The 10 Best Books list of 2017

July 29, 2018 By The Editor

The 10 Best Books list of 2017

The 10 Best Books list of 2017

10 best books: discover our editors’ picks for the best books of 2017 in literature & fiction, mystery, thriller & suspense, romance, cookbooks, children’s books, and more.

The year’s 10 best books list, selected by the editors of The New York News Book Review.

We’ll announce our 10 best books list of the year 2018 soon, in the meantime, here’s last year 10 best books list 2017!


10

The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us

By Richard O. Prum

Nonfiction

If a science book can be subversive and feminist and change the way we look at our own bodies — but also be mostly about birds — this is it. Prum, an ornithologist, mounts a defense of Darwin’s second, largely overlooked theory of sexual selection. Darwin believed that, in addition to evolving to adapt to the environment, some other force must be at work shaping the species: the aesthetic mating choices made largely by the females. Prum wants subjectivity and the desire for beauty to be part of our understanding of how evolution works. It’s a passionate plea that begins with birds and ends with humans and will help you finally understand, among other things, how in the world we have an animal like the peacock.


9

Title: Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward.

Genre Novel

It is about a family’s dynamics in the fictional town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. The novel received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Ward’s third novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing was published on September 5, 2017 by Scribner.
Reviewing Sing, Unburied, Sing for The Washington Post, Ron Charles compared the novel to George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo and Toni Morrison’s Beloved; at NPR, Annalisa Quinn found it “reminiscent of As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner.

Sing, Unburied, Sing was the winner of the 2017 National Book Award for fiction, and was selected by Time magazine as one of its top ten novels of 2017. Former U.S. President Barack Obama included the novel in a list of the best books he read in 2017.


8

Artemis

By Andy Weir

Genre Fiction

The author of the smash-hit The Martian, adapted into the Oscar-nominated blockbuster movie, returns to outer space—this time swapping Mars for the Moon as the setting for this near-future heist saga. Artemis, named after the first inhabited city on the moon and humanity’s first colony of the Solar System, is home to Jazz Bashara, a shady small-time smuggler, and the unlikely heroine of the novel. When Jazz decides to seize an irresistible (and criminal) opportunity, she is unwittingly catapulted in a conspiracy that threatens more than she could have ever imagined.

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7

Killers of the flower moon

By David Grann

Genre Nonfiction

`A riveting true story of greed, serial murder and racial injustice’ JON KRAKAUER `A fiercely entertaining mystery story and a wrenching exploration of evil’ KATE ATKINSON `A fascinating account of a tragic and forgotten chapter in the history of the American West’ JOHN GRISHAM From the bestselling author of The Lost City of Z, now a major film starring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattison, comes a true-life murder story which became one of the FBI’s first major homicide investigations. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover team began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. `David Grann has a razor-keen instinct for suspense’ LOUISE ERDRICH


6

The Rules Do Not Apply

By Ariel Levy

Genre Fiction

A self-described professional explorer, Levy likens the exhilaration of orienting herself amongst new people and new surroundings to the euphoric early weeks with a new lover—think heightened senses and heady in-the-moment intensity. She’s crisscrossed the globe in search of these unique experiences as a staff writer for The New Yorker since 2008, and now turns her interrogative eye on herself. What results is profound, and lasting. Growing out of an essay called “Thanksgiving in Mongolia,” Rules Do Not Apply reveals what happens when nature decides to smash the plans you’ve made, and derail what you thought was your life.

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5

American War

Omar El Akkad

Genre Fiction

This dystopian debut novel imagines epic civilizational shifts. American War imagines a United States (albeit increasingly underwater), divided by The Second American Civil War of 2074-2093. The conflict starts when the President attempts to introduce the Sustainable Future Act, designed to prohibit the use of fossil fuels anywhere in the United States in response to climate change. The southern states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and South Carolina want none of it (much of California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Texas have already separated from the Union and are controlled by Mexican forces). Biological terrorism and warfare complicate matters even more. Amid this tumultuous backdrop is El Akkad’s protagonist, young resilient nature-loving “Sarat” or Sarah, whose journey through this future world, humanizes what would be otherwise a scary and unrelenting place.


4

Goodbye, Vitamin

Rachel Khong

Genre Fiction

When her fiancé skips out for another woman, Ruth tentatively accepts her mother’s invitation to move back home. But when her father Howard, a revered history professor suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, flings his pants (and most of the rest of his wardrobe) into the Christmas-lit trees lining their street, Ruth begins to realize this homecoming isn’t going to be what she expected. As incongruous as it sounds, this is a very funny story of love, family ties, and dementia that manages genuine tenderness while being odd and unpredictable in all the best ways.


3

Rich People Problems

Kevin Kwan

Genre Fiction

The third installment of Kwan’s satirical CrazyRich (Asians) trilogy returns us to the zany and irresistible world of Singapore’s old-moneyed ultra-rich. The antics of the glitzy and glamorous Young clan—who jet (on private jets) from London to Paris to Shanghai and beyond—are made even more enthralling because Kwan insists that nothing is made up in his books. This means that plastic surgeons for pet fish really do exist! It’s fun facts and snippets like these from a world rarely portrayed in mainstream culture that make all of Kwan’s books a voyeuristic pleasure to read. Soon though, everyone will know a lot more about the outrageous lifestyles of Asia’s rich and famous when the film based on Kwan’s first book, Crazy Rich Asians, hits the big screen.


2

The Dinner Party and Other Stories

Joshua Ferris

Genre Fiction

Observational and piercing, Ferris’s short stories expose how fraught and emotionally explosive the search for connection with other human beings can be. The memorable titular story caused a stir when it was first published in The New Yorker—the smug yuppie couple at its core was so vividly and realistically rendered that most New Yorkers feared that the story was based on them. Now, with the addition of his other stories, Ferris reveals his keen ability to render the intimate minutia of thought and feeling that’s exchanged within a relationship, the nonsensical randomness of interacting with strangers, and the appealing fantasy of stepping into someone else’s life.

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The State of Affairs Rethinking Infidelity Review The New York News Books Bets 10 books

The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

Esther Perel

Genre Psychology Counseling Sexuality

If the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives, as Belgium-born Psychotherapist Perel believes, what happens when infidelity catapults a couple into full-blown crisis mode? Perel’s work explores this underlying question. Her 2006 book Mating in Captivity, her two TED talks (viewed close to 20 million times), and recent podcast Where Should We Begin, all urge us to examine the cultural frameworks that forge our romantic expectations. In her opinion, confronting and unearthing the why behind an affair with honesty and courage, can steer a relationship back from brink—possibly towards a place of erotic rediscovery.

Read our Editorial Review!


More About The New York News Best Books

Every year, the New York News’s editorial team reads with an eye for the 10 Best Books of the year in popular categories.
Then we enlist the yearly 10 best books selection meeting to champion the books we think will resonate most with readers.
Many of our editorial picks for the best books are also customer favorites and bestsellers, but we strive to spotlight the best books you might not otherwise hear about, too.
The books included in the Best Books list are entirely editorial selections


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