I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who are going to ONLY list 2017 new releases. However, I rarely read releases from this year. My To Read list is just far too long! Instead, I’ll be listing out the top books I read this past year. Many of them are probably your old favorites. That’s great! At least I finally found it.
You’ll also notice throughout this list that there are very few links back to my posted reviews. The books listed below all earned 5 stars from me this year. However, I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to writing reviews of books I enjoy that much. Rarely do I find the mental space to articulate in a way suitable to me how this book influenced me. This gives me an outlet to present my favorite books from 2017 without the pressure of writing an articulate review!
Without further ado…
All titles below are links to the book’s Goodreads page.
Top 10 Books I Read in 2017
Half A War (Shattered Sea #3) by Joe Abercrombie
Half a War is the conclusion to the Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Over the course of the past 18 months, David and I have listened to the entire trilogy during our long road trips to our parent’s houses. We fell in love with these characters and their story. To this day, we still randomly share our favorite quotes with each other. And John Keating is now our favorite audiobook narrator!
Highly recommended for anyone interested in a unique fantasy trilogy.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I love Gaiman’s writing. What blows me away about American Gods is that Shadow has no idea what is going on. As our protagonist, you think that would put a damper on the reader’s engagement. Nope! Instead, I was completely enraptured. I haven’t seen the show and I have no intention to– this is perfect just the way it is.
Strongly recommended for lovers of the written word who enjoy getting lost in a story.
Dumplin’ (Dumplin’, #1) by Julie Murphy
Dumplin’ is a book which found me at the perfect time. When I read it, I was in need for something empowering, uplifting, and fun. Dumplin’ was all that and more. I know that this book is a candidate for a re-read where I might give a lower star-rating in the future. But that’s okay. Julie Murphy connected deeply with me during this read. And that’s all that matters.
Strongly recommended for anyone who needs to let go of societal expectations.
My Review: Dumplin‘
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This one is a bit of a cheat. I’m currently around 84% complete with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. However, I already know this is going to be one of my favorite reads of 2017 no matter what happens in this last 15%. A huge thank you to Ottavia @ Novels and Nonfiction for recommending this to me! I am in love with this audiobook.
Highly recommended for anyone who has suppressed memories or feels like they are supposed to be an outsider.
Anne’s House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables #5) by L.M. Montgomery
I would be remiss if at least ONE Anne of Green Gables book wasn’t on here! While I will always have a soft spot for Anne of Green Gables herself, I have connected the most to this book out of the entire series. Part of it probably has to do with where I stand in my life — I am about to get married and start this chapter of my own life. But I also think Montgomery found the right balance between Anne as the focus of these novels and the world around her.
Highly recommended for all Anne Shirley fans!
My Review: Anne’s House of Dreams
Hattie Big Sky (Hattie, #1) by Kirby Larson
I’m amazed this is the only epistolary novel which made this list! I love epistolary novels. This historical fiction tells the tale of homesteading in America during World War I. I instantly fell for these well-crafted characters, and I hope you will too. This story pulled me in quickly and kept me turning the pages long into the night.
Highly recommended to all fans of historical fiction or epistolary novels.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Every time I look at this book I get chills. The Alchemist moved me so much I still can’t figure out how to write my review! Coelho’s writing left me pondering about things beyond the pages of his book which isn’t something I do often after reading. I know it doesn’t float everyone’s boat, but I think there is magic in that too. I love being one of the people who truly connected with the text.
Recommended for anyone who is looking to explore spiritual quests with an open mind.
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
One of my most recent reads, The Goblin Emperor was an unexpected gem. I am typically not a fan of political fantasy. However, this goes far beyond what you’d expect. Truly, this is a magnificent character study in a well-defined setting. Plus, Kyle McCarley is now a must-listen audiobook narrator on my list.
Highly recommended for those who love character studies or are looking for a standalone fantasy novel.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
A recommendation from Melanie @ Grab the Lapels, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Hurston’s writing grabbed me from the start. I am thankful I listened to the audiobook if only to help me understand the weaving of colloquial southern black dialects and poetic prose more closely.
Highly recommended to those who get lost in the beauty of language.
My Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca is my first foray into gothic literature– how had I avoided this genre so much before?! The pacing is perfect. The setting clearly cut. The characters imperfect and cloaked in mystery. I didn’t realize this would be a mystery or a ghost story. And in many ways, Rebecca is both those things and neither of those things.
Highly recommended to everyone. Literally everyone.
Well, except perhaps my 2-year-old niece.
Looking at this list, I see that non-fiction and poetry didn’t particularly blow me away this year. That’s a bit disappointing, honestly. I hope that next year I’ll be able to find more which catch my eye. I know I like those genres, I just can’t seem to select books on my own which inspire me.
Another fascinating trend is that 7 of the 10 books listed I consumed in audio format. That’s a trend I’ll definitely want to explore more going into 2018. Perhaps there is something about how I connect to books in audio form vs. reading the text with my eyes? More to come on that in 2018.
What do you think?
- Did you participate in Top Ten Tuesday? Share your links below!
- Which books from this list have you read? What are your favorites?
- What are your favorite books of 2017? Why?
- What non-fiction and poetry books blew you away this year? What are your favorite audiobooks? Share your recommendations for my 2018 TBR!