Books I Read in 2017


Last year, I read 28 books. This year, the number is 34.

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson (Started Dec. 2016)
Vinegar Girl by Ann Tyler

A Banquet of Consequences (An Inspector Lynley Novel) by Elizabeth George (574 pages, Started in January)
Front Runner (A Dick Francis Novel) by Felix Francis

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead (Started in February)
Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café by Mary Simses

Triple Crown (A Dick Francis Novel) by Felix Francis

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (Started in April)
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (550 pages)

A Slipping-down Life by Anne Tyler
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

Nobody’s Fool, by Richard Russo
The Risk Pool, by Richard Russo

Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo (Started in July)
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Nevertheless: A Memoir by Alec Baldwin
City of Friends by Joanna Trollope
You Must Remember This: Life and Style in Hollywood’s Golden Age by Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman
Pieces of My Heart by Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

The Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer by Scott Eyman (Started in August)
Elsewhere: A Memoir by Richard Russo
Straight Man by Richard Russo

Heifetz As I Knew Him by Ayke Agus
My Brilliant Friend (Book 1 of The Neapolitan Novels) by Elena Ferrante
The Story of the New Name (Book 2 of The Neapolitan Novels) by Elena Ferrante
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl
Miss D & Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis by Kathryn Sermak with Danielle Morton
Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton*
The Comfort Food Diaries (A Memoir) by Emily Nunn
Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman
Mohawk by Richard Russo (finished on Jan. 2nd)

Note 1: What can I say? I was stunned when I learned that Sue Graften was dead. Seeing the headline on NY Magazine’s on-line front page on December 28th, in the evening of the day she died, I actually cried out, “Oh, no! Oh, no!” Having just read Y is for Yesterday made the news feel all the more shocking. When A Is for Alibi came out in 1982, I read it and became an instant Grafton fan. Like so many others, I was looking forward to finding out what “Z” would be for (it would have been Z is for Zero), and what case Kinsey Millhone would be involved in. Sadly, that will not happen.

Note 2: The first Richard Russo book I read was Empire Falls, which was published in 2001 and won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002. I next read Bridge of Sighs (2007), followed by That Old Cape Magic (2009). Then, nothing else by him until I read last year that he had just written Everybody’s Fool, a sequel to Nobody’s Fool, published 23 years earlier. Since I’d not read Nobody’s Fool, I felt it made more sense to read it before the latest novel. Which, as you can see from the list, I did. I also went about catching up on all his other novels, as well as a recent memoire, ending 2017 reading his very first book, Mohawk, which, as noted, I finished just after the New Year. Here’s hoping there’ll be more from him.

Note 3: So, I definitely have favorite authors. I’ve read everything by Elinor Lipman, Joanna Trollope, Anne Tyler, and Elizabeth George. All represented on this year’s list. I’ve also read all of Dick Francis’s books and continue to read his son, Felix, who started out writing with his father and has continued the franchise since his father’s death. This is rather strange since all the Francis mysteries center around horse racing (Francis, Sr. was a former jockey), which interests me not at all. But the wonderful writing style, the plotting, and the engaging characters make for a great read.



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