Many book-ish sites this time of year take time to reflect back on some of the standout reads from the past year. Here is my list of recommended reads of 2017. I can recommend them all with out hesitation. (Books that won a 2017 “Very Best!” Book Award are marked with an * asterisk. Some titles are on the 2018 longlist for the award; I had finished reading them after awarding the 2017 winners.)
Fiction (in no particular order)
- The Spanish Boy by C.S. Reardon (Fiction)
- Weaving Water by Annamarie Beckel (Fiction)
- The Inward Journey by Kate Evans (Fiction)
- All That is Solid Melts Into Air by Carole Giangrande (Fiction)*
- Listening for Jupiter by Pierre-Luc Landry (Fiction)
- The Money Shot by Glenn Deir (Fiction, Humour)
- Art Love Forgery by Carolyn Morgan (Historical Fiction)
- Desperation by Gary Collins (History, Historical Fiction)*
- Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham (Historical Fiction)*
- A Bird on Every Tree by Carol Bruneau (Fiction, Short Stories)*
- No Fury Like That by Lisa de Nikolits (Fiction)
- Once Upon a Time in West Toronto by Terri Favro (Fiction)
- This Side of Sad by Karen Smythe (Fiction)
- Finishing the Road by David Cozac (Fiction)
- First Things First: Early and Uncollected Stories by Diane Schoemperlen (Fiction-Short Stories)
- Outside People by Mariam Pirbhai (Fiction – Short Stories)
- Bearing Witness by Michael Dupuis (Non-fiction, History)
- Shadow of Doubt by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon (Non-fiction, History)
- A Boy From Botwood by Pte. A.W. Manuel (Non-fiction, History)
- Redemption Songs by Jon Tattrie (Non-fiction, History, Social Issues)*
- Refuge in the Black Deck by Nicola Peffers (Non-fiction, Memoir)
- New Brunswick Was His Country by Ronald Rees (Non-fiction, History)
According to my Goodreads 2017 Challenge, I read 103 books last year. I would be hard pressed to recall them all, that’s for certain. That is why I started this blog in 2015: it was to be an online journal of my reading history, including short reviews of each book as well. For 2018, I set my sights a little lower: my goal is to read 75 books, down from 100 last year. I want to focus more on quality and not quantity.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the publishers (and their respective publicists) for the review copies as well as the ARCs. All of the books I read in 2017 came primarily from publishing houses; some came directly from the authors themselves.
Positive feedback quote of the year is from Carol Bruneau, author of the wonderful short story collection A Bird on Every Tree:
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the Miramichi Reader for this amazing review–the kindest, most thoughtful review I’ve ever had.”
Thanks Carol! It has always been my goal to support East Coast writers and publishing houses, although I occasional stray to other parts of Canada from time to time. However, I’ve found that you can’t please everyone. as I had a publisher observe:
“I read your review of <insert book name here> and think that you might have missed the thrust of the book. A book like that can be misunderstood.”
Perhaps I missed the point of the book because the author buried it amid an orgy of unnecessary sex scenes, I replied.
2017 also saw the roll-out of a new web design which, I trust is more pleasing to the eye as well as giving “The Reader” a more professional look. Thanks to GeneratePress for the fabulous (and free!) WordPress theme and for the awesome new graphics: Lucian Husac.