Believe it or not, but there was a time when I wasn’t a huge reader. That’s not to say I didn’t love books. I did! I’ve been in love with the written word ever since I could read and write. As a little kid, my parents were told I was ‘too creative’ by one of my primary school teachers. What does that even mean?
But it wasn’t until I started working at Booktopia that I unleashed bookish Bron. Y’know, the one who is always obsessively thinking about books, talking about books and spending half her salary on books. Booktopia may as well just pay me in books.
ANYWAY, the point being, I’ve read a lot of books in the last 18 months. It’s hard not to. When you’re around book-obsessed people every day (and when it’s your job to know about all the books), it’s kind of hard not to catch the disease.
And, oh, what a good disease it is.
So, without further ado, here are 17 books I loved in 2017:
By Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Kick-ass characters defeating bad guys in space. Written in the form of letters, dossiers, video surveillance footage and IM chats, this series grabbed me from the get-go.
I’d recommend something similar to those watching Game of Thrones… don’t get attached to characters. Jay and Amie have a way of breaking your heart and making you terrified to turn the page.
2. Pig the Elf
By Aaron Blabey
Pig is my spirit animal. Not that I’m a delinquent, or anything, it’s just he’s such a naughty, naught pug.
Christmas has arrived and Pig lovesssss presents. He’s greedy, he’s adorable (in my opinion, anyway) and he looks rad in a Santa hat.
Author Aaron Blabey is also just an amazing human being. We are big fans at Booktopia.
3. The Kingdom of the Lost series
By Isobelle Carmody
This series enchanted me right the way from book one to book three. That’s not to say the story is over… and thank goodness for that! Isobelle Carmody is a genius, weaving important topics into a blissfully adorable and adventurous story.
The illustrations, done by the author herself, are beautiful and thought-provoking. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a series just for kids.
4. The Sleeper and the Spindle
By Neil Gaiman
What a twist! To this well-known fairy tale, I mean. Neil Gaiman is everything you want in an author: his mind is incredibly creative and he’s not afraid to tackle scary or heavy topics.
This is a gorgeous book. I mean, mind-blowing illustrations by Chris Riddell (a familiar name, yes?) and the story had me chuckling throughout.
5. Lost Boy
By Christina Henry
You guys don’t know me that well yet. So let me just say this now: I LOVE PETER PAN. It is my all-time favourite childhood story. Most people haven’t read the original book and I beg that you all go read it now.
J.M. Barrie… what a guy. And since his invention of this very strange character, there have been amazing adaptations, Christina Henry’s being one. Lost Boy was not what I expected. That ending. Did not see it coming and WOWZA.
By Garth Nix
Think Princess Bride meets Ella Enchanted – only better. Frogkisser! is everything you want in fairy tale. Garth Nix is essentially mocking the genre, but he means to do so with complete love and adoration for it.
Princess Anya is on a mission to turn poor Prince Denholm (*ribbet*) back into a man again. But he’s not her one true love, no, no. Prince Denholm has been courting Princess Anya’s sister. She’s just the only one competent enough to get sh*t done. Hilarity ensues.
7. Strange the Dreamer
By Laini Taylor
Before this book, I was a Laini Taylor virgin. And what a wild ride my first time was! Strange the Dreamer is in a whole other world of writing.
This is a story of star-crossed lovers, of split worlds divided by hatred and fear, a story of a boy becoming a legend.
And that ending? *falls over*
8. A Necessary Evil
By Abir Mukherjee
Gosh I loved this book! Before Booktopia, I never read crime. What was I doing with my life?! A Necessary Evil is a must. Abir Mukherjee reached through the pages of his book, ripped me out of my comparatively dull life and thrust me into this exotic, wild, unfamiliar, dangerous world.
I swear, months on and I can still smell it, feel it, fear it. Please, read this book.
9. Bitter Greens
By Kate Forsyth
I had a lot of reading firsts in 2017 and since Kate Forsyth is one of Australia’s most beloved authors, I knew I just had to delve into a world of her creation.
This is Rapunzel like you’ve never seen before. Three women, three lives, three stories… all woven together into this alluring, disturbing, heartbreaking novel.
10. The Dry
By Jane Harper
It’s hard to avoid a book like The Dry when you work in an industry devoted to marketing the bestsellers, because that’s what Jane Harper’s debut novel remains to this day: a bestseller.
Jane Harper writes as if she were there, as if this was her story. This, too, is a novel that will rip you into its pages. You will walk alongside Aaron Falk as he fights to come to terms with his past while solving a gritty and heartbreaking murder.
11. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
By Michael Morpurgo
Here’s another thing you don’t know about me yet: I’m obsessed with the Arthurian Legend. Anything King Arthur, Knights of the Round Table, Merlin… I’m there! Heck, we have a meeting room at work dubbed ‘Camelot’ and, therefore, it is my favourite.
I love this story. Sir Gawain, one of Arthur’s noble knights, is tricked – and then challenged – by a very large and very formidable green knight. What happens, well… you’ll just have to find out.
By Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff shot to the top of my favourite author’s list the moment I read Nevernight, the first in this series. You weren’t there when I received an advanced reading copy of Godsgrave from Harper Collins, but I was. Let me put it this way: I was a tad excited.
Mia Corvere is an assassin with a tendency of getting herself into tight situations and sexual encounters. Need I say more?
13. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone
By Jaclyn Moriarty
I will never again underestimate the joy of reading children’s books, not since this delight of a read!
I want this book to be made into a movie. I want people to sing songs about it. It’s kind of like A Series of Unfortunate Events, only happier.
And, as the title suggests, things get a little inconvenient.
14. All Our Wrong Todays
By Elan Mastai
TIME TRAVEL! Something always goes wrong, dammit! You’d think people would have learnt by now. Tom is torn between two worlds: one that is better for Tom and one that is better for everyone else, it seems. But which world will Tom save?
That’s right. His choice will wipe one of these world from existence. No pressure, right?
This is a great pick for book club!
15. Fifty Fifty
By James Patterson and Candice Fox
First off, I just have to say that Candice Fox is an absolute legend. From the moment I met her, I felt like she was my oldest friend. She’s hilarious, kind, inventive and intelligent.
And she channels all that into her novels. Fifty Fifty was one of my favourite reads of the year. Fast-paced, witty and nerve-wrecking, you’ll want to jump on the bandwagon. This series is a must!
16. Station Eleven
By Emily St. John Mandel
This book… *exhales dramatically*… got under my skin. In most post-apocalyptic stories, there’s explosions and mayhem and wars and intense love triangles. There ain’t nothing wrong with that. But what Emily St. John Mandel did was just so much better.
It’s a story about what happens to humanity after we’ve lost everything known to us. It’s about the little things. It’s about the everyday people. It’s about life.
A-grade book club material right here.
17. I Can’t Make This Up
By Kevin Hart
I’m smiling just thinking about this book. Kevin Hart, for those of you who don’t know, is truly epic. Now I listened to this book on audio and Mr Kevin Hart himself narrates. SOLD. He is incredible entertaining and it was so great to get ‘life lessons’ from every f*ck up, every achievement, every heartbreak and every life-altering moment Kevin has ever had.
Listen to it, read it… I don’t care which: just do it.
That’s all folks! Hope you’ve been inspired by my favourite reads from 2017. Don’t do what I did and wait – get stuck in now!