This year has brought a bumper crop of fabulous fiction and nonfiction to my door. The UPS delivery van and mail truck each stop in front of my house nearly every day, delivering the books that fill every available (and unavailable) space in my house. In order to keep up, I read between two and six books per week, depending on their length. I cannot review them all, and as the end of the year approached, I realized there were a number of books I had loved yet been unable to review. I didn’t want to neglect them, so here’s a selection of some of the best books I read this year, but never got the chance to praise publicly.
By Lorraine Berry: A Critic’s Tally of 2017’s Most Overlooked Books
Many people know that Thomas Jefferson had a long-standing relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings, but fewer know that they had four children, three boys and a girl, who survived to adulthood. Born into slavery, Sally’s daughter Harriet boarded a stagecoach to freedom at age twenty-one, bound for Washington, D.C. Her father had given her fifty dollars for her travel expenses. With her departure from Monticello in 1822, she disappeared from the historical record, not to be heard of again for over fifty years, when her brother told her story. Seven-eighths white, Harriet had “thought it to her interest to go to Washington as a white woman,” he said. She married a “white man in good standing” in that city and “raised a family of children.” So successful was she in her efforts, no one ever guessed who she was.
By Catherine Kerrison: The Search for Harriet Hemings, Thomas Jefferson’s Black Daughter
Winter is cold, dark, and eerie on its own, so why not throw a thrilling read into the mix to take it to the next level?
Spanning debuts and new releases from accomplished writers, here are the top twenty thrillers to read this chilly season.
By Jessica Mizzi: Chilling Releases: The Top 20 Thrillers to Read This Winter Season