I read a lot in 2017, these are my favourites.
Last year I read forty books, and that's not including any that I read for work. That's a lot of books, even for me. I had originally set my Goodreads challenge goal to thirty books in a year and I had already well surpassed it by November. This year, I've decided to set my goal to forty books. There were ten stand outs however, books I really loved and could barely put down. I've ranked them from most loved (one) to most liked (ten). You can see all the books that I read (including some very interesting analytics, apparently I read close to 15,000 pages last year) here.
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
As I was reading The Secret History, I knew that this book would be a favourite. I had loved Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize winning The Goldfinch (even if it was HUGE) so decided to read one of her earlier novels. This one intrigued me because it was set at a University in America. Donna makes you fall head over heels in love with these characters, and then has them do something so despicable that it makes you question yourself because you still love them. An incredible book, and I don't say that too often.
outlander - diana gabaldon
My friend Allyce, who has recently moved to Scotland, got me in to reading Outlander. My Mum has read them also, and loves the television adaptation so I decided to pick up the first book and give it a go. Lo and behold, I loved it. I loved the drama, the magic, the intrigue, the romance. It was all good, I couldn't put this one down.
lord of shadows - cassandra clare
I LOVE Cassandra Clare's City of Bones series as well as the prequel trilogy (sometimes more than the originals!) so I knew I would love this one also. I devoured the first one in this series, Lady Midnight. This one I loved less than the first (the ending! Now I have to wait FOREVER for the next one) but I still very much enjoyed reading it. Also, I actually have a hard copy of this book but I leant it to a friend for the holidays so the Kindle version (I like to keep my favourites with me at all times) will have to suffice.
my brilliant friend - elena ferrante
I hadn't read much about Elena Ferrante but picked up this novel, her first, because I had caught wind of some of the drama surrounding her. I really enjoyed reading about Lena, her friend and them growing up in Naples, Italy. I was tense throughout some of this book however, I kept expecting some weird horrible sexual thing to happen. That being said, nothing of that nature did happen and I loved the way Elena Ferrante describes and creates a world that feels so realistic. A very special book indeed.
angels and demons - dan brown
I read this one whilst in Japan and it got me through some very long train journeys. I also read The DaVinci Code but actually enjoyed this first novel of Dan Brown's much more. I loved how it was set in Roma, a place I have visited and loved. I loved how fast paced and tense the book felt and the mystery was very well thought out.
the book of dust - Phillip pullman
I borrowed this one off of a friend at work and, despite a slow start, ended up really liking it. I have read The Golden Compass and love the concept behind Phillip Pullman's stories. This one was no different and I liked the little snippets of backstory you found out about his original main character, Lyra. I kept coming back to this book, spending night after night tucked up in bed eager to find out what happens next.
the untied kingdom - kate johnson
I was very surprised I enjoyed The Untied Kingdom as much as I actually did. It was a book I received as part of Blind Date With A Book and so, naturally, I did not have high hopes for it. I gave it a go and ended up getting really in to the story. It involved a washed up pop star travelling through a worm hole of sorts to an alternate reality where the UK is a third world country that is in the midst of a civil war. So, you can see why I was sceptical. It was very well executed however outrageous the concept and I particularly liked how much closure you got at the end.
scrappy little nobody - anna kendrick
It is not often that I read biographies of any kind, autobiographical or not, but I got this one (along with Lauren Graham's, which ALMOST made the list) for Christmas 2016 so I figured I had better try it. I enjoy watching Anna Kendrick's films (just went and saw Pitch Perfect 3) and it was really interesting reading about her backstory. I had no idea she was a child star on Broadway! Anna writes in a very funny, I'm talking to you style that I surprisingly enjoyed. Usually it feels too forced for me but Anna's book didn't feel forced at all, it felt very natural for her to be writing that way.
girl online - zoe sugg
I have only recently gotten in to watching Youtube videos for anything other than looking up how to cut a pomegranate or the like. I discovered Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella) and her videos a little while ago and enjoyed how fresh and kind she seemed. So, naturally, I decided to read her book. It is very much a Young Adult book but I enjoyed that with this one. It tackles some serious issues in a very heartfelt way and I can see why so many people love it. I loved the premise about how the main character gets bullied online by people she doesn't even know, it felt very real. How real it will seem in twenty years time, who knows? I would hope that cyber bullying have finished by then but I am not that optimistic. All in all though, an enjoyable easy read.
turtles all the way down - john green
I had such high hopes for this book, same as many, which is probably why John Green had writer's block for so long. While I enjoyed this book enough to include it in my top ten (barely, Lauren Graham almost kicked you out) I didn't love it as much as I wished I could have. The ending felt like nothing was resolved and the main character's mental illness felt like it was there for the sake of having one. I did enjoy how easy it was to get sucked in to this book, despite the mystery never being fully solved. I also like the way John Green writes about the setting so well, I feel like I know the places he writes, even though I have never been to America.
So there we have it! My top ten books I read in 2017. I hope to read even more this year. It really is my favourite thing to do ever, my seven bookshelves plus the three tubs under the spare bed full of books can testify to this fact. What are you planning on reading this year? Or, even better, do you have any recommendations of books you read last year that you think I would like? I'd love to hear about them!
Hi! I'm Louise. I am a writer, photographer, traveler, book fanatic and blogger. I love to post about my adventures and the little things I do that make life fun.
MARLEE'S INSTAGRAM: @marleethecat