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My Favorite Books of 2017

January 2, 2018

I managed to read 129 books in 2017 which is about average for me in recent years.  When I read over my Books Read list, these are the titles that stood out for me.  They’re not necessarily award winners but they spoke to me in some way.


  • KISS CARLO by Adriana Trigiani is a new book by an old favorite.  I’ve loved Trigiani’s writing for years and I think this well-crafted family drama might be her best work to date.
  • ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman is the story of a damaged young woman that made me laugh and think at the same time.
  • TROPHY SON by Douglas Brunt is the fictionalized version of a father trying to live out his dreams through his son.  I found it thought provoking and compelling.
  • HER EVERY FEAR by Peter Swanson is brutal at times yet I couldn’t put it down.  It’s the second book I’ve read by Swanson and I think he writes tension well.
  • THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES by Siobhan Fallon is the story of two women who live in Jordan because their husbands are stationed there.  I loved the characters, the setting, and Fallon’s writing.
  • THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker doesn’t come out until later this year but I adored this smart women’s fiction.  Parker includes wine and literature in this book about relationships.


  • THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas is a very relevant YA book about the relationship between the police and the black community.  It’s thought provoking and compelling.
  • MALALA’S MAGIC PENCIL by Malala Yousafzai is a special picture book about fighting injustice.
  • THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS by Jason Rekulak is a fun YA book about a group of friends who’ll do anything to get their hands on a copy of the Playboy Magazine with Vanna White in it.  It’s fast paced and full of pop references.



  • HILLBILLY ELEGY by J. D. Vance is a memoir of growing up in a poor, working class white family.  Even though the ending is sad, I felt the book helped me understand a segment of our society I have little contact with.
  • THE BEST OF US by Joyce Maynard is the story of Maynard’s love and loss of her husband Jim.  It’s heart breaking but serves as a reminder to live the best life you can.
  • A FALSE REPORT: A TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICA by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong might be hard to stomach but it’s an important and timely book.  It’s another one that doesn’t come out until later this year but it’s one you’ll want to read.

What were some of your favorites of 2017?

32 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2018 7:12 am

    I didn’t make a list this year, having been mostly under-wowed, but if I had, I would have also included The Hate U Give.

  2. January 2, 2018 7:17 am

    I also read Kiss Carlo and The Confusion of Languages – both very good novels. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is on my shelf so I hope to read it soon. The Shortest Way Home and The Best of Us are on my wish list.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. January 2, 2018 7:17 am

    I enjoyed Peter Swanson’s book too. He will have a new one out this year and I can’t wait!

  4. Diane permalink
    January 2, 2018 7:19 am

    I’ve read and enjoyed 5 of your favorites. I forgot about Her Every Fear, that was good.

  5. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    January 2, 2018 7:27 am

    You might be the only blogger other than me who had Trophy Son on their Best of 2017 list! So glad to see it again!
    And I really want to read False Report.

  6. January 2, 2018 8:14 am

    Iv e not read any of your top books but am making a note of all of them. Happy reading in the weeks ahead.

  7. January 2, 2018 8:27 am

    I should get Malala’s Magic Pencil for my daughter. I think she would love it, she looks up to her so much!

  8. January 2, 2018 8:37 am

    This is a terrific list. I loves Kiss Carlo and The Hate U Give made my list too. I have The Confusion of Languages at home on my bookshelf and will put it at the top of my TBR list now. Happy New Year!

  9. January 2, 2018 8:37 am

    I haven’t read any Trigiani in a while, but I think I’ll take you up on your recommendation.

  10. January 2, 2018 9:33 am

    I haven’t read any of your top 6. And I haven’t even read any other books by those authors! Rats. I have ordered the Thomas book because so many people are recommending it. And I did read Hillbilly Elegy. I liked it. I should probably read the Maynard book. She’s local, and I read one of her other books (I have tried to get her to come to the RBC, but no such luck).

  11. January 2, 2018 10:11 am

    I loved The Best of Us and Hillbilly Elegy, and want to read A False Report. I haven’t yet read any of your fiction favorites, but they are on my list. I especially want to read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Her Every Fear. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy 2018!

  12. Lauren Becker permalink
    January 2, 2018 11:36 am

    Thanks for sharing! I have The Hate U Give and hope to read it soon. I also really want to read the Impossible Fortress and Eleanor Oliphant.


  13. January 2, 2018 1:06 pm

    I have read 1 of those, yay

  14. January 2, 2018 1:47 pm

    I started a few of these but never finished them, I need to try again this year.

  15. January 2, 2018 4:07 pm

    thanks for sharing your list of favorites. I’d like to read many of these, ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and several others.

    Have a happy New Year! 🙂

  16. Literary Feline permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:23 pm

    This is an impressive list, Kathy. I haven’t read any of these titles, but The Hate U Give which also made my favorites list. Several though are ones I hope to get to.

  17. Patty permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:31 pm

    I love the way you did your lists…now this I could do!

  18. January 2, 2018 4:36 pm

    I’m seeing Eleanor Oliphant EVERYWHERE and I’m really wondering what I’m missing!

  19. January 2, 2018 6:37 pm

    I am listening to the audio of The Hate U Give right now. So good!

  20. January 2, 2018 10:49 pm

    I got a copy of Elearnor Oliphant and can’t wait to read it in February when I am done reading the finalists for the Cybil Awards. And the Hate U Give. Surely it will win awards.

  21. January 3, 2018 10:06 am

    Great lists! I read Swanson’s The Girl With a Clock for a Heart and didn’t like it, so I’ve been leery of picking up anything else by him. A couple of my favorites were The End of the Day by Claire North and Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero.

  22. January 3, 2018 10:42 am

    I didn’t do a top ten and Eleanor Oliphant was my last read of the year, excellent. You were one of the bloggers I would have recommended to read it, so I’m excited to see it on your list.

  23. January 3, 2018 10:46 am

    A False Report is definitely on my TBR. The Hate U Give is on there, too, but at this point I feel like I’m so late to the party.

  24. January 3, 2018 12:33 pm

    So many good books here! The Confusion of Languages is near the top of my list..loved the author’s first book. I really want to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, too.

  25. January 3, 2018 8:55 pm

    Many of these are on my radar! I think Eleanor Oliphant is near the top of the list, as is the Joyce Maynard memoir.

  26. January 4, 2018 9:13 am

    Great list Kathy. I too thought Hillbilly Elegy was compelling. I’m also game to read the Eleanor Oliphant novel as well as The Confusion of Languages. I will look for them at the library. thanks. Happy reading to you in 2018!

  27. January 5, 2018 12:18 pm

    Looks like a great list! I loved The Hate U Give

  28. January 5, 2018 10:17 pm

    I also loved The Hilbilly Elegy and I have The Hate U Give waiting for me at the library. Great list Kathy.

  29. January 6, 2018 12:03 am

    I love Malala’s Magic Pencil! I put it in Gage’s book advent tree this year and I”m pretty sure I love it more than he does. The Hate U Give made my list too and Eleanor is our February book club read 🙂
    I’ve never read 129 in a year, even pre-Gage. Jealous!

  30. January 6, 2018 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing your list. I’m going to bookmark this page. Happy New Year Kathy.

  31. bookingmama permalink
    January 8, 2018 8:02 am

    Great post! I definitely agree with the three on your list that I’ve read! I would also add THE FORCE!

  32. January 11, 2018 11:49 pm

    I loved Eleanor Oliphant and look forward to more by Gail Honeyman. I’m wondering if I should order a copy of The Shortest Way Home. I rarely buy books, but now that I’m not at B&N, I don’t get any ARCs or comp copies like I used to. I think my husband needs to put me on a book buying budget now that we’re retired. 😉

    I read Her Every Fear, but still need to read his other. Oh, and I have The Hate U Give and The Best of Us on my nightstand (library books)! I need to get off-line and spend the next few weeks reading!

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