Here is my top-ten list of favorite reads of 2017, in order of preference, with #1 being the best. Most of the comments are excerpted from reviews I posted on the Goodreads site. Next month, I will blog in more detail about my 2017 reads. It was a very good year.
1. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I highly recommend this title to anyone who is seeking to understand this demographic that voted overwhelmingly for Trump.
2. All They Will Call You by Tim Z. Hernandez. The author brings a true, heartbreaking event (a California plane crash that killed the crew and the farmworkers on board who were headed for deportation) to life through a fictionalized account with beautiful writing and gritty details.
3. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. The challenges of a young Chinese immigrant attempting to assimilate into American society are portrayed in a touching manner. This is not categorized as a YA novel, but it should be.
4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This novel gave me a better understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement and the day-to-day realities of those who live in poor black neighborhoods.
5. In a Lonely Place by Dorothy Hughes. This is a creepy, atmospheric novel that takes the reader into the mind of a serial killer. I was drawn to its 1940s L.A. setting.
6. American Chica by Marie Arana. An autobiography that puts into beautifully written words what many a bicultural child can feel about living in two worlds.
7. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez. I especially enjoyed the depiction of Mexican-American culture and family in this YA book, and I was able to relate to so much of it.
8. Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. These two very wise men talk about the path to joy and how we can all achieve it with practice and determination. I listened to the audio book, which I believe made it a more pleasant experience.
9. Isabel’s Hand-Me-Down Dreams by Isabel Lopez. This is an honest, humorous, and inspirational memoir that tells of the author’s life first in Puerto Rico, then in New York City, and, finally, in Florida, from childhood to middle-age.
10. The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street Susan Jane Gilman. The main character’s enterprising nature exemplifies all that is good about the immigrant spirit. But she is a complex person who gives in to her worst instincts. She is a fictional character to remember.