This post was originally published on Medium
Of the 110 books I read in 2017 (87% fiction, 13% non-fiction) I am particularly proud that after committing to reading more diverse works at the end of 2016, I read more works by women (73%) than men (27%) and that the authors I read represented 23 different countries and a more diverse spread of ethnicities, though the majority did remain white Americans.
All this to say, I read a lot, I read widely and I read some really great books, the best of which I’ve listed below in a style borrowed from the incredible Roxanne Gay’s own 2017 book list. The books are in no particular order, but every single one of them stood out for me and I hope they inspire your own reading in this new year.
- The book I haven’t stopped thinking about: “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis
- The hilarious, slightly (and delightfully) sacrilegious memories about growing up when your dad is a practicing Catholic priest: “Priestdaddy”by Patricia Lockwood
- The novel where I stopped to highlight every other passage because of how lyrical and transcendentally beautiful the prose was: “Pond” by Claire Lousie-Bennett
- The most interesting, thought-provoking short story collection I’ve read in years where every tale was a complete experience that managed to linger once you’d finished it: “Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang
- The story of a family that expertly captures the spirit of a specific people while grappling with essential human questions: “LaRose”by Louise Erdich
- The work of fiction which manages to be one of the most crucial accounts about a nation we discuss but in many ways, still do not understand: “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson
- The satisfying second installment in the amazing Terra Ignota speculative fiction series I recommend to everyone, genre fans and others alike: “Seven Surrenders” by Ada Palmer
- The quirky, charming story that captured the spirit of New York City’s characters and cultures and made me realize how much I really do love living in the city: “Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk” by Kathleen Rooney
- The novel that uses magical realism to present a nuanced and compelling view of the modern migration crisis: “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid
- The YA novel that was only tangentially related to my background, but which still managed to transport me back to my childhood in the Middle East and resonate with my experience of living in the US as a foreigner: “A Map of Home” by Randa Jarrar