Best Books,  Random

10 Best Books of 2017 #ReadWomen

The time has come! While we wonder about where 2017 has gone, what we did, what we didn’t, time flies, and all those terrifying thoughts on how quickly time goes by, it is time to choose the best 10 books that I have read in 2017. As I usually combine new releases with backlists, some of this books were actually published in 2017, but some others were not.

This post is also the perfect time to remind myself that reading is something that I mainly do for pleasure – though I am lucky enough for it to be a big part of my job too – so there should be no pressure there. I have never challenged myself to read a certain number of books, because just the thought of having to meet that goal/deadline takes away from the joy of reading. I read for pleasure and I read whenever I can and want. Some days I find no time for reading, others I can spend 4 hours in bed devouring a book, and both are fine. This is life. Having said this, I do make reading a priority in my life and I am never ‘between reads’. This is how things work for me, and it may work very differently for each of you, but as I read about best books and reading goals for the new year I find it necessary to remember that reading is a source of joy 🙂

So, here they are in no particular order: The best books of 2017!

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus


Why? A book on love, feminism and postmodernity.

Nasty Women (Various Authors)


Why? A diverse collection of essays by an indie press about what it means to be a woman in the Trump+Brexit era

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud


Why? An accurate portrayal of the expectations that come from being a woman and the anger that we are not taught to overtly express.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins


Why? A very English crime novel with a feminist take on legacy and knowledge.

Quieter than Killing (Marie Rome #4) by Sarah Hilary


Why? Probably the best novel in the series. Hilary never fails to deliver an exciting and page-turner procedural.

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Mina Kansadamy

When I Hit You

Why? A very much-needed discussion on how the left still has a lot of work to do regarding women’s issues, feminism and specifically, domestic violence.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty


Why? The perfect domestic noir novel. There is something very special about Moriarty’s writing that makes it complex yet easy to read.

A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward


Why? Another perfect English procedural with an interesting premise: What if a man you thought dead actually shows up dead 12 years afterwards?

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler


Why? A coming of age story about food, sex and love set in New York. Need I say more?

How to be Both by Ali Smith


Why? A fictional dissertation on loss. My first Ali Smith and definitely not the last. The first book I borrowed from Bristol Public Libraries.




    • Elena

      It seems that we have a very similar taste when it comes to contemporary women’s fiction and I love it! Did you just enjoy The Woman Upstairs, or are you a Claire Messud fan? I’m very curious about her latest book.

      • A Life in Books

        I haven’t enjoyed everything I’ve read of hers – I was impressed by The Emperor’s Children but not so much by When the World Was Steady. Looking forward to The Burning Girl, though.

  • Café Society

    You remind that The Woman Upstairs is still on the shelf waiting to be read. If you enjoyed the Sarah Hilary and Sarah Ward (as did I) I have just read a first novel being published in February, The Missing Child, by an author called Alison James. It’s the start of a police procedural series and for a first novel I think very good and worth looking out for.

    • Elena

      Oh thank you very much for the rec! I’ll check Alison James right now. I do hope you enjoy The Woman Upstairs. I have lent it to some friends and either you love it or you hate it.

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