Thursday, March 15, 2018

MAE Favorites of 2017 and the Ides of March


March was the first month of the year in the Roman calendar and March 15th always fell on a full moon. The Ides of March was the deadline for the Romans of old to pay off debts and settle affairs. I'm not a Roman but I will settle some affairs today. Even though some may consider the Ides of March an unlucky day, I'm choosing to consider it a good day for me to share some of my favorites. While I may be a little late posting my favorites of 2017, according to our calendar, I'm not late according to the Roman calendar. ☺ ♥ 

There were so many books that I did not get to read in 2017, but I've started reading some of those this year. I hope to get to many more of them and some being released in 2018 too. Isn't it wonderful how many good books we have, allowing us to spend time, reliving with the characters, the wonderful plots and twists imagined by the authors. I love getting immersed in their world and their lives for a short while.

The reads that made a lasting impression are below and not necessarily in any order. How many of these were your favorites too? I know some of mine also made it on a few other blog lists for favorites of 2017.

To read an interesting article on the Ides of March, click this link.





Variations:


These Dreams by Nicole Clarkston
Two lovers are torn apart by a horrendous act, yet are beautifully connected by a strong thread that forever binds them together. This epic novel is much more than a Darcy and Lizzy love story.
It has many layers and as you peel back each layer, the story gets richer and more in depth. 





The Best Part of Love by A. D'Orazio
I truly enjoyed this first release by author, A. D'Orazio.
It was a neat change having Lizzy's true identity unknown to Darcy. Hiding in plain sight, 
Lizzy is much more than she is thought to be. Her story is different and fraught with danger.



A Quest for Mr. Darcy by Cassandra Grafton
Cassandra Grafton wrote a lovely story whose Darcy made me swoon. Oh my!
There are many exquisite unplanned moments with Darcy and Lizzy. A stranger in the woods,
a mistaken fox, a bucket of water, and the Bingley twins all add to the mystery and fun.



Mr. Darcy's Brides by Regina Jeffers
This was such a unique plot and I loved it! Regina Jeffers can spin a good tale. It was great
spending so much time with Darcy and Lizzy. As they got to know each other,
it was wonderful experiencing it with them.



Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes
Aww, what can I say? This was another excellent story by author, Joana Starnes. I'll read anything she writes! I love a forced or arranged marriage scenario with much Darcy/Lizzy time and a little (or a lot) of angst thrown in. Nobody tortures Darcy and Lizzy like Joana Starnes! 



When We Are Married by Caitlin Williams
This was such a good story. Darcy was in quite a predicament with Jane and her misunderstanding.
It was interesting to witness this different turn of events. This is one of the few books that show another side to Jane Bennet and did so in a way that felt believable.



Mistress by Sophie Turner
I was unsure about reading this in the beginning but was curious about the premise. I'm so glad I chose to read it. Sophie Turner convinced me, while keeping the characters true to their originals, that the story could have happened just like she wrote it.



Mini-Novel:

A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder
This comedy made me laugh more times than I can remember. It was quite fun!
Collins, may have been handsome but what about his personality? 



Christmas Anthology:

A Very Austen Christmas by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis and Barbara Cornthwaite
Each of these stories was so well-written and entertaining.
I was left with a satisfying and good feeling. It is an excellent read at Christmas but would be enjoyable any time of the year. I highly recommend these four stories.




Anthology:

The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd
The short stories were all from Darcy's point of view and were divided into Regency
and contemporary settings. With this many authors and the quality of their writing,
there should be something for every reader. 





Series:

The Bennet Wardrobe by Don Jacobson

This includes all the books I read in 2017. I love this series of novels and novellas. The Wardrobe takes on a life of its own, helping those of Bennet blood to reach their full potential. Mr. Jacobson incorporates other fictional characters, as well as historical people to interact within his story.
This series is an 'extraordinary journey'.



The Keeper: Mary Bennet's Extraordinary Journey 
Henry Fitzwilliam's War 
The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque
Elizabeth Bennet Meets the Countess
The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn


Most Unique and Fun:


Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice in 61 Haiku by James Gaynor
This is the most unusual book I've read in awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this author's take of the first lines of each chapter. I laughed out loud numerous times.
The Haiku made me think and taught me a thing or two.






*****


That's my list of most memorable reads of 2017. How many are the same as yours? What are some of your favorites? I would love to know and add them to my TBR list if they are not already there. :) I have a rather lengthyTBR list that is growing daily!

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my favorites. Of all the books I read last year, none of them were poorly written. I enjoyed things about each of them. I'm already making my list for 2018. I'm hoping there will be some North & South variations to include in it! Hint, hint!

34 comments:

  1. What a great list Janet. I read and loved all of your top 10. I admit I cried my way through some of them, particularly These Dreams, The Best Part of Love and Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter but they were all so so good. I also was wary of The Mistress as I don't like to think of Elizabeth with anyone else but, yes, I loved, loved this Darcy (and his research ��)
    Altogether a great selection.

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    1. Thanks, Glynis! I think we have similar tastes in books! :) Wasn't Mistress a good read? I'm the same about either of them having been previously married. It takes a good author to make it doable for me. I too, loved Darcy's research. I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. The pressure was on!

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  2. Omgosh!!! This was a lovely surprise! I am especially thrilled for my "The Darcy Monologues" and proud of my DreamTeam of authors. And a year of so much good reading! Special congrats to Caitlin Williams-- how I loved "When We Are Married" and every time Darcy said that phrase!!! LOVED. And Joana Starnes' "Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter" haunted me for days after...did something to my soul! So many of my favorites also on your list, Janet! What an honor to be amongst such fine company! Thank you.

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    1. Love your comments on When We Are Married and Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter. I felt the same. Enjoyed The Darcy Monologues. You do have quite the A team of authors assembled.

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  3. Thank you, dearest Janet, for including Mr. Darcy's Brides on your list. It was a fun book to write - lots of mixups and misunderstandings.

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    1. I had two of your books down but realized one of them I read in January when I was still recouping from pneumonia. It's holding a place for next year! :) Mr. Darcy's Brides had so much wonderful together time and I loved being privy to their developing love story! Wonderfully done.

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  4. Great choices, Janet! Thank you so much for including "The Darcy Monologues" among all these memorable books.

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    1. Thanks, Jan. Your story in TDM was excellent.

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  5. Wonderful picks--congratulations to the winners!

    denise

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    1. Thanks for popping in, Denise. Glad you like my picks.

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  6. Hi Janet,

    What a fantastic list of books to have read,enjoyed and recommended to us!
    I've read and loved some on your list but would love to recommend these as I thoroughly enjoyed them-

    The Marrying Type-Laura Chapman (A persuasion variation).
    The Road to Unferstanding-Regina Jeffers.
    Duty Demands-Elaine Owen.
    A Moment Forever-Cat Gardiner.
    Darcy's Hope -Ginger Monette.

    Cheers for sharing,Janet. Happy reading!

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    1. Hi Mary. I'm so glad to have you stop by and give me some books you recommend. I have not read any of these but have been wanting to read four of them. The first one I am not familiar with so happy to know of it. Thank you for sharing with me.

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  7. An excellent list, Janet, and what a brilliant premise for choosing now to post it! Of the books on it, I've read (and listened to) both The Darcy Monologues and Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter. Then I've also read A Quest for Mr. Darcy and most recently When We Are Married and have just this week started on The Bennet Wardrobe series. All of the remainder are currently living on the planet-sized object laughingly called my TBR list.

    Some of my other favourites include: Ginger Monette's Great War saga, Maria Grace's Dragons series, President Darcy by Victoria Kincaid, Friends and Enemies by Joy King and Jennifer Joy's Meryton Mysteries

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    1. Happy to know you liked my reason for posting now! :) Awww, good to hear you are reading The Bennet Wardrobe series. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I'm looking forward to the next one. Thanks for your giving me some of your favorites. I plan to start Jennifer Joy's mysteries. I have one but haven't read it yet. I also have Friends and Enemies by Joy King and plan to read it soon. So many good books and not enough time to read them...

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  8. What a delightful surprise, Janet. Thank you, sincerely, for including our Christmas anthology in your favorites list. An honor indeed!

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  9. Such an honor to find our anthology included among such a list, Janet! Thank you so much!

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    1. You are welcome, too, Wendi. Your short story was excellent!

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  10. Thank you so much, Janet! I am most agreeably surprised and very much humbled to be listed in such company.

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    1. You are welcome, Robin. I loved the Christmas stories in your anthology. They were all so good. I will be reading them again.

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  11. Ha! This is great. I might have to steal your Ides of March- beginning of the year reasoning some day. :)

    Oh yes, I enjoyed The Best Part of Love and A Very Austen Christmas, too. I'm in the midst of The Bennet Wardrobe series, and I've got The Quest for Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter on the TBR pile.

    Woohoo for The Darcy Monologues making your list. Fun one to participate in. :)

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    1. You can steal my reasoning anytime! I thought it would be a fun thing to do and be a little out of the ordinary too. I think you will love those two you mentioned in your TBR pile. They are both so good. Glad you were a part of The Darcy Monologues. I really enjoyed your story.

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  12. What a great idea to use the start of the Roman calendar to post your favourites from 2017! No 'Beware the Ides of March' from you! I certainly can't fault you at all on your choices! Many of my tears were shed on these stories and just as many sighs and laughter. The only one I haven't read is 61 Haiku. I had a hard time stopping at 10 favourites though!

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    1. I had a hard time stopping too, Carole. I could have listed quite a few more that I enjoyed. Glad you liked my post being on the Ides of March and the first month of the Roman calendar. I thought that would be fun and different. I shed some tears over several of these books too.

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  13. Thanks for the nod to my "mini-novel," Janet, and I'm tickled to be in company with all those books I loved to read myself. Congrats to all the authors who made your list, and to all those who didn't too--because it's all wonderful us readers.

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    1. I agree, Suzan. I didn't read as much as I would have liked and missed out on many other good books. As I said in the post, all I read were good books and enjoyable. We, the readers, are the winners.

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  14. Thanks so much for including me on your list of faves, Janet. I'm honoured and so glad you enjoyed the story.

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    1. I enjoyed your novel. It was different and well done.

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  15. Great list and happy to say I've read them all! Your descriptions have me ready to read them all again!

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    1. Awww, that's good Regina. I'm ready to read some of them again, too.

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  16. Janet, thank you so much for your kind words about These Dreams, Janet! I am deeply touched by how much you loved it and honored to bein such amazing company! <3

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    1. You're welcome, Nicole. TD is definitely one of my all time favorites. This is pretty good company, I agree! :)

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  17. Thanks so much, Janet, for including 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' among your 2017 favourites! I'm so happy you liked it, and huge thanks for your wonderful words! It's such an honour to see it here, among so many of my own faves, and thrilled to find The Darcy Monologues on your list. It was fabulous to be part of Christina Boyd's dream-team, and the Monologues & the Rakes were such fun to write!

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    1. I didn't just like it, Joana, I loved it as I do all your books. Looking forward to your next one! Hope it's soon! :)

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