Top reads

Mrs B’s Book Reviews top reads of 2017

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.

midsummer gardenA 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 orchardBeyond 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.

greatest gift smallThe 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.

mothers secretHer 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 1Beautiful 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.

dea banjoDear 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.

drifterThe 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.

ridegview station smallRidgeview 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 smallTo 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 smallWimmera 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 smallThe 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 littleThe 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 keepsThe 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 littleHello, 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 smallBeneath 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 1Beauty 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 secretsSilkworm Secrets by Lea Davey. A powerful story of childhood friendship that captured my heart. Review here.

e liesEveryday 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 small.jpgBlueberry 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 friends smallSecrets 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 🙂




6 thoughts on “Mrs B’s Book Reviews top reads of 2017

    1. Rachael Johns and Natasha Lester are fabulous aren’t they Kathryn! We have some great West Aussie authors. I hope through this post I have inspired you to read some more Aussie authors!


  1. I’ve read three that are on your list and most all others are on my TBR list, like you, I too was unable to whittle my list down to a top ten so I’ve compiled a list of 16 reads I found outstanding.
    Here is my list:

    Thornwood House – Anna Romer

    Letters to the Lost – Iona Grey

    The Stationmaster’s Cottage – Phillipa Nefri Clark

    The Quality of Silence – Rosamund Lupton

    The Vineyard in the Hills – Lily Malone

    Being Abigail – Kathryn White

    Wayward Heart – Cathryn Hein

    Burning Lies – Helene Young

    Who Killed the Bride – Lily Malone

    Christmas Kiss, New Year’s Wish – Joanne Dannon

    Stars Across the Ocean – Kimberley Freeman

    The Florentine Bridge – Vanessa Carnevale

    The Blood Countess – Tara Moss

    Beautiful Mess – Claire Christian

    The Road to Winter – Mark Smith

    Tilly and the Time Machine – Adrian Edmondson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a great list Sue and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to compile this and share on my blog. Your lovely list reminds me of the books I too have loved and some I must make the time to read.


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