This week’s topic:
Top 5 books of 2017 (so far)
I’ve refrained from doing any “top books of the year” posts because the year hasn’t yet ended, so there’s no telling what might happen in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve. However, I would like to join in the fun and note the books I’ve loved so far this year, hence this Top 5 Wednesday post.
The following are my top books of the year so far. It’s possible that this list might change by the end of the year, and I plan to later post a longer list of about 10 books that are my favorites of the year.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Summary: a historical novel that traces the descendants of two half-sisters from Ghana in the 18th century
Why I enjoyed it: Because it’s well written and includes much of Black history in its 300 pages. And though each chapter is told from a different character perspective, we get a strong sense of who the character is and what happened to the characters who came before. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.
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.
This was mention in a top books so far post I did earlier this year. I’d also like to add that I so enjoyed this book that I read it twice this year. The second time was in the fall and I listened to its audio book. It was just as good as the first time.
The Shining by Stephen King
Summary: a horror novel about a clairvoyant boy who spends the winter season at a sinister hotel in the Colorado mountains
Why I enjoyed it: Because I was hooked from the first page and because King does a great job of using pace to increase the feeling of horror in the reader. I also liked that it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish the imaginary from reality.
Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland
Summary: a nonfiction book that encourages artists of various forms to continue with their work
Why I enjoyed it: I love this book and believe it’s an essential read for all artists, writers, and other creators no matter what level you are at, beginner or master. Bayles and Orland do a great job of dispelling myths surrounding artmaking and encouraging readers to continue creating.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna (illus.)
Summary: a simple yet powerful illustrated children’s book about a family who must seek refuge in a new land because their country is ravaged by war
Why I enjoyed it: Because the story relays a common story of our present, that of refugees, in few words and beautiful illustrations. The story is simply told, but the impact of the message is still powerful and relevant. I encourage all to get a copy for the kids in your life.