I was a little finicky about books this year. It had to really grab me or I didn’t stick with it. I either tore through a book in a week or returned it to the library after hobbling through a few chapters.
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So my list isn’t very long this year (here are my favorite books lists from 2016 and 2015), but each of these books is a keeper. If you’re looking for something to read over the holidays or give as a gift, here are six books I loved this year:
|The Woman in Cabin 10: Don’t be like me and read the first chapter at night, in the dark with only a tiny reading light. The first chapter is scary. Then it shifts to unsettling and then back to scary. The plot: A journalist on a swanky press trip cruise witnesses what looks like a person being thrown overboard. But no one will believe her, everyone is accounted for, and she has no idea who she can trust.|
In a Dark, Dark Wood: As soon as I finished The Woman in Cabin 10, I got this one for more creepy, page-turning deliciousness. The plot: A woman is invited to a cabin in the woods for a bachelorette weekend for a old friend. We slowly learn the dark histories of the friendships and get the sense that something very bad is about to happen.
|The Nest: Sometimes stories about big dysfunctional families feel tedious to me. But I loved all of the characters in this novel and couldn’t wait to see what happened to them. The plot: The oldest sibling of the Plumb family has a scandalous accident one night that threatens to wipe out the family trust fund his brothers and sisters are counting on. I loved the smart, sharp writing.|
|What Alice Forgot: This is my favorite of Liane Moriarty’s books. The plot: A woman wakes up on the floor of the gym after falling. She thinks she’s 29 years old and happily married but slowly realizes that she’s actually pushing 40, in the middle of a divorce, and has lost the last decade of her life. I love how this book examines how marriage, parenthood, and time can change a person–and what we would do with second chances.|
|The Underground Railroad: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel tells an epic story that is emotionally hard to read at times, but also hard to put down. The plot: Cora is a slave in Georgia who decides to attempt an escape after hearing about the Underground Railroad. But in this book, the Underground Railroad is an actual railroad running underground that Cora boards to try and find freedom.|
|The Light Between Oceans: This is a sad story that sticks with you, told in beautifully descriptive language. The plot: A husband and wife live on a remote island, where he is the keeper of the lighthouse. They’re desperate to be parents but have suffered multiple miscarriages and stillbirths. Then one night a boat washes up on shore, holding a dead man–and a baby who is still alive. What they decide to do transforms their lives.|
What books did YOU love this year?