Thursday, April 13, 2017

National Library Week: 5-star Reads of 2017

Happy almost Friday!  I'm back with another reading-centric post in honor of National Library Week!

Today I'm going to share the 5-star books I have read so far this year. 2017 has been a wonderful reading year for me so far. For the first time in 3 years, I've abandoned working on a Read Harder Challenge and instead am reading whatever I feel like reading (plus book club books). I've read 25 books so far this year and 5 of them are 5-star which is pretty impressive considering that I only gave 9 books a 5-star rating last year. I have been a bit less stingy with my star ratings this year, though, so that's part of the reason I've given more 5-star ratings. Here's what I have loved so far this year.

1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - This book was amazing. The subject-matter is so incredibly sad and heavy as it's written by a neurologist who gets lung cancer in his early 30s. He writes this book to record his thoughts about mortality and his experience being on the patient side of the patient-doctor relationship. I think that every medical student should have to read this. If you are afraid to read this given the heavy subject matter, I suggest giving it a try. Yes, it will probably make you ugly cry but the writing is so dang beautiful so it's worth all the tears.

2. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - This YA book is about a set of twins in their teens. The narration switches back and forth between the twins, Noah, a boy, and Jude, a girl. They are as close as can be until a tragic life event rocks their world. They both have secrets they are keeping from each other that are driving a wedge between them. The time frame of the narrative also shifts as Noah narrates about the time before the tragic event and Jude narrates the time after.The writing is beautiful and the author conveys so much emotion. 

3. March:  Book One by John Lewis - This is the first book in a graphic novel trilogy written by John Lewis about the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. The graphic novel format is such an effective way to convey these historical events. John Lewis was a Freedom Rider and experienced these events first hand. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this trilogy!

4.  Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson - This book is a psychological thriller which is not my typical genre. I read it for a quarterly book club that I have with a former coworker and it was her selection. She knew I read and loved the author's last book so figured I'd like this one, too! Luckily she was right! I had to buy this one so am glad I liked it because I would have hated to buy a book and not love it. The subject-matter of this book is creeeeeepy, though, as it involves serial killers and stalking. I typically don't like creepy content but this book worked for me.

5.  Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild - This is my next advocacy through reading pick so I will share more of my thoughts about it in late April or May. I burned through this book at a rapid pace because it was non-fiction that read like a novel since the author delves into the lives of the Tea Party members she meets in Louisiana. It was fascinating, upsetting and perplexing. 

If the first 3.5 months of 2017 are any indication of what my 2017 reading life is going to be like, I'm in for a treat!

What's the last book that you gave a 5-star rating to?


Charbelle said...

I typically can't read about stalking and serial killing although I've read Patricia Cornwell and I do love her! To be honest there are just parts I can't read and I skim through them. True crime does fascinate me! I've read very few books this year but I did read Hidden Figures and it was AMAZING!!!! LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!!!

Jeanie said...

That's a pretty good number of five stars for so early in the year!

I'll have to think about the last five star -- probably Susan Branch's "A Fine Romance."

Stephany said...

I've given 9 books 5-star ratings so far this year. I am not TOO stingy about my ratings, but I tend to give more 4 stars than 5 stars. The last book I gave 5 stars to was a romantic thriller, Whisper No Lies by Cindy Gerard. I couldn't put the book down and kept thinking about it after I finished it!

Amber said...

So awesome! I also loved When Breath Becomes Air and I'll Give you the Sun. I will add the other three to my list. I am waiting on Strangers in their own land from the library right now!!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am very stingy with my five star ratings, so I have only given that rating to one book and it was When Breath Becomes Air. I have had Strangers in my hold queue for quite some time and am really looking forward to reading it, as I heard the woman on a podcast and the idea behind the book was very intriguing! I am glad to hear that you liked it as well.

katielookingforward said...

Strangers in their own land sounds fascinating!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

The last book I read that I gave a five-star rating to was The Handmaid's Tale.