End of 2017 Reads

December is my month to be overwhelmed with the holidays, and I’m on schedule with that. I’m working on one book submission (due this coming week) and two book proposals (due in January). Oh my.

December is also my time to relax with a good book or fourteen. It was a busy year so I’m driving through a teetering pile of phenomenal books like a bulldozer. So let’s talk about great reads and how I’m reading them! Full disclosure: I’m in the first third of most of them, so my opinion may change.


Lost in Whispers by Mary Castillo (ebook). Ghosts! This is the third book in her Dori O mystery series. I love how the author  weaves character and story into an addictive ride. I can’t put them down. I finished Charlaine Harris’s Midnight Crossing series (audio books) at the beginning of December so that counts as a December read. Quite the collection of witches, were-beasts, psychics, vampires, angels and demons. This author doesn’t disappoint. I’m sorry the journey is over and am looking forward to seeing the tv series. I put Cary Christopher’s The Wash (ebook) in this category. I’m reading it at night, but if it gets any creepier, I’m switching to only reading it during the daytime and while surrounded by a crowd. He is a master storyteller with characters I love. Set in Salt Lake City.


The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (ebook and audio book). I loved the latest Murder on the Orient Express movie. I’ve been gushing about this book for the past week. I’m definitely on this train. The Testament by John Grisham (audio book) is a longish book but satisfies my wanderlust for the scenes in Brazil and love of legal thrillers for the shenanagins in the United States. Mermaid by Jodi Picoult (ebook). Most would consider this overpriced for a short story, but it is a Jodi Picoult and I spent the Thanksgiving weekend Saturday at Dana Point’s Ocean Institute dissecting squid and petting sand sharks. This short story has a marine biology bent and is riveting. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (audio book). Kwan wrote a NaNoWriMo pep talk. Out of curiosity, I checked out his book and was immediately engaged. Twenty-somethings in the mid 1980s in Hong Kong. Another world for me, and I’m mesmerized.


Artemis by Andy Weir (audio book). After The Martian, I doubted Weir could equal anything that incredible. This is the book I listen to while walking. I’ve a broken toe and a gimpy leg and still walking just so that I can listen to another chapter. He definitely can repeat incredible.

Speaking of addictive, author Megan Haskell recommended Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens (hardcover). Not since Maggie Stievater’s Lament novels have I seen the fae world addressed so, dare I say, realistically. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean. This book has texture. Rhondi Vilott’s Draco’s Revenge (ebook) is a super escape epic fantasy of the sword and sorcery sort. Role game enthusiasts will appreciate the book on another level, but I like it for the lovely descriptions, the undersea scenes, and the second person POV. I wanted to see if that point of view could be executed successfully. I bought The Gargoyle King also in the Dragon Road series because Draco was that good and because, you know, gargoyles.


Gone are the days when I’d re-read Dickens‘ A Christmas Carol and call my holiday inoculation of fiction done. Lots of good reads out there to snuggle near a fire and sigh over. Baby Blue Christmas by Kristy Tate (ebook) is a feel good holiday story complete with snow, a baby, a puppy, and romance. A Warm December by Jacqueline Diamond (ebook) is another happily ever after and an endearing and satisfying romance that also includes a veterinarian. I must like my Christmas cheer with dogs!

Fairytale Christmas by Merrie Destefano (ebook). I couldn’t resist an Irish Fair Folk story by the lyrical author Merrie Destefano. The cover is eye candy and it is a novella if you prefer your holiday reads short.

Some of these books are only 99 cents or offered on Kindle Unlimited. Note: all links are to the book’s Amazon ebook page.

That was fun! I hope to do this quarterly in 2018.

Please share what you’re reading! I’m making my list for 2018.

Happy surveying, Michelle

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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2 Responses to End of 2017 Reads

  1. dayya says:

    Oh my goodness! You’ve just enlarged my reading list!😊

    • mlknowlden says:

      Thank you for your comment, Debra. Creating a list has helped me make progress! I have finished three books and submitted reviews for two. I did add two books, but they will be in my 2018 queue.

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