It's Book Talk-15


What an amazing and fun filled reading year this has been for me! This has been my first full year of blogging and I truly didn’t realize how much it has transformed my reading life until I sat down to compile my best of 2017 list. Last year my top 10 consisted of the ONLY books I had given 5 stars to for the whole year. Only 10 books for the whole year, that seems crazy to me now. This year, I had so many more 5 star reads that I had to really narrow down my choices and I even had a tie that made me decide to go beyond 10 books this year because I just HAD to include all of the following books! The reason these are my very favorites even though I had other 5 star reads is because these are the ones that completely blew me away, that moved me in ways that either shocked me or made me cry, and that I found myself still thinking about weeks and months later.  With that being said,  here they are in no particular order except yes I do have my number 1 pick for the year at the end!! **These are all books I’ve read in 2017, but may have been published earlier


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gets the award for the best book I didn’t think I wanted to read. This was my biggest surprise hit of the year not only because it was SO much more than I expected but also it made me cry which I really didn’t expect!



The Force  was the book I initially thought would take my top spot of the year! I consider this book the best in drama, dialogue, scandal, betrayal, lies, corruption…all things juicy and morally corrupt



BearTown was another book I resisted reading but ah the drama, suspense, and layered characters were amazing. So reminiscent of my fav tv show Friday Night Lights. I’d call this the best sports book not really about sports



The Nightingale gets the award for the best historical fiction I’ve read in years. I was completely lost in this story and mesmerized by the way Hannah weaved such an intricate tale. Another one I should’ve read sooner!



Castle of Water was a book I discovered on #bookstagram and if it wasn’t for all the love it was getting there I don’t think it would’ve crossed my radar. The writing was gorgeous, the story an adventure tied up with love and tragedy.  I literally read this in an evening, I couldn’t put it down! And it made me cry so there’s that:)



I Liked My Life gets the award for more than meets the eye. This fantastic novel had humor, drama, mystery, all wrapped up in a heartfelt, ultimately uplifting story. I laughed, I cried, I tried to figure out the mystery, and in the end I realized this was one of the best debuts I’ve ever read.



Sirens is one of the best mysteries I’ve read in years! Actually, it has 2 mysteries which was double the fun as I couldn’t figure out either. The main character, Aidan, was one of the most well developed, flawed characters I’ve read in a long time. I read this last Jan and I still think about it…and impatiently wait for the sequel!!



A Brilliant Death knocked me off my feet in so many ways. I loved the layers of the characters, the storytelling, and the fact that it was so unexpected in terms of plot and emotion. Another mystery that was so much more!



The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley was such an intricate read. It was literary yet a thriller yet also a coming of age. I thought the author pulled all together brilliantly with characters that I grew attached to and an ending that made me think which I always appreciate.



Dead Woman Walking may just be my favorite Sharon Bolton book ever! This story hit the ground running with one of the best opening murder/witness scenes I’ve read in years. Every time I see a hot air balloon now I think of this story…and I’m thankful I’m not in it! I especially loved the nuns and of course the puzzle of a mystery that only Sharon Bolton can write.




The Heart’s Invisible Furies  is perfection for me! I loved the fact that this is a pull at your heartstrings saga, yet it’s also funny, witty, dramatic, and sad…in a nutshell, it’s everything and I don’t usually reread books but I can’t wait to open this one up again and revisit with Cyril!

I hope some of these have made your top reads of 2017 lists also or maybe your tbr’s for 2018! I’d love to hear what book tops your list this year so feel free to leave me a comment…



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55 thoughts on “MY FAVORITE READS OF 2017

      1. I bought Sirens, probably after hearing you loved it, but never got around to reading it 🙈 and I was going to buy The Force after I read your review but it was so expensive! But Sirens, early next year, definitely! 📖

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  1. Yay! So glad Heart’s Invisible Furies is your top read! Completely deserving! We not surprisingly have lots of overlap…my only big difference is I didn’t like Samuel Hawley.

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    1. Heart’s being my top pick was the easiest decision of all. Samuel Hawley and Castle of Water were my ties and I know several people who didn’t like Hawley but that one completely worked for me. Here’s hoping we get another amazing read like Heart’s IF in 2018🙏


  2. I love this list so much! I was so surprised by how much I loved Evelyn – made me cry, too! That book wasn’t one I thought I would enjoy and it was one of my favorites of the year. The Nightingale – I still think about that book. So good. I’m adding Castle of Water to my wishlist right now. You list a few others that I have on my Kindle waiting to be read, and I plan on using my BOTM credit to get a copy of The Hearts Invisible Furies.

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    1. Thanks so much Brandie! You and I have the same feelings about Evelyn, it was such a fun surprise to love it so much after thinking I didn’t want to read it. Same with The Nightingale. I’m so happy you’re adding Castle of Water, and I can’t wait for you to read Heart’s!

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  3. Wonderful list, Renee! Of course I’m so happy to see Heart’s at the top. It’s amazing that so many of us have picked it for our top spot. I’m also happy to see The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley on here. I feel like that’s a book that just didn’t get enough love. And The Nightingale is definitely one of my all time favorites!

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    1. Thanks Susie, I know can you believe we all picked the same book as our #1 when we all read SO many this year? It just speaks to how amazing that book was and how the literary critics got it wrong IMO. I agree about Samuel Hawley, I kind of felt I was one of only bloggers who loved it so I’m so happy to hear you did as well.


  4. O-oh I haven’t read any of these! The Nightingale has been on my readlist for quite some time though and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo looks great too. I heard John Boyne has several emotional novels, other than The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.. I think I might have to explore this in 2018 as well!

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  5. Great list! I’m almost finished with Beartown–too late for my own best-of list, but it definitely qualifies. Castle of Water and The Heart’s Invisible Furies are must-reads for me in 2018. I’d never heard of I Liked My Life, but I’m going to look for it now–I lost a friend and colleague to suicide a few weeks ago, and this seems like it could be a “right book at the right time.”

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    1. Thanks Allison, I’m so sorry about your friend. I did find I Liked My Life to be not what I expected and I mean that in the best possible way, it’s such a great read. I hope you enjoy Castle of Water and Heart’s!!


  6. I tried to put together a list of my favourite reads, and promptly gave it up as too hard! I do need to do it at some point in the next week or so, though… And Bear Town, or The Scandal as it is the UK, is sure to feature

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    1. Really? Actually I’m hearing that from many others so you’re not alone. I think the books that stood out to me this year are quite different from what I would’ve picked in the past. I really think you’d love The Heart’s Invisible Furies if you have time to squeeze it in in 2018!


  7. Awesome list! I don’t know what happened but it said I wasn’t following you 😦 I’ve been following you for over a year and it must have somehow unfollowed you because the button wasn’t green.
    I’ve hit it again so hopefully it stays put this time. I would miss your posts!

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  8. Great list! I’m so glad Evelyn and The Nightingale are on your list! Evelyn is definitely on mine (which I haven’t made, lol). I’ve not read the other’s, but several of them are on my TBR thanks to you, and I have bought The Force and asked for Invisible Furies for Christmas!!

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  9. I loved The Nightingale too. Glad to see it on this list. BearTown is on my January reading list. I can’t wait to read it. I hope that you will discover many more wonderful books this year. Happy reading 🙂

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