My Top Reads of 2017

2017 was a bit of an up-and-down year for me as a reader.  Some months I would race through a selection of books, but in others I would struggle to finish one single novel.

I guess everyone goes through these phases, but I sometimes I feel guilt as a blogger – especially when I get sent books from publishers (or worse – request a book). However, I have discovered that the book community as a whole is very supportive of one another, with an emphasis on ‘doing you’ and not giving in to feelings of pressure.

This year, I may not have hit all my reading goals, but what I have read has been extremely good. I’ve read a large selection of high-quality books, and these are my 10 top reads (in no particular order):

1. Human Acts by Han Kang

This beautiful and haunting book was the first book I read this year, and I often still think about it. Truly harrowing, it is based on a true event that is largely unpublished and forgotten about in Western media – the Gwangju Uprising of 1980.

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2. A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks is a heartwarming book about a young boy with autism, and his struggling Dad. Although a work of fiction, the author draws from real-world experiences, featuring the popular computer game Minecraft – which has been proven to be an effective tool for dealing with autism. If you’re feeling down, this book will inspire you and make you feel positive again.

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3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower had been on my TBR list for a while, and this year I finally got around to reading it. It’s fair to say that I really connected with this book, and it certainly lived up to its reputation. I think reading it in my mid-twenties as opposed to my teenage years was perfect, because I was able to reflect on my own teenage frustrations but have the hindsight to know that those emotions don’t last forever.

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4. Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

The second installment in The Themis Files series, I absolutely loved Waking Gods. The style is so unique and interesting and it makes reading a genuine pleasure. With intrigue, action and characters that are easy to root for, this debut series is the perfect option for readers new to the science-fiction genre.

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5. Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed

Damn, this book is DARK. But also brilliant. Set on a cut-off island hidden away from the rest of the world with its own rules, it’s a harrowing insight into how adults can manipulate and take advantage of the innocence of children.

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6. The Child by Fiona Barton

This was easily the best crime book I read this year. It kept me guessing and had an EXCELLENT plot. The child is unputdownable, and will keep you guessing right until the very end.

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7. Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I picked up this copy of Jane Eyre at a friend’s book-themed wedding, and finally read this classic for the very first time! I now finally understand why this book and stood the test of time. It’s feminist themes are as relevant today as they were all those years ago.

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8. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

I’ve wanted to read this book for ages, and finally found the time this year. I knew it was dark but I didn’t realise JUST how dark; I loved it though. It was refreshingly honest to hear a perspective that is usually shunned and not talked about – a mother who regrets having children. This is one for those seeking something different.

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9. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Easily one of the most anticipated books of the year, and it didn’t disappoint. I LOVE the His Dark Materials trilogy, and this ‘equel’ really brought me back to Pullman’s world. The world he creates is so vivid and magical and I breathed in every word on each page.

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10. Hollow Shores by Gary Budden

I JUST about managed to squeeze this in before the start of 2018, and I’m glad I did! It’s a beautiful debut collection of short stories with such vivid landscapes and believable characters that it really sucked me in. The perfect companion for a rainy day.

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Do you agree with my top 10? Based on this list, are there any books you’d recommend I try for 2018? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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