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The best books you read in 2017?

(125 Posts)
southeastdweller Thu 14-Dec-17 20:23:32

So as another year is coming to an end, I've been thinking about all the books I've read in 2017. These were my stand-out reads of the year:

1. Keeping On Keeping On - Alan Bennett
2. A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
3. Swing Time - Zadie Smith
4. One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson
5. Conversations with Friends - Sally Rooney
6. The Silence Between Breaths - Cath Staincliffe

What have been your favourite books this year?

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Thu 14-Dec-17 20:57:35

I've had so few this year. sad

Two of the very best were my first reads of the year:
The Essex Serpent

I also really liked Grayson Perry's "The Descent of Man".

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 14-Dec-17 21:10:20

Most of my good ones were at the beginning too.

The Essex Serpent
His Bloody Project
The Long Goodbye
Rush Oh

Honourable mentions to Handmaid’s Tale and Lincoln in the Bardo.

Jenniferturkington Thu 14-Dec-17 21:15:03

I read The Stand (all 1200 pages of it!) and absolutely loved it.
On the other hand I read A Little Life and really wish I hadn't.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Thu 14-Dec-17 21:18:32

Ooh and I mustn't forget The City and the City which I loved, but which proved very controversial both chez Remus and on here!

Sadik Thu 14-Dec-17 21:19:24

I think my absolute favourite so far this year is The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sidney Padua, with What We Cannot Know by Marcus du Sautoy as runner up.

VanderlyleGeek Thu 14-Dec-17 21:20:25

I've had more than I realized:

The Lonely Hearts Hotel and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, by Heather O'Neill

Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay

The Poisoner's Handbook, by Deborah Blum

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett

Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

The Dead Husband Project, by Sarah Meehan Sirk

I also very much enjoyed The Essex Serpent (and Swing Time, which I read last year).

mmack Thu 14-Dec-17 21:21:31

Brazzaville Beach-William Boyd
Days without End-Sebastian Barry
Conclave and Fatherland, both by Robert Harris
I Married A Communist-Philip Roth
On Beauty-Zadie Smith
Do Not Say We Have Nothing-Madeline Thien
Rabbit is Rich-John Updike
Prodigal Summer-Barbara Kingsolver
The Wonder-Emma Donoghue

I looked forward so much to reading Swing Time but I didn't like it as much as On Beauty. I'd been having no luck at all with thrillers so I'm delighted that I have all the Robert Harris back catalogue for light relief in 2018.

flimp Thu 14-Dec-17 21:25:00

Leap In by Alexandra Heminsley

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 14-Dec-17 21:25:30

Mmack I feel the same way about Robert Harris and also didn’t get on with Swing Time. Might go for some Updike in the New Year - my dh bought me a lovely hardback if all the Rabbit novels but it’s such a lump I never pick it up.

Thegiantofillinois Thu 14-Dec-17 21:32:59

The power
Re read Beloved
Quite enjoyed The Passage as a kind of brain switch offbook. Proper, nasty, ugly vampires.
The Green Road

VanderlyleGeek Thu 14-Dec-17 21:45:17

mmack, would you mind telling me a bit about why you liked Thien's book so much? It's been on my radar but I'm hesitant to read it as I fear that it will be very grim (in a specific way that lit fic that win major Canadian awards tends to be). Thanks!

Murine Thu 14-Dec-17 21:45:45

I have loads!

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Everybody Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson (a recommendation on here led me to this, it's wonderful)
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
All 3 Helen Dunmore novels I read: The Lie, The Siege and Birdcage Walk
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

FellOutOfBed2wice Thu 14-Dec-17 21:50:31

Blatant place mark.

Composteleana Thu 14-Dec-17 21:51:25

Not many that have really stood out this year. The last 3 Elena Ferrante Neapolitan novels - The story of a new name, Those who leave and those who stay, and The Story of the lost child.

A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson, mixed reviews but I really enjoyed this.

How to be Both - Ali Smith - overall favourite I think.

None of them actually published this year, I’m about 2-3 years behind working through my ‘to read’ pile!

Thirtyrock39 Thu 14-Dec-17 21:54:08

The girls (not the Lisa Jewell one the one based on the Manson family )
All the light we cannot see
The duchess of nowhere by Laurie graham
The Interestings by Meg wolitzer

HopeClearwater Thu 14-Dec-17 21:55:19

mmack lovely to see you name Brazzaville Beach - see my username. It’s a terrific book.

Thegiantofillinois Thu 14-Dec-17 21:58:20

My Absolute Darling. Pretty grim, but weirdly fascinating.

Myfanwyprice Thu 14-Dec-17 22:00:34

I completely failed on my challenge to read 40 books this year, think I only managed a measley 24, my favourites were :

The One
The woman at 72 Derry Lane
The keeper of lost things
Sweet Little Lies
Seven Days of Us

Sadik Thu 14-Dec-17 22:02:46

Vanderley, Do Not Say We Have Nothing was one of my stand-out books of the year as well (only gave my top two here).

It was very hard to read in places (realistically books dealing with the cultural revolution are bound to be pretty hard going) but I found it both beautifully written and completely convincing. I've pasted in my review from the 50 books thread below:

"Reviewed by various people on these threads, this intercuts the stories of a modern day Canadian narrator, and the lives of a group of musicians and their families in China from the revolution through to 1989 and the Tianamen square demonstrations.

I thought this was heartbreaking but excellent, a real stand out read, though it took me a while to get into it. For me it said as much about the ways that your choices change you & those around you, as it did directly about the history of the period covered."

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 14-Dec-17 22:03:35

Oh yes I liked Elinor Oliphant murine. I’ve been thinking I might like Days Without End.

Growingboys Thu 14-Dec-17 22:03:58

Placemarking as can't for the life of me think of one I've really lived.

AWhistlingWoman Thu 14-Dec-17 22:05:40

My favourites this year have been . . .

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Nix by Nathan Hill
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Absolute favourite (although I am least ten years late to the party) was Marilynne Robinson's Gilead.

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
The Fact of A Body by Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich
The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

Could probably list more! Lots to follow up here as The Mothers, The Interestings and A Little Life were definitely amongst my favourites in 2016!

Already have copies of Burial Rites, Difficult Women, The Wonder and Lincoln in the Bardo so had better get cracking!

VanderlyleGeek Thu 14-Dec-17 22:07:16

Thank you, Sadik. Your review confirms my suspicions: beautiful but grim. I'll put it on my 2018 list.

AWhistlingWoman Thu 14-Dec-17 22:07:42

My Absolute Darling nearly made my list @thegiantofillinois but agree with you, bit too grim.

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