I LOVE to get book recommendations from friends! It wasn’t that many years ago when I found it difficult to find time to do any reading for pleasure. I filled my time with other things and didn’t make slowing down to read a priority. Then I found Audible. . . Combine my discovery of Audible with nearly 10 years of a 45 minute, one-way, daily commute and I was magically able to read for pleasure again. Although I no longer have a commute, I’m still able to listen to audiobooks while I’m cooking dinner each night. I complete books at a slower pace, but I’m still able to get in several each month.
I’m always looking for book recommendations that fit my varied interests and feel like the end of the year is as good a time as any to share my Top Ten reads of the last year. I clearly don’t have a single style of book I enjoy. I tend to get most of my recommendations from The Skimm or through random recommendations from friends. I’m including portions of the Goodreads descriptions from each book because they do a much better job of summing up the books than I could.
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Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.
The Dry by Jane Harper
After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment – to oneself and to others.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully time-tabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
The Child by Fiona Barton
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.
The Nix by Nathan Hill
A hilarious and deeply touching debut novel about a son, the mother who left him as a child, and how his search to uncover the secrets of her life leads him to reclaim his own.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden?s extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad — Joe, I need your help — he responded. For twelve months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016.