Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Show Us Your Books: Favorite Reads of 2017

These are my favorite reads of the year. I prefer favorite over best because best implies that they are of a level that some of them are not. I'm not a book critic and I don't want to be.

Favorite means for some reason that is personal to me they made the top 10 out of the 157 books I've read this year. Best book to me means what was contained in the book and nothing outside of it. Favorite read considers my experience and feelings as I read it in addition to the book.

Favorite read lists entice me more than best book lists. I will almost always like the book where I can objectively recognize its flaws but there's just something I can't quite put my finger on that makes it a total winner. The thing I can't put my finger on is often my experience and relationship to the book while I'm reading it.

Reading is personal. Don't ever let anyone make you feel like the books you love are not critically acclaimed enough to be spoken of in lists like these.

Let's do this. In no particular order.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. This is a special year end linkup. The next regular linkup is January 9, 2018.
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
2. Visit other blogs who've linked up and talk books as booknerds are wont to do

Duplicity by Ingrid Thoft (Fina Ludlow #4) - I pre-ordered this and devoured it right away. Fina is a phenomenal female character and I support the shit out of books with those, especially if the author develops it into a series. I cannot wait for the next one.

The Seven Husbands of Eveyln Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I loved this book from start to finish - complicated, interesting, and I loved the story within a story, which I typically don't like. I want to meet Evelyn Hugo and at times I wanted to be Evelyn Hugo because she just storms through her life and that is powerful, even when it leaves earthquakes around her.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley - I don't know if it was the timing or what, but I could feel this book in my bones. It felt like swimming in pool water that feels the same as your skin temperature, like you are a part of the water. I loved the writing, the cover, the story, and the characters. I recognize that I have read books that have done a much better job in every area, but there's just something about some books, you know? That something existed in this one for me. 

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart - I liked how this was written and it totally pulled me in for a less than 24 hour read on vacation. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Read it. As soon as you can. And make sure your mind is open to something that is likely not your reality. This is a YA book that people of all ages should be reading.

Down a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder #9) by Linda Castillo - I read the entire series up to date this year and don't have a favorite even though some were better than others. I love Kate as a kickass female lead character who is more than capable of carrying a series. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - I loved this book and am so pleased that the reason I picked it - the title - was backed up by a good story. 

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell - This was sad and weird and lovely all at the same time. And since it's about stuff, it made me think about my stuff more than I usually do, and what I hold onto and why. 

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh - Twisty and glorious...the twist that made me think I missed something because I was so utterly convinced it was going another way. I like being right, I mean don't we all? But when I'm reading I actually enjoy the reading experience more if I'm wrong. I do not read any book thinking I know more than the author or am better than the author. I read as if it's the author's job to tell me their story in whatever way they choose to. Because it is.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - Sometimes when I love a book so much I have a hard time talking about it intelligently. Anyone else? I'm all just read it for yourself. I feel like that here, but should comment that it took me longer than normal to read this. Part of that was Thanksgiving weekend and being on the go and part of it was really needing to sit with each chapter in the beginning and think about it - not because it's hard to follow, but just because I found myself needing to. I also referred back to the family tree a zillion times. White people are all tracing lineage back to the freaking dark ages and black people...we've cut them off from that in so many instances. I have feelings for this book. The story itself and the telling are absolutely masterful as well. I've never read anything like it. I will feel the impact of this one for years. 

What were your favorite reads of 2017? 


  1. Yay!! Seven Husbands was not the favorite I chose for the year, but it was in my top eight! Loved that book! Happy New Year!

  2. I love how you made the distinction between Favorite and Best - I completely agree! Evelyn Hugo was one I really liked this year too although it didn't quite make it on my favorites list. :)

  3. I totally forgot about this & need to go through my list,of 2017.
    I do know Ova is one of my tops of the year.
    Again. Thanks for hosting this with Jana for another great insight on good. Books. I look so forward to this post every month

  4. "I Let You Go" was a really good one. I should've added it to my list. Maybe it was December I read it last year? I'll have to look because it probably should've been on today's list.

  5. oh i love your reasoning behind favourite vs best. i agree. especially about how i canr ead a book that is fantastic and good and all that, but something about it is missing to elevate it to 'favourite'. my favourite books are never ones that everyone loves or that critics would. i rarely agree with critics for books and movies so i am okay with that. i am impressed that you narrowed your list to 10! even though i work on my list all year, i struggle. especially because i might put a book there in january and then in december i barely remember it lol. evelyn hugo is definitely on my list, so so so good. i am currently reading eleanor oliphant and enjoying it, and of course the hate u give. i don't remember when i read i let you go, but i loved it and agree - i like being wrong. i like being shocked. i don't think i'm sherlock or anything, but it's more fun when i don't figure it out. i got homegoing from the library so i'll hopefully get to it soon! thanks for another year of show us your books :)

  6. Homegoing and Eleanor are on my to read list. The Hate U Give made it to my list too. I read The Seven Husbands and Words In Deep Blue but didn't love them. I Let You Go was a great read.

  7. Evenlyn Hugo was such a great book!! I recently finished it and found myself missing it after I was done!!

    Thanks for recommending Homegoing, I already ordered it from the library!

    Thank you for hosting this amazing link up, it's one of my favorites each month!

    1. Thanks for joining us! One of my favorites too. I hope Homegoing comes in quickly!

  8. Ooh adding I Let You Go to my list! I love being wrong in a book, the reading is just more fun that way.

  9. Per your suggestion, I have added The Hate You Give to my TBR. I will be reading The Seven Husbands... very soon.

    I also like your opening remarks, for there is a distinction between best and favorite. Happy Holidays to you!

  10. Evelyn Hugo also made my list. I love her and wish she was a real person that I could meet. I am gearing myself up to read Hate U Give and Homegoing. They are such important, difficult reads and will devastate me. But that's okay. Sometimes you need to feel a bit broken in the best way after reading a book. Thanks for hosting such an amazing link-up. I love this community!

  11. I'll have to check some of these out! I love TJK, haven't gotten to Evelyn Hugo yet, but it's my book club's March read!

  12. So many of your favs are already on my "to read" list. The Hate U Give should be required reading for everyone.

  13. I love that you said that a favorite to you doesn’t have to be some critically acclaimed book because you’ll like something because it’s just good! I read Homegoing last year and I still recommend it to people because it’s just one that we all need to read. It was so beautifully written and well done!

  14. Yes to your thoughts on The Hate U Give - loved Eleanor and the House We Grew Up In, too. Such a good list! Still on a massively long waiting list for Homegoing.

  15. The Hate U Give is most definitely on my list next year!

  16. I definitely need to read Homegoing.

    I feel the same about not caring if my list doesn't mimic the professional year end lists.

  17. Your list hits several of the books that I didn't have room in my top 10 list for (it's a bit agonizing having to narrow it down, isn't it)? I didn't get The Hate U Give or Homegoing onto it, but I really wanted to include them too! And I just got a copy of Eleanor Oliphant, so I'm pleased to see that as a top pick as well...

  18. I like your idea of favorite books instead of best. And now seeing that you and Jana out the Evelyn Hugo book on your lists, I really need to add it to my TBR list!

  19. I’ve only read Homegoing (which...yes to everything you said), but several of these are on my TBR also! Agree that “favorite” is different than best, it’s about a feeling.

  20. I looooved I lEt You Go (but I read it last year so it's not on my favourites list for this year). Seeing Evelyn Hugo on so many lists is making me want to read it!

  21. Definitely reading The Hate U Give and hopefully reading Homegoing in 2018. Thanks for hosting one of my absolute favorite link-ups!!

  22. The fact that we share a few favorites--Eleanor Oliphant and The Hate U Give (and Homegoing didn't make my top 5 but it's a favorite for sure!)--makes me want to go back and read your whole list! I totally agree about loving the idea of a "favorites" list instead of a "best" list.

  23. I really want to read Eleanor Oliphant, and I own The Hate U Give - just need to find a good time to read it!


  24. I really need to read The Hate U Give ASAP. Eleanor too. I loved Evelyn Hugo, too.

  25. OMG I need to continue with Fina Ludlow! I know I have said that to you more than once but need to do it asap. I love Eleanor Oliphant and The Hate U Give too. GREAT list of some great books here!!!

  26. Ah I love these posts. Glad to be on the mend with enough energy to read blogs again. Going through everyone's favorites from 2017 is going to be fun... and add a lot to my goodreads TBR I'm sure. I am annoyed that I hadn't had time to read The Hate U Give either of the times the library had it ready for me. I'll keep trying! I want to read it so badly. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  27. I've been waiting forever to get Eleanor Oliphant from the library-- but hopefully soon!


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