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I completed my 100 books challenge on June 21st!
So I guess that was more of a 100 books in 6 months challenge ;)
In this post, I’ll list and review the other 50 books in that 100**
You can see my list and read my reviews for the first 50 books here.
I went back and updated that post after seeing a few film versions of the books I read, so check that out too :)
My 2017 Summer Reading picks below...
Including a few top books (so far) in various categories. (I’ll do a bigger “award goes to…” list later in 2017).
2017 Summer Reading Book List (from my 100 books) and why!
Attachments. Lightly sweet and relatable, a total page-turner with laughs and tears along the way. You’ll also desperately want to be friends with the characters in real life. Perfect for the beach. You’ll finish thinking, “That was exactly what I needed!” (This author is my newest favorite).
Forever is the Worst Long Time. Read this book when you need a good, soul shaking, heart wrenching, grab your loved ones tight and squeeze, cries. You will breathe in gratitude, breathe out love and feel everything you forget to feel each day, including happiness, hope. I sobbed through the last third.
Behind Closed Doors. If you want a gripping psychological thriller or a nightmare that you won’t soon forget… I devoured this book in 4 hours and am eagerly awaiting the author’s newest book. The subject matter is dark, but it’s not as gruesome as other books in the genre like Girl on the Train or Gone Girl. I didn’t care for those books but loved this one.
The Dispatcher. I’ve read (listened) to this book at least 6 times. I find myself reaching for it often. Zachary Quinto could read me the dictionary and I’d swoon, but the story is great, thought-provoking, and short. This is perfect if you’re curious about audible books or sci-fi.
We’re All Damaged. Perfect for a long car ride or when you need a laugh-out-loud “real life” story about “everyday” people. It’s funny and bittersweet AND cathartic AND makes you care. The people in the book are very flawed and that is why you love them.
Orphan X. For folks who love Jason Bourne movies. Buckle in, you’ll devour the entire series. For folks who like ‘detective’ crime thrillers, My Sister’s Grave (Tracy Crosswhite) series is phenomenal. I consumed both of these series in a matter of weeks. It’s the characters in the books! They are so real and human. You will love them and want to stay with them. The plots are also mostly believable without a lot of leaps… a rare quality in both the spy and detective genres.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. The best “self-help” book you’ll read this year.
The Hate U Give. It’s my BEST BOOK of 2017, so it’s making every list!
Kindred. This is at the top of my "I never thought I'd like this type of book but loved it" list; a must read for black history month but a phenomenal book all around. It’s not a light-hearted “beach” book, but it’s excellent if you need a substantial book you can sink into and leave feeling changed.
Before I Fall. Still my favorite YA this year. I really loved the audible and recommend the movie as well (one of the best true-to-book adaptations; maybe the best film adaption of all time). What I find so powerful about this story is how it perfectly demonstrates the 5 stages of grief.
**Note: I purposely didn’t include memoirs or biographies in this list. For my reads and recommendations there, please see this post. Since my “May-moir” challenge I’ve read two more memoirs: Theft by Finding Diaries (3 stars) and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (5 STARS).
I leave a full and long review for every book on Goodreads if you want more.
Chain of Title (5 STARS) This book reads like a thriller but it's real life, as hard as it is to believe. It's The Big Short on steroids. A deep look into how and why the housing crisis happened. This book also helped me better understand this last election: why America is so divided right now, and Florida. Yes, Florida. There are so many people in pain needing answers and someone to blame. I also hadn't considered how the housing crisis in 2010/2011 (and subsequent fallout) skewed voting in "sand states" like Florida.
The Upside to Your Dark Side (3.75 stars) The overall concept is that life can't be only happiness and rainbows, that "dark" feelings have utility and value; and we should utilize them rather than avoid them. For example, try imaging the civil rights movement progressing without anger.
The Complete PTSD Workbook (2 stars)
*FICTION - GENERALLY*
A Quiet Life in the Country (4 stars) The narrator’s aristocratic British voices are spot-on (the story is set in 1908). If you’re missing Anna and Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, checkout this audible book!
The Circle (4 stars) The book is a brilliant satire. I especially love the commentary made by Mae’s ex-boyfriend, Mercer. Unfortunately the film is a giant disappointment. The satirical nature was erased (and most of the plot changed) to create a scifi “thriller” where Facebook/Apple takes over the world. Sadness.
The Good Neighbor (2 stars)
Those Girls (3 stars)
Beyond Reach (3.5 stars) The story was okay but showed me you CAN jump in mid-series if a particular book sounds interesting.
11/23/62 (5 STARS) This is a long read but it's not slow or dragging. I read it after watching the Hulu series and found I liked it this way, even though I knew what would happen.
We Are Legion (We are Bob) (3 stars)
Forever is the Worst Long Time (5 STARS) — see above
We’re All Damaged (5 STARS) — see above
The Good Girl (4 stars)
Don’t You Cry (2 stars) I went from loving this author to thinking I’ll never read this author again in the span of 12 hours. The 2-book rule goes both ways apparently!
Caught (4 stars)
Life and Other Near-Death Experiences (4 stars)
Buy a Bullet (5 stars)
Orphan X (5 stars) - see above
Mansfield Park (3 stars)
Crime on the Fens (3 stars)
Landline (5 STARS)
Everything We Left Behind (2.5 stars)
The Girl with a Pearl Earring (3.5 stars)
Slaughterhouse Five (3 stars)
Private Gold (3 stars)
Ubik (4.5 Stars) Reading this book is like watching the Matrix. It's a mind bender and horrifying to consider.
No Where Man (4 stars)
The Broken Ones (4 stars)
Kindred (5 STARS) - see above
Commonwealth (4 Stars) This was BOOK 100 (if that matters). An interesting way to tell a story; there was so much knitting. The delicate travel from past to present, filling in holes to poke more holes, blending different memories of shared experiences... I like how the overall theme was about a blended family and how shared experiences are the string but it's up to each person to hold their end. I also appreciated the albeit subtle question: are novels based on personal experiences exploitive? This book won't hit any of my top lists, but it was a reading experience I won't soon forget!
Right Behind You (3.5 stars)
Come Sundown (1 star) There are so many problems with this book. I kept waiting for it to get better, knowing Nora Roberts is famous but it remains one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Keeping with my 2-book rule, I will try one more by this author, but overall: a good lesson to quit if you're not happy by 10-15% in.
Beach Lawyer (3 stars)
*FICTION - YA*
Last Seen Leaving (4 stars) I would give the “mystery” part of the novel (the main story) 2.5 stars, but the “coming of age” sub-story as a solid 5. It's probably my favorite YA “love story” of all time and likely because it isn’t that breathy, goopy, obsessive blah you normally get with YA.
Fangirl (4.5 stars)
Carry-On (5 STARS) I was curious about "fan fiction" (I now get the appeal) and this book instantly transported me back to the wizarding world I fell into last year. Everything felt familiar...comfortable. A favorite sweatshirt... but little by little it became it's own story. One I loved and devoured. I oscillated between thinking it was alternate reality/twilight zone... to almost a story about different people who lived in the same world as Harry Potter that were sometimes alike and sometimes so very different.
Gone Collection (3 stars)
*FICTION - SHORT STORIES OR PLAYS*
12 Angry Men (5 STARS) The new audible version of this is terrific—the performance of the actors is superb. Normally I loathe courtroom dramas or legal thrillers but this will be a repeat listen for me. Ideal audiobook.
A Witness for the Prosecution (4 stars)