Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Kay's Ten Favorite Books She Read in the Last Three Years
This is a weekly event, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, where bloggers relate their "top ten" of a certain topic. This week's topic - Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS From the Past 3 Years. Well, I am going to tweak this a bit as these are my top ten-ish books that I read in the past 3 years. And this was hard. And I cheated a little. I read 347 books in the last 3 years, which would make this a 2.9%-ish sample. Again, no particular order.
1. Defending Jacob by William Landay - Who hasn't read this book? If you haven't, you ought to at least think about it. A father who is a prosecutor. A teenage son who is accused of murder. What would you do? Many problematic issues for a parent. Had a wonderful discussion of this book with my mystery group.
The Blackhouse and The Lewis Man by Peter May - First two books in a trilogy set in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. The setting is a huge part of the books - windswept, cold, bleak. scary. Detective Fin MacLeod comes home to the Isle of Lewis to investigate a murder, but can you go home again? I loved both of these books and have been hoarding the 3rd, saving it for just the perfect time. It is The Chessmen. This trilogy is highly recommended.
4. How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny - The 9th book in the Three Pines/Gamache series. A pivotal book that ties up some story arcs that have been in play for 9 books. We finally know a lot of things. I love Armand Gamache!
5. In the Blood by Lisa Unger - Part of this author's loosely connected group of books set in The Hollows, a community in upstate New York. "Liar, liar, pants on fire..." and some amazingly creepy manipulation here. I kept saying "huh?" and "what the dickens?" (oh, have you been watching Grantchester?). A book with some mega-twists.
6. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger - Oh my. What a story. I loved it. So many things to ponder and, yes, there is a mystery but mostly, lots and lots to think about. A coming of age story about Frank Drum and his family in the summer of 1961. There is death that comes in many ways. And lots for a boy and indeed all of us to try to understand about grace. This book totally deserved the awards it has won. I've loved William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor mystery series. This book moves him to a completely different level in my mind. Highly recommended.
7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - I know this book is great in regular form. However, I listened to it on audio and, let me tell you, that is the way to do it. It's not short - 16 hours - but Caroline Lee's narration is spectacular. Totally loved it. Yes, this is about the perils, sorrows, drama, and crimes of an elementary school parent group. There is murder. There are lots of secrets. There are Blonde Bobs (the cool group of mommies). There are sweet little children. There is snarkiness and kind support. And the best exclamation for 2014 - "Oh calamity!". Read it.
8. Natchez Burning by Greg Iles - First in this author's mega-trilogy that spans a good chunk of the civil rights era. I was glued to the pages. I'm a big fan of Penn Cage, who was a prosecutor in Houston, and then returned home to Natchez, Mississippi, when his wife died. He has raised his daughter with the help of his parents in this city of the Old South. There are lots of secrets, lots of negative emotions, lots of cover-ups. There are many things about the South that I, a native Southerner, am not proud of. Knowledge is good. I can't wait for the second book, The Bone Tree.
Watching You by Michael Robotham - I love the Joe O'Loughlin series. Love it. The way that the main character's Parkinson's disease is a part of the narrative is most compelling. Really, any of the books in the series are worthwhile, but this latest came to my mind first. Marnie feels that she is being watched and her husband is missing. She consults O'Loughlin in his practice as a clinical psychologist. And then the fun really starts...or not. Such a good series. The first book - The Suspect.
10. The whole Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series by Deborah Crombie - OK, here's where the cheating begins. I could not come up with just one book to highlight. I've read the whole series in the last 3 years, and I think it is the best. There are now 16 books about these characters. The first is A Share in Death and I just shared a review of the latest, To Dwell in Darkness. Every book adds to the character development and by the 16th, well, you will not want it to end. You'll desperately need to find out what is going on with all of them. Plus there are good mysteries and lots of tidbits and info about wherever the particular book is set. Trust me. This series is a keeper.
Friends, I have placed my offerings upon the waters. Hope you'll try a few of these. And now, back to reading!