Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog.
This week’s topic is: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017
As luck would have it, I’ve given exactly 10 books 5-star ratings this year. This means that my list this week was pretty easy to write! I’ve listed the books (more or less) in order of my favorites from 1-10.
1. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
My love for this book took me a bit by surprise. I was blown away by the prose, loved the narrative structure, and hated to say goodbye to the Cousins/Keating clan. Commonwealth was my first (and only) Patchett novel, and I look forward to checking out her other works. I’m a little worried I won’t love anything as much as I did this, and I’m not sure where to start. Please let me know which of her books I should read next!!
2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
I devoured this buzzed about debut novel in less than two days. I couldn’t put it down and had a major book hangover after finishing the last page. I loved switching between the narratives and ended up wishing each point-of-view chapter could’ve been even longer. In my opinion, Homegoing lives up to the hype and more. Gyasi broke my heart many times over, but also left me with a strong sense of hope.
3. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
This delightful novel was the perfect summer read. To Say Nothing of the Dog had me at “Victorian time travel novel,” but it earned my undying devotion with its wit, literary references, and hilarious hijinks. I could’ve easily spent twice as long with its wonderful characters. I think this will be a comfort read I will be returning to again and again.
4. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
After loving The Little Stranger a few years ago, I was fairly certain Sarah Waters was going to end up on my list of favorite writers. Having read The Paying Guests-my second Waters’ novel-there is no longer any doubt. I was completely immersed in the rich historical world she has created and didn’t want to come up for air. I wanted to savor the prose; so many stunning sentences stopped me in my tracks. The Paying Guests is a quiet literary tour de force with slowly building tension and complex characters.
5. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
After talking about wanting to read it for almost an entire year, I finally read The Essex Serpent this October. I had built this book up so much in my mind, I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to my crazy high expectations. Thankfully, it did. I loved the rich, descriptive writing and the well-rounded, eccentric characters. I didn’t want this reading experience to end, and I hope Sarah Perry releases another novel very soon.
6. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
This is one of the (if not the) best nonfiction books I have ever read. Kate Moore has given voice to a remarkable group of women who faced a heartbreaking situation with courage and grace. It was an honor to read about their tenacious fight for justice and their inextinguishable hope. The Radium Girls is an illuminating read that I will not soon forget.
7. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Having finished this, my second Connie Willis novel, I can safely say I have found a new favorite author. Doomsday Book is an unputdownable read with a vivid world and unforgettable characters. The stakes were dangerously high in both the plaque-ridden medieval past and during the 2050’s influenza epidemic in Oxford, and I had to keep turning pages to find out what would happen next. I probably won’t make it through 2018 without reading the rest of the Oxford Time Travel series…
8. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebeyo
This was a phenomenal read with complicated characters, emotional gut-punches, and plenty of twists and turns. Stay With Me is certainly deserving of all the praise and buzz it has received. I didn’t want to leave Adebayo’s well-drawn characters behind, and still find myself thinking about Yejide and Akin. I was continuously surprised by this debut novel and am so glad I read it this year.
9. The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
I had been eagerly anticipating this creepy historical fiction novel, and it did not disappoint. The prose was strong, the atmosphere all-encompassing, the plot unsettling, and the ending perfectly ambiguous. The Silent Companions was exactly the autumnal, gothic read I had been craving and I loved every minute of it. I read this during my first Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and therefore have great memories of both the book and time in which I read it.
10. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
I wasn’t sure about including #hamiltome on this list. I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as one of my favorite reads of 2017, but it was amongst my 10 5-star ratings on Goodreads. For the type of book that it is, I thought it was exceptionally well-done and it certainly delivered all the behind-the-scenes insight into the musical that I was hoping for. I read Hamilton: The Revolution just before seeing the show on Broadway this past April. Getting to (finally) experience Hamilton was one of my favorite memories of the year. And for that alone, I think the book has earned its spot on this list!
There’s a slight chance that I’ll squeeze in another 5-star read before the end of the year, knocking #hamiltome from this list. If so I’ll be sure to update you all here!
What are your favorite reads of 2017?