Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Favorite Books This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, so head on over there to see what other bloggers have loved this year.

I’ve read 73 books this year and will probably finish 3 more before the end of December, but none of those will be making this list 🙂

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017.

  1. Title: A Man Called Ove, Author: Fredrik Backman I fell in love with Ove and his collection of merry wo(men).  For every trouble he caused those surrounding him, at least one blessing was given out.  Ove was a man with a heart, who didn’t always play well with others.  His pregnant neighbor picked him up and kept him moving until, finally, he embraced the loving circle that surrounded him.
  2. Title: Mariana, Author: Susanna Kearsley There is history, romance, and a perfect sense of place in all Kearsley books. Julia was sure she’d found her house and she packed up and moved from London to a small English village without a second thought.  She was a children’s book illustrator and was able to make a few friends right away just as she was being transported back in time.  It’s tricky when you are going back and forth between time periods and characters.  Inevitably, you are drawn more to one story than the other.  This one did a great job of tying the two together so I was invested in both.
  3. Title: The Color Purple, Author: Alice WalkerAbused by her father and then her husband, Celie relied on the love of her sister to get her through. When Nellie goes away and Celie doesn’t hear from her she begins writing letters to God. When her husband brings home his mistress to live with them, Celie finally starts to see herself in a new light.  This is not an easy read.  It’s emotional, sexually explicit and might wake you up in ways that you don’t like. Celie’s perseverance gives a voice to all the women who experience abuse and still manage to stay on their feet.  It exceeded expectations and now I’m anxious to get my hands on the movie.  Set in 1930’s Georgia it’s still relevant and addictingly readable.
  4. Title: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Author: Ernest J. Gaines Jane was a true survivor.  This fictional book, spanning her 110 year life really comes full circle in the end and I would have been happy to spend another 110 with Jane.  Jane was a little girl of 10 or 11 when Lincoln freed the slaves and she left her plantation with a small group hoping to walk their way north from Louisiana.  When something bad happens Jane is left in charge of 3 year old Ned and she must rely on her wits to keep them safe and free.  She eventually comes to raise him like her own son and find both happiness and heartache, never leaving her beloved Louisiana.  Jane is a warrior, a realist, and a trailblazer.
  5. Title: Little Fires Everywhere, Author: Celeste NgShaker Heights is a real place and I love it.  Ng chose to show the Shaker that she grew up in and I think it’s fair, and even though it has changed over the years it does still remain a progressive hotspot with old mansions lining picturesque streets. The Richardson family embodies this perfectly.  I understood and felt for every one of the characters and even when I didn’t like them I understood them.  The story centers around not only the fight over a baby left at a fire station by a distraught mother but also the mysterious Mia.  So many layers to this story and they were all connected by mothers.  I loved this book because it is overflowing with gray area.
  6. Title: The Hate U Give, Author: Angie ThomasThomas has taken a very important problem in America today and thrown back the curtains in a way that allows us all in on the experience.  Starr witnessed not one, but two, of her best friends get shot, one by a gang drive-by and one by a police officer.  It’s the one by the police officer that has turned into a national story and a powder keg for the community. Starr and her family live in the ghetto, as she likes to say, her father owns the local food shop and her mother is a nurse at the local hospital.  You will fall in love with Big Mav and Uncle Carlos.  Starr spends an hour in the car to go to a prep school, where she has white boyfriend and is one of the few black students.  As she tries to come to terms with the shooting and aftermath she tries to keep her involvement a secret from both areas of her life for different reasons.  It’s a powerful read told from the perspective of a 16 year-old girl who lives two lives and how a horrific tragedy forced the two to collide.  Starr acts like an adult most of the time, but her decisions show that she is also still a kid trying to figure out the crazy world we live in.
  7. Title: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Author: Trevor NoahI don’t keep up with Comedy Central’s The Daily Show much since Jon Stewart left, but I have seen Trevor and he’s good.  He’s smart and I love smart guys. Trevor’s honesty and humor about his early life during South African apartheid was shocking while still being entertaining. His mother is black and his father is white.  Reading how he could not walk with his dad to the park or grocery shop with his mother made me so sad.  The memoir ended too soon and I wish it had been longer.  We read this one for our book club and it was universally loved.
  8. Title: A Life in Parts, Author: Bryan CranstonCranston’s dad was an actor and left his three kids when they were young.  Cranston and his brother survived their childhood together, living with relatives, traveling overseas, and taking a motorcycle road trip across America.  Cranston has led a very bold and ambitious life and he pulls no punches.  It started a little slow, but for most of this book his stories made me laugh out loud or have a motherly concern for his wellbeing.  If you are at all interested in reading about the acting life or love Walter White then this will be a good fit for you.
  9. Title: Rules of Civility: A Novel, Author: Amor TowlesThis beauty of a book felt like a classic throwback.  The language, the atmosphere, the characters, the story.  Perfection. Katey was smart, independent, driven, and, ultimately, likeable.  This is a perfect New York City story, circa 1938.
  10. Title: Circling the Sun, Author: Paula McLainBeryl’s English mother couldn’t handle her life in 1920’s Kenya so she moved back to England with her son, leaving Beryl with her father.  Beryl was able to run wild as a child and was accepted by the local native tribe, at least until she was old enough to be sent away to school.  She was attacked by a tiger and lived to tell the tale.  She was fearless with horses and broke every mold a woman trainer could in the 1920’s.  Her unbridled nature led her to questionable relationships and choices, but she always maintained her independence and paid dearly for mistakes.  She was an immensely flawed character, but that made me love her that much more.

If you’ve done your own list please leave a link in the comments so I can check it out.

19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Favorite Books This Year

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    I definitely agree with Ove. I have a different book by Kearsley. Maybe I better get to it. I have Ng’s 2nd book but was disappointed with the 1st. I will still read LFE. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow. I better get Rules.

  2. lakesidemusing says:

    Little Fires Everywhere will certainly be on my list, too… such an amazing book! I also enjoyed The Hate U Give, Circling the Sun and The Color Purple (audio). Rules of Civility is a favorite from a few years ago, and I’ll be reading both Ove and Born a Crime in 2018. Great list, Stacy!

  3. janpruatt says:

    Stacy — Great list. I’ve read The Color Purple and Jane Pittman and agree they are hard books to read. You’ve inspired me to come up with a Ten Faves for 2017. Will get to it one of these days. So glad you reached out.

  4. janpruatt says:

    Here are my Top Ten Faves for 2017 — to see the reviews just go to

    1. Exit West – Mohsin Hamid
    2. Your Teenager is Not Crazy – Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clarke
    3. Revenge – Yoko Ogawa
    4. In the Unlikely Event – Judy Blume
    5. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
    6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
    7. Five Days in November – Clint Hill
    8. The Shepherd’s Life – James Rebanks
    9. Beauty Queens – Libba Bray
    10. Jesus Always – Sarah Young

  5. Tea Time with Marce says:

    I remember thinking I was going to DNF A Man Called Ove and was happy I didn’t, it was a gem and I think made my top ten last year. I was to read The Hate U Give and Little Fires everywhere looks amazing.

    Happy Holidays Stacy

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