It has been a challenging year, but we all got through it, didn’t we? And there were lots of good things that happened.
In December I learned that Kylie’s Ark: The Making of a Veterinarian had been chosen as a Kirkus Best Indie Book of 2017. I am enormously gratified at how this book just keeps on keeping on. When we published it, we knew the odds were against us. How could we expect a novel about a young veterinarian to not get lost in the million or more books that are published annually?
Thanks to readers who posted reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, reviewers at Kirkus who loved the book, and librarians across the nation who added it to their collections, Kylie’s Ark has done very well. Better than I could ever have expected. I am thrilled, humbled, and hopeful my next book will be as well-received.
Books, I believe, educate us, soothe our pain, lift us to heights otherwise unattainable. These are a few I read in 2017. They kept me sane, they made me laugh, they elicited sighs and a deep sense of appreciation. All of them made me more attuned to the plight of others.
1. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee: This is the story of O-Six, the alpha female of Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley wolf pack, the most photographed and surely the most beloved wolf in America. She was killed by a trophy hunter.
2. The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers: Inspired by a true story of a woman who bore an illegitimate child while her husband was away, the author has turned this sparse bit of Civil War history into a tale of enduring love that triumphs over the devastation wrought by war.
3. The Good People by Hannah Kent: This author just gets better and better. Set in the 1820s in Ireland, it’s the story of a woman left to care for her severely disabled grandson. Wow.
4. The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett: When a tiger turned man-eater in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, the people waited in stoic silence for someone to rid them of the scourge. Jim Corbett, British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, was that someone.
5. News of the World by Paulette Jiles: Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd may be the most endearing protagonist ever created. Tasked with returning a ten-year-old white girl recaptured from an Indian tribe to her relatives, these two unlikely characters set out on a four hundred mile journey.
6. A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams: What a cast of characters: the beautiful Mrs. Teresa Marshall who loves a man twenty years younger, Teresa’s brother, Ox, a man in desperate need of financial rescue, war hero Octavian Rofrano who falls in love with the girl Ox plans to marry. The plot is intricate, the love scenes sensuous, the characters so true you want to invite them to dinner, just to see them interact.
7. Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall: Ever wonder why the United States is an economic power house, and Brazil, approximately the same size as the U.S., is not? Why France is a major European power and Spain is not? Why Russia is constantly seeking to expand its territory? This book will tell you.
All books are not meant for all people. We have different tastes. These are some I loved. What I learned from them has changed me, and isn’t that what reading is all about.