Best Books of 2017

Welcome one, welcome all, to the downright obligatory Best Books of 2017 post – my name is Emma and I’ll be your cruise director for today. As you can see, this post didn’t quite make it out into the world on New Years’ Day as I intended, because apparently I took a fortnight to reflect on my 2017 reading and really think about what the very best books I read in the last year were, rather than just picking out all the books that I’d given 5-star ratings. These books are the ones that have stayed with me, for one reason or another, and were the best books that I read in 2017. Obviously, not all of these were published in 2017, but just made it firmly onto my radar (and bedside table) in the last year.

(If you’re looking for my more stats-based wrap up of 2017 then please do pop over to my 2017: A Bookish Year In Review post!)

Just fyi, because these posts are long enough already, I won’t be posting synopses of all the books I’ve chosen, since Goodreads can do a much better job than I can about being concise, but I’ll be sure to link to their blurbs and to my review, if I’ve done one! But I will make sure to explain why each book has earned a place on this hallowed list…

Without further ado, let’s do this like the music charts, in reverse order, shall we?

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2017 | A Bookish Year In Review

It’s that time of year again – the time when I wrap up all of last year’s reading into one handy post for reasons.

But first, how did 2017 in general go for me personally?

As far as years go, 2017 was much better than 2016. For a start, no beloved family members passed away so woo, congrats family, you hung on in there. The fallout from my nanna’s death is still lingering though, which sucks, but that’s life… unfortunately. Elsewhere, 2017 was the year that I finally felt like my life was getting sort of to the point I wanted – I feel on top of the house and bills that go along with it which I share with Liz (check out her blog here if you’re so inclined); I sometimes exercise and eat well (emphasis on the sometimes); I travelled to the US for the first time and loved it; I booked a holiday with Liz to go to Disney World (!) in 2018; I saw The Killers live in Liverpool (best night ever); I got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the magic is SO good), Phantom of the Opera (twice!), Les Miserables again (my fav) and Hamilton (in a word… phenomenal); and, perhaps most importantly, I finally got a job in my chosen field and I feel like I’ve settled into it well and I’m valued as a member of the small team in the office. So, 2017, despite an overwhelmingly crap year for politics, the uncovering of disgusting levels of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood, and the world at large generally going to shit, for my own little blinkered view of the world, it was alright.

But that’s not what you’re here for, is it? This post is aaaall about the books. If you want to see what my top books of the year were, please see the companion blog post: Favourite Books of 2017. This year I surprised myself by not just necessarily including all of the books that were my favourite in any given month – some slipped off my radar as the months ticked by and others stayed with me for longer than I expected.

But, first things first, let’s take a good look at every single book I read this year, because the graphics and statistics are deeply satisfying to me.

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End of Year Book Survey 2017

Hi everyone! It’s my favourite time of year in the book blogging community- when everyone is reviewing their year, settling on their top books and celebrating how well they did with their reading year. I love doing my two-part wrap up of the year in reading but I can’t finish my posts until I return to Liverpool in the New Year and am reunited with my laptop and it’s image-editing capabilities. So, in the meantime, I’ve decided to participate in the very exciting End of the Year Book Survey! This is organised every year by the lovely Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner so be sure to check out her original post with the survey and join in yourself if you fancy it!

Number Of Books You Read: 86
Number of Re-Reads: 35
Genre You Read The Most From: fantasy, young-adult

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2017 release vs. backlist)

I have an entire top books of 2017 post pending any day now (once I stop being indecisive and settle on them already)… is that the way of getting out of answering this question? Maaaaaybe… but watch this space.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Probably Milk and Honey by rupi kaur. It’s not to say that I didn’t like this poetry collection, I did in fact, but I expected to LOVE it and I didn’t quite do that which is a shame.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

In a bad way, The End We Start From by Megan Hunter. So many reviews said this was beautifully written and I was optimistic that the contents would match the absolutely stunning cover but, alas, I just did not get it, I still don’t, and I’m not sure I ever will. I’m still surprised it has such rave reviews to be honest and I surprised myself somewhat too since with this book I’m unable to understand that whilst it might not be to my taste it might be to others. I just don’t get how it could be?? Clearly I’m the one who’s wrong here though, and that’s fine by me.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I’ve pushed my housemate and friend Liz to read quite a few books this year but I think my biggest success has definitely been getting her to read Wishing for Birds, a poetry collection by Elisabeth Hewer, because she’s really not one for poetry, especially not free verse poetry, and she enjoyed it and then also gifted it to her TBTB Santa!

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Anticipated 2017 Releases (January/February/March)

After being suitably retrospective with my ‘Best Of’ and ‘Year in Review’ posts, I’m now looking forwards towards the releases which I personally am anticipating in the first three months of 2017. There are a few sequels being released next year that I’m itching to get my hands on (I need them like yesterday) as well as a few books by debut authors, or new-to-me authors, that I’m intrigued to try out for myself. Although I’m going to make a concerted effort in 2017 to read my own damn books, that doesn’t mean there isn’t also room for some shiny book acquisitions of brand spankin’ new releases, like these…

Look at the shiny shiny. Now, let’s see how the year looks in a little more detail…
(and I don’t think I need to warn you that if you’re not caught up on a series mentioned, then please don’t read the synopses below, there be spoilers!)

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My 2017 Resolutions

So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over… and a new one just begun… 

Ok, ok, relax, I promise I will stop singing before I really get started! But, if it wasn’t obvious from that introductory lyric, or from the title, this is my Resolutions post. Yes, that’s right everyone, once again I pretend that I’m actually going to work productively towards improving various aspects of my life.

(I’m not even going to talk about my 2016 resolutions; let us just say I achieved very few of them. I will do better this year. I’m determined.)

I like resolutions. Even if they’re never fulfilled, it’s good to aim for the stars, then even if you fall a little short, at least you’ve still aimed for something higher than just the same old same old.

That being said, I’ve said this before and not done anything about it – I am a serial re-watcher and re-reader. There’s always something comforting about re-experiencing something with which you’re very familiar – you already know you love it, you know how it ends, and there are no nasty hidden surprises along the way. Books, films, tv shows, life… I’m very happy to get comfy in this comfort zone of mine and never let myself experience the new in the wide world outside of the bubble. (There’s a reason why I have this Vampire Weekend lyric on my About page – “You know I love the past ’cause I hate suspense”.)

Being comfy is… fine… but it also means you don’t get to discover new things and, potentially, new favourites which you’d then want to re-experience to your heart’s content. I want to change that so badly. So I need to stop saying I’ll watch/read/do more in the future and just fucking do it. (Pardon the French!) A lot of my 2017 Resolutions below are in the spirit of this attitude, so let’s just get right to it…

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