Book Reviews

2017 Books Of Awesome

After quite a few nights/days spent rocking a sleeping baby and reading a book, I thought I’d also rock my to-read list this year.


Turns out, sleeping newborns turn into not-sleeping infants turn into crawling, interested-in-what-you’re-reading babies. And if they’re not trying to pry the book from your hands, then you’re trying to pry the cat bowl from theirs.

In short, I quickly realized I wasn’t going to read as much as I’d like. While humbling, this was also freeing. Since I have so much less free time between baby, dayjob, writing, and well, generally keeping the house from descending into cat hair chaos, I was much pickier about the books I read. And – surprisingly! – I ended up loving almost all of the books I read this year.

Also interesting how this list is much more solidly fantasy than previous years… hmmm…

Because I don’t have as much time as I used to, I’m going to cheat and use/expound upon the tweet thread I already made for my #2017InBooks. Sorry/not sorry.

So here are (almost!) all those books, in no particular order, for you & for posterity & for a better year-in-review than I can ever do, in 140 (280?!) characters or less:

    • A Darker Shade of Magic* by V.E. Schwab – Fun! You’ve probably read this! I was late to the game but I can see what everyone was talking about. Pirates, magic, doom & gloom & good gay times. Honestly, the whole Shades of Magic series.
    • Hellspark by Janet Kagan – linguistic sci-fi will always always be my jam. What is sentience? What is language? Why is that spider-thing crawling up my leg?
    • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – timely YA insta-classic take on police brutality that pulls NO punches. We’ve got racism, riots, and class tensions with subtlety and nuance in >80k words.
    • The Nightmare Stacks* by Charles Stross – because Stross’ Laundry Files will always be my curl-up-with-hot-cocoa-and-Lovecraftian-nightmares series.
    • The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden – Demigods! South Africa! Robot revolts! Dik diks! Positive trans potrayal! Wholesale destruction! Need I say more?
    • Amberlough* by Lara Elena Donnelly – dear god I’m still having dreams about this book. Disturbing. Delightful. So gay. Do you like spy thrillers and cabaret and too-parallel politics? Then yes.
    • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – Stone magic meets astronomy with apocalyptic adventure and a mother-daughter relationship that friggin shattered me. This whole series is definitely core SFF canon now, by the way.
    • Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer – I honestly still don’t know what to think about the Ignota Terra series except that it’s a) full of intense worldbuilding and b) not even slightly what I expected. Did I mention it’s intense? It’s… intense. But rewarding.
    • Winter Tide* by Ruthanna Emrys – You got some social commentary in my Lovecraftian horror and I like it.
    • The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis – Airships! Explosions! Adventure! Snarky fops! No central romantic plot!! Honestly just a lot of fun and a great way to end the year.

* – Consumed in audiobook form.

2 thoughts on “2017 Books Of Awesome”

  1. I have never felt such kinship with another person’s experience as I did with this line: “And if they’re not trying to pry the book from your hands, then you’re trying to pry the cat bowl from theirs.”


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