It hardly seems possible that 2017 is more than half over. I have read 27 books so far this year, which is pretty close to my average of one book per week. As mentioned in the “About Me” section, my reading preferences include southern fiction; books about family relationships and friendships; books with connections to Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas; memoir and history. I do read outside my “preferences” and have discovered many wonderful books and authors through recommendations, award nominees and winners, and reading reviews.
I keep track of my books on Goodreads and would encourage you to connect with me there. My ratings on Goodreads and Amazon are rarely lower than four or five stars, because there are so many wonderful books available that I usually won’t continue with a book that doesn’t captivate me in some way. I have also fine-tuned my selection process to the point that most of the books I read please me greatly. That doesn’t mean that they will please every reader; that’s why I’m happy that there are so many to choose from!
The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell
A young girl disappears on a New Orleans school outing just before Hurricane Katrina. The tumult and tragedy of the entire city frame the fate of one child during the months, then years that follow.
Flight Patterns by Karen White
Southern women’s fiction at its best. Two sisters with such a bone to pick that they don’t see each other for ten years, a beautiful mother who isn’t as loony as she seems, and interesting tidbits about beekeeping fill out the plot nicely.
I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows
A region and a family in crisis. Beautifully-told story of the Dust Bowl with nuggets of truth and wisdom that I won’t forget. Oklahoma Book Award finalist.
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
A superb book, recently released as a movie and already receiving Oscar buzz. The story of two families — the owners of a Mississippi Delta farm at the end of World War II and the sharecroppers who live and work on it. Winner of the Bellwether Prize for fiction (promoting social responsibility).
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Based on accounts of an adoption ring which operated in Memphis from the 1930’s until the 1950’s. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings are stolen from their parents and turned over to an orphanage without fair representation or recourse.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Two families, five decades, two married couples, six children who only agree on their hatred for their parents after the dissolution of two marriages. Anyone who has been divorced and remarried, been a part of a blended or dysfunctional family, and created their own narrative about the situation will identify with this story and each characters’ interpretations of what happened and why.
The Risen by Ron Rash
A “summer of love” for two teenaged North Carolina brothers comes back to haunt them decades later when the fate of the girl who bewitched them both comes to light.
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
Two women of remarkable intellect are separated by centuries but united through history and seventeenth-century documents. The “weight of ink” takes on new meaning through this absorbing and thought-provoking book.
Are you a member of Goodreads? If so, please connect with me there. In the meantime, consider commenting on your own book selection or ratings method. Please share with anyone who might enjoy any of these reading selections.