… and there we have it, ladies and gentlemen, my 2017 reading challenge has come to an end and I’ve just met my target of 36 books with a few days to spare.
I’ve read some fabulous books this year and thankfully have only had a small number of stinkers which are pretty great odds. I’ve also had some great recommendations from everyone and have added then all to my “to read” list for 2018.
Speaking of which, now it’s time to set my reading target for 2018. How many books do you think I should aim for?
Fool Me Once, Harlan Coben
Goodreads says… Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.
Rosie says… I found this so hard to get into and connect with. Coben’s writing style is a little all over the place and I was confused and left wondering whether I’d missed certain aspects of the story. Definitely not one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year.
The Girl Before, JP Delaney
Goodreads says… Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.
Rosie says… Want to live in a fabulously gorgeous architecturally designed house with all the mod-cons and only pay a tiny sum? It definitely is too good to be true. I love the premise of this book switching back and forth between Emma and Jane’s scarily similar stories. A really great and easy read that will keep you guessing until the last page.
The Circle, Dave Eggers
Goodreads says… When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.
Rosie says… Yow-ZA! From the outset working for the Circle sounds like an absolute dream come true. A cutting edge tech company that has thousands of great minds working for it and offers its staff amazing perks – who wouldn’t want to work there? Alas, all that glitters isn’t gold and we find that the Circle is a little more sinister than it seems. Scarily enough this is actually the world we live in with social media and the way we share our lives with the world. It kind of makes you want to shut your laptop and go running for the hills (only after I snap an Instastory to share with you all!).
What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty
Goodreads says… Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.
Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.
Rosie says… This had me completely hooked from page 1. I loved the idea of poor Alice forgetting the last 10 years of her life and trying to piece together how she got to such a crazy point (I mean, waking up and suddenly you’re skinny and have a fabulous wardrobe – can you imagine?!). A super easy read that had me churning through the pages to find out if it all works out for Alice in the end.
I Am God, Giorgio Faletti
Goodreads says… The explosion of a twenty-two-storey building, followed by the casual discovery of a letter, lead the police to face up to a dreadful reality: some of New York’s buildings were mined at the time of their construction. But which ones? And how many?
A young female detective hiding her personal demons behind a tough facde, and a former press photographer with a past he’d rather forget, and for which he still seeks forgiveness, are the only hope of stopping this psychopath.
A man who does not even claim responsibility for his actions.
A man who believes himself to be God.
Rosie says… This starts with a little backstory to lay the scene which was tough to get through but once it jumps to the present day you can understand how important it is. I really enjoyed the plots twists and turns but also felt the ending was a tad weak and was waiting for a bigger kicker but it fell a little short for me.
Did you hit your target for 2017? How many books did you manage to read?