Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Best books I’ve read so far in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

So far in 2017 I’ve read exactly 21 books, so at least I have a reasonably sized pool to choose from!

1. Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at the Remote Ranch in Utah by Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp

The legend of skinwalkers has always fascinated me, but this phenomenon is just one of many that plagued Skinwalker Ranch. Yes, this is a true story, and yes, I believe it. I have a firm belief in the paranormal, though that doesn’t mean to say that I believe in every little smudged picture that pops up onto the internet, I do have my sceptical side, but there is definitely something beyond this world, in my opinion. Anyway, this book chronicles the events surrounding a family who move onto a ranch and from day one experience paranormal phenomena, from UFOs, orbs to otherworldly creatures. It’s like someone told the paranormal and extraterrestrial world (I’m still on the fence about the latter) that this was the place to be! Unfortunately animals suffer a lot in this book, from cattle mutilations to dogs being burned alive, so if you’re an animal lover like me, be warned.

2. Hope to Die (D.S. Nathan Cody #2) by David Jackson

I listened to this on audio-book because I had listened to the first instalment on audio-book also, and I just couldn’t imagine reading it. Jonathan Keeble is just excellent at telling these stories! The D.S. Nathan Cody series is set in London. It may seem like your typical run-of-the-mill crime series, but there’s something about Jackson’s storytelling that sets this series apart from the others. Plus, Cody has a backstory, and doesn’t every good detective? Cody used to do undercover work and was subsequently found out and tortured by a gang who still won’t let him rest. He’s receiving mysterious phone calls and in this book, they up their game even further. This is all going on while Cody and his team investigate the murder of a woman outside a church, a woman who is seemingly perfect with no reason for anyone to want to harm her, and yet it looks personal. Dun dun dun!

3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I’ve already written a tonne on how much I love this book, so I’ll keep it brief. This book kept me hooked from the beginning. I instantly bonded with the three main characters, and a murder mystery to boot just made it all the more exciting. Beware, the mothers are loose!

4. Dead Simple (Roy Grace #1) by Peter James

This was the first book by Peter James I read, and also the first in the Roy Grace series (because I have to read things in order!). It starts with a stag night (bachelor party for Americans) where the groom-to-be is buried alive by his “mates”. What could possibly go wrong? The plan is to unearth him in a couple of hours but almost as soon as they leave him, the friends are involved in a fatal road collision and the groom is all but left to die in his grave. I found it amazing how James could make a story out of such a storyline, imagine writing long chapters on a character trapped in a coffin! Of course there’s more to the story (isn’t there always?), but this gives an insight in Grace’s own past. Like Nathan Cody, he’s also got a troubled history. His wife Sandy vanished without a trace ten years earlier and Grace has been plagued with it ever since. No detective is perfect, I guess!

5. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Again, I’ve already spoken a lot about this book. Anna Kendrick is one of my favourite actresses and her book didn’t disappoint. I learned a lot of new things about her and I loved her honesty when it came to the anxiety she suffers. It just goes to show you that not all celebrities are performing robots!

6. Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

Having enjoyed the Divergent series, naturally I was going to read this. My sister bought it for me for my 29th birthday back in February. Roth does seem to have a theme of bringing two opposite characters (usually male and female) together and exploring their differing personalities. However cliche that sounds, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Roth is good at creating suspense and even making the most evil character likeable.

7. Owning It: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety by Caroline Foran

This book has helped me immensely. Thanks to it I’m meditating more, I’m doing exercise regimes that suit me, I have activities I can use anywhere at any time to help me when my anxiety flares up. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who suffers with anxiety. Foran helps you understand that while you cannot beat anxiety, you can learn to manage it and even become friends with it.

8. Looking Good Dead (Roy Grace #2) by Peter James

You’re probably going to get more of this series on my list because I’ve already read four of them so far this year. In the second instalment of this series, a man comes across a DVD containing what looks to him to be a very real murder. Suddenly his life is threatened to keep him quiet, but his guilt is building. Are there more DVDs out there? This chilled me because I’m aware of the dark web and I can only imagine what kind of horrors you’d find on there.

9. The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert

I listened to this on audiobook. As a believer in the paranormal, I absolutely love a good horror story. Though a book of this genre has yet to scare me. The Exorcist came close. In this story, a family decide to move to the countryside of England temporarily, as the husband is an engineering and his new project is essentially out in the sticks. They rent an old mansion called Crickley Hall and it isn’t long before odd occurrences begin to torment the family, especially the family dog who can’t bear to be in the house for one second. The house has a history but no one in the town wants to talk about it. The family are also dealing with the vanishing of their young son a year earlier, and as the house begins to take on a life of its own, the emotions it carries begin to overwhelm the already fragile occupants.

10. Parting Shot (Promise Falls Trilogy #4) by Linwood Barclay

It doesn’t make sense that it’s the fourth book in a TRILOGY. But the third book left so many unanswered questions that it was inevitable we had to return to Promise Falls. Linwood Barclay is my favourite crime writer and I love his ability to tie in so many characters and bringing them back at random, it’s always nice to find out how some characters are doing, because in reality, they’re stories don’t really end with the last page. Promise Falls is all about revenge and now someone is punishing people whose punishment didn’t fit the crimes they committed. We’re brought back to Detective Duckworth and PI Cal Weaver, but there are still other characters we want to catch up with so I predict a fifth book!

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Author:

I have a Bachelor degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Journalism. I love to write, especially about mental health and animals. I like to use my blog as an outlet for new things I discover in these areas and experiences I have.

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