Nafiza’s Favourite Books of the Year 2017: An Immensely Long Post of Bibliophilic Abandon

I have read 246 books this year though that number might go up by one or two before the year is out. To some people, this number is insanely large but to me, it’s actually the fewest books i have read in 4 or 5 years. I cannot choose 10 books out of 246 so you are going to get a list of books I particularly enjoyed this year.

Please note that while I read all these books in 2017, not all of them were 2017 releases.

For everyone’s sake, I have divided the following by genre. You are welcome.

Picturebooks

  1. Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved et al is a beautiful picturebook narrative about a family yielding their grandparent to Death.
  2. After the Fall by Dan Santat.
    Written to help a loved one cope with anxiety, After the Fall exemplifies the important ways in which children’s literature remains relevant no matter how old the reader.
  3. How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder
    The art and the story both clutch at your heartstrings in this one.

Graphic Novels

  1. Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection collected by Hope Nicholson
    This anthology is a treasure, showcasing various artists and their skills in both art and storytelling.
  2. Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
    Chmakova’s stories are always just so heartwarming. She manages to be inclusive and diverse without making it feel like she’s only doing it to earn brownie points. Her stories feel like authentic slices of a middle-schooler’s life.
  3. Cheese in the Trap by Soonki
    This is a translated webtoon available for free on Line. It has been adapted to a Korean drama which we shall not speak about. I find the characters and motivations extremely interesting. We get so few books dealing with the university experience and this one deals with it almost entirely.
  4. Sarah’s Scribbles by Sarah Anderson
    This vignette-type comics that illustrate the comics lifestyle and thoughts will have many empathizing, relating, and, above all, chuckling.

 

YA Novels

  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
    I was struggling with the vision of my WIP when I read this book and the bold way in which it forged ahead in a landscape dotted with conventional stories inspired me. Also, this is a bloody wonderful tale that both thrills and touches the reader.
  2. The Island by Alison Croggon
    Okay so this is a short story but you all know how much I love the Pellinor series. The chance to see Maerad again was utterly brilliant.
  3. Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali
    This was an amazing book and in light of all that’s happening, a much needed one.
  4. Sacrifice – Cindy Pon
    This is how duologies should end. Seriously. It hurt but oh it hurt good.
  5. Want by Cindy Pon
    I mean, it’s Cindy.
  6. Rebel Seoul – Axie Oh
    All my Kdrama needs answered. With fighting robots as an extra.
  7. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao
    Beautifully written with an anti-heroine that you can’t help but cheer for.
  8. Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott
    This book gave me Charlie Kim, hands down my fave fictional character of 2017.
  9. The Changeover – Margaret Mahy
    This book is so gorgeous it almost hurts to read.
  10. The Six of Crows duology – Leigh Bardugo
    My fave YA of the year. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Wylan, heck even Matthias.
  11. The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
    Obviously I had to read this.
  12. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
    Technically this comes out next year and should be in next year’s wrap up BUT OMG, THIS WAS BLOODY BRILLIANT AND I LOVE IT.

Adult Fantasy Novels

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden
    This book straddles a lot of genre fences. For instance, it can easily be called YA because the character is in her teens. It can also be called literary because the writing paints it such. I call it a beautiful book because it is. I can’t wait for the sequel to be in my hands.
  2. The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman
    This is the sequel to The Devil’s Left Hand and goodness, it is as fascinating as the first installment in what I believe is a trilogy though it could very well be a series. Anyway, I am not entirely sure how PC it is or how appropriative with First Nation cultures and stories. I hope it isn’t because I am seriously enjoying it.
  3. Cast in Flight by Michelle Sagara
    This is the 12th Elantra book and you guys, I have been reading this series for a long time. Some of the books I disliked because the story pace is so entirely slow and nothing of note actually happens though adventures are being had.
  4. Brother’s Ruin – Emma Newman
    This is actually a novella and is such a fun one. I wish I could read the entire series at once–that’s how much I liked the first one.
  5. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
    I didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did. I hope there is a sequel in the near future.
  6. The Invisible Library #1-3 – Genevieve Cogman
    A. Lot. Of. Fun. Especially if you love dragons and libraries.
  7. The Bloodprint – Ausma Zehanat Khan
    I’m so anxious about Arian and Daniyar. O.O
  8. City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
    Nahri and Dara. I’M ANXIOUS ABOUT THEM TOO.

Literary Novels

  1. A Curious Land by Susan Muaddi Darraj
    This collection of interlinked short stories was so beautifully written and imagined that it often left me in tears. The collection taught me a great deal about character building and the relationships between them.
  2. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
    Okay so I don’t often read literary novels but this one was so beautifully and whimsically written that all I needed was to glance at the first few pages before I fell hard for the prose. I’m not sure it held up all the way to the end but oh the writing in this is beautiful.
  3. Chemistry – Weike Wang
    This book is like talking to an old friend and sometimes we all need to have those conversations.

Translated Fiction

  1. Touch by Adania Shibli
    This is a book you have to experience for yourself. You can’t capture this experience in words without reducing the beauty of it.
  2. The Seventh Day by Yu Hua
    This book, you guys, made me think so hard. It sparked a chord in me. About the relationships between a child and their parent whether forged by blood or circumstance.
  3. Men Without Women – Haruki Murakami
    I usually read two Murakami novels/year in order to pace myself. I was lucky that this was released this year and I managed to snag a review copy. Murakami’s short stories are often stronger (and less repetitive) than his novels. This was masterful.
  4. One Hundred Shadows – Hwang Jungeun
    This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea being rather abstract in ambiguous in both premise and execution but it worked brilliant for me.
  5. The Cloven Viscount – Italo Calvino
    This book made me appreciate how wonderful Calvino is.

Middlegrade Novels

  1. The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
    This was fantastic and I am not just saying this because Karuna is my friend. It really is a marvelous piece of literature, spilling over with adventure.
  2. Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
    I have read only the first three of the series but I really enjoyed them. Valente’s imagination and wit are out of this world.
  3. The Way to Bea – Kat Yeh
    I ADORED THIS BOOK.
  4. Akata Warrior – Nnedi Okorafor
    Even better than Akata Witch tbh.
  5. The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove
    This was, almost impossibly, even better the second time around.

Translated Non-Fiction

  1. Underground – Haruki Murakami
    This collection of interviews of both the perpetrators and victims of the underground attacks is fascinating and reveals how one event can be remembered in so many different ways by so many different people.
  2. Frantumaglia – Elena Ferrante
    This was electrifying and though I do not always agree with what Ferrante says, no one can deny the importance of this volume–especially in the way it reveals the inner thoughts of the writer.

Non-Fiction

  1. Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones
    So you all should know by now that Janet is a huge DWJ fan and her adoration of the author has rubbed off on me. This volume contains essays on Jones’s writing process and her opinions on what writing and the organization of literary work into genres etc. I recommend all aspiring writers to give this one a try.
  2. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit
    Honestly, the title says it all.
  3. Trust No Aunty – Maria Qamar
    Just read this–especially if you have a desi background.
  4. The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit
    Better than Men Explain Things To Me honestly.

Poetry

  1. My Name on his Tongue by Laila Halaby
    This was the second time I read it and oh my gosh, it was just as beautiful if not even more so.
  2. Salt – Nayyirah Waheed
    This was even more brilliant on the second read.

Adult Genre Fiction

  1. Lady Sherlock by Sherry Thomas
    Thomas reimagines Sherlock Holmes and Watson in such interesting ways. Her Sherlock is electrifying in her boldness: complex, layered, and mystifying. I loved this series tremendously.

 

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