A week ago I released my top reads for 2017 list, but this was entirely made up of Australian titles. Today’s list is an international one and was decided using the same rules as my other list — minus the requirement that the novel be Australian:
1. Has to have been published in 2017
2. Has to pop into my head without looking at Goodreads
The second rule relates directly to authenticity. If I can remember loving a book without any external reminder, then that’s one of the truest signs of a great book: that it sticks in your mind long after it’s been read.
So here’s my list of top international books for 2017 (in no particular order) — the title of each is linked to my review:
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
Fiction inspired by the most incredible fact, simply unforgettable.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Utterly brilliant and entirely unique with so many profound moments of insight.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Frank introspection and deadpan honesty make for many laugh out loud moments as well as a good share of heartbreaking ones.
In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
Quietly powerful, with a very clear and well timed agenda.
The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse
An evolving story; from coming of age into mystery and then into a crime/thriller, brilliantly flexing, unravelling and then knitting itself back together in a new way.
The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman
A gorgeous cosy read, well thought out and entertaining with plenty of tugging on your heartstrings moments.
The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase
A love story about a mysterious old rambling house in the English countryside filled to the brim with secrets, sisters, and a way of life long past.
The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
A novel about life, love, motherhood, being a woman, and being a man in an era so different from the one we live in now.
Dear Life by Meghan Quinn
Entirely unique, it’s funny, sad, gut wrenchingly beautiful, and so entirely relatable.
Court of Lions by Jane Johnson
Filled with beautifully moving passages of insightful observations, intimate introspection, and romantic longing.
Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson
A stellar plot, excellent characterisation, thought provoking content, and an authentic atmosphere.
Codename Suzette by Anne Nelson
An incredible account of resistance and salvation.
The Last Hours by Minette Walters
The characterisation is superb, the drama intense, and the plot twists just keep on coming.
Let Us Be True by Alex Christofi
A deeply philosophical narrative of identity delivered with elegance and poignancy.
All the Galaxies by Philip Miller
An incredibly complicated novel that is incredibly easy to read. It will pull you in, set your mind on fire, and then leave you wanting more.
5 thoughts on “My Reading Life: Top Reads for 2017 — International Titles”
I love your bravery in relying on memory only – though I totally get your reason. I have a little rating system in my personal db (as against my GoodReads where most of my ratings are the same) and use that. But, when I go back at the end of the year I adjust some up or down depending on how I feel about them now given time has past. Mostly I don’t change them, but, there’s aways a few that change on reflection!
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That’s a good idea! My Goodreads ratings tend to be fairly static. I don’t like star rating very much and tend to go with 5 for anything at all good and 2 for something structurally unsound (ie. downright awful). But I thought I needed to pose a challenge for myself, so I went with relying on my memory. It worked out pretty well in the end.
I tend to go 4 for almost everything, the occasional 3 if I feel a bit flawed and a few 5s. I try to avoid reading something I’d give less than 3 to. I’d not continue reading it, but that doesn’t happen much. In my private db most ratings are between 7 and 9.5. Most of my 3s on GR would be 3.5 if I were allowed, so mostly I bump them up to 4 figuring I’d rather be kind than unkind in public! The 3s are rare. The only issue I have with memory is that the things read in September, say, might be forgotten 10 months after reading them like some books read in January and February, have been. So, I fear if I used that system my top reads would be skewed to the second half of the year.
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Like you, I’m fairly choosy with my selections, but every so often I make a mistake! I tend to have a memory like an elephant.
Haha, Theresa, I used to – not so much now though!
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