Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 Favorites

2017 was not a banner year of reading for me. I was frequently distracted, busy, running around and just not reading. And I read a lot of clunkers. But the year is winding down and it's time for my annual favorites.

What I will say is that I read a lot of excellent nonfiction. My original favorites list was eight titles, whittled down to five for balance. Fiction was tougher for me. I read a lot of TBR dust bunnies that should have been weeded. And found some treasures too.  But I kept on reading as best as I could. Here are my favorite reads this year, five fiction and five nonfiction.


Made for Love, by Alissa Nutting. I just loved this edgy and offbeat novel about a runaway wife and a gigolo attracted to dolphins. Nothing goes the way you think, and yet it all works out, somehow. 2017 release.

Beautiful Animals, by Lawrence Osborne. If you love literary fiction and you're not reading Lawrence Osborne, it's
really time to start. His latest is a firecracker about the refugee crisis in the form of a taut thriller about a scam that goes very very wrong. 2017 release.

See What I Have Done, by Sarah Schmidt. This is just a terrific page-turning thriller based on a real life murder, the case of Lizzie Borden. No big surprises here but a tight, moody story to keep you up at night. 2017 release.

The Literary Conference, by César Aira. Haha the best. I love César. I just love his stuff so much. If you like Carlos Fuentes you may have strong feelings about this story of a mad scientist and his project that goes very very wrong.

Dinner, by César Aira. If you didn't get enough already, indulge in this sweet treat about the zombie apocalypse.


In the Land of Invented Languages, by Arika Okrent. Fascinating and fun story of languages that people made up, and how they fared, or didn't. I started learning Esperanto after reading it. Maybe you'll want to learn Klingon or Lojban.

The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport. This is a sad but also engrossing story of the four doomed daughters of the last czar of Russia.

Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris. I did this one on audio
and I recommend that you do, too. Audio is the best way to experience Sedaris's humor and storytelling flair. This volume excerpts his diaries from 1977-2002. I can't wait for the next compendium. 2017 release.

American Gypsy, by Oksana Marafioti. I loved this coming-of-age-in-America
story about a young Roma girl who comes to Los Angeles from Russia in the 1980s. Charming and fun.

A Very Expensive Poison, by Luke Harding. Read this for a gripping and horrible story about what happened to one man who crossed Vladimir Putin. 2017 release.

Stay tuned for the annual statistical recap, coming soon.

1 comment:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Nice, well-rounded list! the only one on it that I read is the Sedaris book, but your top two novels definitely have piqued my interest.