My Favorite Books of 2017

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Looking back at 2017, it wasn’t a good reading year. After a disappointing run with books accepted for review, I decided to stick to my own reads and preferences hoping to get my reading mojo going again.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I could keep up with reading with one kid and a baby, but with two school-going kids, and a full-time job, I have realized that reading is going to have to be on the backburner – behind homework, school projects, extra classes, office work, and numerous other things that just have to get done.

Still I did have some reading highlights that I want to share with you.

Favorite books of 2017

Favorite books of 2017

  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – I picked up this book because I loved Gone Girl so much. And I loved Sharp Objects every bit as much as Gone Girl – maybe even a bit more. So very good, I read it twice this year. My review was a bit on the fence. But when I read this book the second time, I found myself not caring about its flaws all that much.
  • The spy who came in from the cold by John LeCarre – This is billed as an all-time spy classic, and on reading this book, I agree with that billing. A slow boil of a book that gradually ups the intensity, I loved every minute of reading this slim little book.
  • The Constant Gardener by John LeCarre – I was on a LeCarre kick this year reading three of his novels. When two of his books make the annual best of 2017 list, you know that he is a dependable author. The Constant Gardener is different from his usual thrillers, but is a very beautiful book with a conscience. It’s one that will remain in my memory for some time to come. You should catch the movie too if you can – that’s just as good.
  • 3 and a half murders by Salil Desai – This is the only review book that makes it to my favorites list. This is the third book in the Inspector Saralkar series and is the best one in my opinion. Had me guessing till the last page.
  • Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane – The excellent movie prompted me to read the book, and I loved it. I have an up and down relationship with Lehane, some books I love, some I am completely bored by. However, Gone Baby Gone was one of the hits, and now I am determined to read the other books in this series.
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – This is one of those books that took time to hook me in, but once hooked, I just fell in love with it. The second half of this book was a real Dickensian style roller-coaster ride, and I relished every bit of it.
  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy – I have yet to find the words to describe what I thought of this book. It has many flaws especially with the flow in the first half. However, once the character of Tillotamma enters the book, I completely fell in love with it. Also, this book is very Rushdie-like in tone. These two aspects were enough to make me fall in love with it.

So this was my list of the best books I read this year. Have you read these books? What are the best books you read in 2017?

  • Avada@bookishmuggle.com

    Happy new year Nish. That’s a great list. Sharp Objects is on my TBR for this year. Fingersmith sounds very interesting. I am adding it to my TBR. I don’t accept any books for review in general since I want to focus on the books that I already own and want to read. It’s difficult to read with two kids and a full time job. Just with one toddler, I hardly have any free time to read. I mostly do my reading in the night after he is asleep. Hope you have a better reading year 2018.

  • Reema Sahay

    Hi, Happy New Year! You know, I stopped taking review books because I wasn’t liking any of the books which were coming and I was feeling weighed down by those. I was feeling a kind of pressure because I was ‘trying so hard’ to like those. I was so ecstatic in the beginning to get so many review books but then I decided I would rather read my own books. I still have so many, I can read for a couple of years. I have a problem. I need to review a book before moving on to the next otherwise it never happens. Because of which I was not able to read many books. Now, this year I have decided to read everyday – a page, few pages, whatever! If I can keep the momentum going, there’s no way I wouldn’t cross 30-40 books. I do intend to review some of those. I read ‘The Grown Up’ by Gillian Flynn last year, and it was kind of okay. I would look for ‘Sharp Objects’ now. My favourites from last year were Open by Andre Agassi, We Should All Be Feminists and After the Crash.

    • Nishita

      @reemasahay:disqus Happy new year to you too! Most of the books I received were so disappointing. Either the plot or the writing let me down, and I just felt meh about them. Last year, I did accept the odd review copy here and there, but I have been much happier with reading my own selection of books.

      I developed a small list of “dependable” authors – Sarah Waters, John LeCarre, Gillian Flynn (to an extent) and have been reading their books. I want to expand my reading this year to more authors and genres. I will remain very picky with review copies.

      • Reema Sahay

        Actually, the same thing happened to me. I read a few uninspiring review books and decided I have too many fantastic books in my collection to waste my time on forcibly doing reviews. I would rather review from my own collection since I have more than a 100! By the way, do hop over to my (relatively) new blog when you have time 🙂
        https://reemasahay.wordpress.com/

  • I love everyone’s list of favorites but they sure do make my wish list grow! I haven’t read any of your favorites but I’ve read and enjoyed several of the authors.

    • Nish

      This year I stuck to authors I know and enjoyed. The dependable kinds 🙂

  • Aww, Fingersmith! I’m so glad you had a few good reads this year, even if it wasn’t overall your best reading year. I had like a shockingly good 2017 in books, but I’m trying not to hope for similar quality in 2018. Can’t expect miracles every time! 🙂

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