As it’s drawing so close to the end of the year, I wanted to round up all of my favourite books that I’ve read – so far…
Just to clue you up on some data, as of today, the 22nd December, I have read…
- 193 books
- 57,806 pages
My Goodreads reading challenge for 2017 was to read 200 books, so I have just over a week left to read 7 more books to reach this total. Here’s hoping I reach it, I just managed 101 of 100 books in 2016.
These top 10 books are in no particular order. My only criteria for this list was that I read the book for the first time in 2017, very few of these are 2017 releases, as I don’t tend to be that good at reading new books as soon as they come out.
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
It was super hard choosing which Angela Carter book to put on this list as I’ve read three by her this year – Wise Children and The Bloody Chamber, along with this one. I chose this one because it was definitely the most enjoyable one for me, and I really loved the protagonist. Also, I just really liked the front cover of the edition I borrowed from the library.
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Much like the previous book, I had some trouble deciding which Zadie Smith book I’d include. I’m currently reading Swing Time, but I’ve also recently read N-W, but this one made the list just because I found it a lot more enjoyable to read. I think the problem with N-W for me, although I still loved it, was that I don’t understand London, so most of the references went straight over my head. On Beauty was funny, but heartbreaking at the same time, and it managed to make me hate certain characters, but still love the story, which is a feat in itself.
Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
I loved this book. Enough said, I think. I don’t often find “classic” books as funny as I found this one, but this one made me laugh out loud on several occasions. I think that was helped by the BBC adaptation with Jack Whitehall, one of my favourite comedians. Top tip: if you find a classic hard to read, watch an adaptation of it first. That way, you’ll already understand the story, which will make the novel much easier to understand/read.
Carrie by Stephen King
From humour to horror, Carrie was just… great. Here is where my grasp of the English language begins to gently slip. As a budding English Lit student, the epistolary format made this a very quick, fun read. Will I be watching a film adaption of it? Maybe. I’ve seen clips of the latest one, which is consistently the worst rated adaption, so my hopes are not high.
Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Own voices LGBT+ stories are ones I always enjoy reading, and this one was particularly interesting. As a fictionalised autobiography of the author, it was simultaneously mysterious (in the sense that you didn’t know what was fiction and what was fact) and hard-hitting (because we know, as the reader, that the events could well have been real, and some of what the protagonist goes through is pretty horrible). I also went on to read Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by the same author – her proper autobiography – straight after this, which added another layer to this narrative, at least for me.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
I haven’t really read many YA novels this year, which is quite surprising to me, as I know I used to read so many. I don’t know if that’s just because I got spurned by Sarah J Maas and Throne of Glass, but Heartless was amazing. It was just a fluffy romance story, which a not happy ending, and it left me in actual tears by the end. I loved The Lunar Chronicles and I still do, and this was just another great story by Marissa Meyer.
On Love by Charles Bukowski
I wanted to include a poetry book on here and considering this is the only poetry book I’ve liked all the poems from all year, this was the only real contender. Bukowski is very depressing, which appeals to my soul, but a lot of the poems in here I also found to be somewhat uplifting, in an odd way (especially as most of them are about heartbreak). I did also read Milk and Honey this year, which I didn’t like as much as I thought I would… I am planning a review of that, but I’m not sure how I’d go about reviewing poetry.
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
THIS. This was amazing. I read it a while ago, over the summer, so some of the events in the novel are a little fuzzy, but I’m still sure that I loved it. I really love her writing, and it was just… Good. I highly recommend.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
I’ve been a massive fan of the Bridget Jones films for a long, long time, although I haven’t yet seen the latest one – and I don’t know if I will, as I’m still unbelievably salty that Hugh Grant isn’t in it. But the book is somewhat of a recent read for me, although I read it in February of this year. Again, very enjoyable. I think Bridget Jones is kind of a British staple by now, so I’m not sure why I haven’t read this before.
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
Considering I literally finished reading this book this morning, this is an incredibly recent read for me. I started listening to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds album a few days ago (Horsell Common and the Heat Ray is the best song from it, no problem), and after a drive home last night chatting about the music with my boyfriend, he recommended me the book. And… I loved it. I’m a massive science fiction fan, and this was the best science fiction book I think I’ve ever read.
There you have it. My top ten books of 2017. There are many more that I could easily add to this list, but I think these were the ten best books I read all year.