This year has been a great reading year for me. I started out 2017 wanting to read more diversely, and I’ve mostly met that challenge. I’ve read a variety of genres I normally wouldn’t have explored, like graphic novels and short story collections, discovered new authors I’ve grown to love, like Tessa Dare and Alisha Rai, and read books that focused on the experiences of people of colour and people who identify as LGBTQIA+ which taught me more about how to be a respectful person in the world.
If you want to quantify it, out of the 120 books I read this year, 16.6% were either by diverse authors, told the story of diverse characters, or both. While that’s better than the 7.8% diversity of authors noted by The Ripped Bodice’s 2016 State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Survey, it’s still not great. My goal for next year is to have my year-end reading total reflect 50% diversity in my reading.
So, without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order, of the 17 best books I read in 2017.
- Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdarsky
- Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang
- The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (yes, I know this is a series of 3 books, but I couldn’t just pick one!)
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
- When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
- When Dimple Met Rishi by SandhyaMenon
- Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
- Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
- Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
- Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole
- Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Scary Old Sex by Arlene Heyman
Honourable mentions: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Both of these are re-reads, but I read them both this past summer and loved how more involved and invested I felt in the stories and their messages compared to when I first read them both in high school.
I’d love to hear about your favourite books this year! What authors did you discover? What genres? Any DNF’s? Let me know in the comments!