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Old 12-13-2017, 06:50 PM   #1
Dazrin
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Question What were your favorite books of 2017?

It's that time of year again, we are preparing for the holidays and working on our MR New Year's resolutions which means we should take a few minutes and reflect on this last year.

Unlike with children it's ok to have favorites here, so ...

What books did you enjoy the most in 2017?

Did that new Lee Child book really knock your socks off?
What books are you still reflecting on?
What books will become annual favorites?
What book kept you up long enough that it was time to get up?

What books were published in 2017 that really stood out to you?

Any contenders for your favorite literary award?
What would you have in a hypothetical MR slate for the Hugos?

Help the rest of us fill in our TBR list list for 2018. If your goal is to reduce your TBR list in 2018 go ahead and add them now so they don't count against you then. I mean, isn't setting that sort of a goal right now kinda like starting a diet right before Thanksgiving?

I know the year isn't quite over but this thread will still be open when it is if you find another favorite in the next few weeks.

And for future reference, a couple years ago issybird mentioned a great way to track which books you might like to post next year.

If you want to see what some of the past favorites are check these out:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

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Old 12-13-2017, 07:23 PM   #2
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It turns out I enjoyed more books that are part of a series this year than anything else.

Almost 6 years after I read book 3 I finally tried book 4 of the Dresden Files, Summer Knight, and found out that the series does get good. Really good. I finished books 4 through 11 this year plus "Working for Bigfoot" and am only holding off on books 12+ until I get into a slump and need a boost. And since book 16 is taking a while, I have time.

I also tried the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) and found them to be quite enjoyable. I read books 1, 2, and 3 in about 3 weeks and then decided I better move on to something else for a while. I'll get back to those soon.

For non-series books, I tried out some classic science fiction from H. Beam Piper (Omnilingual and Little Fuzzy), Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), and Clifford Simak (Way Station) and now I know why they are classics. All were very good reads. (I also tried Animal Farm but decided I prefer 1984 from George Orwell.)

I didn't really find any gems that were published in 2017. I'll be watching this thread to see if anyone else did though.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:46 PM   #3
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Looking back on my finished-it list, this has been a year where most of the books I read had something to do with the state of the United States, perhaps not too surprising in a year where that country was even more newsworthy than normal. These stand out among those published the year I read them:

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson

Fiction? I don't read a lot of that the year published. I do read every new novel in Julia Keller's Bell Elkins series, and this year's installment, Fast Falls the Night was at least as good as any, and relates well to current non-fiction themes.

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Old 12-13-2017, 08:06 PM   #4
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These were my best first-time reads this year, but all published before 2017:

Science fiction:
- John Cramer, Einstein's Bridge.
- Cixin Liu, Death's End.
- Adam Roberts, Stone.
- Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312.
- James Tiptree Jr, Star Songs of an Old Primate.

Fantasy:
- R. Scott Bakker, The Prince of Nothing.
- Guy Gavriel Kay, The Sarantine Mosaic.

Crime:
- JÝrn Lier Horst, The Caveman.
- Arnaldur Indriūason, Oblivion.
- Seichō Matsumoto, A Quiet Place.
- D. A. Mishani, A Possibility of Violence.

Thriller:
- Arnaldur Indriūason, Operation Napoleon.


Edit: My full reading list for 2017

Last edited by GeoffR; 01-01-2018 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Added link to full reading list
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:10 AM   #5
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Some of my favorites are:

The Dry by Jane Harper
Origin by Dan Brown
Micro by Michael Crichton
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:53 AM   #6
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In the new-to-me (but not published in 2017) category of books I've read this year, the stand outs for me are:

- Fool and also Lamb by Christopher Moore. Moore is a wonderfully clever author who I've seen compared to Terry Pratchett, and though the work/voice is very different, Moore does have the same ability to be both funny and serious (sometimes tragically or bitterly so) all in the same line.

- Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. This was fun. Not great, but enough fun that I'll be getting more from this author.

- The White Tiger by Araind Adiga. This was fascinating, compelling in a strange train-wreck sort of way. Not in a hurry to re-read it, but glad I've read it once.


I had not realised until you asked, this year I've read only 2 books that were first published this year - both of them non-fiction, and one was a Scientific American collation of mostly older articles, so it barely counts. Which leaves only one, so it really stood out

- How to Tame a Fox (and build a dog) by Lyudmila Trut, Lee Alan Dugatkin. This was truly excellent, a wonderful blend of science, history, human realities and cute-and-cuddly foxes. Lots of fascinating snippets, not always directly related to foxes. Mine came in a very nicely presented hardcover - but Amazon show there is kindle version.


In the regular re-read category for this year my stand outs are:

- Truckers, Diggers and Wings (also sold as one book, The Bromeliad Trilogy) by Terry Pratchett. Supposedly written for kids, but I love this miniature epic. It doesn't take long to read the three of them and it always puts a smile on my face.


I did some catching up with Robert Goddard this year, and while I did very much enjoy Fault Line (pub 2012), I found his James Mated trilogy The Ways of the World etc. disappointing - and it's very unusual for me to be disappointed in anything by Goddard.

A slow reading year for me this year, only 65 books so far, but it was a wide mix. From philosophy through literary, romance, mystery, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy and back to non-fiction. From first published in 1862 through to 2017. Quite a lot of re-reads (C.S.Lewis, Cussler, Gaiman). ... My mood has been all over the place this year, and it shows in my reading selection.

No specific plans for next year. I just read as the mood hits me (and time allows).
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post

- The White Tiger by Araind Adiga. This was fascinating, compelling in a strange train-wreck sort of way. Not in a hurry to re-read it, but glad I've read it once.
That was on my personal top ten list last year.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:40 AM   #8
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2017 wasn't a great reading year for me--both in volume and in overall quality. Still, there were a few that stood out.

My favorite was Robin Hobb's Assassin's Fate: the culmination of a decades-long love affair with her Fitz & The Fool characters.

Other standouts were:

A Night without Stars: the final, final installment in Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth universe.
J.M. McDermott's The Fortress at the End of Time
Mur Lafferty's Six Wakes
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:49 AM   #9
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5-stars on Goodreads
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Echoes in Death by J. D. Robb (published 2017)
A Catskill Eagle by Robert B. Parker
Star Trek: Section 31: Control by David Mack (published 2017)
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Shield of the Gods by Christopher L. Bennett (published 2017)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales by Una McCormack (published 2017)


4-stars on Goodreads
Dark Side of the Rainbow by Danielle Paig (published 2017)
The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Face of the Unknown by Christopher L. Bennett
The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight by Dayton Ward (published 2017)
Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Long Mirage by David R. George III (published 2017)
Order of the Wicked by Danielle Paige (published 2017)
A Savage Place by Robert B. Parker
The Widening Gyre by Robert B. Parker
Valediction by Robert B. Parker
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (published 2017)
Taming a Sea-Horse by Robert B. Parker
The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper
Pale Kings And Princes by Robert B. Parker
Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Tall Dolores by Micheal Avallone
Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference by Christopher L. Bennett (published 2017)
Bucky F&%@ing Dent by David Duchovny
Stardust by Robert B. Parker
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb (published 2017)
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

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Old 12-14-2017, 09:01 AM   #10
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I really liked the Bobiverse books by Dennis E. Taylor.
We are Legion
For We are Many
All These Worlds

I reread the Rosinante books by Alexis A. Gilliland since ebooks became available. I'd been wanting to reread them, but the font is too small now in the paperbacks.
The Revolution from Rosinante
Long Shot for Rosinante
The Pirates of Rosinante

Penric's Fox came out. A novella by Lois McMaster Bujold.

To Fire Called by Nathan Lowell

The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer

The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:57 AM   #11
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I struggled with my top 10 list this year, especially in regard to rereads. I don't usually reread much but did more so this year and I've never allowed rereads to hit my list in theory, but in fact if it's a reread where I really don't remember much beyond the broadest outlines, I'll usually let it slip through (rereads I remember well never qualify). I decided this year to be strict, however. (Goodbye, Phineas Finn!) The lists are always at least somewhat arbitrary, anyway.

My top ten is divided into half fiction, half non.

Fiction:
  • The Charterhouse of Parma, Stendhal
  • After Me, the Deluge, David Forrest
  • The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
  • Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens
  • Wish Her Safe at Home, Stephen Benatar

Nonfiction:
  • No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money, David Lough
  • Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea, by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
  • Phantom Terror: The Threat of Revolution and the Repression of Liberty 1789-1848, Adam Zemoyski
  • Austerity Britain, 1945-51, David Kynaston
  • They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper, Bruce Robinson

I've decided to give honorary mention to one more fiction book: The Letter of Marque, by Patrick O'Brian. It's smack in the middle of a series which makes it harder to single out, but I did give it five stars which not everything above got.

I read only three books published in 2017: Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, by Sally Bedell Smith; Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign, by Jonathan Allen; and Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser. The last made the NY Times list of top 10 books of 2017. I thought all of these were good enough, but they didn't crack my top ten. Prince Charles is an awfully dull fellow, though.

Last edited by issybird; 12-14-2017 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:32 AM   #12
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My favorite book published in 2017 was absolutely Adrian Neweys autobiography How To Build A Car. I just couldn't stop reading, even though the last few chapters were rubbish.

My overall favorite book I read was The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin. It was not so much the story that captivated me, but the writing style. I've simply never read something that was so simple, yet so brilliant.
A must-read for all those people that see themselves as intellectuals, and look down upon popular books for being 'too simple'.
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:52 AM   #13
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I've read 61 books so far in 2017. Lord willing, I will complete two or three more given I have some vacation time later this month.

Goodreads sent me this link for Kyle's 2017 Year in Books.

Five star reads for 2017
  • From Here to Eternity - gritty, peacetime look at the US Army in Hawaii prior to WW2
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - interesting look into the sport of rowing, the young men who competed, and their drive to the Olympics
  • The Pilgrim's Progress - allegorical look into the Christian walk of faith. First published in 1678, and never out-of-print!
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Biography documenting Bonhoeffer's unique role as a theologian and a spy

Favorite book published in 2017
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky (four stars) - based on a true story, and optioned for a movie. This book tells the life of Pino Lella toward the end of WW2 from the Italian perspective.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:45 PM   #14
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Five Star Books for 2017 (in order of reading)

Five Star Short Stories, Essays and Articles for 2017 (in order of reading)
  • "A Walk to Kobe" by Haruki Murakami (nonfiction for Granta)
  • "I Have No Choice but to Keep Looking" by Jennifer Percy (nonfiction for the New York Times Magazine)
  • "Lost and Found" by Colson Whitehead (nonfiction for The New Yorker)
  • "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" by Raymond Carver (fiction)
  • "Sucker" by Carson McCullers (fiction)
  • "The Knowers" by Helen Phillips (fiction)
  • "Goodbye To All That" by Joan Didion (essay for the Saturday Evening Post)

Last edited by astrangerhere; 12-20-2017 at 05:58 AM. Reason: ETA to add Didion, McDermott
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:00 PM   #15
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My favorite was Robin Hobb's Assassin's Fate: the culmination of a decades-long love affair with her Fitz & The Fool characters.
Yes definitely.

I also enjoyed the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, a few of Bill Bryson's best known audiobooks and A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne.
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