Top 5 Books Read in 2017

Magical New Year 2017

This year’s Top 5 includes a novel that mixes horror and folklore to center the story of a grief-stricken, book-loving new father in his search for answers; the latest in a portal fantasy series (where’s my door?!!); an essay collection that uses comedy to explore important issues like race, gender, sexuality — to name just a few; a young adult coming-of-age love story that melted this cynic’s heart; and, lastly, a Swedish novel starring a widowed curmudgeon whose attempts at suicide keep getting interrupted.

For those interested, here’s my complete reading list for 2017.

book cover the changeling by victor lavalle

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Published: 6/13/2017

Hovers at the intersections of horror, thriller, and magical realism — influenced by folklore.

You should read this if you like: Harrison Squared; quests for missing or presumed dead loved ones; new fatherhood and its inherent fears; men who live and breathe books; New York City; mysteries steeped in folklore and (maybe?) the supernatural; The Hallow (2015 movie)

My Review | Add it on LibraryThing | Add it on Goodreads

book cover down among the sticks and bones by seanan mcguire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Published: 6/13/2017

The second book in the Wayward Children series did not disappoint. In fact, I wanted to read the next book immediately… but I have to wait a few more weeks for my copy to arrive.

You should read this if you like: portal fantasy; Every Heart a Doorway; Jack and Jill, the siblings from the first book; kids who refuse society’s gender norms; the power of parents — to nurture or destroy their child; Gothic parallel worlds; vampires; dark fairy tales

My Review | Add it on LibraryThing | Add it on Goodreads

book cover we are never meeting in real life by samantha irby

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby

Published: 5/30/2017

Irby’s brutal honesty, wit and dark humor made this an immediate contender for my Top 5. I laughed so hard I snorted; I cried; I almost peed my pants, though I’m not sure if that was Irby’s fault, my aging bladder, or a combination of the two. Good times! But while I was laughing, she also made me think; she even challenged me on a few topics, which I loved.

You should read this if you like: funny essays with heart and truth; the BEST story about cat adoption (it’s probably not what you think); singledom, but you also wouldn’t mind finding your ideal partner; Shrill; real-life love stories

My Review | Add it on LibraryThing | Add it on Goodreads

book cover when the moon was ours by anna-marie mclemore

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Published: 10/4/2016

Reaffirmed my love for magical realism and my love for great love stories.

You should read this if you like: Blanca & Roja; diverse voices; lush imagery; roses, moons, pumpkins; weird sisters; secrets threatened to be revealed; the acceptance of best friends

My Review | Add it on LibraryThing | Add it on Goodreads

book cover a man called ove by fredrik backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Published: 8/27/2012 in Sweden

A story that shows just when you think you’re all alone, with nothing left to live for, there’s always hope for another chance to reconnect with life, with other people, with love.

You should read this if you like: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry; redemption at any age; “perfectly sensible observations” like clowns should do real magic or not be clowns; flawed curmudgeons who can’t turn away someone in need; emotional reads

My Review | Add it on LibraryThing | Add it on Goodreads

I’d love to hear about the best books you read in 2017, so please feel free to share your favorites in the comment box. They can be from any genre, published in any year; the only stipulation is that you read the book sometime during 2017.

Top 5 Books Read in 2016
Top 5 Books Read in 2015
Top 5 Books Read in 2014
Top 5 Books Read in 2013
Top 5 Books Read in 2012

Photo credit: martinak on 123rf

Post history notes: Drafted 12/30/2017; First published on my blog 1/1/2018; Last updated 9/23/2019

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