What We’re Reading

by Amanda McKay | December 12, 2017

Book Recommendations

2017 Favorites


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel – May 9, 2017, by Gail Honeyman
A delightful book with lots of charm and heart.


The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Mukherjee writes with something that most historians and scientists lack – style. There is a clear voice and emotion behind his work, which makes it possible for everyday readers to engross themselves in a topic that is difficult to approach. Mukherjee shares his own intimate family history alongside the history of the gene, making for an engaging narrative on the history of genetics.


Dear Abigail by Diane Jacobs
“Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and her Two Remarkable Sisters” by Diane Jacobs.This was new to me this year, but it was published in 2014.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a HUGE fan of John Adams, and this book was wonderful for shedding even more light on characters in our history that do not get as much play as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson. If anyone wants to see an intimate perspective of the Adams and Quincy families’ lives before, during, and after the Revolutionary War (or dares to question the roles and sacrifices in service to the formation of our country of the Adams family), then I definitely recommend this book!


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry was an “astronomical” book. Neil DeGrasse Tyson does an excellent job of not only simplifying the intricate concepts of the sciences, but also helped explain that some things in the world could be more simple if we embraced what science has to offer.


Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden
One title I enjoyed that was written in 2017 is “Dangerous Legacy” by Elizabeth Camden; Lucy Drake loves being a telegrapher for the American news agency, learning breaking news stories before they’re printed is exciting, plus she wants to keep ahead of Sir Colin Beckwith with the rival British news agency. Unfortunately, her family’s past is always there to cause her trouble and hold her back, will things ever change?


The Secret Scripture (McNulty Family) by Sebastian Barry.
This was our March, daytime book discussion. I had chosen the book (by an Irish author) for St Patrick’s Day the following day. It turned out to be my favorite book of the year. This wasn’t just the story of Roseanne McNulty, somehow this book captured most the major events and themes of 20th Century Ireland in a gripping and shocking story with a big twist at the end.


Braving the Wilderness
Over the past two years, I have witnessed an exponential increase in the divisions that people choose to put between themselves and others. People struggle to find common ground – even among family or close friends.
I’m always a little timid about how to navigate these social realities so I was very grateful to read, Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown’s most recent, best-selling title. This book gives you the confidence you need to continue to be yourself (no matter how complicated that definition is) while choosing to respect those around you and the decisions that they have made with their lives.


Repo Madness
The story(written with humor) is about a guy just trying to deal with the hand life has dealt him all the while doing his job and taking care of his family and friends. He stumbles upon a serial killer as he tries to unravel the event that changed his life.


A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
I really enjoy A Man Called Ove (prounounced ooh vaa on the audio) by Frederik Backman. It was a slow starting book where the reader has to get used to the author’s style, but just continued to get better and better. I’ve seen reviews where it is said that Ove is the grumpiest man in the world, and it is true. His old man ways and actions made me smile. The ever-present win-him-over attitude of the neighbor renews ones faith in humanity. Backman’s unexpected twists in the plot kept the pages turning. The book was published in 2015, but I read it this year.


The Next Accident by Lisa Gardner
The book did a great job of building relationships between the different characters as you worked through the details of the accidents. I was anxious to get back to the book each time I had to put it down. The suspense built throughout the book revealing more details each chapter.


Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
My favorite book of 2017 is the book “Lord of Shadows” by Cassandra Clare. It was released in 2017. It is the second book in The Dark Artifices series. I love the humor and suspense that are in these fantasy books. Cassandra Clare is fantastic at creating witty characters and interesting stories.


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
My favorite book of 2017 (so far) was Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. This Fantasy book was enjoyable because I felt it was different from others I have read recently. It was gritty, and almost harsh at times. While the plot is somewhat cliché (family killed, become assassin to avenge etc) it is done so well and differently from others that I sped through this book. It does NOT have a happy ending, which is disappointing but also refreshing. People I liked died.


The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
The Stranger in the Woods tells how Christopher Knight disappeared from society into the woods of Maine, speaking to no other people for almost thirty years and surviving by stealing only what he needed to live from nearby houses. It’s an interesting look at someone trying to find solitude, but the reader is forced to decide how they feel about his methods, which frightened local residents for years before he was discovered.


The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel
This is the absolute best book about the Ketogenic Diet. It was new in 2017 and includes the reasons it works, tips, tricks and strategies as well as meal plans.


I’m picking two interactive picture books as my favs of 2017; both were new in 2017.

The Cat Book by Silvia Borando
I checked this book out to take it home to read with my 16-year-old daughter (yep, 16). The fluffy page is the best page.

Is that Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas
I used Is That Wise, Pig? in story times this year and it always got big laughs and lots of tot involvement. A book is truly successful in storytime if both the tots and grownups are laughing at the end!

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