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Alissa's Picks



Here's a recap of Alissa's Best of 2017!


I beyond loved LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders.  It's not for everyone but it personally sang to me.  After I finished reading it the first time, I immediatly went back and started it again from the beginning!

I'm a solid fan of Elizabeth Strout, and her newest novel, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, was no exception.

THE REASON YOU'RE ALIVE is Matthew Quick's newest novel, and it's a revelation.

While I never got to reading ORPHAN TRAIN, which hundreds of readers have told me is great, thanks to Nancy, I did read A PIECE OF THE WORLD, which was written by the same author, Christina Kline.  It is a fictional story of the woman in the Wyeth painting called Christina's World.

I've always have felt an immense satisfaction in every novel Julia Glass has written and I experienced the same in her newest novel, A HOUSE AMONG THE TREES.

Alison McGhee is an author of great novels for both adults and young adults and also does amazing picture books.  Her newest came in, NEVER COMING BACK,  and it reminded me of my earliest experience with her, reading SHADOW BABY.  If you haven't read that one either, I would say consider it as well.  They both revolve around the same character.  In SHADOW BABY she is a young girl and in NEVER COMING BACK she is a young woman who comes home when her very young mother is diagnosed with early onset dimentia.

I just finished Louse Erdrich's newest novel, THE FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD.  Anyone who knows me will tell you I am no fan of anything touching on the dystopian, but this was a haunting and terrible, yet beautiful read, perfect for our times.

We all loved Fannie Flagg's THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING

I am a huge Richard Russo fan. The story that began in NOBODY'S FOOL continues in EVERYBODY'S FOOL. They are both perfect.

While I haven't loved all the novels by Anna Quindlen, this year I read an older one of hers and found it perfect.  I would recomment BLESSINGS.

I found the novel SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF EASE AND PLENTY by Romona Ausabel to be an interesting story of a young, wealthy couple who suddenly loses their money and how unmoored they become as it plays out.

THE GENTLEMAN by Forrest Leo got on my pile thanks to my Penguine rep, Virginia.  It was a very humorous novel about a famous poet who mistakenly sells his wife to the devil and then recruits a band of adventurers to get her back.  It takes place in Victorian times and it was devilishly clever and fun.

The last gem from 2017 was SIGNAL FLAME by Andrew Krivák, an incredible novel about the wars that haunt and steal and the land that heals.