Top 10 Books of 2017
It's that time again, where every publisher, book seller, and industrious reader looks back over the year and highlights the best reads. Even the gang over at The Broke and The Bookish are doing it for Top Ten Tuesday!
Not all my faves from the year made it into my wrap-up photo, as one is an audiobook (and a fabulous one at that) and one is currently out on loan!
I hope you'll either find some of your own favorites on this list, or you'll get to discover some new gems to add to your TBR (there's an upcoming 2018 book on the list!)
1 Waking Gods, Sylvain Neuvel
Sleeping Giants was such an unexpected book, told in such an interesting way and full of fascinating characters, that I couldn’t wait for the next one- and Waking Gods delivered! Told through the same document/transcript style of the first book, you still get such a sharp sense of each character, and in this book you get a little more information about Themis and where the giant robot came from. The cliffhanger left me hopping up and down in my seat for the next one!
2 Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough
For most of the book, I was mildly intrigued by the domestic drama/mystery, but initially it didn’t seem like anything all that different from other books I had read about cheating husbands and the women in their lives. And then the ending came and I was reading a different kind of book all together, one that blew my mind and gave me a real sense of horror.
3 Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor has a gift for creating new worlds, though sometimes, with it being a new world, it takes a little time to settle in and get the lay of the land. Once you do, this book is a stunning adventure, full of libraries, dreamscapes, and impossible things. By the time the end came around, I wanted nothing but good things for Lazlo and Sarai. And then we get hit with a reveal and heart-wrenching game changer that will make you desperate for the next book.
4 The Song of the Orphans, Daniel Price
This is another sequel, another chance to rejoin a world I think I know. This book offers a host of new characters, adding new joys and dilemmas to our cast of misfit heroes, and a reveal that requires the reader to look at the first book in an entirely new light. Price himself suggested that anyone who had been contemplating a reread of The Flight of the Silvers wait until after reading Orphans. I like this world, I’m enchanted by all the forms of time manipulation, and once again, can’t wait to see where the third book takes us. Price says we can expect to see other countries outside the US in the next one!
5 Sourdough, Robin Sloan
Let’s be honest, I would read a book that was comprised only of descriptions about how amazing bread is- how great it smells fresh from the oven, the springiness of one loaf, the density of another. I love bread. (These days gluten-free bread thanks to a sensitivity, but still, the smell of bread is intoxicating!) But this story offers more than delicious bread. It offers science and poses questions about technology versus tradition, with an unexpected dose of whimsy.
6 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book. This is one of the most wonderfully written books, in that the world and the characters are made so clear that you actually forget that you’re reading: everything, appropriately enough, playing out like a movie in your mind. I hate most things to do with celebrity gossip, but this book goes behind the fictional hollywood stories and offers real human beings, with deep and complicated wants. A stunningly beautiful book.
7 The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, Cherise Wolas
While it could be said that this is a book for mothers, for women who take on the responsibility of raising children, I think it’s first and foremost a story for writers. At least, as a writer who isn’t a mother, that’s how it felt for me. This book contains the kind of writing that if you’re a writer, will make you jealous that someone has the ability to write with this kind of beautiful clarity. If you’re not a writer, then the beautiful words will transport you. There is one moment I found problematic in the book, which I addressed in my Goodreads review, but other than that, this book is stunning.
8 On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service, Rhys Bowen
This is the 11th Royal Spyness book and I only want more, more, more! This is the only book on my list that’s an audiobook, and that’s because Katherine Kellgren is THE most divine narrator. I’ve only ever listened to these books about Lady Georgiana, or Georgie, because Kellgren makes the already delightful cozy mysteries that much more colorful.
9 Tower of Dawn, Sarah J. Maas
Nobody tells a story quite like SJM, and while she published two books this year, this was the better read. If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series, I’m here to tell you that you need to get on it. This is the 6th book in the series, but it runs on a parallel timeline as the 5th book, this time exploring characters on another continent. The different cultures explored and the incredible backstories that unfold make this universe all the richer. I’m team Feysand forever and always, but I think the TOG world is a more beautiful tapestry of stories.
10 The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton
What is it about sevens and Evelyns that make for a great read?
This book doesn’t actually come out until next year, but holy hell, what a ride! I’ve never read a book quite like it. It’s a blend of mystery and science fiction, but it also reveals itself to be about morality as well. Come for the creepy house full of interesting characters, (some delightful, some unsavory) stay for the Quantum Leap style body hopping!
(It should be noted that it may be that the U.K. edition is 7 Deaths and the U.S. edition is 7 1/2- at least that's how it's showing up on Goodreads.)