Friday, January 5, 2018

Best Books of 2017

According to Goodreads, I read 45 books last year.  It's possible there were more, I'm notoriously bad about updating book lists, but regardless, a good number.  And goodness, there were some good ones. I think I'll say good a few more times just to prove the half million dollars spent on educating me were fully wasted. Cool cool. Anyway, here are my favorites!

Bear Town // This book is in my top 5 books of all time list.  I read it in one (highly unadvisable) sitting, including a two hour bus ride, the walk home from the bus, while making dinner and ended at 2 am.  Fredrik Bachman is an extraordinary author, and this relatively simple story is masterfully done.  The characters were perfect, the conflicts aching and the resolution perfectly imperfect. As a warning, sexual assault is a central part of the plot.

The Hate U Give // Required reading for anyone who interacts with teenagers. Star, the main character, is a young black woman who witnesses police violence against her black friend. She is also one of very few students of color at a predominantly white school far outside of her neighborhood. I found her an enormously compelling character, and felt like I learned so much about being black in America from her.

The Lost City of the Monkey God // This one is definitely not for everyone, but I gobbled it up.  It's nonfiction, and looks at a group of researchers and journalists who travelled to a remote area of Honduras to track down a hidden city.  Basically, real life Road to El Dorado. I found the entire expedition fascinating, and loved all the gory details.  If archaeology/history/anthropology are interests of yours, I highly recommend.

This is How It Always Is // I usually read synopses before starting books, but skipped it with this one.  At first, I was underwhelmed, thinking it was just another family drama book.  And then it was 7 hours later and I was still reading and didn't want to stop.  I found the family at the center of this book incredibly real and true, and loved how they addressed the central conflict with one of their kids.  It is especially appropriate in this social climate, but think anyone would fall in love with this family and book.

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