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Top 5 Reads of 2017

['At the Library with Chantelle Taylor']
['At the Library with Chantelle Taylor']

At the Library with Chantelle Taylor

Happy New Year everyone!!  Welcome to 2018 and a whole new year of reading.  I must confess, I did have a very poor reading year in 2017, my slump that started in the summer continued through the rest of the year.  Looking back over my year, it is a mix of romance and graphic novels.

So in no particular order here are my Top 5 books of 2017.

Dangerous Books for Girls: The bad reputation of romance novels explained by Maya Rodale/Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart bitches guide to romance novels by Candy Tan & Sarah Wendell. 

Over four weeks in November I had an in-depth look at the romance genre in partnership with the Tantramar Seniors Club and these two books were my major resources.  I knew almost nothing about the romance genre before this year. Did you know that romance novels out sell every other genre except general fiction? Did you know that Harlequin Romance was started by a Hudson’s Bay explorer and became a romance powerhouse thanks to his wife? How has the internet and social media changed the publishing industry? These books offered lots of information without being dry and boring. I highly recommend if you want to learn more about romance novels. 

Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens. This is the book that finally ended my reading slump!  While researching for my romance program, this series was mentioned several times and thought I would give it a go. Honoria Wetherby caught in a compromising position (spent the night unsupervised with a single man and his dying cousin) is forced to marry our hero, Sylvester Cynster (aka Devil), against her will, well sort of. 

There is a tiny bit of a murder mystery mixed in with the romance as Honoria tries to solve the murder of Devil’s cousin behind his back, while trying to convince Devil she isn’t interested in marrying him, which of course she eventually is.

Persuasion by Jane Austen.  Over the summer my work book club had to read a classic, I left the definition of what they considered a “classic” up the each member.  Persuasion is one of the few Jane Austen, I haven’t read and I ended up enjoying it much more than I had anticipated.  Anne Eliot was convinced to break her engagement to Fredrick Wentworth, whom her family felt was beneath them. 

As the story begins, eight years later, the Eliot family is being forced to move to Bath, due to financial hardship and rent their estate to Fredrick Wentworth’s sister. In the years since their broken engagement Fredrick has become a successful (aka wealthy) captain, while Anne has remained unmarried and “lost her bloom” which is apparently Austen code for withered spinster at age 27.

Circumstances throw them together over and over again and despite her ridiculous family and his flirting with other ladies, their romance begins to build again.

Out of Boneville by Jeff Smith. I recommend this graphic novel a lot to parents who come in looking for something for their teens. It’s a classic.  Having recommended it but never read it, I thought I should give it a try. 

For about 95 per cent of this graphic novel, I hated it. I hated the characters, they were all stupid, the plot didn’t really go anywhere and then as I finished the last page, I realized I wanted to read another! I was really cranky with myself for not bringing home Volume 2. To make matters worse, I’m not sure what changed my mind at the end. Did those weird little Bone characters grow on me without my knowledge? Is it the shady character lurking out of frame at the end of the book?  Is it the dragon? I’m not sure why, but I will be reading more of the Bone series in 2018.

For more Top 5 of 2017, check out our staff picks on our website www.cumberlandpubliclibraries.ca

 

Chantelle Taylor is the deputy chief librarian for the Cumberland Public Libraries.

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