Best Fiction: Wonder by R.J. Palacio– Everyone should read this book, it is well written, an important story, and deeply moving. A boy with a severe facial deformity goes to school for the first time. You will travel through every emotion as this boy traverses through the joys and pains of life. I loved it.
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Best Serious Non-Fiction: Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar– The story of the trapped Chilean miners, their suffering, and their miraculous rescue. It was informative, and I was moved by the story of their survival.
To order from Amazon, click here:Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
Best Light Non-Fiction: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari– Personally, I adore Mr. Aziz and his sense of humor. This book is sweet and light, but explains the crazy changes the inter-webs have made in our dating lives. Well researched, informative, and jovial.
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Best Love Story: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough- This book stole my heart from the first page. There were so many elements and layers to love. Set in 1930’s Seattle, yet it traveled the globe through historical events. The writing is brilliant, historical facts are woven into the story with impeccable and fascinating detail. I didn’t want it to end.
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Best Book About a Long Walk: Etta and Otto and Russel and James by Emma Hooper– A most peculiar, charming little book. Etta decides to walk across Canada to see the Ocean; her husband is left at home to ponder life, their courtship, and learn to cook. Read it for yourself, especially if you want something out of the ordinary.
To order from Amazon, click here:Etta and Otto and Russell and James: A Novel
Best Historical Fiction: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah– This book has been given many accolades, and they are well deserved. An exceptional, well told tale of living in Nazi occupied France.
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Best Children’s Book Adults Need to Read: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan– The lives of three children in different parts of the world in World War II are woven together as the reader follows the path of a magical harmonica. I devoured this book and reveled in the language, the plot, and the touching stories of children living through war times. A must read.
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Best Mystery Novel: I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy– I am a wimp when it comes to mysteries, I can’t handle anything slightly scarier than a Law and Order episode, but this book was remarkable. Three women figure out their husband has secret families and entire lives they never knew about, and the plot gets thicker and thicker. Perfect if you want suspense and a psychological thriller.
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The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel– If you liked Water for Elephants, read this. A trains first journey through the deep mountains, filled with bandits and robbers chasing after the good guys. It was gripping from the first page to the last.
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Best Book by a Movie Star: Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling– This may sound shocking, but most movie stars are terrible writers. However, Mindy Kaling wrote a lot of The Office, and she was pretty darn good. This was light, cheery, and uplifting. It felt like talking with your best friend. Reading it made me happy; I hope it makes you happy too.
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Best Beginning Chapter Book: Princess in Black by Shannon Hale– If you have a child transitioning into chapter books, Shannon Hale is perfect to feed your book worms. If you have a boy, do not be afraid, it is funny and appealing to all children. Shannon Hale has done some great writing about, “there are not such things as boy books and girl books.” I agree! This book has funny monsters, an adventurous princess, and it is simply delightful. Read it with your kids, by yourself, or have your kids read to you. Just read it.
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Best Short Stories: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan– Sadly, Marina passed away before she saw her short stories and essays published. They are moving, honest, edgy, and full of passionate ideals. She is a brilliant writer gone before her career could start. I am glad I took the time to read her work.
To Order from Amazon, click here:The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories