I don't know about you, but I've been devouring everyone's "Best of 2017" reading lists and adding new titles to my TBR stack. So, I thought I'd do my own--except that I vet books carefully before I did into them, so I end up with dozens of "favorites."
Here, instead, is my "books that will stay with me" list:
1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I might literally have been the last person I know to read this book (and effusive praise for something typically makes me wary, TBH). If you're one of those people afraid to admit you haven't read this book yet, I completely understand. But you still probably should. ;)
2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Sometimes you read a book and immediately decide that all the best people you know need to read this book, too. This one is dense, and I found myself referring back to the family tree at the front of the book every 10 minutes or so, but the story has become part of my heart. I'm even getting a little weepy, writing this
3. Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham. This is YA, which is not my go-to genre, but a place I like to visit when I have the chance. Not only are the characters compelling, but Latham sent me down a days-long rabbit hole researching the Tulsa Race Riots (when an angry white mob burned down the businesses and homes of their black neighbors). Highly recommended
4. News of the World by Paulette Jiles. I'm not sure who first recommended this to me, but I'm grateful because it's not the sort of thing I would have gravitated to on my own. But I found myself emotionally invested in the story of the Captain and Johanna, and I might even go so far as to say that the Captain is my new literary crush.
5. Underground Airlines by Ben Winters. The premise is simple: What if slavery was never abolished in the US, but continued to be policy and practice in some Southern states? The story takes some wild twists and turns here and there, but if you like The Man in the High Castle or The Plot Against America (which I loved), or even exploring the dark "what if" questions, this is a compelling book.
Paula Treick DeBoard