A Year of Reading 2017

First – let me wish everyone the very best for 2018! May it include joy, laughter, purpose, family, friends, and accomplishments both large and small.

During 2017 I read many fascinating books and a few duds. As in previous years, some were for research purposes, others for reviews, and a number for pure pleasure. I hope you’ll find some that suit your reading interests. These represent January to June. Links are to reviews and articles.

Here’s the rating system I’ve used for three years now: LR = light, enjoyable read; GR = good, several caveats; ER = excellent, few caveats; OR = outstanding; DNF = did not finish; NF=Non-Fiction; NMT = not my type. I’ve been told I’m a tough marker 🙂

Title Author My View Comment
Jan The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence (Washington Independent Review of Books) Alyssa Palombo NMT Disappointing – a novel of Sandro Botticelli and his muse Simonetta Vespucci
The Emperor’s Son (or Finding Napoleon) Margaret Rodenberg ER A beta read for a yet-to-be-published novel about Napoleon I
The Chaperone Laura Moriarty ER A middle-aged woman chaperones silent film star Louise Brooks
My Name is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout NMT Book club read – about the bond between a daughter and her mother
Feb The Promise of Provence Patricia Sands LR Post divorce, a woman finds the courage to begin again. Very enjoyable.
A Fearsome Doubt Charles Todd GR Post WWI murder mystery; quiet style
Where Dead Men Meet (reviewed for Historical Novel Society) Mark Mills ER Excellent murder mystery; a taut thriller set in 1937 Europe
Mar All the Stars in the Heavens Adriana Trigiani GR Book club; story about Loretta Young and Clark Gable – too long
Moonlight Over Paris Jennifer Robson LR A woman becomes an artist in post WWI Paris
The Saturday Evening Girls Club Jane Healey LR Four young immigrant women in early 1900s Boston
The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover Simon Parke GR English Civil War history and the execution of Charles I; link is to author’s guest post on the blog
My Promised Land Ari Shavit NF Superb non-fiction; if you want to understand the conundrum of Israel, read this
Apr Mr. Rochester

(reviewed for Washington Independent Review of Books)

Sarah Shoemaker ER An imaginative story from the point of view of Jane Eyre’s heroic Mr. Rochester
Dawn of the Belle Epoque Mary McAuliffe NF Reread for purposes of a future novel
Daughters of the Night Sky Aimie Runyan ER A compelling WWII story of bravery, determination, and love featuring Russia’s all female pilot regiment
May The Women in the Castle (link is to my review in Goodreads) Jessica Shawtuck ER Women in the aftermath of WWII and an attempt on Hitler’s life
The Photographer’s Wife Suzanne Joinson GR Set in 1920 and 1936 – Britain’s schemes in Israel; dual timeline creates confusion
High Tide Veronica Henry LR Light romance set in Cornwall
June The Weekenders Mary Kay Andrews LR Great beach read
The Danish Girl David Ebershoff ER Love the writing – the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history

I’ll cover the second half of 2017 next week.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

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5 Responses

    1. Hi Faith .. I read for various purposes. Sometimes I’m asked for a beta read, sometimes for a review or an article. Often I read to learn from other authors and as you probably saw, I also read both non-fiction and fiction for research purposes. Because I’m also writing historical fiction, I can’t respond to all the requests that come my way – but get in touch with me mktod [at] bell [dot] net and let me know about your writing. Thanks for your interest in the blog!

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