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Old 12-29-2017, 07:23 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 12,379
Favorite Fiction You've Read in 2017? Favorite Non-Fiction?

Runners up allowed, in case the winners cannot fulfill their duties...

Fiction: Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

Runner Up: The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

Non-Fiction (and the best book I read this year): At Home: A Short History of Private Life, by Bill Bryson

Runner Up: Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now, by Mark Steyn
Old 12-29-2017, 07:30 PM
Knocking it up a notch. BAM!
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 16,870
Fiction : Ray Bradbury's masterpiece Dandelion Wine.

He's already my favorite writer, but that book... It makes you feel everything there is to feel. It's funny, sweet, nostalgic, heart-rending, and even terrifying. And you can pull any random sentence from it and be awestricken by the power of his description. My God that man can write.

Nonfiction: The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

Wish I had read it ten years ago, or at least before I attempted my first serious novel. It's a blueprint for storytelling and for me it has changed everything about how I write.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 12-29-2017 at 07:31 PM.
Old 12-29-2017, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: elsewhere
Posts: 5,897
Favorite novel: "Paris in the Present Tense," by Mark Helprin. No one writes like Helprin, but besides his use of language which is glorious as usual, the story is funny, tragic, completely compelling and humane. I love this author and this book.

Favorite non-fiction: "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me". Possibly the best, certainly the funniest memoir I have ever read, it's Sherman Alexie's memoir and eulogy to his mother. I'm listening to the audiobook, read perfectly by the author, and walking many more miles than I normally would just to keep it going. He says, "I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time." Me too, Mr. Alexie.

Runner up novel: "Lincoln in the Bardo," by George Saunders. A bizarre wtf novel of Abraham Lincoln's loss of his son and the hundreds of voices of the historically recently dead. Truly strange, really good.

Runner up non-fiction: "Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell," by David Yaffe. Since it's doubtful we're going to see an autobiography, this book is probably the closest we'll get, with lots of new (to me) details of her facsinating life and the genesis of the songs. l listened to the audiobook and I have to admit to speeding it up for the parts about the later albums I'm not especially fond of. It made the narrator sound like Mickey Mouse, but it got me past the duller bits. The part that covered from, say, 1962 through the 70s was riveting, though.
Old 12-29-2017, 08:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 30,194
Fiction: The Element of Fire, by Martha Wells. Great characters, great political intrigues, great writing.

Non-fiction: Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War, by Tony Horwitz. Laugh out loud funny, poignant, maddening, and enlightening.

Runner-up fiction: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo. This one was a tough call.

2017 was not a great reading year for me. My job was a stressful mess, so I was reading very much in a rut of safe choices. But these books were all top-notch.
Old 12-29-2017, 09:01 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 41,192
Fiction: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
Old 12-29-2017, 10:38 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,899
Fiction: I read all of the main Honor Harrington novels except for a couple of short stories (haven't gotten into the Manticore Ascendant prequels).

Non-Fiction: I'm blanking on this one.
Old 12-30-2017, 12:00 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Obama Country
Posts: 6,690
Fiction: The Lost World by H.G. Wells

Non-Fiction: Jungle of Stone by William Carlsen - About the (re) discovery of the Mayan civilization, and all sorts of other fascinating 19th century events. Now that I think about it, probably also inspired me to read The Lost World.

Runner-up Non-Fiction: Trapped!: The Story of Floyd Collins - Not for the claustrophic. The story of the biggest media event of the 1920's, which inspired books, songs, movies and even a musical.
Old 12-30-2017, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,188
Non-fiction: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Fiction: Tie between the previously mentioned Every Heart a Doorway and Empire Games by Charles Stross (I did also like the Anders book).

Last edited by Andy L; 12-30-2017 at 04:08 PM.
Old 12-30-2017, 09:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 209
Fiction: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Non-Fiction: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Old 12-31-2017, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: The Brink
Posts: 11,333
'Kind of a lean year for books for me, I'm afraid. But I did rather enjoy Von Wielligh's The Bomb: South Africa's Nuclear Weapons Programme.

Kind of a niche historical/technical subject, though.
Old 12-31-2017, 01:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 8,744
In the Darkroom

Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica
Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality
The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession

Mink River

Runners up:
Future Home of the Living God

Last edited by susan; 12-31-2017 at 01:17 AM.
Old 12-31-2017, 02:07 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17,865
I can't think of a novel that I read in 2017 that made a lasting impression. For all I can recall I may not have finished one.

However, Joe Hill says the 4 novellas in Strange Weather are novels. Whatever, they were pretty good.

In a similar vein, the collection of stories that makes up Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson was great reading.

I have read a lot of good non-fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment by Robert Wright. I have enjoyed his stuff for 20 years.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
is a simply incredible true story beautifully told.
Old 12-31-2017, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Close to home
Posts: 9,877
My favorite book I read in 2017 that was published in 2017 is nonfiction: The Herbalist's Kitchen by Brittany Nickerson. It's a cookbook far more than an herbal, and reading it makes me feel really calm. Recipes are delicious, and the herbal parts don't seem too "woo" to distract me.

Last edited by Sattua; 12-31-2017 at 10:32 AM.

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