There are only so many books one person can read during a year. Then, at the end of the year, we find ourselves looking back and thinking “dang, maybe I should have read that one.” Now that we are comfortably into the third week of 2018, here are the top five books I wish I had read in 2017.
5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon.
“This wacky, charming novel…draws you in with humor, then turns out to contain both a suspenseful subplot and a sweet romance….Hilarious and moving.”—People
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Eleanor is thirty, flirty, and fun – or so she thinks. Her life includes plenty of dinner for ones, weekly calls to her mother, and she certainly does not have any friends. It isn’t until Eleanor rescues an old man that collapse outside of her office that she realizes maybe he life is not “completely fine.”
Why I Didn’t Read It: I was interested in the story when it was listed as one of the December Book of the Month collections. Gail Honeyman was a debut author and the reviews on Goodreads were really good. However, I was going through a “thriller” kick at the moment with my reading. Thus, I selected both The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Then, for my third selection, I chose “The Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance” by Ruth Emmie Lang from the October box as I was kicking myself that I had not read it yet. I considered buying Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine at Barnes and Noble; however, it appeared my mother already used an Audible credit for the book. Hopefully, I will get around to this listening to it soon.
4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Ried
“The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama.”
A 2017 Book of the Year finalist, this novel follows the fictional life of Evelyn Hugo, a former Oscar-winning screen queen who’s now 79. Everlyn has been six times divorced, and both husband seven and her daughter have recently passed away. She takes this moment as the way to write her tell-all memoir with the help of a ghostwriter, Monique.
Why I Didn’t Read It: When I saw The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in the June Book of the Month club selection, I was already swamped with my book backlog. I knew I was going on vacation, but I didn’t want to end up with more books then I could read. Thus, I only selected one book and I went with White Fur by Jardin Libaire. I didn’t regret my decision to go with White Fur; but the more reviews I read about The Seven Husbands of Everlyn Hugo, the more I wanted to read it. Unfortunelty, I never got around to adding it as an extra to my Book of the Month box – too many other things I wanted to read. Hopefully before 2018 is over I will finally get to this one.
3. Artemis by Andy Weir
The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon.
Jasmine Bashara, aka Jazz, lives on the moon’s first, and only, colony – Artemis. When an offer to make her filthy rich is thrown on the table; Jazz graduates from small-time smuggler to full-time criminal. However, this leads her to discover Artemis’s biggest conspiracy. She has to think fast in order to save both her life, and her city.
Why I Didn’t Read It: To anyone that knows anything about me, there is nothing I love more than science fiction, thrillers, and the moon (Go Gamma Phi). Thus, a book that has all three things in the blub instantly draws my eye. Plus, the lead character is a strong independent woman-of-color. I wanted to make this my November Book of the Month selection; but, I desperately wanted to read “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christi as well as Kristin Ritter’s book and Tom Hank’s book. Then, I was going to add it as a selection to December; but, I saw that the Audible is read by Rosario Dawson. I love Rosario Dawson. Ever since she was in Josie and the Pussycats, I have been obsessed with her as a female actor. So, honestly, I rather listen to Rosario Dawson then to read the book. However, I have yet to buy the Audible.
2. Litte Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The runaway New York Times bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year:
People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Book of the Month, Paste, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, and many more!
“To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” – Reese Witherspoon
2017 Book of the Year finalist, set in the mid-90s in an upper-middle-class subdivision in Ohio; Little Fires Everywhere is the story of how two very different families were brought together. The Richardsons – with the attorney father, journalist mother and four teenagers – are the definition of structure and privilege. The Warrens -an artist single mom and 15-year old daughter, Pearl – moved into the most modest home in an attempt to provide a better life for Pearl.
Why I Didn’t Read It: Little Fires Everywhere did not even cross my mind when it was a Septemeber Book of the Month selection. The description of the book seemed a little too much YA for me – I can only read so many books about star-crossed lovers. It wasn’t until I began seeing Little Fires Everywhere EVERYWHERE that it began to peak my interest. When it was selected as a Book of the Year finalist I was kicking myself that I did not read it earlier.
1. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Selected one of New York Times Readers’ Favorite Books of 2017
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man’s life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland
The 2017 Book of the Year winner, The Heart’s Invisible Furies follows the story of Cyril Avery. Given-up as a baby from his biological mother, Cyril is adopted by the Avery’s in post-war Ireland. However, The Avery’s hardly view him as their own. As we navigate from 1945 to 2015, we follow Cyril Avery as he navigated life trying to determine his own identity.
Why I Didn’t Read It: I honestly have no idea. After The Heart’s Invisible Furies won Book of the Year, I did add the rose-gold jacket special addition copy to my January Book of the Month. However, it wasn’t until I bought it as a holiday gift for a friend that I realized the novel was by the same author as The Boy In the Striped Pajamas. I was blown away; how didn’t I notice that when it was an August Book of the Month selection? I loved the book and The Boy In the Striped Pajamas is my favorite movie. Although I didn’t read this in 2017, this is going to be one of the first books I read in 2018.