Top 17 of 2017

I hope you all had wonderful Christmas, that you managed to find time to relax, breathe and think, but also to be, fully consciously be, with your family and with yourselves.

I have a feeling I’m late to the party on this one, or at least cutting it very fine, but here’s my list of the books I read this year and really liked, I wasn’t buying too many books this year, so it’s not limited to books published in 2017, just to what I read this year. It was of course supposed to be a ‘top 10’, but I just couldn’t get the list shorter and I can always use the excuse that it’s top 17 for 2017.

If you read any of those let me know your thoughts on them!

The order is random and links are to my reviews. Enjoy!

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John le Carré

For giving me a little bit more faith in spy thrillers. I loved it, there was tension, characters and suprisingly slow but gripping pace.

 

White Teeth – Zadie Smith51kYGxXkUIL

For so much positive energy and being a reminder of a simpler world (an illusion I know).

 

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver513zMdVcemL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

For being a thoroughly unpleasant, painful, shattering and yet fantastic read. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to this book, but I also don’t think I’ll ever forget it

 

A Horse Walks into a Bar – David Grossman51-yjE-Q0bL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

Another not very pleasant one, this time for playing my emotions so perfectly. And for conveying the atmosphere of stand-up show gone wrong so well.

 

The Captive Mind – Czesław Miłosz41UfQYgzFtL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Eye opening and reminding me of my country’s history, but also universal truths about how weak all of us are.

 

The Rainmaker – John Grisham 20160825_122743

Probably one of the best Grisham’s I read, has it all, the plot, the characters, the courtroom, rooting for the under-dog, twist at the end. Great fun.

 

Elizabeth and Her German Garden – Elizabeth von Arnim 51gouPPnI-L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

Pure delight, love of nature and witty and sharp observations about people. Joy!

 

Big Brother – Lionel Shriver 517uTcdr8mL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_

I’m still thinking if in the end this book isn’t better than Kevin, it feels a bit more mature, not trying to shock when it’s not needed.

 

Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer 41hvFIokIaL

This is probably the best non-fiction book I’ve read in my life. I couldn’t put it down, even though we all knnow how it ends.

 

House of Day, House of Night – Olga Tokarczuk 416V9VN84EL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_

For reminding me how days used to felt endless, time was just passing by, but it was not a concern. How it was nice to let it drift.

 

It – Stephen King 41CEEKojebL

For being one of the best books about childhood.

 

 

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Christopher Hitchens 419lOwwryjL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

For reminding me to think, to stay on my toes.

 

 

The Optician of Lampedusa – Emma Jane Kirby 51ux1vsq+CL

Taking me through a different aspect of the refugee crisis. Showing how it affects us all.

 

Somewhere Towards the End – Diana Athill 41AI7bQmSaL._SY346_

For showing me zest for life that’s rarely seen. Beautiful, wise, optimistic and sharp.

 

Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans – Dan Baum 51B4gxCw93L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Fantastic portrait of a city, it showed me New Orleans in a lot more aspects than London: The Biography showed me London, despite it’s thorough research. Thiso ne is touching, moving, showing city as a living organism, but made of people’s stories.

Let Me Tell You – Shirley Jackson 51oyIRxApzL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

Short stories and essays, an absolute delight. Jackson’s writing is exquisite and her gift of observation as sharp as they come.

 

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion 41pbe7zjyyl

Personal and moving coming ot terms with grief. It was deeply touching but without emotional blackmail, Didion actually tries to understand what happened to her brain when the impossible has struck.

 

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska

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5 thoughts on “Top 17 of 2017

  1. You’re not too late – I haven’t done mine yet!

    Agree with your Shriver picks – I read Kevin when it was first released and although I haven’t re-read it, I still think about it regularly.

    Like

  2. You’re not too late at all! I never do mine until the first day of the next year, as I have a habit of reading something AMAZING in this bit of the year! Lovely choices, I’ve read two of them (White Teeth and Elizabeth), both great reads. Happy New Year (of reading)!

    Liked by 1 person

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