ILZA'S TOP RECOMMENDATIONS
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan




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ILZA'S INTERESTING PICKS
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Wonder by Emma Donahue
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Selection Day by Aravind Adiga
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille


January 2018

Dear Friends and Fellow Readers:

I write to share my 2017 Favorite Fiction Book suggestions in honor of my deceased mother, Ilza Berry Williams. My mother was a New York City schoolteacher. She taught reading, then all subjects to special needs students, and then English as a second language to Spanish speaking students. She became a principal, and then the Deputy School System Administrator before retiring. She managed to read a book the day before she passed.

2017 was just a solid year for fiction for me. My wife did find more outstanding fiction books. I enjoyed the continuing themes about immigration, slavery and abandonment. Untold stories about our history and cultural diversity continue to greatly educate me. However, I could not develop strong attachments to many of the main characters. That's an improvement from last year when I had trouble finding compelling stories. 

In response I resorted to and found some outstanding non-fiction books. Some I would consider quasi fiction but we probably pronounce potato differently. You should try Peter Hunt's Hannibal, Helen Cooper's Madame President or J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy.

This Year Lita did not have to caution me that writing is harder than it looks. I didn't even try to advance my manuscript. But 2018 is a new year.

Sincerely,

Barry Lawson Williams


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LALITA'S TOP PICKS
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hanna Tinti
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
ILZA'S SOLID PICKS
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
The Frozen Hours by Jeff Shaara
​The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti