1 January 2018

Favourite Books of 2017

New Year's Day - time to compile a list of my favourite reads of 2017.  Same rules as in previous years:  it doesn't matter what year the book was published, I have to have read it for the first time in 2017, and all genres count.  I've linked to the books that I've reviewed.

So in no particular order, here is the list:

The Break (Katherena Vermette) - This is a beautiful, heartbreaking book that has stayed with me in the months since I read it.  It took me a long time to finish, because I cared so much about the characters and didn't want any more terrible things to happen to them, but the book ended with a note of hope.  I had a strong sense of place reading this book - when I was in Winnipeg recently, I kept looking around for places and characters from The Break.

Small Mechanics (Lorna Crozier) - In the words of my review, "this was a quiet, gentle, and occasionally delightful collection."  It is a collection of short poems that I read over the course of a couple of months last winter.  The one that I quote in the review, A New Religion, I've shared with many people in the past months.

Bone and Bread (Saleema Nawaz) - I read (or inhaled) this book last winter after it had been a contender in the previous year's Canada Reads competition.  This was another book where I really cared for the characters.

Still Life (Louise Penny) - I've finally jumped on to the Louise Penny bandwagon (I'm currently on book 4 in the series).  I really enjoyed the first two books in the series (Still Life and Dead Cold), but didn't like the third one (The Cruelest Month) as much (because of the plot, not the writing).  They really are delightful books - very Canadian, three-dimensional characters, and unique plots.

The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion) - My cousin loaned me this book last Christmas break, and I read it on the train in January when I was heading from Ontario back to Halifax.  It was perfect train reading - engaging, not too heavy, and with delightful characters.  I haven't picked up the sequel - the reviews that I've seen say that it doesn't live up to the promise of this book, and I'm happy to leave the characters where they were at the end of The Rosie Project.

Dietland (Sarai Walker) - I hesitated to put this book on the list as I just finished it a couple of days ago.  A friend and I decided to adopt the Icelandic custom of Jolabokaflod even though neither of us is Icelandic, and exchange books to be opened after the last of our Christmas services was over.  This is the book that she sent me, and it was one that I wouldn't have picked up on my own.  I can't begin to describe it - I've never read anything like it before.  It was dark, it was compelling reading, and the main character grew and developed throughout.  I haven't finished processing it yet, but I think that it will live up to list-status.

This list was more difficult that usual to put together, since most of my books are in storage right now - normally I put together the list by browsing my bookcases.  I have probably missed some great books, but this is what I could come up with from memory!

(My reading corner)

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