2017 Reading List

The tradition continues - a page for all the books I've read in 2017. Last year I read 50 books, so my goal this year is 51. Can I do it?

23. Call me crazy, but sometimes a little romance from Nora Roberts is just the thing. Roberts is good about writing a group of books that feature the same characters. Savor the Moment is the third book in the Bride Quartet series. It's about four women who together own a wedding business called Vows. Each of the women has a specialty: a photographer, a florist, a baker and the wedding planner. This third book focused on the baker (savor, get it?) She is in love with her friend the wedding planner's brother and they start dating and they fall in love and (spoiler) live happily ever after but not before there is an argument that nearly breaks them apart. It's a total formula and I totally love it. (April)

22. I love books by Alice Hoffman. That is all. (April)

21. After You is the sequel to Me Before You. I read Me Before You several years ago and it made me weep. In fact, I can only think of three books that have made me put my head down on the table, bang my fist and cry like my heart was broken. Me Before You was one of them. (The other two are The Kite Runner and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.) I have put off seeing the movie because I already knew that I would be a quivery, soggy mess. I put off reading After You because I wasn't sure if I was ready to move on from Will and Lou. But there it was, staring at me from the library shelf and I decided I was ready. I also went ahead and rented the DVD of Me Before You so I could remember some details. I was, in fact, a quivery, soggy mess. I'm glad I was on my own couch with a box of Kleenex in easy reach.

Anyway, After You is full of grieving Lou and a surprise that knocks Lou for a total loop. There's a lovely new romance for Lou and an exciting job offer. There were times when I wanted to grab Lou by the shoulders and yell, "What are you doing? Come ON!" There were also lots of times when I wanted to hug her and be her friend. I really like Jojo Moyes' writing style. The flow of the story is excellent; the characters are fantastic. There wasn't as much weeping for me from this book, but I did shed a couple tears. (April)

20. I'm not really sure if I liked this book or not. The characters are not very nice. The tennis world is full of alphas who by definition aren't kind and sweet. The main character, Charlie, isn't nice. She's kind of a jack-ass quite a bit. Her coach is a raging asshole. Charlie's boyfriend is a dick. Her main rival is a bitch. Still, I kept reading and squirming at how awful these people were. It seems that the world of professional tennis is just way, way different and uncomfortable than the regular world. (April)

19. A Reader's Choice book from the library. The story is based on a woman Louise/Louisiana (never was sure if her full name was Louisiana) who moves to Louisiana to take a job in the library science department at a university. Her program gets the ax, so she takes a job at a public library in the small rural parish of Alligator Bayou. She and her best friend/fellow librarian add a bunch of programs to the library to get more people interested and coming to the library. Louise also meets a man who is a good person and who likes her children. Conflict arises when a certain member of the police jury (similar to county commissioners) wants to cut all funding for the parish libraries and shut it all down. That's when Louisiana has to step up her game to save the library. As I read this mini synopsis, it doesn't make me want to read the book, but you should because it's a pretty good story and I liked it. (April)
18. I will read anything that Elin Hilderbrand writes. All of her books are set in Nantucket and she often has a character that was part of a previous book mentioned or playing a tiny part in another book, so it feels kind of familiar. By now I have read several books by Hilderbrand and I have a clear picture in my head of Bartlet's Farm and some of the businesses in the town. I can imagine the streets and the beaches. Anyway...this story centers around three women who were all married to the same guy (not at the same time). The guy has died and the ex-wives and widow gather in Nantucket with the lawyer to spread the ashes and read the will. The children come also. The story jumps around a bit between all the people, but it's pretty easy to keep it straight. Sometimes it is hard to like the people (the second wife and the widow, especially), but it is entertaining enough. (April)

17. I saw this book in my library on the "7 Day Checkout" shelf. These are popular newly released books that you can only have for seven days instead of the normal 21 days. I read the cover blurb and thought it sounded fun, and I thought I could read it quick, so I got it. Spoiler alert - I finished it in six days. :) Sometimes I have a hard time with Sophie Kinsella books. Well, mostly the Shopaholic books, I guess. I don't care for the main character in those stories. I didn't have any problem liking the main character of My (Not So) Perfect Life. Katie is adorable. She does have a shitty boss who I disliked through most of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It's a perfect little weekend read. (April)

16. Nine Women, One Dress is a Reader's Choice selection at the library. The cover of the book and the premise of the story is so cute, how could I resist? What I liked best was the way the story was told from different points of view with some POVs overlapping with others. I think there were more than nine women who were affected by the dress, but I wasn't really counting because I lost track as I got into the stories. This is a fun little read. (March)

15. I have read a few book by Terry McMillan. I like her style and the stories she tells are relate-able. I Almost Forgot about You is the story of Georgia, a 50-something, twice divorced optometrist in the Bay Area. She learns that a man she used to date has died and his passing makes her think of other men in her life. She decides to contact them to let them know what she liked about them and how they impacted her life. At the same time, she is having a bit of a mid-life crisis. Overall I liked the story. I really liked Georgia and her mom totally grew on me over the course of the novel. (March)

14. I chose The Knockoff because of the cute cover. The story was cute too. It's about the editor in chief of a fashion magazine (Imogen) who comes back to work after being on medical leave to find that her former assistant (Eve) is the new defacto boss and she's changing the whole format of the magazine by dropping the physical magazine and going digital with an app. Think Devil Wears Prada, but Andy has become Miranda's boss and now Andy is horrible and Miranda is awesome. The thing about it was that I really understood Imogen's dismay at all the technology and how the younger workers were so fast and efficient with their ever-present electronic devices. (March)

13. The Hating Game is another Reader's Choice selection from the library. I gobbled this book up like it was a yummy treat, which it was. Pure chick lit enjoyment. I loved Lucy and Josh and their romance. It was silly and sweet and sexy and a little naughty. Perfect weekend read. (March)

12. Oil and Marble is a selection from the library's Reader's Choice collection right now. It's a historical fiction novel set in Florence, Italy in the early 1500s and the two main characters are Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Michelangelo has just completed the Pieta in Rome and returned home to Florence to be with his family. Leonardo has returned from Milan before he was chased out of town for not finishing a commission. Both of them are interested in winning the commission of the Duccio Stone. Michelangelo wins it and turns the unwieldy and ugly piece of marble into the David statue. Leonardo has a bunch of adventures including spending time at war, trying to change the course of the Arno River and again failing to complete a commission when he meets a housewife named Lisa. Leonardo convinces Lisa's husband to hire him to paint Lisa's portrait, and the Mona Lisa is created. It's pretty incredible that these two amazing pieces of art were created around the same time in the same city. The book had a bit of a slow start, but I really got into it. Now I want to go to Florence more than ever! And yes, I know the Mona Lisa is in Paris. (March)

11. One Evening in Paris is an ebook that I purchased from Barnes and Noble quite awhile ago. I picked it with my eyes closed to have something to read before sleep. The story is about a man, Alain, who owns an old-fashioned cinema in Paris. Alain decides to have a series of love stores on Wednesday nights and he sees a woman in a red coat and totally falls in love with her, even though he doesn't know her and hasn't even spoken to her. He finally works up the courage to speak to her and they go out for dinner and have an amazing evening talking and walking through Paris. When a famous film director and a movie star show up at the cinema and want to film a movie there, Alain loses his new love. The story is about Alain's search for the woman in the red coat and it's sweet. You can tell that the book is not written by an American man. It's so romantic and sort of passionate. (March)

10.  Young Adult fiction can be really fun and easy to read. Love and Gelato totally filled the bill for me. Lina goes to Tuscany to live with her dad (who she has never met) after her mom dies. The dad is totally cool, but looks nothing like Lina at all. Lina is given a journal that was her mother's from when the mom lived in Italy. Lina and the cute guy she meets (Ren) read through the journal to find out more about the mom and dad. Adventure and amore ensue. Loved it! (February)

9. The Light Between Oceans has been on my radar for awhile and finally became available through the eLibrary. I was drawn in from the very first page. Everything is going fine until BOOM! A moral dilemma raises it's head. Sometimes good people make choices that aren't exactly bad until they find out more facts and it is hard to live with a guilty conscience. This story made me cry and think. I really liked it. (February)

8. I bought the ebook The Nest for my Nook around Christmas time from the Daily Picks of Barnes and Noble. It's the story of four siblings who are set to inherit some money that their father had set aside for them that they would receive when the youngest turned 40. The money was referred to as The Nest and each of the siblings had big plans for the cash as the birthday approached. Unfortunately, the oldest brother had a bad experience and the mother used most of the money in The Nest to help her son out of his predicament, much to the dismay of the other three kids. This story is basically about what they were all doing with the money they didn't have and their concern about getting the money back from the wayward brother.  I kinda liked it. The characters were well-defined and interesting. (February)

7. I think I've read and loved/liked all of Rainbow Rowell's books. Carry On is different from all her other books. For one thing, it is the book that was almost a character in another one of Rowell's books, Fangirl. I guess she decided that we should all read Simon and Baz's story. I liked the writing, but I didn't care for the characters or the story. It makes me kind of sad to say it, but I just didn't like it. (February)

6. The Memory Thief popped up on the eLibrary list called Recommended for You, so I thought I'd try it. The book had pretty good reviews on Goodreads which I almost always look at before I commit to a book. It's a terrible habit, but I can't seem to break it. I gotta tell ya...I didn't really care for this book. I liked the characters, but the actual memory thief part - I just couldn't get with it. (January)

5. Okay, okay. I like Young Adult fiction on occasion.  Going Vintage is total YA. It's about a teenage girl who breaks up with her boyfriend when she finds out he is cyber cheating on her. She decides to renounce all of the electronic things we have today and go vintage. The results made me roll my eyes at times and giggle at other times. Harmless fluff. (January)

4. Eligible is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It is the fourth of four books in the so-called Austen Project in which current authors take retell four Jane Austen novels in modern times. The other three are on my to-read list. I haven't read all seven of Jane Austen's novels yet; I've only read three, but the other four are also on my to-read list.  Anyway, Eligible is entertaining. I thought the author did a good job of putting the Bennet family in Cincinnati. Elizabeth Bennet is always going to be a good character; I thought making Charles (Chip) Bingley being on a "Bachelor" type show was hilarious. (January)

3. I love love love Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books! I have several on my to-read list. They are like literary candy or donuts and I can't have too many of them at one time or I'll be sick, but sprinkled into my reading list every now and then is just what the doctor ordered. I was kind of put off by the premise of Kiss an Angel - the couple works at a small-time traveling circus - but it's SEP and it's gonna be fine.  (January)

2. My mom read With or Without You and liked it and since Mom and I have very similar tastes in books, I thought I'd give it a try, too. At first I was pretty annoyed with the lead character, Lyssa, but she grew on me and I ended up really liking this book.  Fluffy and sweet. (January)

1. The Rosie Project is the first book I finished in 2017. It's been on my to-read list for awhile and finally came up for check-out from the eLibrary. It's quirky and sweet. I guess it's going to be made into a movie. And there is a follow-up book, too. I'll probably read the sequel sometime. (January)

1 comment:

Nin Pujol said...

I read 4 of the books, and will be watching the movie of one of them, Not sure if I will read it first or watch the movie :)