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Favorite books of 2017

Well, my 2017 ended on a different note than expected–with major surgery that I’m still recovering from, preceded by almost a month of being in pain, during which I was basically useless. So I hadn’t even begun to think about favorite books of the year until quite recently. In terms of numbers, 2017 was a dismal year: several major life events and the Trump administration will have that effect. But dang I read some good books.

Unlike other years, I’m not going to write about why these particular books are my favorites. I have found that so often I just say the same thing over and over: it touched me, it opened up a new world, the characters made their way to my heart. But I will say that if I had to pick my absolute favorites, there are two that have been haunting me ever since I read them. The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar and How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ are both brilliant, beautiful, challenging books that moved me and made me feel seen, stronger, more myself. I highly recommend both. (And obviously all the rest of these as well.)

Middle Grade

Lumberjanes vol. 6: Sink or Swim
A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander
Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood
The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon & Dean Hale
Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall
Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens

Young Adult

The Swan Riders by Erin Bow
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

Adult Fiction

Star’s End by Cassandra Rose Clarke
A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Lucy & Linh by Alice Pung
The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Non-fiction

Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford
The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley
How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

10 replies on “Favorite books of 2017”

Sorry to hear about your health issues! Hope you’re recovering okay.

I’m glad you came out with your favourites list, because I really needed to add more books to my TBR. (Possibly a bit of sarcasm there, but the happiness about your list is genuine!) I really need to read The Hate U Give, don’t I? And I am so behind on my middle-grade reading: Alexander, Blackwood, Burgis, Hale are all favourite authors and I can’t believe I haven’t read any of those books yet!

Jenny! Thank you for this interesting comment. I think for myself a lot of it is that I just don’t have the patience for bad/eh books anymore. Like, life is short, I don’t have TIME to finish this book that I should like but don’t, etc. So the books I do finish are disproportionately excellent.

This point about the books you do finish being disproportionately excellent is true for me as well. It makes a big difference when you’re not reading a book just because you think you have to.

I also just posted a best of 2017 list, without commentary or even pictures and without the most excellent reasons you have for being behind! But we have quite a few in common, and several on your best list are (or soon will be on my want-to-read list. I’m thinking specifically Everfair in the former category and Iris and the Tiger in the latter.

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