It’s almost 2018. YAY!!!!! Finally!
I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted in 2017 (I think I could say that every year!), but I did get a chance to read some AMAZING books AND to reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal.
Earlier this week I talked about Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, and I think every
woman person needs to read it. But this is only of the many great books on my list of 2017 great reads.
And, because I LOVE to share my reads with you all, I thought I would list a few more of my 2017 favorites, many of which are now available in paperback (or will be soon). I read so many great books this year, but I picked a list of books that I routinely think about and recommend to others.
So take a gander and grab a book or two.
My Incomplete List of Favorites for 2017
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay — A collection of short stories, Difficult Women exactly what it promises. Stories about difficult women. Varying socio-economic statuses and difficulties, all these women live rare (I hope), quirky, disturbing lives.
The Dry by Jane Harper — A literary mystery, The Dry is set in rural Australia during drought and a heat wave. Everything in this book seems hot, parched, and dry. Harper set the story with such authenticity and substance, helping me really picture Kiewarra (the small farming and ranching town). The heat and lack of moisture helps create an intensity and need that makes the mystery seem all the more pressing.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastri — A beautiful and thoughtful, but interspersed with science and action and suspense. Both science and literary fiction, with elements of suspense and a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure. All Our Wrong Todays doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of humans, and the selfishness of people, but it balances that with the wonderful things of which humans are capable.
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout — A collection of short stories loosely connected to her previous book, My Name is Lucy Barton. I can’t imagine anything better to soothe my heartache than Elizabeth Strout. I know I’m not the first adult child to lose a parent to cancer (I’m not even the first in this house), but it was a first for me. Anything is Possible helped me get back into one of the things that has always helped me through hard times — reading.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward — A hard, honest look at family in the deep south of Mississipi, Ward’s novel entwines the past and the present of racial tensions and the truths that have been swept over traditionally, but are now being uncovered and told all over America.
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki — Twisty and tense with some darkly funny moments, Woman No. 17 made me consider my mom as a woman and not just as my mom. Edan Lepucki is a wonderful writer, and tells the story of motherhood and daughterhood with poignancy and humor.
Final Girls by Riley Sager — Somehow I didn’t write a review of Final Girls (the first half of the year was especially tough!), but it’s a great book. A thriller and a psychological study of sorts, Sager’s book tells the story of Quincy Carpenter, the only survivor of the massacre of her college friends when they were all on vacation. Quincy works hard to remember what really happened that fateful night as a serial killer seems intent on killing the final girls, a group of girls that all survived mass murder.
Marlena by Julie Buntin — Dark but beautiful, exposing readers to that long ago emotion of teen friendships. When life not only revolves around crushes and hormones and falling in love, but also in that seemingly invulnerable bond of best-friendship; friendships that are emotionally charged and loyal and vulnerable, entwined and co-dependent and frantic.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan — Such a fun, heartwarming story! Sourdough gives readers a glimpse into the San Francisco foodie world, a protagonist working on finding herself, and a pretty happy ending. The perfect read to put a smile on your face and make you crave some good bread.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng — I didn’t write a review for Little Fires Everywhere because there were so many great reviews out there. This is one of those books that makes you happy that there are books. You’re not sure if you like all the characters in the book, but you don’t hate them either. They’re just people. Flawed, wonderful people. Not a happy happy book; just a wonderful, real look at a family living in Shaker Heights, Ohio and how they deal when they start to see the imperfections in their perfect life.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan — Just wonderful storytelling, taking historical fiction to an entirely new level. Although rife with detail, Egan keeps everything moving beautifully, making it hard to put down. She’s an agile and dexterous writer, telling a good story without losing authenticity and detail.
Strange Weather by Joe Hill — It’s not deliberate, but I don’t have many male writers on my list this year. Joe Hill, though, made it. His four short novels deliver big gut punches, proving he can write stories as human as surreal as his father (Stephen King, FYI).
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang — Remember those books from childhood that just made you smile with possibility and satisfaction? It seems like adulthood doesn’t hold enough of that kind of hopefulness. We get bogged down in responsibility and commitments, forgetting about the magic in everyday. And then a book like Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance comes along, making the impossible seem more plausible.
Artemis by Andy Weir — Artemis reminded me a bit of the wonderful, short-lived Firefly, one of my all time favorite television series. The same wild west, cyberpunk feel – and likable, flawed characters skirting the law in the best possible ways. The characters are perfect, the setting is detailed and spectacular, and the plot is engrossing. Weir explains the science well, even to a non-science person like me, and he writes the fiction part beautifully, satisfying my need for good fiction.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel. Wonderful drawn and real characters, Frankel pulls readers in with the ordinariness of their lives. Of course, the ordinary is never ordinary. The story of a family trying to do the right thing by their transgender child, This Is How It Always Is boils down to a story about family, and connections, and changing your world with everyday, small decisions. It’s a story with which anyone with a heart will feel connected.
That’s my favorites list, although I could go on and on. And just because I couldn’t leave out these incredible stories, here’s a few honorable mentions:
American War by Omar El Akkad
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
That’s my 2017. Heavy on female writers, but balanced on a variety of genres and topics. Pretty much a solid mix of my reading style.
Get on it! Start reading!! 2018 holds another bunch of incredible books in its hands, so get ready!