Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017

As of right now, I've read 54 books in 2017, and am dead in the middle of my 55 (Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist). That's why, when it came time for this week's Top Ten Tuesday - choosing my favorite books of 2017 - I was left confused about which titles to select.  

It's hard for me to stamp my foot down and say, "Yes, these ten books were the best of the year," because who knows? Maybe the second half of my December will be absolutely full to bursting with some of the best books of 2017.

However, I will say, as of right now, these were some of the highlights of my reading year. 

{Personal Rules: It doesn't have to be a 2017 release, but it does have to be something I read for the first time in the past year. I had a lot of great rereads in the past twelve months - my first book of the year was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, my annual summer tradition of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer was especially needed this year, and re-exploring the first four of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events felt incredibly gratifying, and made me enjoy the Netflix series that much more - but this list is only inclusive of those titles I'd never read before, despite almost all of them being backlist titles.}

1. Drive, Daniel H. Pink
My most recent installment on the list, I filled my November with nonfiction in order to prevent distraction during NaNo. What I found in this exploration of the study of motivation, was a descriptive and intriguing testament to the power of self-direction. 

2. Vicious, V. E. Schwab
I've been a fan of fantasy fave Schwab for a long time, but this super-hero noir novel was so in tune with her aesthetic, while still being a strong departure from her other genre series, that it made me that much more appreciative of her enormous talents.

I was sold on the prospect as soon as I heard "Scooby Doo, but darker." Your favorite teen sleuths fight a Lovecraftian hellbeast, as well as plenty of their own sort of inner demons, nearly destroying their sleepy and idyllic summer town in the process. Fun, fast, and frickin' insane, this was one of my two favorite vacation reads this year. 

12000020This was by far the most surprising favorite of the year. A random library pick-up while looking for something a little more seasonally appropriate for the month of October, this collection of YA horror shorts, based on classic works of fiction, was a standout, which is surprising, due to how well it flew under the radar back when it was first published. 

5. What Color is Your Parachute? 2016 Edition, Richard N. Bolles 
This was, in total, a book I should have read during my senior year of college, should I have been in the right mind to do so. It's a classic for a reason, and gives a great sense of direction and wealth of information while never talking down to the reader. 

30364187The second of those two vacay faves, this emotionally moving and subtle portrayal of two boys finding friendship and love over the course of two summers, was relatable, realistic, and earnestly nostalgic, without ever growing cloying or preachy. 

A collection of personal essays exploring the lives and reputations of famous females - from the internet countdowns that sprung up in anticipation of the Olsen Twins' 18th birthday, to Courtney Love's status as a cultural witch and designated bitch, to Anna Nicole Smith's class transgressions and televised downfall - and how they relate to not only each other, but how they shaped the authors' view of the world, and, of course, the culture of celebrity. 

Another personal essay collection, this one finds its grounding in the idea of how we understand and reflect the emotions of other people. The first essay - about Jamison's employment as an empathy test model for wannabe doctors, and how it forced her to reflect on her own medical history, including an abortion - is still one I find myself unconsciously mulling over. 

9. The Magicians, Lev Grossman
I originally went into this book hoping to finally get it off of my cramped TBR shelves, and to see what the television show was all about. I thought it would be an angsty, early-adult riff on the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter. I left breathless, happy, and ready to grab the next installment. 

10. Adulting, Kelly Williams Brown
While the title itself has gotten a little tired by now, the contents of this book have absolutely not: a comprehensive breakdown of classic elements to what constitutes a modern adulthood, this tome contains lessons on everything from how to pick an apartment, what to decorate it with, easy recipes to learn and how to make the most of your finances. 

Of course, some honorable mentions are absolutely in order, as well: Sarah J Maas' A Court of Wings and Ruin, Helen Oyeyemi's Boy, Snow, Bird, and Lilly Singh's How to Be a Bawse were also all highlights of this year. 

(You can see my reviews of these, as well as all of the books I've read in the past year here, on my Goodreads Challenge profile.) 

What does your list look like? Let me know, in the comments below!


  1. Aristotle and Dante was one of my favourite books of last year. The last half made me so emotional. I definitely plan on rereading it in 2018.

    Carmen`s Reading Corner

  2. You make me want to read Meddling Kids even more. That is such an awesome cover. I'm debating buying a copy!

  3. I haven't read any of these, but I'd love to read some V.E. Schwab. Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  4. 'Vicious' and 'Meddling Kids' look SO good! I hope to get to them soon! Great picks :)

    Please check out my TTT list too!

  5. Your profile pick and the doodles around it are so cute! I am dying to read all of the books on your list! Especially Vicious, The Meddling Kids, and The Magicians!!! Awesome list!

    Here's my TTT: https://bookslikewolves.wixsite.com/blog/single-post/2017/12/12/Blogmas-Day-12-Top-17-Books-of-2017

  6. Vicious is on my TBR for next year, so I'm very happy to see it on your list this week. I love Schwab's books so much!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/12/top-ten-tuesday-137/

  7. I haven't read any of the books on your list this week. Some of them will be added to my ever growing reading wishlist.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week:

  8. I'd totally forgotten about YOU MEDDLING KIDS. I was so excited about it when I heard about it, but it's definitely fallen off my radar. Thanks for the reminder! And I'm glad it lives up to the hype.

    Happy TTT!

  9. I love Vicious. I can’t wait for the sequel.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  10. I just added Meddling Kids after seeing it on a list recommending it for fans of Stranger Things. And The Empathy Exams as well. That author has a new one coming out next year that I stumbled upon causing me to check out her backlist. Great list! I think I need to add a few more of these to my TBR. :)

  11. Schwab has been on my list to read since her debut and I STILL haven't done it! I need to make it a priority in the up coming year for sure because her books sound like everything I want - really interesting world building, complex characters, the lot!

  12. Nice And Very useful info,used to really good
    Keep it up and thanks to the writer.