Books are fun, aren’t they? Reading them and that, turning the pages, holding them, putting bookmarks in them, having them on a shelf - love the books, me. I mean, only joking of course - I prefer watching television, but the odd book now and again can’t really hurt. And people seem to like them - did you know that up until the end of October 2017, Kindle customers around the world read more than 91 million pages from Amazon’s top 10 books? Books are good for you, I think.
But which are the most good for you? Well, Amazon’s team of editors have tried to find out, by releasing a rather comprehensive list of the 100 greatest books of 2017.
Sarah Harrison Smith, Editorial Director of Books and Kindle at Amazon.com, said of the eventual (non-fiction, interestingly) winner:
“In a year when there were many strong contenders for Best of the Year, David Grann’s book offered readers something exceptional.
Killers of the Flower Moon tells the largely unknown true story of big oil and serial murder in Osage County, Oklahoma, in the 1920s. It’s meticulously researched and shines an important light on what is at once an unsurprising and yet unbelievable chapter in American history.”
Have not read. Will wait for movie.
Obviously, I’m not going to list the entire top 100, as we’ve all got things to do, people to see, but here’s the rest of the top ten for your pleasure:
2. Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel by Celeste Ng
Amazon synopsis: From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
3. Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
Amazon synopsis: Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
4. Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid
Amazon synopsis: In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through…
5. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Amazon synopsis: Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.
6. Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders
Amazon synopsis: February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
7. The Heart’s Invisible Furies: A Novel by John Boyne
Amazon synopsis: In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.
8. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
Amazon synopsis: A stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive. An unflinching and unforgettable remembrance, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a powerful, deeply felt account of a complicated relationship.
9. Sourdough: A Novel by Robin Sloan
Amazon synopsis: Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her―feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.
When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?
10. The Dry: A Novel by Jane Harper
Amazon synopsis: Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.
Go on then, how many you read? If it’s some, well done; if it’s all of them, well done, nerd; and if it’s none of them, sort yourself out.
You can read the full list of 100 books here, if you want. Enjoy.