10 Favorite Reads of 2017 . . . So Far


Favoritism isn't an easy thing when the choices seem endless, and it isn't always a good thing, but sometimes you just can't help yourself.

I'm a reader. I have always been a reader. I was absolutely that kid hiding a light source under the blankets so I could read long after my bedtime. I used to read in one of my bedroom closets and my parents were none the wiser. Sadly, my secret closet hideaway became uninhabitable due to an unfortunate early autumn escapade.

In my parents yard was the biggest crab apple tree you've ever seen. I loved to read in its shade and the squirrels loved the crab apples. However, their rustling around in the leaves was not to be tolerated, so I collected all the fallen crab apples for the compost. I soon learned that squirrels bark and they hold a grudge. For weeks my mother was terrified by the barking squirrels, and I couldn't let that stand, so I plotted my revenge.

I stole their hordes of acorns that were buried under piles of fallen leaves. I collected the acorns in brown paper bags and stored them deep in my reading closet. I soon forgot about my war with the squirrels because I had other wars to fight and win. I forgot about the acorns until late one night while reading in my closet. That night I found little grub worms crawling from the long forgotten acorns and onto my bare legs. In the end I paid the price for the purloined acorns, so I suppose the squirrels won that war.

I do love a good digression. Was that a good one? The point of it all was to say that I have always been a reading machine. As soon as I finish one book I'm ready to start another, but sometimes you have to slow down. You press the pause button on your reading because a book or a character has latched on to your heart or consciousness and it just won't let go, but you don't really want it to let go because you just keep going back over the moment that shocked you, the moment that made you want to punch a wall or scream into a nearby pillow, the moment that made you inhale, the moment that made your face light up like a Christmas tree that is so very close to catching fire. Those are the books you just have to call your favorites.

I'm surprised by the lack of truly middle grade novels on here. It gives me some pause, but the year is only half over and I have a stack of middle grade novels piled up as my next reads. This list isn't fixed - one day you're in and the next day you've been replaced by Phillip Pullman's The Book of Dust.

Come on! Some things are inevitable - sunrise, sunset, Pullman writing something wickedly brilliant. Even with that truth there are some titles that I just can't imagine replacing with whatever I might read between now and December 31st because there is some powerful magic on this list.

I've said enough. Here they are! No, wait. The order indicates nothing. I'm not quite ready to declare a number one. It's just the order in which they came to me.

10 FAVORITE READS OF 2017 . . . So Far

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  2. Gentleman's Guide to Virtue and Vice by Mackenzi Lee

  3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

  4. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

  5. Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg

  6. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

  7. City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

  8. Strange the Dreamer by Lani Taylor

  9. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

  10. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds