Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Top Ten Books I Read in 2017

Happy New Year, friends!

I love reviewing my year in books.  2017 started out with a reading bang, with lots of filling and thought provoking books.  The second half of the year was not as successful, and that is reflective in this list.  Most of the books that made this list are from the beginning of the year.  If that trend continues then I'm in for a lot of fabulous books in the next six months, right?  

Without further ado, here are my top ten reads of 2017!

This book was a profound learning experience. It was an incredible family saga covering four generations of Koreans in Japan that took me a while to digest.  The more time passes, though, the more I marvel at this masterpiece.  Steely, elegant, and deeply affecting.

I'm not sure it's possible for me to love this book more. It proved me wrong and made me cry. This is the best coming of age story I've read in a long time.  I dare you not to fall in love with Holling Hoodhood.

Eleanor, like her story, went from "meh" to amazing the more I read. There is much more here than first meets the eye - indeed, that is one of the story's themes.  This story brilliantly balances humor with serious subjects, and would be a perfect book for anyone wanting to increase their compassion.

Though I didn't agree with every part of the Kondo method, I still found this book tremendously uplifting and helpful.  Kondo inspired me to make sure I surround myself with things I really love and urged me to be more critical about my belongings, in a positive way.  And her advice has stayed with me over the months, which is more than I can say about other self-help books.  :) 

A riveting, fictional story based on an extremely nonfictional situation. I was not aware of how much of the chocolate industry was seeped in African child slavery, and am committed to only purchasing fair trade chocolate from now on. This story will make you care about something that is definitely worth caring about.

Ms. Gay is someone with whom I want to be best friends.  This book is an excellent collection of one feminist's writings, and her take on a whole slew of issues (health care!  scrabble!  systematic racism!  pop culture!) and it made me think and delve deeper into my own blind spots.

This was a meaty book, all the more so for being so short.  There's something ethereal about Morrison's writing that makes me feel like I'm reading poetry instead of prose.  This story is sparse, brutal, and evocative.  My favorite Morrison novel.

This is the story of story of Ifemelu and Obinze, but it's also a brilliant, modern look into race, class, immigration, and even mental health.  Sometimes funny, sometimes searing, always captivating.  I can't wait to read more Adichie.

Somehow this book managed to be both a fierce tribute to the positives of hillbilly culture and a stark rebuttal of its negatives. I particularly liked his remarks on how disconnected Appalachia is from the rest of the country.

This is not only my favorite book of the year, this is maybe my new favorite book of all time.  Beautiful, tragic, raw, with so much heart.  I could go on and on about this story, so I'll just say that the resilience these women showed under impossible circumstances was beyond moving.  I'll never forget this story.

What are your favorite books you read in 2017?


  1. I really enjoyed The Wednesday Wars last year too. That first book looks really interesting. Is it long and slow though?

    1. I love The Wednesday Wars! Pachinko is not slow necessarily, since it always kept my attention, but it is long. And it's more character based than action based. It's more like The Goldfinch or Americanah that way. But I loved it.

  2. I really enjoyed reading The Wednesday Wars when I did too. I read it a few years ago for book club. It's not my usually kind of book, but I thought it was very heart-warming.

    1. I love it when that happens- when you take a chance on a book out of your norm and you have a good experience with it. :)


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