would like to discuss it.

The Five Invitations

I read an average of a book a week. Only a handful of books do I know that I will re-read and study. This book is one of those books. I first listened on Audible, which I highly recommend. The author reads the book and his voice was soothing and brought the stories to life because I could hear his tone and his inflections of voice. I then bought a copy of the book so I could mark it up and study it in more depth in the coming months. I highly recommend this book especially if you are facing the death of someone you love.

Braving the Wilderness

I found this book valuable after the trauma of pre and post election polar stances I see and feel in our country. I have read many of Brene Brown’s books in the past. This one struck a cord of how we might view others with an open heart instead of deciding we hate them because they belong to a certain party or group. I encourage everyone to read the book so we can heal and find some middle ground. Perhaps it will stimulate a bit more compassion and understanding among diverse groups. I was really glad I listened to it on Audible and I plan to comb back through a paper copy and take notes to really let the message sink in even deeper.

The Joy of Less

I am committed to tidying and minimizing, so I knew I would like this book. It was straightforward, practical and easy to follow. It made complete sense and sent me into another round of dedicated decluttering and getting rid of stuff. I felt lighter reading it and letting go of even more layers of stuff. If everyone followed her advice, I believe people would have less problems and more joy.

And finally, if you need some lightness and laughs, I recommend:

How to Be Ultra Spiritual

The funniest book I have ever read! I have watched JP’s videos on You Tube for awhile now and found them very amusing. I have also read a lot of spiritual books. With that background, I found the book hilarious! JP provides a breath of fresh air and tickled my funny bone. I rarely turned more than 2 pages without laughing out loud. Besides being humorous, it brings to light arrogance that some “spiritual” people display. It also provides balance to a largely serious subject matter. JP helps me remember to lighten up and not take everything so seriously!

Be sure to leave a comment below about your favorite reads in 2017! I am always adding to my “Want To Read List“!

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