Marie’s Favorites of 2017

Here we are, nearly at the end of another year of reading, and it’s time to tally up the favorites!

Below please find my list of my favorite books of the past year.  These aren’t necessarily books published in 2017, just ones I read this year.  If I wrote a blog post for a title, I linked to it.  If I didn’t, I linked to the Goodreads page.

It’s been a pretty good year, as far as books go.  I found a couple of new favorite authors (Amy Stewart and Karen Maitland) and re-visited some old pals (like Ottessa Moshfegh).  I ended up enjoying quite a bit of weird/fantastic fiction, which isn’t usually my thing.  Nice to get out of the old comfort zone!

I suppose it’s a little pessimistic to say I’m not going to find another favorite book in the next three weeks, but I don’t think it’ll happen.  Unless my current reads really take a turn and deliver something extraordinary, I think I’ll leave it here.

Marie’s Favorite Reads of 2017:

The Hike by Drew Magary

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions by David Quammen

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller

When the English Fall by David Williams

Slade House by David Mitchell

Enjoy the last few reading weeks of 2017!  I hope you found lots of new favorites this year, too!

–Marie

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Marie’s Reading: “The Hike” by Drew Magary

the-hikeBen is on a business trip in the Poconos, and he decides to go for a quick hike behind the inn where he’s staying.  That quick hike turns weird fast when Ben suddenly finds himself lost and alone, on a path he can’t stray from under penalty of death.  In this bizarre world there are giants, twin moons, an old lady in a lonely cottage, monsters, and a foul-mouthed crab named Crab.  Ben’s only goal is to stay alive and get home to his family.

It sounds trippy because it is.  But just roll with it!

The set-up is that of a fairy tale quest: Ben has to stay on his path and overcome obstacles in order to get back to his own world and family.  The tone and atmosphere are like a Twilight Zone episode (right down to the ending!), with its eerie weirdness and sense of danger.

It’s a fast-paced adventure with plenty of humor, but there’s also a poignancy to the quest.  Ben is a wonderful Everyman character, and it’s very easy to identify with him.  What parts of your life would you most like to have another chance at?  And how would you go about facing down your deepest fears?  And, most of all, how much would you be able to endure in order to stay on your path?  I imagine this book is one you would probably read very differently at different stages of your life.  Kind of like Gulliver’s Travels or Alice in Wonderland, or even The Odyssey.

The Hike is all about conquering your demons and following your path, whatever those might be.  It’s fun, hilarious, and touching.  And very, very weird.

–Marie