14 Best Books of 2017

This past year was, by far, one of my very best years for reading. Not only did I keep my resolution to devote more time to reading books this year, but I discovered the world of “bookstagram” and started sharing my book choices with my own account and read a LOT of amazing books. Here’s a quick recap…

In 2017 I…

  • read 100 books…
  • made TONS of new bookworm friends through Instagram…
  • shared my love for reading with my students like never before…
  • connected with authors via Instagram and Skyped with one of them with my students…
  • became a book ambassador for Little, Brown and Company…
  • won a few amazing giveaways, including an epic one from Touchstone of Simon & Schuster that included TEN awesome books…
  • received autographed copies of a book for my students…
  • hosted my first giveaway, which was a big success…
  • started this blog and shared my reviews of tons of books…
  • …and bought more books than I will EVER have time to read.

I want to take a minute to share the fourteen books published in 2017 that I read and consider to be the best books of 2017. I originally meant for this list to only be ten books, but I simply could NOT narrow it down any more. There were a LOT of amazing books published in 2017, and I’m sure there are plenty that I could have included in this list but didn’t because I didn’t get the chance to read them this year and discover their charms.

Are there any books you would definitely add? Leave a comment and let me know!

14 Best Books of 2017

(in no particular order)

Let me begin by noting that the first three books are not pictured below because they have been loaned out to friends and students.

1. Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett-

This book is absolutely one of my new favorite books of all time. Like, I’m putting it in my top three, because it’s just THAT good. I love Rabbit Cake because it is full of dark humor (my favorite) and quirky characters (also my favorite), including the adorable Elvis Babbitt, who is one of the best narrators I’ve ever read. In fact, I love this book so much that I’m making my entire class of AP Literature students read it this year. You can check out my review here.

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas-

I definitely wasn’t expecting to love The Hate U Give as much as I did, and even more so, I wasn’t expected it to change my way of thinking like it did. This book has already resulted in valuable conversations with some of my students, and they argue over who gets to borrow my copy next. I love The Hate U Give because of the new perspective it gave me and the richly developed characters. My review can be found here.

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman-

I am always drawn to books about misfits, and I’m ever so glad that I was introduced to Eleanor Oliphant. I love this book for Eleanor’s uniqueness as a narrator, the way that the story of her past unfolds, and the beautiful friendship she develops with Raymond. My review of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is here.

4. Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig-

I was initially drawn to Ginny Moon because of the title character and narrator, Ginny. Ginny has autism, and as the mother of a child with autism, I was anxious to read a book told from her particular perspective. I love Ginny Moon because of that perspective, but I also love this book because of her fierce spirit and her journey to understanding the things that have happened in her life. Check out my review here.

5. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel-

This Is How It Always Is tore me apart, and is another one of the books that I truly believe made me a better person this year. I love this book because it is ultimately a story about the difficult decisions parents make for the sake of their children’s safety and happiness, and the emotional journey it took me on was intense, but beautiful. My review of this excellent book is here.

6. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman-

After reading Practical Magic and falling in love with the Owens family, following that reading up with the prequel was almost guaranteed to be a wonderful experience. I did not expect to end up loving The Rules of Magic even more than Practical Magic, but I did. I love it because Alice Hoffman’s writing is lyrical and full of magic itself, and the characters are completely captivating. I read this book during a super busy time for me and never got around to writing a review. Sorry!

7. Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed-

So, this book was the most terrifying book I read all year, and it’s not even part of the horror genre. Instead, the slowly unfolding reality of the world that Melamed’s characters live in left me completely shaken. I love Gather the Daughters for the character development that made me deeply attached to each of the girls and Melamed’s truly incredible writing. Here is my review.

8. The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall-

Remember how I said I love quirky characters? The Book of Polly is full of them. I found Polly’s character fascinating, and her relationship with her daughter Willow (the narrator) was incredibly emotional. I love The Book of Polly because of Willow’s narration, the unexpected humor, and the well-developed characters (especially Phoenix). Check out my review here.

9. The Nix by Nathan Hill-

The Nix features one of the most interesting plots I read all year, and Nathan Hill’s writing style is very unique while still being very accessible. I love The Nix because of the way Hill stitches together the stories of all the characters, his ability to be both profound and humorous, and the fact that the 640 pages that make up this book seem to fly by. Head to the link found here to read my review.

10. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne-

The Heart’s Invisible Furies is one of the longest books featured in this post at a hefty 592 pages, but I could NOT put it down and finished it in two days. Never before has a book broken my heart so many different ways but still left me feeling completely fulfilled. I love it because of how invested John Boyne forced me to become in Cyril’s journey and the emotional roller coaster that journey provided. (I did a review and can’t link to it on my phone, so just scroll back in the posts a little!)

11. Theft by Finding by David Sedaris-

This book should be required reading for all David Sedaris’s fans and anyone who appreciates witty observations about human nature. I have long been a fan of Sedaris’s writing, and I love this collection of his diary entries from 1977-2002 for the insight it provides into his life and the difficulties he faced and his powerful way of recording details about his daily life in a way that provides powerful insights into the world around him without making his opinions about them blatant. My review can be found here.

12. Gorilla and the Bird by Zack McDermott-

When I was trying to narrow down my list to only ten books, this was one of the picks that I never would have even considered dropping. Zach McDermott’s memoir is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, and his story is nothing short of amazing. I love Gorilla and the Bird for more reasons than I could list here, but the biggest are probably McDermott’s honesty about his mental health, the power of his mother’s unwavering love, and the poignant statements he makes about our country’s judicial system. My review is a little long, because I had SO much to say about this book, but I would love for you to read it here.

13. Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge-

I went into this book expecting it to be a typical island castaway story. I was SO wrong. I loved every page of this book and was genuinely sad that there wasn’t MORE of it to read. This is such an emotional and sincere book, and I love it for all its heart, humor, and creative and beautiful writing. The review is here

14. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu-

Moxie might be the last on this list, but that definitely doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that it looked the best on the end of all the other books for the picture. This was another of the books that I never even considered dropping from this list. I knew before I even finished this book that it was going to be one of my favorites for the year. This might be a young adult title, but I still think every single female (and male, really) should read Moxie ASAP. I love Moxie for a thousand different reasons, but ultimately, I love it most because of its priceless message about girl power. Go read my review here, and then get a copy immediately and read it.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite books published in 2017. Here’s hoping that 2018 is just as awesome!

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5 thoughts on “14 Best Books of 2017

  1. I haven’t read any of these books but I feel like I need to. I just read my first Alice Hoffman book (Practical Magic because I loved the movie as a kid). I had no idea there was a prequel.

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  2. Lindsay,

    Talk to me about Instagram. I’ve been thinking about making the leap over there (wow, that makes me sound old!) My concern was once I was there, how to connect with the other bookish folks, as that would be my reason for joining. Any thoughts?

    Like

    1. Oh! It’s the best! I have an account that is devoted solely to book-related posts, and connecting with other “bookstagrammers” has been so incredibly beneficial. Everyone I have “met” has been supportive and kind, and I had discovered so many awesome books from them. Connecting with them was fairly easy. Accounts like Book of the Month and publisher accounts are constantly reposting photos from bookish accounts, so I found a lot through them. And then once you start following someone, they usually share out favorite accounts in their Instagram stories (posts that only stay active for 24 hours then disappear), and I connected with most people in the beginning that way. If you make the leap, let me know, and I will share tour account and help you discover some awesome accounts!

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