One of the first impressions people have of me is that I read. A LOT. I’m always carrying my Kindle or a book around (or several books when I’ve entered a bookstore without adult supervision). When it comes to my tastes, I read mostly noir or fantasy/sci-fi but I’m open to pretty much anything.
In 2017 I ended up reading 96 books and some of them were the best I’ve read in a long time. I’m not going to cheat, though; I’m going to be talking exclusively about the few books I read that were published in 2017.
In no particular order, here they are:
Nick Harkaway – Gnomon
I have mentioned Warren Ellis‘ newsletter, Orbital Operations, before. It’s the highlight of my Sundays at this point and I’m always curious about the books he’s reading. He mentioned Gnomon by Nick Harkaway a while back, so when I saw it in a bookstore shortly after, I bought it.
This is one of those books that you should approach knowing as little about it as possible. It involves a detective in a dystopian version of England investigating a crime, and from then on it turns into something more. I still lack words to properly explain it, but it’s fantastic.
Tracy Chevalier – New Boy
Some years ago, Hogarth Press started their Hogarth Shakespeare project. This is a series of novels written by different authors who write a reinterpretation of a Shakespearean play. I had read one of the novels the year before (Margaret Atwood‘s Hag-Seed, a reimagining of The Tempest) and when I heard about New Boy, I had to pick it up.
New Boy is a reimagining of Othello, set in a school in the seventies. Osei Kokote, the son of a diplomat, arrives to his new school, where he’s the only black student, and immediately becomes friends with a girl called Dee. This is much to the chagrin of a boy called Ian, who decides to make trouble just because.
The whole novel takes place over a single day, which is an interesting choice, as was making the characters children (except for some authority figures). There were some flaws in the book but this is still one of the most interesting things I read all year.
Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
This is probably the most timely book on this list. I had seen this book mentioned everywhere and I was curious about it, so I picked it up without knowing what it was about and I was blown away by how good it is.
It was a challenging book, but then again it had to be challenging. This is a book that everyone should read at some point, especially considering all the stuff that has gone down in the US. That’s all I have to say about it.
John Connolly – he
I had heard lots about John Connolly and I finally started reading his work last year. After hearing his newest novel would be a historical novel about Stan Laurel, I was curious, mostly because it’s completely different to his Charlie Parker novels.
I bought the novel and attended an event he held in Galway where he talked about the book and what made him write it. The enthusiasm he had when he talked about Laurel & Hardy was infectious, which made me see that this was a labour of love for him. And it showed in the book as well.
James S.A. Corey – Persepolis Rising (The Expanse 7)
The Expanse is one of my favourite book series and it’s one of the few situations where I pre-order an ebook. I just can’t wait.
The thing with this series is that I feel like it keeps going upwards. Each book is better than the rest, and with only two books left in the series, I figured that this one would up the stakes even more.
And that it does! For starters, this book takes place 30 years after the previous one. At first I was very confused by it, but this made sense. A lot of things happened in those 30 years. The characters I’ve grown to love are jaded and older. And this time they face an even bigger threat than before. Writing duo James S.A. Corey continue to be on top of their game and I really want to see what they surprise me with this year.
I just love this series too much. I don’t know what I’ll do when it ends.
And that’s it! The best of 2017!
As an honourable mention, I’ll include Stephen and Owen King‘s Sleeping Beauties. I didn’t mention it on the official list because I honestly spend too much time talking about Stephen King as it is. However, if you have room for another book on your TBR for this year, read this one too.
What were your favourite books this year? Let us know in the comments!
Angry Spaniard, adoptive Irishman. Writer, reader, tea drinker and video game player/designer.