Saturday 30 December 2017

My Top Books of 2017 . #AmReading #BookBlogger #TopBooks2017

Here we are again! The end of the year and another list. It doesn't seem like five minutes ago that I was compiling my list for last year. Once again, it's been an incredibly tough list to put together.

I've read around 160 books this year, and enjoyed almost all of them.  I don't tend to finish books that I'm not enjoying, and only feature books on Random Things if I've enjoyed them and would recommend them.  This makes things so much tougher for me when it comes to choosing my top books of the year though, but here goes.

I'm splitting my post into three. I'm going to start with some of the 2017 books that I read in 2016, I mentioned them last year and predicted that they would be huge, I think I was right.

The second part of my post is my list of Top Books of 2017; I tried so hard to get this down to twenty books, but failed, so there's a few more on there, but honestly, they are all great. I recommend each and every one of them.  For the first time ever, I've actually placed a Number One Book, something I usually don't do, but this book just captured my heart and as much as I loved the others on the this, this one is very special.

Finally, I'll give a mention to some 2018 publications that I've read early. All I can say is that if these are anything to go by, 2018 is going to be an awesome book year!

Thanks for continuing to support Random Things over the past twelve months, I hope you enjoy my choices and I look forward to bringing lots more recommendations over the next year.

2017 Books that I predicted would be huge ...

At the end of last year, I'd read these 2017 books pre-publication, and predicted that they would do well. I'm still recommending them, twelve months later.  (click on the title for my full review)

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land: Published by Penguin in hardback on 12 January 2017, and in paperback on 12 August 2017

Rattle by Fiona Cummins: Published by Pan Macmillan in hardback on 26 January 2017, and in paperback on 24 August 2017

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan: Published by Two Roads in hardback on 26 January 2017, and in paperback on 10 August 2017

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller: Published by Fig Tree in hardback on 26 January 2017, and in paperback on 9 January 2018

The Damselfly by SJI Holliday: Published by Black & White Publishing on 2 February 2017

The Two O Clock Boy by Mark Hill: Published by Sphere on 6 April 2017

My Top Reads of 2017

My Top Reads of the year are listed in order of reading. The list contains some favourite authors who pop up year after year, and also some debuts. I think it's a great list, with something for everyone. I heartily recommend all of these books.  (click on the title for my full review)

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary:  Published by Headline in hardback on 9 March 2017 and in paperback on 5 October.  Sarah Hilary's DI Marnie Rome series is one of my all-time favourite series and makes a welcome return to my Top Reads list."A complex story, with layers of reason and intertwined stories, yet it is absolutely compulsive. Once you start, you will find it very difficult to put down.
Sharp, ingenious, astonishingly good, crime fiction really doesn't get better than this."

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins: Published by Doubleday / Transworld in hardback on 2 May 2017 and in paperback on 3 May 2018. 
"So so dark, yet stylish and slick. Into The Water gripped me, twisted me and totally consumed me. Absorbing, moody and atmospheric. I loved it."

Watch Me and Trust Me by Angela Clarke: Both published by Avon Books; Watch Me on 12 January 2017 and Trust Me on 15 June 2017
"Angela Clarke is an absolutely cracking author, her writing grips, her plot lines are ingenious and her characters are fabulous."

What She Lost by Susan Elliot Wright: Published in paperback by Simon & Schuster on 9 March 2017.
"The human emotion is conveyed so precisely, this really is a wonderfully observed story. I loved it and would recommend it highly."

The American Girl by Rachael English: Published by Hachette Ireland in April 2017 and to be published in paperback on 4 January 2018
"The web of mystery is tantalisingly revealed, the characterisation is wonderful. Filled with sorrow, joy and tenderness and highly recommended by me."

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell: Published by Orenda Books on 15 June 2017 in paperback
"At times uncomfortable, often shocking, but always compelling.  Sarah Stovell is hugely talented, Exquisite is an absolute triumph."

You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood: Published by Michael Joseph in hardback on 4 May 2017, and in paperback on 19 April 2018
"You Don't Know Me is thrilling, daring and mesmeric. It is frightening, the author does not sugar-coat anything. The reader learns about the sordid and the cruel, alongside the dangers. It is a study in how young men can be influenced by those amongst them, about how easy it can be go from ordinary boy on the street to a man accused of murder."

Little Gold by Allie Rogers: Published by Legend Press in paperback on 2 May 2017
"I cannot recommend Little Gold highly enough. It really is a stunning first novel, full of love and beauty that masks darkness and pain. Incredibly accomplished. A truly fabulous story."

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo:Published by HQ in hardback on 18 May 2017, and in paperback on 27 March 2018 
"I have no doubt that The Light We Lost is going to be among my top reads of this year. It is a story that lingers in the mind, long after the final page is turned. It truly is quite beautiful."

Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin: Published by Honno Welsh Women's Press in paperback on 21 September 2017
"Snow Sisters is complex and nuanced. There is tragedy yet there is so much love. This is a book to wallow in and linger over.  Highly highly recommended."

At First Light by Vanessa Lafaye: Published by Orion in hardback on 1 June 2017, and in paperback on 16 November 2017
"At First Light is absolutely wonderfully written, it is seductive, heart-breaking and compassionate. At times is it almost unbearably moving, but it is always compelling."

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman: Published by Ebury in hardback on 29 June 2017, and in paperback on 3 May 2018
"The Summer of Impossible Things is magical and captivating. The characters are superbly drawn and the 1970s New York setting is beguiling and entrancing. The essence of love seeps from the pages, it truly is a wonderful story."

Tin Man by Sarah Winman: Published by Tinder Press in hardback on 27 July 2017, and in paperback on 22 March 2018
"Tin Man is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and as Ellis reveals his tragedy and then Michael relates his story, the sheer brilliance of this author's writing hits the reader. The skill and care taken in the creation of both the characters, and their story is outstanding, perceptive and quite frankly, stunning."

They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen: Published by Black Swan / Transworld in paperback on 13 July 2017 
"I was both absorbed and at times disturbed, but always always completely consumed. This is another amazing story from one of my favourite authors."

Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath: Published by HQ on 27 July 2017, and in paperback on 25 January 2018
"This is not just a dark and delicious thriller, it is a book that raises serious questions. It is a story that will make the reader think about that question: 'Do we get the children we deserve?'"

Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech: Published by Orenda Books on 30 September 2017
"This is superb writing; a story that will stay with me for a long time and is extraordinarily written and presented. There are moments of unexpected beauty from richly complicated characters. It really is quite spellbinding."

Together by Julie Cohen: Published by Orion in hardback on 13 July 2017, and in paperback on 5 April 2018
"Beautifully, cleverly written, this is an epic love story that is magnificently crafted. The emotion is raw and tender, the characters are tremendous and the sense of place in both Maine and England is perfectly done.
Compulsive and unmissable. Heart breaking and heart warming and very highly recommended from me."

The Winter's Child by Cassandra Parkin: Published in paperback by Legend Press on 15 September 2017
"With surprises and twists along the way, The Winter's Child is a book that will stay with me for a long time.  This is the author's best book to date, I adored it."

Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister: Published by Penguin as an ebook on 19 October 2017, and in paperback on 25 January 2018
"Anything You Do Say is bold and original, the writing is razor sharp and the plotting is tight. Incredibly clever, I loved it."

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst: Published by Headline in paperback on 16 November 2017.
"The Foster Child is deftly plotted and entirely believeable, it is meticulously crafted with a gradual unfolding leading to a jaw-dropping ending that delivers more than one shocking reveal."

Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul: Published by Headline in paperback on 2 November 2017 
"Another Woman's Husband is so powerful, a story to lose yourself in and one that I will remember for a long time. What a triumph!"

The Boy Made of Snow by Chloe Mayer: Published by W&N in hardback on 2 November 2017, and in paperback on 4 October 2018
"The Boy Made of Snow is an ambitious debut novel from an author who is obviously so very talented. I have no more words; it's brilliant and I recommended it highly. It's a marvel."

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir: Published by Orenda Books in paperback on 1 October 2017
"Snare is incredible. I loved every single page; the setting, the characters and the intricately woven plot. I am delighted that Lilja Sigurdardottir has two more books to come in this fabulous new series.
Has to be in the running for my Top Books of 2017 list. Outstanding. I loved it."

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp: Published by Orion as an ebook on 1 December 2017 and in paperback on 22 February 2018
"This is a book of secrets and reveals, of community and kindness. There's love, and betrayal, and discovery, it's a parcel of wonder that will delight the most cold-hearted of reader. It's warm, funny and shows the importance of finding a place that you belong in, and people that will love you."

And so, I come to my final choice; my favourite book of last year. This is the first time that I've ever singled out a single book in my favourites list.
There is just something about this book; the writing, the characters, the plot. It has stayed with me ever since I turned the last page. I've shouted about it, recommended it, bought copies for others. I love it and I really hope you will too

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall: Published by Bloomsbury in hardback on 15 June 2017 and in paperback on 28 June 2018

"A Thousand Paper Birds is so so intricate, so very perfectly balanced. There's a touch of magical realism that fits so smoothly into the story and the author handles the delicate subjects of death and grief so very well. Whilst some of the characters may be ethereal, their stories and feelings are human and authentic.

Tor Udall takes the process of grieving and handles it with delicacy and ease. These relationships are rich and crafted so very well.

A beautiful beautiful novel that should be savoured and treasured, and will be remembered for a long time. Stunning, Just stunning."

Books to look out for in 2018 ....

I've already made a start on the 2018 books, and if the ones that I've read already are anything to go by, we are in for another outstanding book year.
Here are a few tips; books that I think will be huge next year. (click on the title to read my full review)

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan: Published by Simon & Schuster on 11 January 2018

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor: Published by Michael Joseph on 11 January 2018

The Confession by Jo Spain: Published by Quercus on 25 January 2018

Need To Know by Karen Cleveland: Published by Bantam / Transworld on 25 January 2018

Lullaby by Leila Slimani: Published by Faber on 18 January 2018

Right! That's me done!  I've also read a few other 2018 titles, but they've not appeared here on Random Things yet, so there's plenty to look forward to - reviews are coming soon!

Thanks for continuing to visit Random Things, and read and support, it's much appreciated.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, with lots of books and smiles.


  1. Dear Anne, thank you so much for including Quieter Than Killing in this terrific list, and for all your recommendations and support for writers - and readers - in 2017. Here's a book-centric 2018!

    1. It's always a pleasure to be able to include you in my lists. Looking forward to the next one.
      Happy New Year x

  2. I totally agree! A Thousand Paper Birds captured my heart this year. Thank you for your recommendations, I always like your choices.

    1. Thanks so much Sally. I'm hoping that A Thousand Paper Birds does really well when it's released in paperback. Thanks for visiting x