ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2017

My intention was to post this favorites list on December 31, but time got away from me. I was enjoying myself too much working, traveling, and partying with friends and family and didn’t get the chance to write this list of favorites.

I enjoy writing and reading these best-of-year lists because I get great recommendations from them. As I said last year when I did a similar list, “the books included in these end-of-year favorites lists are ones that have great staying power. They are ones that readers often reminisce on throughout the year and might even consider rereading.” I still believe that and I chose the books on this list with those words in mind.

I couldn’t stop at the usual 10 books for these lists and instead chose 15 books. I placed them in the following categories: fiction, nonfiction, and other, which includes picture books and comics. The books are listed in the order I read them.

Fiction

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ★★★★★

— A thriller about a man whose wife disappears on their anniversary. As the story progresses, we learn that the man is an unreliable narrator and that his marriage wasn’t as perfect and he and his wife pretended it to be.

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★

— 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

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

— One of the Pottermore Presents e-books that compiles Rowling’s supplemental Harry Potter writings that were posted to the Pottermore website

The Shining by Stephen King ★★★★★

— A horror novel about a clairvoyant boy who spends the winter season at a sinister hotel in the Colorado mountains

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi ★★★★★

— A historical fiction novel that traces the descendants of two half-sisters from Ghana in the 18th century and concisely tells the story of many African descendants in its 300 pages

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng ★★★★☆ 1/2

— A literary novel about a single mother and her daughter who both move to a Ohio suburb and greatly affect the lives of the people they befriend there

Nonfiction

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed ★★★★★

— A book of advice columns that Cheryl Strayed wrote as Dear Sugar for the online literary magazine The Rumpus

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah ★★★★☆ 1/2

— The comedian’s autobiography about growing up in South Africa during apartheid

Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann ★★★★★

— A book of writing advice

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan ★★★★★

— Cahalan’s memoir about a month she spent mentally disabled

Madness by Marya Hornbacher ★★★★★

— Hornbacher’s autobiography about her struggle with bipolar disorder

Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland ★★★★★

— A nonfiction book that encourages artists of various forms to continue with their work

Other

The River by Alessandro Sanna (illus.) ★★★★☆

— an illustrated children’s book by Italian painter and illustrator Alessandro Sanna about a town situated by a river

The Journey by Francesca Sanna ★★★★★

— 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

Saga, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan, illus. by Fiona Weeks ★★★★★

— A sci-fi/fantasy comic book series about a couple from warring planets who fall in love and have a kid

And that’s the end of my list. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what your favorite book of 2017 is.
Happy New Year!

29 thoughts on “ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2017

  1. Pingback: “Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland | Zezee with Books

  2. Pingback: Reflecting on 2017: Reading | Zezee with Books

  3. I’m so happy to see how well Little Fires Everywhere is doing! I attended Celeste Ng’s book tour for it back in September, and really enjoyed meeting her. I cannot wait to pick it up! BUT I believe it is set in an Ohio suburb and not Michigan… it is based on her real life hometown here in Ohio. I wouldn’t have said anything, but Ohio and Michigan have a healthy rivalry, so we want credit for the book lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg! You’re right. It’s Ohio. Can’t believe I messed that up. Thanks for telling me. I hope it’s only here that I mixed it up. And lol at the rivalry. I didn’t know that.

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    • Thanks! Yea, Homegoing was great. I delayed reading it because I thought it might have been overhyped, now I know it’s worth it. And so too Little Fires Everywhere.

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  4. So many amazing books this year! I’ve always wanted to read Celeste Ng and Homegoing, and I plan on reading Trevor Noah’s book this year on audiobook. Did you read that one in book format or audiobook? I loved The Shining, it was one of my favourite books from Stephen King.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was curious about Ng as well because everyone who’s read her first novel loves it. I’m glad to have discovered her and I bought her first book soon after completing Little Fires Everywhere.
      And I can’t believe how great Homegoing is. I regard it as a classic.
      Heard the audiobook is the best way experience Noah’s memoir. I read the book, but might try the audio this year to hear how he pronounces some names.
      Of the King books I’ve read, which aren’t many, The Shining is my fav.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yea, it was hard to choose, but my top two are definitely Homegoing and The Curse of Chalion. I’d like to read The Hate U Give and The Underground Railroad because of all the awesome stuff I heard about them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 I’m glad they piqued your interest. It was the Gone Girl movie that got me interested in the book, specifically toward the end when the husband is emasculated. I wanted to know what led to that.

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