Tall Poppy Readers Fav Books of 2018
This past week, I was invited to the cool kids’ lunch table . . . The Tall Poppy Writers invited me to take part in their Book Blogger Appreciation Week on their reader site: Bloom: A Group for Tall Poppy Readers.
The Tall Poppy Writers are a group of 44 female writers. Ann Garvin (a Wisconsin author) founded the group, and it was Susan Gloss (another Tall Poppy Writer) who invited me to hang out this past week on the Bloom Facebook Page.
Why am I telling you this? Because the Bloom readers group is FABULOUS! (You can join them here.) When it was my turn to post, I asked Bloom members to tell me the best book they’ve read so far this year. The results were amazing. I didn’t expect so many replies.
And, when the week concluded, I was a little sad to leave all these good suggestions just sitting around in the Facebook comments section. I decided they deserved a place of their own.
Here’s what Bloom members recommended. (Are any of your favorites on this list?)
The winner by far was The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (named by ten Bloom members).
ABOUT THE BOOK: In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.
Second place, went to the The Alice Network by Kate Quinn with six votes.
ABOUT THE BOOK: In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
Five titles received three votes each:
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
ABOUT THE BOOK: When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part. And all for the love of her unborn child.
Face Off by Brenda Sue Novak
ABOUT THE BOOK: SHE VOWED NEVER TO BE A VICTIM AGAIN. BUT NOW A KILLER HAS HER IN HIS SIGHT. . . Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work―studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her―until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
ABOUT THE BOOK: With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
This I Know by Eldonna Edwards
ABOUT THE BOOK: Eleven-year-old Grace Carter has a talent for hiding things. She’s had plenty of practice, burying thoughts and feelings that might anger her strict Evangelical pastor father, and concealing the deep intuition she carries inside. The Knowing, as Grace calls it, offers glimpses of people’s pasts and futures. It enables her to see into the depth of her mother’s sadness, and even allows Grace to talk to Isaac, her twin brother who died at birth. To her wise, loving Aunt Pearl, the Knowing is a family gift; to her daddy, it’s close to witchcraft.
Vox by Christina Dalcher
ABOUT THE BOOK: On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
And, three titles received two votes each:
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
ABOUT THE BOOK: Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall
ABOUT THE BOOK: Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders. If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
ABOUT THE BOOK: For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.
The other favorites of 2018 were:
After Anna by Lisa Scottoline
After Nightfall by A.J. Banner
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
The Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Carousel Beach by Orly Konig Lopez
Circe by Madeline Miller
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Come Away With Me by Karma K. Brown
Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray
Crazy Little Town Called Love by Jill Hannah Anderson
Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
Dreams of Falling by Karen White
Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Manisalco
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves
The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson
Good Me . . . Bad Me by Ali Land
The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
Heartbeat of Grace by Kristin Sterk
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey
Into the Free by Julie Cantrell
Just In Time by Marie Bostwick
Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
The Optimists Guide to Letting Go by Amy Reichert
Origin by Dan Brown
The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell
Someone’s Daughter by David Bell
Splintered Silence by Susan Furlong
Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner
The Subway Girls by Susan Orman Schnall
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Unbroken Threads by Jennifer Klepper
The Unseen World by Liz Moore
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagan
Wonderland Series by Irina Shapiro
Wrapped in the Stars by Elena Mikalsen