Top books read in 2017 – so far….

It being July already (how?) I thought it was time to stop and have a look back at some of the books i’ve read in 2017. It’s not been the best reading year for me if i’m honest. We’ve been really busy DIY-ing among other things but I have managed to read some cracking books, so I’ve chosen my Top 3 and here they are.

Planetfall by Emma Newman was the first book I read this year and i adored it. I set myself a challenge to read more Sci-Fi in 2017 and this was a very good place to start. Its an exciting thriller that just gets better as it goes along. The pace really picks up by the end and I defy you to put it down without feeling anxious for the characters. I loved it and would highly recommend it anyone even if you think you dont like sci-fi.
The Essex Serpent is one hell of a good novel. I came late to this as most people were raving about it in 2016 but i wanted to wait for the paperback to come out and im glad i did as i got the Waterstones special edition which was blue instead of green and had the gorgeous blue sprayed edges. This is such a special book and one i can see myself re-reading in the future, which is not something i normally do, well I mean there are just too many fab books out there to discover without reading the same one twice, right? Sarah Perry creates this wonderful world and peoples it with the most curious and fascinating motley crew of characters i’ve come across since Harry Potter. Her writing style is so exquisite with paragraphs of prose that leave you breathless. Just go buy it and see what i’m on about, its ace!
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner is my latest read and I so enjoyed this contemporary YA story. For a debut novel it was very assured and confident in its style with 3 really interesting main characters. Nothing really out of the ordinary, plot wise but so well written that you could forgive that. It also had just the right ending which makes a huge difference.

I’m so looking forward to the 2nd half of 2017’s books but for now these are my top choices.

Have you read any of these?

What have been the stand out books for you so far this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This is about three friends, Dill, Lydia and Travis who live in a small town in Tennessee. The book begins in their final year of school before graduation. They all have incredibly different backgrounds, stories and lives but have become close and firm friends.

Of the three characters Lydia quickly became my favourite. I loved the way she handled herself with kids at school who taunted and bullied her, she was so at ease in her own skin but as the book went on she turned into a right little madam. She talked to her father like he was her flunky, ordering him to do this and that, the annoying thing was he did it all instead of teaching her some manners.

Dill i guess is the major character and the one we all feel the most for. His star grew as the book went on and had to overcome some terrible things. Travis was great too, probably my favourite by the end. I loved hanging out with these characters and feeling part of their lives and decisions. Jeff Zentner writes wonderful dialogue and has an ear for a good conversation. Witty and insightful and full of passion.

For the most part this book is beautifully written and just doesnt feel like a debut novel. It has the assurance of an author of many years standing.  My only gripe was that the writing was sometimes too flowery, the odd storyline a bit too sugary and one part of the plot was just way too unbelievable and ‘too good to be true’ for words but overall it kept me page turning and i really enjoyed reading it.  I gave it 4 stars and would highly recommend it.

 

 

June book haul

Yes, its happened again! I appear to have accumulated a few more books

*sighs loudly with head in hands*

But hey, its cool and I am NOT sorry and this is why!

Now you cant tell me thats doesnt get your blood pumping with excitement, can you?

anyway lets just do this thing shall we?

Here are the books I was kindly sent by publishers

Stevie over at Gollancz kindly contacted me to see if I wanted a copy of Sarah Pinboroughs The Death House and of course I said YES!

Toby is a boy who has forgotten how to live. Clara is a girl who was born to die. Toby’s life was perfectly normal . . . Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House. Isolated from the outside world the inhabitants of are watched for any signs of a mysterious illness . . . Clara was a girl who had everything. Adored by her friends and her family, her life was destined for greatness. Now, Clara is the newest resident of the Death House and she’s determined not to allow her life to end there. This is Toby and Clara’s story.

Next Lucie at Picador sent me The Reminders by Val Emmich!  I requested it afer having seen pictures of it on Twitter.

Overcome with the loss of his boyfriend Sydney, Gavin Winters has set fire to every reminder in their home. A neighbour has captured the blaze on video, turning this little-known TV actor into a household name. Gavin flees LA for New Jersey, where he hopes that ten-year-old Joan, the daughter of a close friend, can reconnect him with the memories of Sydney he is now in danger of losing for ever. Joan was born with a rare ability to recall every single day of her life in perfect detail, and in return for sharing her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help her write a song for a local competition. For Joan has had enough of being the girl who can’t forget – she wants to be the girl who will never be forgotten . . . Charming, beautifully observed, poignant and funny, The Reminders by actor and musician Val Emmich is an irresistible story of the unlikely friendship between a grief-stricken man who can’t remember and a ten-year-old girl who can’t forget.

and last but not least in any way Michael Joseph Books sent me My Name is Nobody by Matthew Richardson.

Solomon Vine was the best of his generation, a spy on a fast track to the top. But when a prisoner is shot in unexplained circumstances, and on his watch, only suspension and exile beckon. Three months later, in Istanbul, MI6’s Head of Station is violently abducted from his home. With the Service in lockdown, uncertain of who can be trusted, thoughts turn to the missing man’s oldest friend: Solomon Vine. Officially suspended, Vine can operate outside the chain of command to uncover the truth. But his investigation soon reveals that the disappearance heralds something much darker. And that there’s much more at stake than the life of a single spy . . .

Now to show you all the books i naughtily bought myself!

I adored the Harry Potter series like so many millions of readers but i’ve not bought them in any other form since they came out the first time round but once i saw the new ‘House editions’ I knew i had to have one and being a Hufflepuff it was the yellow one for me, and how gorgeous it is too with the sprayed edges for goodness sake!

 

 

 

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, Man Up by Jack Urwin and The Gender Games by Juno Dawson are all on the theme of men and gender which is something i’m fascinated by and have to admit I hadnt thought much about before so I am gonna love reading these.

I couldnt resist the next two mainly due to their gorgeous new matching covers. Lorali and Aurabel by Laura Dockrill sound so good and I’ve not heard a bad thing about Lorali so it was a no brainer! And The Serpent King & Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner both looked and sounded so good and they have been so highly recommended on You Tube that I had to see for myself.  Dont they make a great package?

 

 

I am so, so, so, so late to the party when it comes to Philip Pullmans His Dark Materials. I did read Book 1 a good many years back but never got around to the rest but since reading a sneaky first chapter of his new upcoming Prequel, The Book of Dust coming out in October I knew i had to read me the others first. I loved the chapter so much I have pre-ordered me a copy.  I just adore these new covers too with the shiny parts and the oh so subtle design, so much better than the previous garish ones, IMHO.

 

And finally, I really fancied some poetry and it has to be modern poetry nowadays. I just cant read the old classics right now, dont ask me why! ( I said, dont) Having heard good things about Plum by Holly McNish I had to get me a copy.

 

 

 

 

Well there you have it.  A very tasty selection I think you’ll agree.

What books have you bought this month?

What do you think of my choices, and what books would you recommend based on these?

 

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