The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Tag Archives: 2016 in Review

2016 In Review



Once again a year is coming to a close and it’s time to look back at what I reviewed in 2016.

Let’s start with some of my favorites:

American’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie has to top the list for me. To the core, I am an historical fiction freak and this ticked every box in that category. This book spans 50 years of the life of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Patsy. An incredible amount of history is covered in 50 years and the author’s creative liberties enhanced it all.

The fact that I so enjoyed the above book drew me to Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemmings by Stephen O’Connor. At over 800 pages, O’Connor’s take on historical events is a bit twisted but in a good way. Read with an open mind and you will enjoy this one too.

Sticking with historical fiction, Amy Snow by Tracy Rees took place in the Victorian era. Longing for a bit of Downton Abbey? Then this is the one to read. The young mistress finds a baby in the snow only for it to be dismissed as someone’s sin. Many years later, secrets are revealed bringing the story full circle.

June by Miranda Beverly-Whitemore is the second book I’ve read by this author (Bittersweet). A woman inherits a house from her grandmother only to discover that her grandfather had several other children who are contesting this will. The author has a gift of delivering her stories in a slow and steady pace, keeping you in it to the very end.

Last but not least, The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon is a poignant read for today. The secrets of a small community’s prejudices and biases are long overdue to be revealed. Are you a Goat or a Sheep? You will be able to know for sure after reading this exceptional book.

Briefly I will list some of the books I really didn’t enjoy and probably would suggest you avoid:

Rum Luck by Ryan Aldred – mystery in Costa Rican bar

News of the World by Paulette Jiles– bad Western-esque

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Russian Fairy tale rewrite

If I Forget You by Thomas Christopher Green – Stereotypical soap opera


I can’t end my year in review without mentioning a book very close to my heart that was published this year. In The City of Falling Stars by Chris Tusa is a labor of love by the author and his “muse” – me!!! I cannot begin to explain the honor and privilege it has been for me to work with Chris on this book and several more to follow. Being involved with an author has forevermore changed the way I read a book. Even the ones that don’t work out so well deserve respect because I know and understand what it takes to get a book written and published.

As always I encourage you to read and then read some more. I expect there will be many great and not so great ones for us to consider in 2017 and I am looking forward to doing that together here at The Book Mark. Thanks for following and,