Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Show Us Your Books - Best of 2017

If you're experiencing anything similar to me, you're probably in total disbelief that 2017 is nearing the end.  In this weird way, it feels just like yesterday that I was writing my "Best of 2016" post and here I am now sharing my "Best of 2017."  To quote the opening line from a soap opera that I used to watch as a kid with my beloved Gran, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives..."

Anyway, about a week or so ago, I shared my Top Ten Books of 2017 for another linkup.  To do so, I looked back on the forty-two books I read this year and whittled the list down to ten.  

In order to mix things up a bit (as I have in previous years), I created a list of ten categories similar to that of high school yearbook superlatives for today's end of the year Show Us Your Books linkup with Steph and Jana.  Here are my "Best of 2017" book honors:

Best Audiobook Performance
Michael Urie in Lily and the Octopus  

I so enjoyed this book.  It made me laugh and it elicited a lot of, as Lily would put it, "eye rain." But, I have often wondered if I would've enjoyed it as much had I read it in traditional print form.  You see, the voice artist really brought the story to life for me and his impersonation of Lily, the aging dachshund in the book, was extraordinary. 

Best Book I Read in 2017 (that's still relatively unknown)
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen (6598 ratings on Goodreads)

Nine Women, One Dress is the tale of nine women and some of the men in their lives, and their experiences with the must-have, "it" dress of the season.

I loved this book for the lightness of the story and for it's resemblance to the movie Love Actually.  This book wasn't earth shattering or life changing, but it provided me with lots of laughs and enjoyment.  Sometimes that is exactly the kind of book that I need.

Best Unexpected Surprise
Replay by Ken Grimwood

I stumbled upon this book by accident and am so glad that I did.  It was entertaining, it kept me engaged, and it made me think - what would I do differently if I found myself back at the age of 18 but still with all the knowledge that I possess now? 

Most Worthy of All the Hoopla
Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I just finished this book about two weeks ago and I can honestly say that it's definitely worth all the hoopla.  It's the kind of rare book that renews my faith in humanity.

Most Disturbing Book
Sold by Patricia McCormick

Sold is a quick read and is written in short, but very evocative vignettes.  It is told from the perspective of Lakshmi, a young girl from Nepal whose stepfather sells her into the unimaginable world of prostitution.  

Human trafficking is something I know exists, but this powerful, eye opening read really brought the issue to the forefront of my mind.  Based on the author's extensive research, the plight of Lakshmi really disturbed me knowing that it was representative of many many young women who are sold into prostitution. 

Funniest Book
Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen

I'm a fan of Hiaasen's noir humor.  But, as I've mentioned before in pretty much every Hiaasen book I've ever reviewed, my experience is that you either love him or hate him.  His writing is not the kind that appeals to the masses (Steph would agree).  In my experience, I've found that some of his books are funnier than others.  Razor Girl is probably one of the funniest books of his that I've ever read and, hands down, is the funniest book I read in 2017.

Favorite Character

What I liked most about Junior is that he kept it real. His character was refreshingly honest and that elicited a range of emotions in me.

Best "New to Me" Author
Celeste Ng

I've only read one of Ng's books to date, Everything I Never Told You, but I've already purchased her newest book, Little Fires Everywhere, and am very excited to read it soon.

Most Thought Provoking Book

I had read several fellow bloggers' thoughts on this book before reading it myself, so I was prepared for the "heaviness" and knew that it might be uncomfortable at times.  It was uncomfortable, just as I predicted, but I was still utterly enthralled.  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things made me think, wonder, and re-evaluate my own biases towards age, love, and soul mates.

Most Beautifully Written Book

Everything I Never Told You turned out to be such an unexpected surprise for me, so much so that I also considered it for the "Best Unexpected Surprise" category.  It deals with a very tragic event, but the story in itself is so beautifully written and pieced together like a tapestry.  

And, given that it's the end of the year and that Goodreads supplies its members with end of the year statistics, here's an overview of my reading this year:

What are some of the best books you read this year?  Please share, for I'm always on the lookout for a great read!

I hope this finds you having had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukah!  May 2018 bring you much happiness, good health, and great reads!   


  1. This was a fun way to look back at the books you’ve read this year! Sold sounds like a really eye opening book and I’d like to try and read it. And All The Ugly and Wonderful Things really was so thought provoking. I’m glad that I read it.

    1. Thank you! Sold, in my opinion, is definitely worth the time. It's a short book and that's probably best, given the content. It's a short book that packs a mighty punch.

  2. I love your idea for superlatives for this list. I might have to keep it in mind for a future post.

    I also thought Ugly/Wonderful was really thought provoking and challenged a lot of norms most people hold.

    1. Thank you!

      I can be one of those people, those who have biases toward couples with extreme age differences. So, when I say that this book made me re-evaluate my own biases, I really meant it. It really challenged me in a lot of ways.

  3. I love the way you categorized everything! I really hope to read The Absolute True Diaries... next year and think I'll bump it up on my library list. Wonder is also on my list and I think I said this when you first mentioned Nine Dresses, but it sounds really good!

  4. Nine Women, One Dress is on my TBR list! Hope I get to it soon! Happy reading in 2018!!

  5. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things made my list, too, as did Celeste Ng. I love how vastly different those books are but still equally fantastic.

  6. The Bridge - Gay Talese (non-fiction)
    Kill Your Friends - John Niven (crime satire)
    My New Job - Catherine Wagner (poetry)
    A Working Girl Can't Win - Deborah Garrison (poetry)
    Cairo - G. Willow Wilson (graphic / fantasy)
    My Friend Dahmer - Derf Backderf (graphic / bio)
    Burma Chronicles - Guy Delisle (graphic / travel)
    The Man Who Smiled - Henning Mankell (mystery)
    Italian Shoes - Henning Mankell (general fiction)

  7. I love the categories you made for your best books of the year. Wonder was so good! I read Replay ages ago and don't remember much about it.

  8. Everything I never Told You was on my list! Can’t wait to read her new one (like 10 on my library waitlist).

  9. totally agree with your 'Most Worthy of All the Hoopla' category. Wonder is so good. I haven't read Everything I Never Told You - it's on my TBR of course - but I have Little Fires Everywhere to get to soon for book club, so I hope it lives up to the hype.

    1. I bought Everything I Never Told You back in 2015 and just kept putting off reading it for some reason or another. I feared it would be too heavy, but that wasn't the case. I'll be reading Little Fires Everywhere soon myself for Erin's challenge. I, too, hope it's worth the hype. Happy New Year to you!

  10. Nine Women One Dress was in my top 3 favorite books of the year, too! And I also compared it to Love Actually--such a fantastic book :)

    1. If the format for Love Actually hand't already been used extensively in other movies (New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day), I think this book would make a really cute movie! Happy New Years to you!

  11. Oh fun categories! Wonder is amazing, and definitely worthy of all the hoopla. I also really love The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.


  12. I love how you organized this!9 Women, 1 Dress made my best of last year. It's pure fluff of the very best kind and exactly what I needed. All the Wonderful and Ugly things is on my TBR and so is Celeste Ng. I haven't read her books and that needs to change!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy All the Ugly... and the Celeste Ng book you plan to read. Happy New Year to you!

  13. Nine Women, One Dress has been on my TBR list for a while. I'm also hoping to pick up Wonder soon, too! Great job this year with all the reading! I need to pick up Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng soon!!

    1. I kept seeing Nine Women... on several other blogger's websites and decided to give it a shot. It was totally worth it because it was so fun! Happy reading to you and Happy New Year, too!

  14. I noticed Nine Women, One Dress one several other blogger's pages back in the summer, I think. After seeing it for the 4th or 5th time, I decided to check it out. I'm so glad I did.

    Happy New Year to you@

  15. Okay, I totally didn't know that Goodreads gave all those end of year stats! I'm going to have to go check mine out. I love the way you formatted this "best of" list, it was so fun to read! I just finished and LOVED Little Fires... such a good one. I have Wonder and the Part Time Indian book on my TBR--need to read both of those!

    1. Yes, it was on my homepage for several days and then when I was working on this blog post, it was moved and I had to do a bit of hunting for it.

      Thank you!

      Good to hear about Little Fires... I hope you enjoy The Absolutely True Diary... and Wonder! Happy New Year to you!

  16. I love how you approached your "favorites" list. I haven't read many of these, but I am moving a few of them "up my list" a little now! :) Hope you had a lovely holiday and new year! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    1. Thank you! (Also, I apologize for it taking me a while to respond.). I hope you enjoy the ones that you have "upped."


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