Monday, December 11, 2017

my best books of 2017.

The library is 3 blocks from our apartment and earlier this year it re-opened.  Outside of adopting Jackson and getting married, it was one of the best days of my life.   I love libraries (I even worked in one in college though I use the term "work" loosely) and I really love books.  Now that it's back, I've become a bit of a book worm and have spent most of my free time reading rather then watching TV.  It feels really good to read more and I have read A LOT this year.   

While not cooking or cookbook related, I figured I would put together a list of my top 5 books of 2017.  I have fairly electric reading tastes so I think this list includes something for everyone.  So if you are looking for something to hunker down with over the holidays, I hope you can find something on this list to try.   

Also!  Lest you think I wasn't going to be posting about holiday cookies, that is simply not the case.  I have a brownie recipe in my back pocket that will be coming in the next couple of days and I'm currently working on making the perfect ginger molasses cookie.  It is much harder then it looks.  Hopefully sometime next week I'll have that.   

Now without further ado, my best books of 2017 (not necessarily in order).   

1 -  Red Notice by Bill Browder - This reads like a Borne Identity movie (but is in fact a true story!) which would typically be the furthest thing from my wheelhouse but in this political climate, it just worked.   Bill Browder was one of the first foreign investors in Russia and through-out his career he found a lot of ways to make money and he also found that a lot of corruption exists in Russia.  I can't begin to tell you how fascinating this book is (I made Tyler read it when I finished).  

2 - Last Days of Night by Graham Moore - A fictional booked loosely based on the true story of Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse battling among themselves to be the first company to bring electricity to the US.   This is not boring historical fiction, it's exciting and interesting and despite it's length goes quickly.  Another book I've recommended to pretty much everyone.   

3 - The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne - At almost 600 pages, this is not a short novel, but it is so beautifully done it hurts.  Cyril Avery is born out of wedlock in Ireland in the 1930's (when things like that were frowned upon).   Each chapter takes your an additional 7 years into his life and within each chapter you as the reader find common threads that tie Cyril's past to his future.   This book is gorgeous and it touches upon so many issues (Catholicism in Ireland, AIDS, adoption, etc) and despite all of those heavy topics, it manages to remain somewhat light.   It's truly one of the best books I've ever read.   

4 - Sourdough by Robin Sloan - This book actually has a food related angle.  It's about Lois, a software engineer who moves to San Fran and spends her days coding and her nights unfulfilled.  That is until her favorite takeout place gives her their sourdough starter and she's left to take care of it.  This is a book about the intersection of food and technology.   It's a cute, easy read, and one that I really loved.   

5 - Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota  - When I first finished this book I wasn't sure how I felt but the fact that I continue to think about it (a month after I finished it) means I really liked it.  This is chick-lit at it's best - smart, engaging, and fast paced.  It's the story of Amanda Gallo, a TV anchor who gets her big break on FAIR News, a new channel thats trying to be the unbiased news channel during the current presidential election.  While she's working, she realizes she is loosing herself in order to fit the mold of the company she works for.   This book has a LOT of similarities to the 2016 election cycle and now that we are a year out, I can finally read a book like this without feeling like I want to throw something.   

Honorable mentions go to Cork Dork (all about becoming a sommeillier) and Eleanor Ophiliant is Completely Fine (which I just finished!).   

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