So, in the blink of an eye, it is that time of year again when I get to reflect on my top reads of 2017. This year I have read so many great novels, deserving of five star ratings that I was unable to whittle my list down to a top ten. Instead, I decided to go with a top 20, along with some honourable mentions at the end of the list. As I compiled this list, I realised again the majority of the books I have chosen seem to come from Australian writers! The quality of writing that is coming from Australian writers just seems to be increasing each year. I am so glad to be a part of The Australian Women Writers Challenge this year as a Round-Up Editor, as it has exposed me to so many great Australian authors and novels.
I am really looking forward to what 2018 holds for my personal reading journey. I already have a book challenge organised with one of my dearest reading friends and closest blog followers, along with a book club read via a new book club I joined this year. So here goes, my top reads of 2017 list, in no particular order. I have also included an honourable mentions section at the end, as there were just so many books I loved this year.
A Midsummer Garden by Kirsty Manning. By far my favourite debut of 2017 and a wonderful examaple of a dual time frame novel. This absolutely stunning novel is set in two places I hold dear, Tasmania and France. I hosted Kirsty on the blog for a fascinating Q & A and you can find my review here.
Beyond the Orchard by Anna Romer. This is the third novel written by one of my most treasured Australian storytellers, Anna Romer. I just can’t get enough of Romer’s past/present style novels, they have a distinctly Australian gothic feel which I adore. Review here.
The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns. At late entry into my top ten but Rachael is forever my auto buy author. I loved hearing more about the process of writing this novel, via Natasha Lester’s Q &A with Rachael at her book launch I attended. Review here. I also loved Talk of the Town, which Rachael released earlier this year. Another rural romance from Rachael which received my five star blessing! Review here.
Her Mother’s Secret by Natasha Lester. Lester’s second historical fiction contribution was one book I wished I could award all the stars to. Review here.
Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods. There seems to be a trend in my top 20 this year, West Australian based authors! The second book by Tess Woods was so fearless and emotionally moving, it just had to place in my top 20 this year. Review here.
Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley. A timeless romance, love letters and a West Australian rural setting, Dear Banjo was always going to be a winner for me! Review here.
The Drifter by Anthea Hodgson. I noted The Drifter signalled Anthea Hodgson’s graceful entrance into the rural literature genre. On a side note, it was an honour to meet Anthea in person at an author event this year! Review here.
Ridgeview Station by Michael Trant. I hosted Michael on blog in November with an accompanying guest post which was humourous, enlightening and honest. It matched the tone of his impressive debut! Review here.
To Become a Whale by Ben Hobson. Teacher turned debut author Ben Hobson made a splash onto my top reads list with his authentically written novel, providing the most breathtaking study of grief I have ever read. Review here.
Wimmera by Mark Brandi. This book is a remarkable and haunting tale of a boyhood friendship and crime reverberating through the years. To date, this book hasn’t left my side, which is always the sign of an outstanding novel. Review here.
The Choke by Sofie Laguna. Laguna’s commanding force made me hold my breath, turn my eyes away and fill my heart with hope. A consuming tale of a working class girl’s trials in life in Australia. Review here.
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey. Debut novelist Sarah Bailey made a dramatic entry into the Australian crime genre, with a mystifying and pensive tale of deep seated secrets in a small Australian community. Review here.
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham. An intense and disturbing crime fiction novel, with great psychological elements. My pick for the best psychological thriller based novel of 2017. Review here.
Hello, Goodbye by Emily Brewin. A debut novel that achieved the perfect balance between a stirring fictional tale, based on social conventions in Australia in the 1960’s and a historically informative narrative. Review here.
Beneath the Parisian Skies by Alli Sinclair. Paris, ballet, history and love – what more could I ask for! Sinclair successfully combines all of my favourite things in her third novel. Review here.
Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth. A vivid re-imagining of the life of key figures in the art world. Forsyth’s storytelling skills shine bright in this beautiful testament to the Bohemian art world. Review here.
*I also awarded five stars to one of the most memorable novels I have ever read based on the World War II experience, The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth. Review here.
Silkworm Secrets by Lea Davey. A powerful story of childhood friendship that captured my heart. Review here.
Everyday Lies by Louise Guy. It was a privilege to be introduced to the writing of Louise Guy, through a giveaway win of her first novel, Everyday Lies. Review here.
Blueberry by Glenna Thomson. A luscious story that chronicles one women’s heartfelt move from the city to the country, with a unique backdrop, blueberry orchards. Review here.
Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer. Last but not least, a late entry made it into my tops reads list for 2017. I loved West Australian rural romance writer Fiona Palmer’s first venture into the life lit genre. Review here.
Other books I was not able to include on this list that deserve an honourable mention are:
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff, Baby Doll by Hollie Overton, Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seedon, Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, Musuem of Modern Love by Heather Rose, The Way Back by Kylie Ladd, Crimson Lake by Candice Fox, The Sting by Kate Kyriacou, The Good Sister by Maggie Christensen, The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain and The Girl in Between by Anna Daniels.
So that’s a wrap for 2017! I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you that follow my blog/page a very happy new year and all the best for 2018!
Thank you for your continuing support and happy reading! Mrs B 🙂