Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday!
For those who don’t know, the Top Ten Tuesday Tag is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:
TOP TEN FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2017
2017 was a strange year for me for many reasons. I didn’t read much this year. At the time of writing this I’ve only read 41/85 books towards my goodreads reading challenge. Hopefully 2018 will bring on a more productive reading year. For this week’s topic I went back through the books I’ve read and realized that the quantity may be low, but the quality of what I read was very high.
I’m not going to limit this list to books that were released in 2017 and instead I’m going to talk about the books that I loved. Yes, you’re going to see just how behind on certain releases I am. Come at me.
Kraken – China Miéville
I finally got around to finishing Kraken this summer and then proceeded to recommend the book to everyone I knew. Kraken follows Billy a cephalopod specialist who, when conducting a tour of the London Natural History Museum finds the museum’s giant squid is missing. Poor Billy is dragged from the sane normal world into the magical underbelly of London. This book is strange, clever and funny. After finishing it I’ve added the rest of Miéville’s books to my to read pile.
Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
I loved this book. Strange the Dreamer follows Lazlo Strange, a librarian obsessed with the lost city of Weep. When citizens from the Lost City arrive at the library looking for experts to solve their problem Lazlo is able to go along with them. What he finds there is beyond his wildest dreams (you see what I just did there?) This book is beautifully written; was full of characters who you grew to care for and an ending that left you wanting more. Strange the Dreamer also boasts of one of the best villains I’ve come across in fiction in a long time. I have no idea when the sequel is coming out, but man I have a mighty need.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzie Lee
This book was a lot of fun. Vice and Virtue follows Monty, his sister Felicity and his best friend Percy on their tour of Europe which turns into a crazy road trip with bandits, pirates and a possible cure-all. I loved Monty and his sense of humour. The romance between him and Percy was super cute, though at times could be unbelievably frustrating. I highly recommend this one.
It Devours – Joseph Fink & Jeffery Cranor
Welcome to Night Vale was the first podcast I ever listened to. It holds a very special place in my heart. The second Night Vale novel expands on one of my favourite areas of Night Vale: Kevin and the Glorious Congregation of the Smiling God. It Devours examines the intersection of science and religion in a way that only Night Vale could be capable of. I love how the Night Vale novels flesh out side characters who are often mentioned in the podcast but never fully explored. If you are a big fan of the podcast and you loved the first novel than I recommend you check this one out. If you’re interested in the premise but aren’t familiar with the podcast then I recommend you listen to a few episodes before picking up the book. ALL HAIL!
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
It might be cheating adding this one to my list since it’s technically a re-read. Every once in a while you come across a book at the perfect time in your life. American Gods was that book for me. I didn’t remember much about the story other than the basic premise and the ending but I did remember loving it. I wanted to re-read the book before the television show aired. It was totally worth the reread and I think I got more out of the novel now than I did when I was a teenager. American Gods is one of my favourite books of all time. The TV show is pretty spiffy too.
Locke and Key: Heaven and Earth – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez
I devoured the entire Locke and Key series a few years ago. Imagine my surprise when I found a bind up of all the Locke and Key one offs at my local comic book store. The premise of Locke and Key leaves a lot of room for different stories following the many generations of the Locke family. I loved all the stories in this collection especially the first one “Open the Moon”. A warning though. It made me cry. Hard.
The Gentleman – Forrest Leo
Lionel Savage, a popular poet in Victorian London realizes that he’s broke. The only way to remedy the situation is to find himself a rich wife. To his horror his loveless marriage leads to writers block. During one of his wife’s trivial parties he runs into the Devil and asks him to take her away. The next morning with his wife gone and he realizes that he may have made a horrible mistake and does in fact love his wife. Lionel thus begins a quest to save his wife with the help of his hilarious sister and brother-in-law. This book is laugh out loud funny and one I want to re-read soon. I know, I already had one Victorian-influenced book on my list but I have a weakness okay?
Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is the first book in the new DC Icons Series. The premise is to pair the biggest characters in the DC Universe with the biggest names in YA. Trust Leigh Bardugo to take something that could have easily have been a cash grab novel and turn it into something amazing. Bardugo gives us a young Diana who desperately wants to prove herself worthy of her Amazon heritage. She then surrounds her with three dimensional interesting characters. I loved how Bardugo played not only with the Wonder Woman mythology but with the Greek mythology that inspired her character as well. This is a world that I want to return to. Hopefully the rest of the DC Icons series will do well and we’ll get another Wonder Woman book out of Bardugo. Fingers crossed.
It – Stephen King
My younger brother is a giant Stephen King fan. I’ve always meant to check out more of his books. With The Dark Tower and It films coming out this past year I was given some motivation. I read It over the course of the summer, dragging my giant paperback copy everywhere with me. It was a long journey but fun. I came to love all of the kids and I was fully invested in their quest to destroy the monster who haunts their town. This book became such a large part of my summer that when I finally finished it, I noticed it’s absence. Book withdrawal is a real thing.
The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert
I was randomly handed a copy of The Hazel Wood on the last day of Book Expo 2017. The publishing rep was trying to get rid of her last remaining copies. “It’s a creepy fairy tale” she told me. “If you’re into those.” I am very much into those. I could not put this book down. It was strange and dark and I loved every minute of it. Albert created her own original fairy tales that felt like they could seamlessly blend in with the works of the Brothers Grimm. I would love for her to release all of them in a collection some day. The Hazel Wood comes out in early 2018 and I am so excited for people to read it and then I’ll finally have people to talk to about it.
So there you have it. My top ten favourite books I read in 2017. At the time of writing this there is still half of the month of December to go. I might read something else and this entire list will become invalid. Who knows?
Till then and till next Tuesday, Happy Reading!