Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.
This Wednesday’s topic is December 20th: Top 5 Books of 2017 and, as Sam says, “I know most people have a longer list than this, or post theirs at different times (like I’ll be waiting until January for example) but if you want to make a list of your absolute faves of the year, now is the time!”
I generally do a post at the beginning of January to wrap up all my reading from the year with some statistics and accompanying graphics and also a definitive list of my favourite books of that year. This year I’ve really been thinking about how I choose my ‘top books’ (I even did a discussion about that here)so it’s safe to say I’m trying to be more discerning about how I pick my top books. This Top 5 Wednesday topic comes at a great time because it gives me the opportunity to ‘test run’ my new thoughts on picking the best books I read in the past year before that final post in January!
As I re-read a lot of favourites (looking at you Leigh Bardugo, Samantha Shannon, V.E. Schwab, Maggie Stiefvater), I’ve made sure to restrict my list to just those books that I read and loved in 2017 for the first time.
5. Wishing for Birds by Elizabeth Hewer
I’ve said many times before (including in my gushing review) that this collection was, simply put, absolutely stunning. I’ve known of Elizabeth’s writing for some time due to following her on Tumblr but this debut poetry collection was just incredibly written and there are a lot of turns of phrase which will stay with me for many months to come. I mean, put it this way, I read it in January and I still remember it.
4. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
This is a very recent read but it quickly shot up the list of my favourite books of the year. A funny and also heartbreaking look at the state of the NHS in the UK, compiled from diary entries that Adam Kay wrote when he was a junior doctor. I laughed out loud multiple times during reading this (my housemate Liz will attest to his fact) and I just couldn’t put it down, so I think both of those things speak in its favour.
3. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Do yourselves a favour – if you enjoy audiobooks, grab this one on audiobook as read by Christian Coulson (aka the actor who played Tom Riddle in Chamber of Secrets) and you won’t regret it in a hurry. Half of why I adored this book so much was undoubtedly the tone of the narration and I’m not sure I’ll be re-reading it through any other medium anytime soon because it was just an altogether wonderful romp of a story that was narrated perfectly.
2. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
I’m sure I gushed about this one enough in my review too, but let me take this opportunity to say again how wonderful Amanda Palmer’s book is. I went from not knowing the first thing about her, to being a firm fan, within the space of the first few pages of this. Again, this is another one that was great on audiobook because memoirs often are obviously better told by the person who wrote them – their inflection and tone is guaranteed to be always on the money. Amanda Palmer is no exception to this and I found The Art of Asking to be equal parts funny, heart-warming, and devastating, as I’m sure all good books that make you think really ought to be.
1. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
I couldn’t not give A Conjuring of Light, the final book in Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy, pride of place on this list. It marks the conclusion to one of my favourite fantasy series and boy, oh boy, she pulled out all the stops. No one is ever safe in a Schwab story which means that you find yourself constantly on edge about your favourite characters – this book was 600 pages, I was on edge for a long period of time! However, I wouldn’t change the roller-coaster ride of emotions I went on one damn bit because it was a plenty worthy conclusion to an amazing series.
That’s all for now folks – those were my Top 5 books of the year (at this point – who knows what could come along!). Have you read any of my picks and enjoyed them too? What are your top books of the year? I’d love to hear some recommendations!
Be sure to link me to your Top 5 Wednesday post if you have one- I’d love to read it!