Best Books of 2017

December 12, 2017 Annual "Best Books" Lists 35

Best Books of 2017

For the last few years, I’ve had trouble choosing one favorite for my Best Book of 2017, so I’ve treated my list like an Olympic event with my top 3 books as my “medalists.” But, this year I had one overwhelming favorite. No other book even came close. 

While I’m thrilled to have a secure best book of 2017, this year was difficult overall. There just weren’t as many books that blew me away as in previous years. And, the books that worked really well for me were lighter than my usual fare. But, there’s nothing wrong with some crackling brain candy and I read a couple outstanding ones this year.

I was also on a completely different wavelength than the serious literary critics (via their Best Books of 2017 lists…more on this in a later post) and I didn’t love many of the books that publishers pushed the most (see my post on 2017 Books that Deserved the Hype…and Those That Didn’t).

Finally, I’ve brought back the high school yearbook-style “Superlatives” from previous years (201620152014) and stay tuned for my first ever Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2017 list (coming on December 28)!

Best Books of 2017

My #1 Book of 2017

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (review)
Most Likely to Make my All-Time Favorites List

Closest Reading Experience I’ve Had to A Little Life (minus the relentless physical abuse) 
Caused My Most Recent Book Hangover
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Rest of My Favorites

Beartown by Fredrick Backman (review)
Best Author Comeback (I DNF’d A Man Called Ove)

Best Sports Book That’s About Far More Than Sports
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach (review)
Most Recommended and Purchased (via my Affiliate Links) Book of 2017
Most Demented Twins
Best Balance Between Literary and Brain Candy
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (review)
Best Thriller of 2017 (and Best Thriller I’ve Read Since Gone Girl)

Best Balance Between Surprising, Yet Not Outlandish Ending
Most Dysfunctional Family
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio (review)
Best Campus Novel

Best Debut
Most Sinister
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito (review)
Most Messed Up High School Students

Best Book in Translation
Most Underrated Gem
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugoby Taylor Jenkins Reid (review)
Biggest Surprise

Best of the Brain Candy
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel (review)
Most Endearing Family

Biggest Range of Emotions
Best “Issue” Book
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Trophy Son by Douglas Brunt (review)
Best Sports Book

Hit Closest to Home
Best Non-Traditional Coming of Age Story
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

White Fur by Jardine Libaire (review)
Best Writing

Best Social Commentary about the Wealthy
Best Non-Traditional Love Story
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon 

What were your favorite books of 2017?

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35 Responses to “Best Books of 2017”

  1. Wendy

    Book hangover? The End of the World Running Club. That was a surprisingly good read. Best book? I might be reading it right now…

  2. renee

    Heart’s will be at my top as well! We’ve had a similar reading year for many books…I loved Evelyn, Trophy Son and Beartown as well. Here’s hoping we all have a terrible time choosing next year! Hope your holidays are relaxing and reading filled Sarah

  3. Ann Marie

    Great list, Sarah! The on;y one I’ve read is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and I really enjoyed it! I just added a few of these to my list.

  4. Susie | Novel Visits

    I’m not surprised that our top book is the same! It was just so great. I really debated on White Fur and This is How It Always Is. Had I included two more, it would have been those.

  5. Michelle

    Beartown is another book that continues to haunt me.

    There may not have been a lot of excellent books this year, but the ones we found were all but life-altering!

  6. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    My wish list always groans this time of year. I’ve only read 2 of those books – thankfully I own several others. I need to put The Heart’s Invisible Furies higher up my stacks.

  7. Sarah R

    I loved Saints for all Occasions, Station Eleven, Stranger in the Woods, The Nazi Officer’s Wife, and 84 Charing Cross Road. It’s weird to me that of these books, 3 came out well before 2017.

  8. Annie

    Heart’s was my favorite as well! This Is How It Always is came in second if I had to rank it! Thanks for this list, you just moved a few up my TBR PILE!

  9. Tara

    There really were quite a few great reads this year; I’m still so thankful that you encouraged me to read Trophy Son – that was such a winner!

  10. iliana

    I always love reading best of lists because of course it’s a great way to add more titles to my radar 🙂 I haven’t read any of your favorites but some are on my stacks.

  11. Catherine

    Well, only four of mine are on your list so maybe we’re moving from identical reading twins to fraternal? I couldn’t even come up with 10 2017 releases I loved so my list is going to include backlist. Having said that, my two favorite books of the year are: Heart’s Invisible Furies and This is How It Always Is.

  12. Lindsey

    The only book on your list that I’ve read so far is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. But I’m seeing The Heart’s Invisible Furies A LOT lately. I think I will have to pick it up in 2018!

  13. Lauren

    I had mixed thoughts on many of these, but I haven’t talked to anyone who has read This Is How It Always Is that didn’t feel like it was one of their top reads. Same with the Boyne, so I’m anxious to get to that one even thought the page count gives me hives.

  14. Andrea

    I feel so validated in my feelings towards Ove now!! Haha. I agree on Beartown, too. 🙂 I think there will be a few that overlap on my best 2017 of list!

  15. Novels And Nonfiction

    So we know we’re not in agreement on some of these (lol) and I haven’t read Beartown and a few other ones on your list, but we’re definitely on the same wavelength for This Is How It Always is – so there’s that! 🙂

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Ha – yes, I remember! But I do feel like we’ve been on the same page about other books this year that didn’t make our Best of lists.

  16. Amy @ Read a Latte

    Beartown, Emma in the Night, and If We Were Villains are some of my favorites this year too! I have been letting the length of The Heart’s Invisible Furies scare me away from reading it, but it is calling to me from my shelf!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Oh my gosh – do not let it scare you! I’m the queen of having trouble with long books and I didn’t have any trouble with this one. It flows so well and isn’t a slog at all. I think you’d love it:)

  17. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    I really enjoyed Emma in the Night too! I’m a little nervous to pick up Beartown, because it seems a bit darker than the books by Backman I’ve read previously (I loved A Man Called Ove :)) but I expect I’ll get to it eventually.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      It’s definitely pretty dark, but I love dark 🙂 And I wasn’t a huge fan of Ove…DNF’d it around 40% or so.

  18. Ann Marie

    Awesome list, Sarah! I’ve asked for Lillian Boxfish Takes and Walk and The Heart’s Invisible Furies. No matter how many books I read and acquire throughout the year, a few always manage to slip by.

  19. Rebecca Foster

    Thanks for convincing me to read The Heart’s Invisible Furies. I was worried it would feel long and I wouldn’t get through it before the end of the year, but I got it out from the library and read it in about a week. It ended up being my novel of the year too! I know I can trust your discriminating taste.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Oh yay!! I was worried about the same thing b/c long books haven’t been working for me lately. But, this one did not FEEL long and that’s the key.

      And I didn’t know I had discriminating taste – thank you!! 🙂

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