I thought it would be fun since seeing lots of lists and youtube videos to list some of my top 10 things of 2017. I am going to start with books, but I might do games and other things as well.
10. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This has been on my list for awhile, and I even already owned the audiobook but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. When Ng’s second book came out this year and got accolades, I decided to read the first. This book starts with the death of one of the main characters, Lydia, and then flashes back and forward to follow the experiences of the other characters in her family as they interact with and mourn the loss of Lydia.
9. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
I first heard of Lindy West on This American Life, and I remembered she wrote this book when my friend Amanda read it this year. West is sharp, funny, and insightful. Her experiences dealing with trolls, gender and comedy, and fatness are inspirational and empowering for me. West narrated her own book, and she did an excellent job.
8. The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey
The prequel to the Girl with all the Gifts, which I am teaching this year in Beyond Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a post-apocalyptic world with child zombies, but it doesn’t read like a typical zombie novel. I enjoyed this second book, and I’m looking forward to reading a third.
7. Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G Willow Wilson
I finally got around to reading this novel that’s been on my shelf since Christmas 2015. I really enjoyed it, and it inspired me to ask for the rest of the volumes for Christmas this year. I now have 7 more volumes to read! This is a reboot of the comic with a Muslim-American girl as the main character.
6. The Nix by Nathan Hill
This book was my tome for the summer. I listened to it primarily while moving and unpacking over the summer. The story follows quite a few characters whose lives intersect in interesting ways. The main character is an English professor. One thing I loved about the writing in this book is the way the author writes in third person but really captures the internal motivations of so many different characters.
5. Beartown by Fredrick Backman
Recommended from my friend Beth, I decided to read this one. I was particularly interested because the story is about hockey and the rape of a teenager in a small town. I enjoyed how complexly represented these events were.
4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Lots of hype and accolades for this one, and it’s about Black Lives Matter issues, so I decided to read this book. It’s a young adult novel that follows an African American teenager who witnesses the police shooting of her friend. This book is pretty hardwrenching, and I cried quite a bit.
3. & 2. The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin
I started and ended the year with book 1 and 2 of this trilogy. I love these books. I read both on my kindle. Both of these books had me gasping out loud on airplanes and in public when I read some of the twists and turns. The basic premise is a post-apocalyptic world where medical experiments have turned convicted criminals into vampires, but there’s much more depth to this series than that. I’m sure I’ll read the third book in 2018.
1. Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay
It was difficult to decide, but this was truly my favorite book this year. Here’s my review from Goodreads: This is the first book of Roxane Gay’s that I’ve read, and I am absolutely hooked on her writing. Her memoir focuses on her experiences being raped at 12 years old and her weight gain and hunger that developed as a result of this trauma. Her writing style is matter-of-fact, raw, and bold. She writes about being black in small towns in the Midwest, about being fat in spaces designed for smaller bodies, and about living after being a victim of trauma (she says she prefers “victim” to “survivor”). Her writing about her experiences, both familiar and unfamiliar to me, brought me on an emotional tidalwave and gave me a new perspective on life, body, and hunger.
So I did a lot of great reading in 2017! For 2018, I am participating in the Reading Women challenge from the Reading Women podcast, which I am really excited about. So far, I am reading some really great books!