Best Books of 2017
After much discussion and determined lobbying for our personal favorites, the editors of BookPage have reached a consensus on the year’s best books. These are the books we can’t forget—and can’t stop sharing with readers wherever we go.
#1 Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere
In the privileged community of Shaker Heights, wealth and comfort crumble in the firelight of Ng’s brilliant storytelling.
#2 George Saunders
Lincoln in the Bardo
The incomparable winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize is a heartbreaking, funny, strange reflection on grief after loss.
#3 Elif Batuman
This hilarious debut pulls no punches in depicting the absurdity of campus life and the particularly awkward magic of early adulthood.
#4 Mohsin Hamid
Spiced with unexpected magic, this imaginative love story follows a young couple who join a wave of migrants as their city collapses.
#5 Stephanie Powell Watts
No One Is Coming to Save Us
In a riveting riff on The Great Gatsby, Watts’ first novel focuses on the residents of a down-on-its-luck North Carolina town.
#6 Min Jin Lee
Addicting and powerful, this superb novel follows four generations of a Korean family carving out a life in Japan despite racism and war.
#7 Jennifer Egan
During World War II, one woman becomes the first female diver at the Brooklyn docks. Hold your breath and sink in deep.
#8 Walter Isaacson
Leonardo da Vinci
Isaacson delves into Leonardo’s life and pulls back the curtain of genius on one of the most brilliant men who ever lived.
#9 Ron Chernow
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author offers a richly detailed, uncommonly compelling biography of Ulysses S. Grant.
#10 Hala Alyan
At the heart of Alyan’s debut are enormous themes of time and family, grounded by piercing insight and striking, poetic language.
#11 Jesmyn Ward
Sing, Unburied, Sing
This intricately layered story with supernatural elements offers a brutal view of racial tensions in the modern-day American South.
#12 David Sedaris
Theft by Finding
Beloved humorist Sedaris shares 20 years of observations in this collection of diary entries that toe the line between hilarious and weird.
#13 Nina Riggs
The Bright Hour
With levity and bittersweetness amid the worst moments, Riggs’ account of living with cancer is feisty, uplifting reading.
#14 Dennis Lehane
Since We Fell
Already optioned for film, this bewitching thriller follows an intrepid journalist as she uncovers her family’s darkest secrets.
#15 Scott Kelly
After spending a year in space, veteran astronaut Kelly has returned to Earth to tell us what life is like among the stars.
#16 Sherman Alexie
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
Don’t trust just anyone to break your heart, but do trust Alexie and this unconventional memoir of his relationship with his mother.
#17 Viet Thanh Nguyen
Nine superb, understated stories from the Pulitzer Prize winner find characters stretched between cultures, countries and desires.
#18 Timothy B. Tyson
The Blood of Emmett Till
The most notorious hate crime in American history receives the insightful, fearless inquiry it deserves.
#19 Suzy Hansen
Notes on a Foreign Country
Hansen’s investigation into U.S. involvement abroad is a compelling look at the consequences of interventionist foreign policy.
#20 Richard Ford
Ford’s memoir is a gentle testament to the powerful love his parents had for each other and for their son.
#21 Patricia Lockwood
This unforgettable memoir offers a heartbreakingly funny look at an award-winning poet’s unconventional Catholic upbringing.
#22 Kamila Shamsie
Shamsie’s confident, dreamy reimagining of Antigone grasps a throbbing heart of love and loyalty.
#23 Kayla Rae Whitaker
Two best friends and successful cartoonists navigate the creative process in this heartfelt debut.
#24 Sarah Perry
After the Eclipse
A daughter attempts to come to terms with her mother’s murder in this emotional true-crime memoir.
#25 Inara Verzemnieks
Among the Living and the Dead
The granddaughter of Latvian refugees pieces together her history.
This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.