My Goodreads account tells me I’ve read 56 books in 2017, which is not bad, not bat at all. However, this opinion is not shared by the continuously growing pile of unread books that lives in my house, which I shall call Bob. Every day Bob looks at me judgmentally while making ts ts sounds and I know, oh I know he’ll never be satisfied. So I just smile and pet him and love him either way.
But enough about current Bob. The focus of this article is on an older version of Bob, last year Bob, to be more accurate. Last year Bob was generally good, but there were bits and pieces of him that were just fantastic. Without further ado here are some of my favorite books I’ve read in 2017.
I. Fiction books
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I believe this was my first book read in 2017 and like with all of Gaiman’s books it just kept me glued to its pages. Neverwhere is a book about the London Below, a fantastic and odd world that exists below the streets of real London and it’s home of the homeless and those who don’t fit in, the people who “fall through the cracks”.
The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and other stories
Found this treasure at my local library and I simply loved it. The book is a collection of short stories written by african writers and it’s as strange and beautiful as the title suggest.
The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer
I loved these books so much. They are weird and hypnotic and gave me the most interesting dreams. The novels take place in Area X, a Stalker like place, where, at some point in the past, an inexplicable environmental change had occurred and nature shifted, grew crazy and wild. A governmental organisation called the Southern Reach has been tasked with observing and assessing this place, and from time to time it sends in expeditions, although every one of these exploratory incursions ended badly.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio and Turtles all the way down by John Green
I’ve wrote about these two books last year in the article Four books for empathy. I won’t go on about them here but do check them out, they are must reads.
II. Nonfiction books
Why be happy when you can be normal by Jeanette Winterson
Such a good and heart-rending book. The memoir is a painful account of love, broken relationships and longing and an aching reminder of how bad parenting affects the future life of the children.
Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer
At a first glance these two books might be seen as interesting and useful only for writers, but that is really not the case. While the first one talks about telling a journalistic story and the other is linked to fiction writing, they are both fascinating for anyone curious to find out how stories are made, what’s the process like and why stories are so important. For writers they are a true gold mine with valuable insights and advice and a real visual treat in the case of Wonderbook.
Nasty Women is a collection of essays and accounts on what it is to be a woman in our times. Stories from women who had it with keeping their mouth shut, women who talk out loud about normalised intolerance and inequality, pregnancy and sexual assault, identity and family to name a few. Dear reader, whoever you are, however you identify, get this book and after you finish it, give it to someone who needs to read it. Don’t look at me like that, I know you know such a person.
Aaand this is about it with the book recommendations so far. If you want to see more of what I read check out my Goodreads and if you have some books of your own that you would like to share with me, don’t be shy and hit reply. Erm…comment or send me a mail, a flying owl or whatever tickles your fancy.