Like others whose lists I have already seen, I had difficulty narrowing my list of books I’ve read this year (79) down to the ten most important not to miss. I must include the fact that a particularly good book may be missing just because I didn’t get around to reading it. One book that should probably be on my list, I read last year at this time. With a little creativity to include a few more than 10, here is my list. These are not in order of preference. You can’t ask that from most book lovers. (It can change daily.)
1. A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano.
This is a rather allegorical novel of a vine keeper who takes over the vineyard of a great vintner. It is the vintner’s daughter who alternately criticizes and pines over the mysterious vine keeper. A romance and allegory so great I knew as I was reading it this would top my list of great books for this year.
2. River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart.
In pre-Civil War times, a small town rallies around a particularly loving and caring slave, as a Caucasian young lady who owes him her life and much of her mindset, decides whether she will support slavery or freedom for all. Heartwarming, also heartbreaking, this novel makes the reader wonder about their own mettle faced with issues of this magnitude.
3. Mind Games by Nancy Mehl.
Mehl presents such great romantic suspense, yet I always find her characters so believable. Like yes, this really could happen to the average person (nevermind said average person is an extraordinary FBI profiler). This whole book is terrific, I mean terrifying. Yet the ending blew me away and left me wanting more. You will have to read it to understand. This is not your ordinary cliffhanger.
4. The Cumberland Bride, # 5 Daughters of the Mayflower Series, by Shannon McNear.
Thrills and chills of a small group traversing the dangerous Cumberland Gap during the turbulent time of Daniel Boone. A young woman of eligible age falls for the group’s half-Indian guide. As romantic as they come!
5. Nantucket Legacy Series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. This includes (1) Phoebe’s Light; (2) Minding the Light; and (3) The Light of Day.
Wow! This series about the Quakers of Nantucket Island is a true treasure. Starting with the life of a lady destined to be a leader, “Great Mary,” we find out about her in each book through parts of her diary that are shared. Since each book is a split-time novel, we also learn about another person or person who lived a generation or more later. We see lives of the islanders intertwining, and both evil and good reaching down through later generations, depending upon whether the characters are truly following “the light.” A great historical about the times when whaling was a viable trade.
6. A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green.
Jocelyn Green does great historical research, yet like Laura Frantz and Michelle Griep, she presents it so well. I had never been in a French class or read a book that looked at Marie Antionette and Louis XVI with anything but disdain and the attitude “they had it coming.” There’s always another side. imagine my surprise to hear about the Jacobites in America, and the danger they posed to those who appeared loyal to the deposed French crown. I loved this book through and through. French history, Franco-American history, and the Whiskey Rebellion?! Learn on!!
7. A Tale of Two Hearts, #2 A Dickens Christmas, by Michelle Griep.
This is the story of a poor law clerk and an impoverished innkeeper’s daughter who conspire to pretend to be married in order to convince his uncle to leave the uncle’s vast holdings to the law clerk. As I wrote in my review, “Superior story, superior writing, superior read. Period.”
8. Catching Christmas, by Terri Blackstock.
I had never known Ms. Blackstock to write anything but Christian romance or romantic suspense. This departure from her usual is a Christmas Hallmark-like tale that has it all. Humor, poignancy, romance, stress, and the message of life’s ultimate meaning.
9. Shelter of the Most High, # 2 Cities of Refuge by Connilyn Cossette.
10. TIE BETWEEN A Caffeine Conundrum by Angela Ruth Strong and The Spice of Life, #1 A Salty Tale by Debbie Viguie.
A) A Caffeine Conundrum-
This is another great Christmas tale but so much more. In typical Angela Ruth Strong-style, a ton of laughter, a quirky character or two, and some subtle Christian values to hang onto for real life.
B) The Spice of Life, #1 A Salty Tale by Debbie Viguie.
The first in a new cozy/romantic suspense/thriller series sure to be even more exciting as it builds book by book. One of the protagonists reminds me strongly of Remington Steele, yay!! If I didn’t already like this one enough, I got to hear parts of it read out loud in person by the author, and parts hilariously acted out singlehandedly by another friend!
Thank you for checking out my list! Did you make one? I’d love to compare!