Best Books of 2017

From local authors to bestsellers and award winners, lots of good reads for this holiday

Have a reader on your list of people to buy for this year? In case you’re having trouble deciding what to get them and don’t want to hedge your bets with a gift certificate, here are some recommendations from avid reader and Langley Times reporter Monique Tamminga. For the young readers in your life, recommendations come from the son of sports reporter Gary Ahuja.

BEST OF 2017

This has been the year of the psychological thriller.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. Author of bestselling book In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ware has set this thriller at sea aboard a cruise ship. Sail away into this stormy plot where journalist Lo Blacklock witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. Only problem is, all the passengers are accounted for.

And if you like to read books that take you for a ride, offering twists and turns and unexpected endings, then the best book I’ve read since Girl on the Train is I Found You by Lisa Jewell. A man with amnesia shows up on a beach in small town England. A young foreign bride finds herself filing a missing report on her new husband. What these two have in common is not what you might think.

I loved every twist and turn in this well-written novel that sucks you in from page one.


Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian by E.L. James. This is the latest in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. It is the second volume told from Christian Grey’s perspective. This one works for readers who are looking for something a bit more risqué.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Samson is the perfect feel good rom-com (romance-comedy) read. Now in paperback, the book is being made into a movie. Genetics professor Don Tillman has decided to find love by creating the ultimate questionnaire, which potential partners will have to fill out. Tillman is undiagnosed on the autism spectrum, which creates an endearing and analytical way of looking at love until he meets Rosie, who doesn’t tick any of the boxes.


The Langleys by John Gordon. Professional photographer and longtime Langley resident John Gordon has re-printed copies of his bestselling photography tabletop book. Gordon captures the bucolic beauty of this community and places it in the pages of his book. Now available at Chapters Langley, Potters and Wendel’s.

The Preservatory: Seasonally Inspired Recipes For Creating and Cooking With Artisan Preserves by Lee Murphy of Vista D’oro Farms & Winery. This large recipe book not only inspires readers with mouthwatering jams and preserves, it is truly beautiful to look through. It’s one of those pieces you want in your house, sitting on your island counter or on your coffee table. Murphy is well-known for her artisan preserves, like her fig and walnut wine, and now she is sharing these recipes and some family stories, too. Available on Amazon and at Vista D’oro.

McGregor Says Special Days Make Lasting Memories by Jim McGregor. Well known Langley Times columnist Jim McGregor has put together 600 of his best columns and placed them in three separate books. This first edition is available on e-readers and Amazon.

Flour Garden by Pamela Dangelmaier, co-owner of Botanus, a successful mail-order flower company, has written her first novel about the interesting characters you can meet at garden clubs. Available on Amazon.


Critter Care Wildlife Society has put out their annual calendar featuring furry critters. Available at Critter Care. Township firefighters paired up with LAPS once again for a calendar available at Shopper’s.


To celebrate Canada’s 150th, Chicken Soup for the Soul put out The Spirit of Canada featuring 101 stories about life in the true north, strong and free. Frances McGuckin, an award-winning small business author, speaker and former Langley Times columnist has two stories in the book.

Iconic and prolific Canadian author Margaret Atwood has been around a long time in the literary world, but her bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale ($9.99 paperback) has never been more popular. Re-read this classic, watch the amazing series on TV. The Bravo series is a huge hit here in Canada but Americans love it, too.

This year’s Scotiabank $100,000 Giller Prize winner is Michael Redhill for his darkly comedic thriller Bellevue Square about a woman who fears for her sanity when she is desperate to meet her doppelgänger who apparently is doing sinister things.

What do Canadians like to talk about more than anything else? The weather of course. So what better gift to give than the Canadian edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac with its predictions on the weather for every part of Canada in 2018. Find out what kind of winter we will be facing, and plan for the summer, too. But the Almanac isn’t just a weather predictor, it also offers horoscopes for you and your kids, amazing recipes, a look at the future of farming and some interesting facts about the history of snake oil and how it has evolved.

YOUNG READERS (as recommended by avid reader 10-year-old Danny Ahuja) photo in the file: Danny with his little sister Maya showing their holiday spirit.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney are funny, at times touching coming of age books that have a lot of appeal.

Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings – Rufus has been dreaming of getting a dog, but his dad is not so keen. Soon his mom comes home with a guinea pig that thinks it’s a dog.

Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean. When her mother dies from a snakebite, Comity’s life in the Australian outback changes forever. Her father retreats into his work and the young girl learns to fend for herself in the beautifully written examination of racism and courage.

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