Monday, January 1, 2018

best books 2017

My reading habits changed pretty dramatically in 2017. Since I no longer commute, I no longer have time for audiobooks, so my volume was definitely lower than it has been before. And, for whatever reason, I had a hard time getting into novels - something I definitely hope changes in 2018.

Keep in mind that I have an awful memory, so in reviewing the 41 books I read last year, these are the ones that stuck out to me; therefore, they are the best of the best for me in 2017. Honestly, now that I look at the fiction books, I almost feel I could have left them off, but while reading both, I really did like them.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie: I read this on the way to and shortly after attending an event for Native people in Rapid City, SD. I had no idea how much I didn't know about the Native experience in the U.S. and what troubles Native people still face - like reading about any other group different from you, you will see similarities and also learn a lot. I also really liked Alexie's voice. If you want to know more about modern, Native culture in the U.S., pick this one up.

What Unites Us by Dan Rather: This is the sole audiobook on the list due to a solo trip to San Antonio for work. He reads it, so it's even better. This is like a collection of Rather's Facebook statuses, only more detailed. He is knowledgable but not preachy. He clearly has feelings about the current administration but never names names. He talks about being a decent human, a patriot, and how the past should inform our present. I liked this one so much I gifted it for Christmas. If you like him on social media, read this.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond: I love sociology and I found this topic SO fascinating. Housing is something we all seem to take for granted, but what if we didn't have it? What if we were landlords whose livelihood depended on people paying rent or kicking them out? This book tells several people's stories, both tenant and landlord, and goes into detail about situations I hope to never be in, really humanizing the plight of so many working poor in the country.

It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort: After listening to Nora's podcast and deciding that I wish I could be her friend in real life, I had to read her book and it was better than I had even anticipated. She talks about her own life and insecurities and there were so many parts where I thought she was in my head. The heart of the book is about loving and losing her first husband and how she got through it, but not over it. It's sad and funny and I loved it so much, I had to buy it.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: This was a book whose world I liked being in. It wasn't earth-shattering but it was enjoyable and when the book was done, I wanted more time with the characters.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult: Given our current climate, I thought this book was very well done. The story was intriguing, I can see how it would make a person think about how they function in society around people of other races, and it wasn't a preachy morality tale.

I currently have Imagine Me Gone (eh) and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (on SO MANY LISTS but I haven't started it yet) from the library so here's to 2018's books getting off to a great start!


  1. I didn't read nearly as many books in 2017 as I wanted to (or as I have in years past!) but I did read Small Great Things and I really liked in! I also really. really liked The Hate U Give, and def have to put that in the top of my list.

  2. I'm so excited to see so much non-fiction on your list, I didn't read very much last year for some reason, but what I did read I really enjoyed. Sherman Alexie's book is on my tbr, but I don't think I've heard anyone else mention it, so I'm glad you liked it! I really want to read Evicted too!

  3. I had Evicted from the library but didn't get to it. Someday!

  4. I am on the wait list for Eleanor and I really want to read it!!! Small Great Things was so good. I think I am on the wait list for Evicted, I need to go double check!

  5. I thought about the Eleanor book but heard some mixed reviews? Maybe this year!


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