favorite books of 2017!

December 27, 2017

Here’s my top 10 for the year — plus 2 honorable mentions!  I have to give major credit to Anne Bogel, who has provided me with a very high number of book recommendations over the past year — including my favorite which she recommended personally to me via the podcast — Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is.  

page 1 (of 2) of my reading log for the year – 
I am not a prolific reader by any stretch but I think at least I chose well this year!


Small Great Things, Jodi Piccoult
great subject matter.  Read it for book club and it was a great club read!

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
beautiful, eye-opening, emotional read.  

Rich People Problems, Kevin Kwan
pure candy.  I loved this whole trilogy and can’t wait for the movie!

The Course of Love, Alain de Botton
very interesting fiction/philosophical combo exploring a
marriage AFTER the romantic in-love phase

Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
perfect quiet 2 am read

This Is How It Always Is, Laurie Frankel
favorite book of the year, tackling a complex subject with grace, humor, and love


Deep Work, Cal Newport
still trying to cultivate my deep work muscles over here, but an interesting and inspiring read

Drop the Ball, Tiffany Dufu
so many great ideas and a powerful female voice

Year of Living Danishly, Helen Russell
loved learning about life in a country so different from ours!  Josh and I both enjoyed this.

How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, Jancee Dunn
I don’t, for the record, but I liked the tone and many of the ideas in this book.


Bored and Brilliant, Manoush Zomorodi
the book didn’t have much new content for me as an avid Note to Self listener,
but I love her and the overall idea!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman 
very quick and escapist read — some darkness mixed with light, which I always like

Any overlaps with me?  Or recommendations (for 2018!) based on this list?  


  • Reply Heather March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    We were on the same wavelength this year (probably due to Anne Bogel)! Americanah is one of my ultimate favorite books, and I also enjoyed Small Great Things, The Course of Love, Crossing to Safety, and This Is How It Always Is this year. And loveee the Crazy Rich Asians series!

    I haven’t read many of your non-fiction choices, but I found the Year of Living Danishly to be a bit long and plodding. Certainly eye-opening but I thought it could’ve been consolidated.

    Since we seem to like similar things, I’ll recommend The Mothers, Rebecca (hadn’t ever read this and LOVED it), Standard Deviation, Bear Town, Mr. Rochester, Pachinko (probably my favorite book of the year), and Shoe Dog. I also went on a Dani Shapiro kick and read everything she’s written…particularly loved Devotion.

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I also LOVED Americanah. Small great things and this is how it always is were two of my favorites of 2017. For fiction, I would second the Mothers by Brit Bennett—really great especially for a first novel. A few others you might like from this year, I think—Little Fires Everywhere, Lucky Boy, and Class by Lucinda Rosenfeld.

  • Reply Sarah March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Purple Hibiscus and That Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi. Purple Hibiscus is a gorgeous novel; That Thing Around Your Neck is an incredible collection of short stories, perfect length to get through one before crashing in bed.

  • Reply Zenmoo March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I just read Crazy Rich Asians (it was my Boxing Day holiday read & just perfect for the purpose). Plus I just spent a week on holiday in Singapore & have visited a lot so it felt very familiar & oddly cozy to read. Currently reading the 2nd in the trilogy & I”ve got a hold on Rich People Problems.

    I also just read Deep Work. I”m trying to figure out how to balance both the deep and shallow parts of my job at the moment. I”ve been REALLY struggling to balance constant demands to do “stuff” against the need to do strategic thinking (which I am good at) – I don”t cope well with an open plan office & constant interruptions and lots of urgent (but probably not that important) work…

    I have enjoyed two very different police procedural series as audio books this year – Ben Aaronovitch”s magical world in Rivers of London & sequels and the Belfast Troubles/ Detective Sean Duffy series by Adrian McKinty. Both have excellent narrators and a very exact sense of place.

    I also enjoyed Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, which I read all the way back in January

  • Reply Cate March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I LOVED this is how it always is and small great things- definitely my 2 favorites this year! Other than those, I didn’t read much that I loved- will check out the rest of these though!

  • Reply Danielle March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Hey, kudos to you! That’s an impressive list, especially considering how busy you are. I work at a library…….and I did not manage to read that much this year!

  • Reply Lily March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve added a bunch of these to my ‘to read’ list – which is sprawled across three places at the moment so next week’s to do is to consolidate and revise, and get a membership to my local library! I’m also having a mild freakout at how things will go with my new smaller Hobonichi – but I do LOVE how cute it is and how much lighter my bag is. I was already thinking about it but took the plunge after you posted about the extra ‘weekly calendar’ book – a weekly view, starting on Monday, column format is absolutely essential for me and so I had always thought the Hobonichi original wasn”t an option. With the extra weekly book I have everything I need AND I can even fit the weekly book neatly into my (oversized) wallet so I always have my schedule with me. I got the avec version and kept my cousin cover so if I can”t cope with the smaller pages I can always swap back mid year. I guess I will just have to try to write neatly! I”m looking forward to seeing how you use yours – and also how your planner system adapts to your new life stage. I”m back to working full time after four years of juggling full-time study and part-time work, so it will be interesting to see if the Hobonichi still serves me in this new era.
    “Space” was my runner-up word of the year, and I may end up adopting it later in the year (I often have two depending on how the year turns out). My word of the year is “re-charge” – mostly focused on my energy levels after some burn-out in 2017, but also thinking about the next steps for boosting my career, and expanding or renewing friendships after some big life changes. Gotta love the promise of a year”s worth of blank planner pages 🙂

  • Reply Christine March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Americanah is my favorite book! So beautiful. A lot of the books you read sound great. By the way, I’ve read your blog for a while and I live on Miami Beach as well. Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm

      so cool Christine! we are mid-beach. if you ever run into us . . say hi 🙂

  • Reply Organising Queen March 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, I love best of lists 🙂

    Here is my list of best books of 2017

    And I recommend all of those obviously although I think you’ve read the one already.

    I did not like The Course of Love – some good quotable quotes – but that format really, really annoyed me!

    We read Small Great Things and Crazy Rich Asians for book club. I loved the first and the second was a 3/5 for me – pure movie book. We have said we’ll all go see it at the movies!
    This is how it always is is on my list for this year!

  • Reply jbdatko March 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Sarah, try Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore if you haven’t read it already. His new book, Sourdough is supposed to be equally good. Very Murakami like–you’d enjoy it and it’s a quick read. The Revenge of Analog is good too–it reminds me of your dad keeping all those recordings 🙂

    My full list is here:

    • Reply Erica March 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm

      Ooh I second Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore! I read it a few years ago before we went to san francisco (I love reading a book/books set in a city that I will be visiting). it was delightful!

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