In 2017 I read 162 books in total, but excluding books of the Bible, short stories and children’s books, I read 111 novels, novellas and a couple of non-fiction books. Of those 111 books, I rated 45 of them with 5 stars. Needless to say, getting those 45 down to just 10 favourite books wasn’t easy. Having said that, 8 of the books did make it into my Book of the Month at some point throughout the year, and the other 2 books I’ve chosen were ones I loved that were against stiff competition that particular month.
Without further ado, here are my winners. I hope all of you feel proud of yourselves for creating wonderful books with your amazing imaginations, and based on the books I’ve chosen, thank you to quite a few of you for making me cry very real tears, you’re helping me get through the many packets of tissues my wonderful mum often gives me ❤
In alphabetical order:
A Daughter’s Courage is stunning, in that it is both remarkable and overwhelming. How a story can be so beautiful yet harrowing at the same time, shows the true talent of this author. Renita’s words are like liquid gold, trickling down the pages, enriching them with precious prose.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It gripped me emotionally and psychologically. My heart physically ached at the sadness and loss that was experienced by these wonderfully strong and determined characters. However, through it all is perhaps the one emotion that has kept the human race going, and that is one of hope. No matter what happens to you, always hold on to hope, because you never know where destiny may take you… Find my full review here.
Wow! I loved, loved, loved this book!
The Cosy Canal Boat Dream is a wonderful story set in the close-knit community of Little Rock marina. It is filled with a wonderful mix of fabulous characters that came to life in front of my eyes. For the last two days I have absolutely loved being a part of this wonderful community and I don’t feel ready to leave yet. Take me back! I miss my new friends!
This is a story of loss, grief, secrets, lies, guilt, family, ambition, but most of all, that of love and hope… Find my full review here.
The Cows is absolutely brilliant. It made me laugh, cry, cringe with embarrassment, nod in agreement and left me feeling rather emotional, yet completely empowered by the end of it.
This story focusses on three very different women who are initially unconnected, but gradually become a part of each other’s lives due to events that in many ways are out of their control.
This book feels very current with the focus on social media and feminism. I loved this story. I couldn’t get enough of it and the messages and opinions within the storyline really resonated with me… Find my full review here.
The Fragile Thread of Hope, by Pankaj Giri
The Fragile Thread of Hope is a beautifully descriptive and atmospheric character led story about family, love, loss, grief, regret, loneliness and hope.
This story put me through so many human emotions. I really felt for the characters and experienced a deep empathy for their sadness and pain. I felt frustrated by the injustice of certain situations, heart-broken by their despair and loneliness, and happiness when their lives were more positive.
This is not only an emotional read, but a thought provoking and inspirational one too. It reminds you how fragile life is, how easily loved ones can be taken away and how dreams can be completely shattered. It makes you question whether some things happen for a reason. My heart physically ached throughout this book, but the one thing I held onto was a feeling a hope… Find my full review here.
The Monk of Lantau is a beautifully written and visually descriptive character led story. It is wonderfully inspirational, spiritual and thought provoking.
This book is about a number of characters on a journey of self-discovery. There is a lot to learn from this book, and even if you already try to live by the teachings of this story, as I do, it still serves as a reminder to look at yourself more closely and question whether you are making the most of the life you’ve been blessed with… Find my full review here.
My heart ached throughout this touching tale of love and war. By the time I approached the ending, my heart was broken and tears were streaming down my face. I could hardly read the words through my own tears. This is a truly beautiful and emotional story of love, grief, betrayal, regret and hope, and I suspect it will stay with me for a long time.
I was completely absorbed by this story. Each time I picked it up, life around me completely stopped, as my mind went to a different place and time. Each time I had to put this book down, I would think about it throughout the day, eager for night to fall so I could read again… Find my full review here.
Wow! The ‘Author’s Note’ alone at the very beginning had me completely fascinated and bursting with anticipation and excitement. I was fascinated by the idea behind the book and gripped by this wonderful story. It had a feel of Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11.22.63 and a non-scary version of A Nightmare on Elm Street, due to what appeared to be the ability to bring things back from a dream.
I adored this story and the characters within it. For the days I was reading it, I struggled to think of anything else. I was consumed with concern about what the outcome of this story would be.
I feel so lucky to have read this beautiful, emotional and thought provoking story that introduced the magic of time travel and a lot of love into my life… Find my full review here.
The Tree of Rebels is an emotional and thought provoking young adult dystopian novel filled with great characters (including a cute dog) and believable scenarios. I found myself completely gripped by this story, eager to find out what happens next, while also nervous about what was to come. There is no doubt that I was completely emotionally invested in this story. It was as if it swallowed me up into its own world for a few days, as I found myself thinking about it throughout the day and even shed a tear or two while reading it.
This story really made me question the world we live in, the decisions we make and the knock-on effect of our actions. Despite this, I still felt myself torn between decisions. There was a part of me wondering if the grass is greener on the other side, while another part of me appreciated the meaning of the term ‘ignorance is bliss’. All may not be what it seems, but does that matter if we appear happy? Do we always have to have answers for everything?… Find my full review here.
When It Rainsis an incredibly emotional women’s fiction and romance story that broke my heart into lots of tiny pieces and then started sticking it back together again.
“When it rains look for rainbows. When it’s dark look for stars.”
Wonderful and believable characters, touching relationships between the characters, and beautifully written. When It Rains might actually be my new favourite book by this author, which is rather impressive considering quite how much I LOVED No Kiss Goodbye… Find my full review here.
Having absolutely loved the other two books in this trilogy, in fact they made it into my top ten books read in 2016, I was so incredibly excited about this book. At first I was a little disappointed to discover the third book to be published was actually becoming the first book in the trilogy. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about going back in time to before the two books I had already read and loved. However, any concerns I had were completely forgotten within minutes of starting this book, as I was reminded of why I love this author so much. Yet again, I was transported into the emotional fictional world the author had created and fell in love with the characters.
Set in the 1930s, this story has a feeling of fun and innocence to it at first, but as the characters grow up and the Second World War approaches, the story takes a far more serious turn… Find my full review here.