Did you set any new year’s resolutions? I didn’t (personally at least), but if you’re trying to read more this year, I can help! I love to read and I’m not picky about genre (except horror, keep that mess away from me), so today I’m sharing a bit of the best fiction of 2017!
Just a note: these aren’t books published in 2017, just ones I read this year. Also not on the list are books I was in the middle of when the clock struck midnight, like Game of Thrones.
Best Fiction of 2017
My Grandmother Asked Me Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrik Backman
This is one of those books that’s beautiful and sad and makes you want to hug someone and tell them you love them. The story is told by an 8 year old girl with a uniquely close relationship to her grandmother, who sends her on imaginary and real life quests. As the story progresses, reality and pretend begin to merge as the grandmother’s life is revealed, showing her as much more than a crazy old lady in the apartment across the way.
The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
Best historical fiction I read this year, hands down. It follows two sisters their drastically different experiences of World War II. One sister lives what becomes Nazi occupied France while her husband is away at war, and the other pursues an active role in the resistance movement. During a season of reading several WWII novels, this one uniquely highlighted both the roles and effects of the war on women. There’s also something unique about hearing the European perspective on the war – so much of what I read about WWII comes from an American view. But Europe experienced that war so much differently than we did as a nation, and to add two women’s lives to that picture – even if fiction – rounds out the picture so much more.
Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
Favorite sci-fi of the year goes to Dark Matter. What if science found a way to alternate dimensions, where each tiny decision you make in the day leads to a different world? How would your day have been different if you had eggs for breakfast, or woke up five minutes earlier, or spilled your coffee and had to change your shirt? One scientist living a happy but average life finds himself given the choice to explore each of these alternate dimensions as doors in a hallway.
Dark Matter hits the sweet spot of being a fun read that also makes you think. I loved it, and you’ll never see the ending coming.
The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
Cross time travel with classic literature and you come close to The Eyre Affair. In a world where people have passionate arguments over the true identity of William Shakespeare and World War II was only won by allowing a corporation to essentially control the allied nations’ governance, there’s a whole police branch devoted to literature crimes. One such officer, Thursday Next, has the curious ability to physically enter books’ storylines.
I don’t want to say much more, because doing so will make it sound absurd. But the book is fun and nerdy, not taking itself too seriously while sucking you into an admittedly strange plot line. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
As someone who loves getting sucked into a compelling story, this is a great one. Honestly, I’m not sure just how to sum up Cloud Atlas. It’s a fun read, with a few threads tracing their way through each tale set years or centuries after the previous. The books follows the rise, fall, and potential rebirth of civilization, only to back its way out of each tale to conclude the previous one. I listened to this one as an audiobook and loved the verbal experience. Plus, it made one story – told in pidgin – easier to follow.
The Giver, Lois Lowry
Somehow I missed out reading this in grade school and never really head what the plot was. After it popped on a ‘recommended for you’ list from my library web site, I finally got it. And OH MY GOSH HOW DID I NOT READ THIS IN SCHOOL. I love a good dystopia or satire, and this story 100% hits that sweet spot. For an adult its a quick read, but worth picking up. It’s a reminder of the value of love, quirk, and beauty over efficiency.
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