As 2017 comes to an end, it’s time to take a look back at the year’s greatest hits in books! It’s been another great reading year, with so many new favorites and new authors to swoon over. Here’s a summary of what I read, and what really stood out for me during a year of some truly excellent reading.
[Note: Click on the links to see my reviews if you’re interested!]
Goodreads stats as of 12/31/2017:
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I think I’ve gotten more generous with my ratings over the years — or else I’m getting better and better at choosing books that I’ll end up loving.
Star rating used most often: 5 stars (78 total)
Star rating used least often: 2 stars (7 total — and I didn’t give any books only 1-star. I think if I thought that little of a book, I just DNFd.)
DNFs: 2 – I only put aside two books this year: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. Two very different books, but I just couldn’t get through either one.
First and Last on Goodreads:
Bests & Other Stuff of Note
Note: Not necessarily published in 2017 — these are the books I especially enjoyed reading in 2017!
Best young adult: Geekerella by Ashley Poston and Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
Best contemporary: Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Best fantasy: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Best historical fiction: Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
Best book club book: The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza – A come-from-behind surprise. This light and breezy book wins for being a great way to wrap up the year and for generating a really fun conversation.
Best new volume in an ongoing series: I’m always thrilled when Patricia Briggs releases a new book. In 2017, it was Silence Fallen, the 10th volume in the Mercy Thompson series, which I just love to pieces. Another glorious new book in a favorite series was Less Than a Treason, the 21st Kate Shugak book by Dana Stabenow, starring my favorite private investigator in one of my favorite settings (Alaska).
Best start of a new series: Binti and Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. The third and final book, The Night Masquerade, is due out in January.
Best end to a great series: End of Watch by Stephen King — the final book in the Billy Hodges trilogy.
Best in ongoing series: I love the Themis Files books by Sylvain Neuvel, and can’t wait to get my hands on #3 in 2018.
Best return of old friends: Unequal Affection by Lara S. Ormiston, an under-the-radar reimagining of Pride and Prejudice that surprised me in all the right ways.
Best use of illustration to tell a story: Thornhill by Pam Smy is an eerie, haunting story told in words and pictures. I borrowed it from the library, but really need a copy for my own shelves.
Author of the year: Georgette Heyer! I’ve been hearing about her for years… but finally decided to give her a try. Two audiobooks, two paperbacks, and I’m hooked! I’m looking forward to reading lots more in the years to come.
High volume award: I read 28 volumes of The Walking Dead comics this year, pretty much all in a row, right after starting my binge of the TV show. That’s a LOT of zombies.
(Non-zombie) most read: I went through 7 works by Philip Pullman and 8 works by Gail Carriger, and loved every moment.
Best classic read: My two favorite classics both came to me via Serial Reader this year: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. My nervous expectations were far exceeded… I loved them both!
Around the world in a book: My reading took me to some amazing places this year…
Nigeria: Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Russia: The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
England – Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, #2) by Jacqueline Winspear
Ireland – The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
India – Prudence by Gail Carriger
Egypt – Imprudence by Gail Carriger
Kenya – West With the Night by Beryl Markham
Scotland – The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Israel – Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Norway – The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Antarctica – South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby
Best speculative/science fiction: The sci-fi works I enjoyed most were:
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
Grab the hankies: I cried my eyes out over Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello and 180 Seconds by Jessica Park.
Oh, the horror! I adored the terrifying killer mermaids of Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.
Best use of animals in unexpected roles: River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow feature feral hippos in the American South. Simply amazing.
Best bookish TV events of 2017:
- Big Little Lies
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- 13 Reasons Why
- The continuing seasons of
Most eye-catching covers:
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Makenzi Lee
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Best non-fiction: True stories that I enjoyed immensely:
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Spaceman by Mike Massimino
The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede
Bookish delight, all year long:
All the many, many books which, for whatever reason, I can’t quite categorize but still really enjoyed (plus a few that are probably better off forgotten). It’s been a great year of reading. I can’t wait to see what treasures I’ll discover in 2018!
What were your favorite books of 2017? What surprised or excited you the most? Please share your top reads and recommendations in the comments!