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 🙂
|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|
(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.
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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, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.