Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:
Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2017
I was surprised, upon completing this list, to find that I have given exactly 10 books high ratings of 4.5 or 5 stars so far this year. The books are listed below, followed by two comic books that also received high ratings. Rereads were not included.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Summary: A book of advice columns that Cheryl Strayed wrote as Dear Sugar for the online literary magazine The Rumpus.
Why I enjoyed it: Because some of the advice she gave were ones I needed. Because Dear Sugar is relatable and felt like a real person. Because the letters resonated with me and although I haven’t experienced the same things, I empathized with the writers and appreciated that Dear Sugar helped them to realize what they knew all along or acknowledge what they refused to admit.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Summary: A thriller novel about a man whose wife disappears on their anniversary.
Why I enjoyed it: It’s entertaining and gripping and kept me on edge. I liked Amy’s voice and that the characters are unreliable, which kept me guessing and laughing at myself for believing them.
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Summary: A high-fantasy novel about a former soldier who returns home mentally and physically scarred and wanting only a safe place to live but becomes adviser to the princess of Chalion and uses death magic, which no one believes works, to protect her.
Why I enjoyed it: It’s engrossing and well written and refreshing in comparison to fantasy novels I usually read because the protagonist is older, in his 30s, I believe. But most of all, I LOVE how religion and gods function in the story.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Summary: This is the comedian’s autobiography about growing up in South Africa during apartheid.
Why I enjoyed it: Because the book is both insightful and entertaining. It exposes the injustices of apartheid and the inanity of discrimination, but also tells us of the crazy shenanigans Noah got up to as a kid and the love and support of his mother, who undermined the opposition set against her to carve out a better life for herself and her kids.
Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann
Summary: A book of writing advice.
Why I enjoyed it: I just appreciate how McCann wrote it and how honest he is.
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Summary: A horror novel about a vampire-zombie apocalypse that starts in New York City.
Why I enjoyed it: Because I freaking LOVE the TV show and am glad that it’s similar to the book though there are some changes. I like how the vampire myth is mixed in with scientific explanations to make the story plausible.
Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
Summary: The second novel in the Liveship Traders series about a family of traders, a pirate, and ships that can talk.
Why I enjoyed it: Because of the character developments and MAJOR revelations and expansion of the world.
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
Summary: A book of short stories all set in Argentina.
Why I enjoyed it: Because the stories are dark and unsettling yet provide some commentary on society.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
Summary: Cahalan’s memoir about a month she spent mentally disabled.
Why I enjoyed it: It was an intriguing read because Cahalan’s condition was hard to diagnose. I got hooked on the story because of the writing and my curiosity kept me reading.
Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher
Summary: Hornbacher’s autobiography about her struggle with bipolar disorder.
Why I enjoyed it: Well, “enjoyed” isn’t the best word. It’s a great read because the structure of the book and the way Hornbacher wrote it created a visceral reading experience that often made me feel uncomfortable and had to take breaks from the book. It is a good read that shows what living with bipolar is like and why it’s important to educate ourselves and others about mental illness.
Honorable Mentions: Comics
Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, illus. by Rags Morales
Summary: A murder mystery set in the DC Universe concerning the spouses of the Justice League of America members.
Why I enjoyed it: Because the plot kept me guessing and the illustrations are great. The illustrations here are some of the best I’ve seen in comics so far because it does a great job of conveying characters’ emotions.
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen, illus. by Jamie McKelvie
Summary: The second volume of The Wicked + The Divine comic book series about gods who are incarnated as humans every 90 years but live for only 2 years. We get some backstory in this volume.
Why I enjoyed it: I forgot why because I read volumes 1-4 back to back and now they are all jumbled in my head. I believe I enjoyed this one more because of how the plot progresses here and because we get some backstory. It’s with this volume that I began to like the series.