Top Ten Books of 2017

Top10-2-300x300David Letterman may not have known what he was starting with his top ten list; this Sunday the New York Times not only identified their top ten books of the year, Blake Wilson also wrote “The Top 10 Things About Top 10 Lists” for the second page of the paper.

I’ve read three of the five on the fiction list – and concur – great books.  One I do not plan to read, but will defer from naming it to avoid influencing you.  I may look for the other one.

Since I rarely read nonfiction, I’ve added 5 from my reading this year to round out the list.

New York Times Top 10 Books for 2017


  1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – (informative) read my review here   
  2. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  3. The Power by Naomi Alderman (timely) – read my review here  
  4. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  5. Autumn (read but not reviewed) by Ali Smith

Five More I Would Nominate

  1. Dunbar by Edward St. Albyn
  2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  3. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  4. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  5. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Have you read any of them? What would you add to the list?






Book Club Picks for 2017

I really miss my dog.  He was my conduit for meeting new friends, for catch-up conversations with old friends who walked the same path, for calmly listening to my worries and always offering consolation.  Yesterday, at the annual luncheon for one of my book clubs, I realized I’ve replaced him with books.

When someone seated next to me at an event happened to mention her admiration of Plenty, I found a new friend in Yotam Ottolenghi.  Often now as I reconnect with old friends across an ocean, we share what we are reading.  Finally, just like my old dog, a book can offer me comfort and sometimes a sense of adventure.

Next year’s reading list offers all that and more. Books with my reviews are in red.

Book Club List for 2017

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  • JanuaryThe Wright Brothers by David McCullough

The Pulitzer Prize winning author tells the behind the scenes story of the famous brothers who began the age of flight.

  • FebruaryWomen of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama

The life of Pei, a Chinese girl sent to work in a silk factory during the first decades of the 20th century.

  • March Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

Lynn Neary reviews the book in NPR’s “All Things Considered” – A World War II Survival Epic Unfolds Deep in Shangri-La

  • MayWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A young neurosurgeon describes how, after receiving a terminal diagnosis of lung cancer, he examined his roles as a patient and as a doctor, and how he wanted to spend his final days.

  • JuneMy Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Soon to be a London play, this first in the series of four books by the anonymous Italian author begins the story of two friends in Naples.

  • JulyEvening by Susan Minot

Michiko Kakutani reviewed the book for the New York Times in Reviewing a Fading Life Defined by Doomed Love

  • SeptemberAbout Alice by Calvin Trillin

Peter Stevenson reviews Trillin’s love letter to his wife in his New York Times article – Scenes from a Marriage