I live by the mantra that we should focus on the things we love instead of clogging our brains with negative feelings, so in this post I'm going to talk about some of the books I absolutely adored in 2017. I've divided them in four sections for easier reading: fiction, manga, audio books and non-fiction. Check them out!
📗 Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
I have to start with this book because it's been sitting at the back of my bookshelf long enough! I've had it for years, I even remember buying it from a vintage bookshop in London, but for some reason I never got to reading it, always getting distracted by newer, shinier things. This year, when I heard the movie will be coming out in the UK in November, I dug my vintage paperback from the back of the bookcase and started to read.
I was blown away by Aciman's prose. I loved every second of that book! Even if it broke my heart a little.
(The book is also mentioned in the audio book section because when I found out Armie Hammer was narrating the audio edition I had to get it!)
📗 The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Guys, this book!!!! It's so so good! One of the best written novels I've read in a while! It's funny, it's witty, it's emotional, it's action-packed.... It's everything a brilliant novel should be! If you haven't read it do yourself a favour and run to the nearest bookshop! You can thank me later.
📗 The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare
There's two books currently out of the trilogy, Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, with the third book scheduled for release towards the end of 2018.
I have to say, I'm a huge fan Of Clare's and I've read all her books, but this series is probably my favourite! I loved Lady Midnight, and I adored Lord of Shadows! I'm stupidly excited for the last book in the series, especially considering how LoS ended! If you're into fantasy/paranormal YA you can't go wrong with this series, or any of Cassandra Clare's books for that matter.
📗 Bonfires by Amy Lane
I put off reading this book for ages and I don't even know why. I love Amy Lane, the books I've read by her always make my heart ache, sometimes with fuzzy feels, but most of the time with not so fuzzy feels. (No, I'll never get over Beneath the Stain, don't talk to me about it.)
📗 The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
I don't often read holiday romance mainly because I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, and also because they tend to be a bit samey-ish after a while. But when I found out Roan Parrish has a holiday book out I jumped on it straight away! And, of course as always with Roan's writing, I was blown away! The Remaking of Corbin wale is a gentle, sensual book that grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go till the last page. Loved everything about it and can see myself rereading it every Christmas.
2017 was definitely the year of the manga and anime for me. I rediscovered my love for the genre and devoured everything I could get my hands on. So here are my top picks of 2017:
📙 Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
With the release of season 2 in 2017, the AoT fandom was jolted back to life! I've seen the first season ages ago when it was released (in 2013 I think) but I'd honestly lost hope of any more of the manga being animated. When season 2 was released I had to rewatch season 1 and fall in love with the characters all over again.
After that, I had to continue reading the manga and find out what was going on. It's an ongoing, torturous process, but AoT is hands down one of the best manga series out there.
📙 Black Butler by Yana Toboso
I got that manga on a whim, and to be honest it took me a while to get into it. But when I did I became completely obsessed! It's a fantastic series, undoubtedly very eccentric and, at times, mind-boggling, but brilliant nonetheless.
📙 Noragami by Adachitoka
My Gosh, I'm so in love with Yato I can die! Amazing manga series, the art is incredible but so is the story. Loved everything about it!
📚 Audio Books
📘 Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
I have to start with Call Me by Your name again because Armie Hammer's narration is incredible! His voice compliments Aciman's words like seas salt in caramel. The only way this book could have gotten any better is with a brilliant audio narration and that's exactly what happened!
📘 The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater has been a favourite author of mine for years. Her books are always entertaining, but with a touch of something else. She manages to find a twist in every story without being obvious about it.
I've wanted to read The Raven Cycle for ages, but when I started book one, The Raven Boys a few years ago when it came out, I couldn't get into it. So I put it aside and nearly forgot about it. But then the series because super popular and audio books were produced, and I had to have them.
The narration, by the awesome Will Patton, is spot on! He manages to inject just enough drama and intensity to suit the story without making it melodramatic. And his Ronan voice is just dreamy!
📘 Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I read the book ages ago but now with the movie coming out I wanted to reread because I remember I liked it a lot. I decided to get the audio because I've heard good things and I'm so glad I did! The narration by Michael Crouch is perfection and made me love the book even more!
📘 When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
Mr Greg Tremblay (who I met at Euro Con in Berlin this year and who is an amazing human being) did a fantastic job with this very difficult book. The book is dark and grim and very, very sad, but the narration made it bearable. I honestly don't think I'd have been able to keep on reading if it wasn't for his brilliant performance.
Don't get me wrong, the book is brilliant and I loved it, but I didn't enjoy it, if that makes any sense. I highly recommend it, but be warned that the story goes to some pretty dark corners of the human mind.
📘 Catch my Breath by M.J O'Shea
Catch My Breath is the exact opposite of When All the World Sleeps above. It's fluffy and cute and teeth-rotting sweet, but I loved every second of it. Tyler Stevens' fantastic narration has a lot to do with that positive experience. I definitely recommend the audio over the ebook/paperback, trust me on this!
📒 Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli
What a gorgeous book! The cover, the illustrations, the thought process that had gone behind the scenes... All of it is gorgeously done, making the book a must read for anyone, not just rebel girls.
📒 Literary London by Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison
I've lived in London for over 15 years and I still can't say I've seen everything this beautiful city has to offer. This book focuses on the literary sights in London, meaning the places where famous authors liked to hang out, lived or frequented. I've already bookmarked half the book, waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer so I can explore them without freezing. (I'm a summer person, don't judge me.) It's written with humour and holds many interesting facts about the sights and the authors themselves. Definitely recommend for any literary fan living in London or visiting for a few days.
📒 Being a Writer by Travis Elborough and Helen Gordon
This is an inspiring collection of essays from some of the most famous writers in the world about their struggles with their craft, their joys, as well as musings on how they even became to identify as writers. It's fascinating, really, to read that someone who has achieved world-wide fame and whose writing I admire has struggled with similar self-doubts and insecurities as I have, but has managed to overcome them and keep writing. Definitely recommend for anyone who aspires to be a writer.