Best books of 2017

Photo by Caio Resende from Pexels

I asked people what they enjoyed reading most in 2017. Their combined list is below, and the variety bears testament to their wide range of interests.

The books listed under fiction are about refugees, women power, slavery, dictators, relationships between women and between families, and a take on Sherlock Holmes. The authors are from around the globe: USA, Pakistan, Turkey, Algeria, UK, Finland, Italy, Japan and Australia.

Under non-fiction, books cover issues such as atrocities against Native Americans, the Roman empire, big data, the influence of media, travelling on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and animals such as the octopus, pig and human beings.

Some people picked series of books, which are listed at the end of the fiction list. Links, for the most part, are to reviews on this blog.

I hope you find books here that will make it to your reading list of 2018. If you want to add yours to this list or just want to share your list for 2017, add a comment to this post.

Here’s to another year of reading good books!

Contributions by David Dunkley, Jenifer Freedman, Jo Grin-Yates, Kristine Goulding, Orsolya Tóth, Usha Raman and Suroor Alikhan


4 3 2 1—Paul Auster (2017)

Exit West—Mohsin Hamid (2017)

IQ—Joe Ide (2017)

Little Fires Everywhere—Celeste Ng (2017)

Three Daughters of Eve—Elif Shafak (2017)

The Power—Naomi Alderman (2016)

Children of Earth and Sky—Guy Gavriel Kay (2016)

The Underground Railroad—Colson Whitehead (2016)

The Dictator’s Last Night—Yasmina Khadra (La dernière nuit du Raïs) (2015)

Vanessa and her Sister—Priya Parmar (2015)

The Mountain Shadow—Gregory David Roberts (2015)

Station Eleven—Emily St John Mandel (2015)

Levels of Life—Julian Barnes (2014)

Everything I Didn’t Tell You—Celeste Ng (2014)

The Summer Book—Tove Jansson (2008)

Cloudstreet—Tim Winton (2002)

Plainsong—Kent Haruf (2000)

The Neapolitan Quartet—Elena Ferrante (2012­­–2015) (Review of My Brilliant Friend, the first in the series)

The Shardlake series—C.J. Sansom (2003­­–2008) (Note: there are two more books in this series. The dates cover the first four that I read. Review of Dark Fire, the second in the series and Tombland, the last one.)

The Tom Thorne series—Mark Billingham (2001­­–2013)


Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI—David Grann (2017)

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease and the End of an Empire—Kyle Harper (2017)

The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World—Catherine Nixey (2017)

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States—James C. Scott (2017)

The New Paris: The People, Places and Ideas Fueling a Movement —Lindsey Tramuta (2017)

A Short Ride through the Jungle: The Ho Chi Minh Trail by Motorcycle—Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent (2016)

The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data—Michael Patrick Lynch (2016)

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness—Peter Godfrey-Smith (2016)

The Well-Tempered City: Jonathan F.P. Rose (2016)

Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig—Mark Essig (2015)

Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch—Nick Davies (2014)

Sapiens—Yuval Hariri (2014)

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What You’ve Lost in a World of Constant Communication—Michael Harris (2014)

The Arrival of the Fittest: Andreas Wagner (2014)

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster—Svetlana Alexievich (1997)

6 thoughts on “Best books of 2017

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