Today’s “Best of 2017” post is my favorite one of them all: revealing my top 10 books of the year. In 2017, I read 117 books, which is my highest yearly total ever. My mind is slightly blown at that number because I didn’t know if I had it in me to even read 100 books, let alone blow that goal out of the water. Again, I will reiterate that my life is very conducive to read as I am single, live alone, and don’t have kids. And I have a dog that is very restless at night, so I tend to get a lot of reading done while waiting for him to fall asleep. 🙂 Oh, and yeah, I make the time for reading. That’s important. I love to read, so I carve out the time to do so. The only way to read more is to… read more, you know?
With all that said, let’s dive into my top 10 books from 2017!
There was just something about this novel that struck me. It was quiet and slow-moving and filled with complex characters. It gave me that feeling of why I love to read: books like these, books that just burrow into your soul, even if they aren’t the most fast-paced of novels. Major Pettigrew is sardonic and opinionated and everything I want in a main character.
I read this novel in February, right when the political climate felt the most intense and the most depressing. The writing is heartbreakingly beautiful and the plot is so scary, but feels so relevant for our time. It’s one of those books that just completely transports you and causes you to think about what you’d do if you had to live in that kind of society.
This is the first book I’ve read about a polygamist cult, and it was so well-written. I felt as if I was right there with Ruth, every scene was descriptive and vividly drawn. It was also the type of book that would have been so damn unbelievable if it had been a work of fiction – this is something we discussed at book club. We would have thought the plot went way too far! But nope, this was Ruth’s real life and these are things she went through as a child and young adult. It’s frightening, but so worth the read.
I took my time with this book and that’s exactly what it calls for. It’s dense, but engaging, and talks about the housing crisis, focusing on a specific community in Milwaukee. Desmond put so much work into this book – both from a research and a writing perspective, and it’s one of the most important books I’ve ever read. I don’t typically read dense nonfiction, but as someone who grew up poor (not in poverty, but poor), I had a real connection with the overall message.
Celeste Ng’s books start with the end: you know what happens, but you have no idea how the characters got there. And then she takes you to where the story really began, so you can figure out the characters’ motivations. Her books are so exquisitely written and each book covers a complex issue in an engaging and interesting way. She’s going to be one of those “must read everything she writes” authors for me.
Oh, this book just absolutely captivated me. It was one of the first ones I read this year, so that tells you something that it’s stayed with me this long (and 100+ books later!) I cannot believe how young this author is, nor that it is her first novel, because the writing style was on par of that of a veteran novelist. The voice of this novel is distinct and she draws on an issue that has such important relevance today.
I loved this memoir about Roxane Gay’s relationship to food and her body. It’s a book that is so relevant to me and that I could take such comfort in, even though her words were so brutally honest at times that they hit me at my core. They are words I have spoken to myself, but haven’t wanted to give voice to. Gay is so goddamn vulnerable with this memoir and I applaud her for that because if there’s anything I know about being a fat person, it is that calling attention to my body is the hardest thing to do. A must read for anyone, whether you also identify as a fat person or you have trouble empathizing with fat people (…which is very common in our fat-phobic society.)
This novel was my favorite reading experience of 2017. Not necessarily my favorite book, but the most fun to read by far. It’s filled with 80s pop culture and funny characters and intense action scenes, and I expected to really enjoy it, but the novel far exceeded my expectations. I just couldn’t get enough of it and never wanted it to end. It reminded me a lot of my experience with reading The Martian, as both novels are in a genre I don’t typically read (science fiction).
Oh, my heavens, this book stole my heart right from the get-go. It was the book that I was forever recommending to friends because I literally want everyone I know to read it. Not only does it have a really important message and is so timely for what’s going on in the world today, but the characters are just so darn engaging and charismatic that it wasn’t hard to root for them. Rosie and Penn are #couplegoals for sure.
It honestly wasn’t hard to pick this as my favorite read of the year because no book impacted me on the level that The Hate U Give impacted me. It’s a book that everyone – and I do mean everyone – needs to read, and most especially those who don’t understand the Black Lives Matter movement. This book made me so goddamn angry at the injustice black people face on a daily basis, a level of injustice that I just don’t understand in my white bubble of privilege. This book made me laugh and want to hug every character. I thought the language of the book was so perfectly written and I had chills with one of the ending scenes and just, yes. Go read this book. If you haven’t read it, stop everything and do so. You won’t regret it.
What was the best book you read in 2017?
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