Great Books To Read In 2018, My Favourite Books Of 2017

Here we are in 2018 thinking well that went quickly. 2017 flew for so many reasons. The world went ever so slightly batty. Life got busy and I travelled loads. But I still read books!  I can’t sleep without reading. Apart from my family it is the one consistent thing in my crazy life.

Getting that inspiration on what great book to read next is hard, apart from the odd favourite author I very much go off recommendation. My biggest source being the lovely Hayley she hasn’t let me down with a book recommendation yet.

And here are the best of the bunch from 2017, I don’t think I have read a bad book, but the following books are the page-turners, the books I found myself sneaking off to read and have stayed with me.

Great books to read by the pool www.extraordinarychaos.com

Wonder by Rj.Palacio

I read this in 5 days, and it generally takes me forever to read a book. It the most inspiring story about August a child with facial disfigurement, it had me laughing and crying all the way though. But it’s not a sad story, it’s inspirational and focuses on how August adapted to being integrated into mainstream school. How he overcome being the boy who was different to become a fully integrated popular member of the school community. He had to tackle bullies and bullying and how he did so with grace and bravery. The book also follows the people around August, highlighting how they dealt with prejudices against him. The book gives you so much hope and shows how human kindness is a wonderful thing.

Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

I can’t really tell you much about this book apart from the fact that in 1998, Maryanne Doyle went missing and many years later Alice Lapaine has been found strangled. Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is working on the Lapaine case but starts to discover things are getting a bit close to home. Her investigations uncover a tangled web of lies and corruption that cross over from her professional life to her personal life.

It’s a must read, one of those books that is a bit of a slow starter but once you get engaged in the plot you can’t put it down.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgendstern

The circus arrives without warning, it just appears. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is a world of magic and intrigue, eternal life, illusion and sparkle called Le Cirque des Rêves, which it is only ever open at night.

The tale tracks a magical duel between Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood for this purpose. It is a game in which only one will be left standing. However Celia and Marco fall in love, the worse thing that can happen, which puts the future of the circus and all its dependents in jeopardy.

I adored this book; it feels like the most indulgent escape into a magical world. It was a book that I never wanted to end, and is a must read for anyone that loves a bit of magic and sparkle in their fiction.

Great Small Things by Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a midwife with more than twenty years’ experience. During a shift, Ruth attends a check-up on a newborn baby, only to be told minutes later that she is not to attend the baby again. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African-American, to touch their baby. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby falls ill while Ruth is alone in the nursery.

She is left with the choice of ignoring orders and intervening or leaving the infant alone as instructed. Ruth hesitates but performs CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime.

Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice, to not mention race in the courtroom. The book follows all parties involved in the case, it really makes you think. I loved Great Small Things despite how uncomfortable reading it is at times; it made me see race issues from a whole new perspective, and shows just how hatred can eat a person up inside, and emphasises how it impacts on our world.

Great books to read in 2018 www.extraordinarychaos.com

Flawed and Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

Flawed and Perfect reminded me very much of the Hunger Games. But they are different! Aimed at the teen market I was not sure the Flawed would be for me but being a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern I failed to see how I could dislike anything she produced.

The stories revolve around Celestine North and her perfect life in a seemingly perfect and black and white world with clear rules and a divide between those that conform and those that don’t. That is until Celestine inadvertently breaks a rule and finds everything she thought was true was not necessarily the case.

Don’t be put of by the target market; I could not put either of the books down.

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Deep in the woods of south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests Laura lives alone totally secluded from the world, cocooned a world of her very own, that is until she is discovered. She possesses the most incredible talent, the likes of which no one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.

The book tracks Laura’s journey into reality and how her up bringing has protected her but also left her naive to life, people and their intentions. It’s a beautiful story of innocence and trust and how Laura adapts to modern-day life.

Caraval by Stephanie Garner

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, and is desperate to leave the island and capture the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is a magicial mystery journey and for Scarlett and her sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

Finally the sisters’ dreamt of invitations to Caraval arrives, their dreams of magic have come true. After an escape from the island and their arrival at Caraval Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. However she quickly becomes aware that this is a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

OMG this book is riveting so far from reality and every day life that pulls you into to question what is true and untrue in an imaginary world, the perfect book for a little escapism.

holiday books you must read www.extraordinarychaos.com

So there you have it 8 great holiday reads for the beach or pool. Or just snuggling up by the fire  on a winters day with a cup of coffee.  All very different yet equally engaging and absorbing, happy reading!

 

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8 Comments

  1. 29th January 2018 / 4:43 pm

    Thanks Sarah! I’ll come back to this. Is Wonder the one that’s going to be a film?
    We just read The Darling Strumpet with bookclub it’s about Nell Gwynn and takes place all round Covent Garden! Couldn’t put it down! X

    • SarahJChristie 29th January 2018 / 8:52 pm

      Yes it is Wonder Donna, the book is just amazing, ooh I will have to try that next thank you x

  2. 30th January 2018 / 5:12 pm

    You can’t go wrong with a Cecelia Ahern book in my mind… I own them all! She is bringing out a collection of short stories later on this year that I’m really looking forward to. I also enjoyed Wonder and The Night Circus when I read them.

    My two favourites of 2017 were The Summer of Impossible Things by Susan Coleman & The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

    Great post!

    • SarahJChristie 30th January 2018 / 8:56 pm

      I have read all of her book Jade apart from the short stories maybe I should try those too x

  3. 30th January 2018 / 8:53 pm

    Thank you for your recommendations, I am slowly getting back into reading after having my little one! I may not get to read as much as I used to, but always on the look out for suggestions to build my little library!

    Great Post!

    • SarahJChristie 30th January 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Its hard when you have a little one isnt it, but any of these books are valuable investments of your time x

  4. 4th February 2018 / 2:41 pm

    Definitely going to add some of these to my list for 2018, and I love that Hayley is so passionate about books and her recommendations. I too read every night before going to bed. It’s my time for some peace and quiet for 45 minutes. I am trying to stay away from chick lit books this year and read different books. Just finished The Couple Next Door which was a real page turner x

    • SarahJChristie 13th February 2018 / 12:12 pm

      I know she’s great isn’t she Tracey, I must say all the books I have read this year are different and I have loved them, I want to try the Couple Next Door x

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