Books Read: First Half of 2017

It’s been a rough week. Open house for my school was Monday night. Little Thing’s open house for kindergarten was Tuesday. I had my first set of essays to grade for the new school year. Throw in an impromptu doctor’s visit tonight for good measure–I’m exhausted.  

Therefore, I’m taking the easy way out. Here’s a list of everything I read from the first half of the year.

My favorites are in bold. Yes, I know Atonement is a great book and enjoyed its various merits as a piece of literature. It does not make my cut as a favorite though–I disliked most of the characters and the plot (and it’s set during World War II . . . le sigh). It’s my list of favorites, dammit. Who cares if it possesses legit literary merit? Please note my soft spot for Stephen King, but then again, who doesn’t have one?   

And if you’ve been wanting to read A Man Called Ove and haven’t yet, stop waiting. I adored it. I felt all of the emotions that have ever occurred under this sun whilst reading this treasure. Okay, call out my hyperbole if you so desire, but several passengers on the 8 am American flight from New Orleans to D.C. on the Friday of Mardi Gras weekend can vouch for my ugly crying, choking on laughter, and audibly smiling (This is a thing. I promise.) in the span of about ten seconds at one point in the novel.  

My three least favorites are denoted with three asterisks. Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls was full of slaughter (pun intended) and descriptive mutilation and rape scenes of women. Gross. Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler rubbed me the wrong way with meticulous, overzealous description and a disappointing ending. Avenue of Mysteries even had its own blog post because I read another book while struggling through it.  

There is nothing wrong with any of the others (or even with my three that I disliked for that matter–it’s simply my opinion after all). For quite a few of them, I’ve read better books by the same author, I’d recently read something from the same genre that was better, or I wasn’t dazzled by them.

Enough. I said I was taking the easy way out.

Cue drum roll. And Thursday Night Unwinding Wine (Also a thing. Promise.) 


  1. The Glass Magician (Book 2)–Charlie N. Holmberg
  2. Beautiful Ruins–Jess Walter
  3. The Probable Future–Alice Hoffman
  4. Here on Earth–Alice Hoffman
  5. Beautiful People (accidental reread)–Wendy Holden
  6. What She Knew–Gilly Macmillan
  7. The Girls–Emma Cline
  8. Commonwealth–Ann Patchett


  1.  Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy Book One)–Stephen King
  2.  Atonement–Ian McEwan
  3.  The Red Garden–Alice Hoffman
  4.  Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy Book Two)–Stephen King
  5.  The Couple Next Door–Shari Lapena
  6.  A Man Called Ove–Fredrik Backman
  7.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me–Mindy Kaling
  8.  The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper–Phaedra Patrick


  1.  End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy Book Three)–Stephen King
  2.  It Ends with Us–Colleen Hoover
  3.  The Vacationers— Emma Straub
  4.  Dark Matter-Blake Crouch
  5.  The Road–Cormac McCarthy
  6.  The Woman in Cabin 10–Ruth Ware
  7.  Why Not Me–Mindy Kaling
  8.  Yes Please–Amy Poehler
  9. Red Queen–Victoria Aveyard
  10.  Today Will Be Different–Maria Semple
  11.  Pretty Girls–Karin Slaughter***


  1. Heartburn–Nora Ephron
  2.  Glass Sword–Victoria Aveyard
  3.  We Need to Talk about Kevin–Lionel Shriver (accidental reread)
  4.  Big Magic–Elizabeth Gilbert
  5.  Modern Lovers–Emma Straub
  6.  King’s Cage–Victoria Aveyard
  7.  The Underground Railroad--Colson Whitehead
  8.  The Sellout–Paul Beatty
  9.  On Writing–Stephen King
  10.  Eligible–Curtis Sittenfield


38.  Shotgun Lovesongs–Nickolas Butler***

  1. The Color Purple–Alice Walker
  2.  Before the Fall–Noah Howley
  3.  You–Caroline Kepnes
  4. The Magicians–Lev Grossman
  5.  Nine Women, One Dress–Jane L. Rosen
  6.  The Forgetting Time–Sharon Guskin
  7.  Talking as Fast as I Can–Lauren Graham
  8.  Caraval–Stephanie Garber
  9.  The Expats–Chris Pavone
  10. Rich and Pretty–Rumaan Alam
  11.  Saving Grace–Jane Green
  12.  See Jane Run–Joy Fielding
  13.  The Sympathizer–Viet Thanh Nguyen


  1.  Here’s to Us–Elin Hilderbrand
  2. Perfect–Rachel Joyce
  3.  Bittersweet–Miranda Beverly-Whitemore
  4.  Snobs–Julian Fellowes
  5.  The Fifth Petal–Brunonia Barry
  6.  Someday, Someday, Maybe–Lauren Graham
  7.  The Girl You Left Behind–Jojo Moyes
  8. The Lace Reader–Brunonia Barry
  9. The Avenue of Mysteries–John Irving***
  10.  Vampires in the Lemon Grove–Karen Russell
  11.  One Plus One–Jojo Moyes
  12.  This Is How It Always Is–Laurie Frankel

I would welcome any kind of conversation about any books on this list.  

The formatting in this post is eight different kinds of messed up. I can’t fix it. Don’t hate me. No judging.


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