In 2017, I read 88 books. Of that total, I rated 24 (27.3%) of them as "5 star" reads. Yes, I read a lot of very good books in 2017.
In looking at the list of my favorites, I was interested to see that 17 of them (slightly more than 70%) were written by women. I'm not sure what, if anything, that says about me as a reader. Moreover, thirteen of the books were set wholly or partly in another country.
A five star rating from me does not necessarily mean, of course, that the book is great literature, although some of these certainly are. It just means that the book really connected with me and that I found it exceptional.
If you look at my list, you'll see that there are three titles there from Tana French, because I was reading her "Dublin Murder Squad" series last year and I really, really liked those books! Also, you'll see titles there from old favorites Sara Paretsky and Michael Connelly. Of all Connelly's Harry Bosch books, The Crossing may just be my favorite, and I thought Paretsky's Fallout was one of her best in her V. I. Warshawski series.
There are several titles on my list that fall into the category of books that I had long meant to read but never got around to, at least one that is a reread, and fourteen that were published in recent months, several by writers that I had never read before.
Here, then, is the list of my favorite reads of the year, in the order that I read them. I've given you links to my original reviews should you wish to look at them. (Incidentally, I was interested to see that in Barack Obama's list of ten favorites of the year, he had three books that also made my list.)
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Faithful Place by Tana French
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Broken Harbor by Tana French
The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis
Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
Between Them by Richard Ford
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Fallout by Sara Paretsky
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Trespasser by Tana French
Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Crossing by Michael Connelly
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee