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Reviewing Books of 2017

Wow, another year of reading has gone by! In 2016, I tried to read books exclusively by people of color (with the exception of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a welcome recommendation from a co-worker). This wasn’t out of a hatred for white authors, of course, but rather a deliberate attempt to diversify my reading and therefore my experiences. And what a year it was of truly amazing books! In 2017 white authors crept back into my lineup— 5, to be exact, of which Ursula K Le Guin and Margaret Atwood lead the pack in terms of the books I enjoyed. There’s likely bias going on, but of the books I read this year, I really felt the PoC authors wrote books that stuck with me more. And how could they not with hard hitters like Viet Thanh Nguyen, Marjane Satrapi, and even Aziz Ansari? See the bottom of this post for all of the books I read last year.

I don’t really want to go into any of the books I didn’t like since that will just give bad feelings all around, but there were some really excellent books I read this year, of which my favorite is probably held by The Broken Earth Trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky). The Fifth Season, in particular, did some amazing things with points of view. The entire trilogy had a refreshing cast of characters, all of whom felt very real, flawed, and relatable, even if some of them were super powerful and could destroy the world. The fact that the main character is a middle aged woman looking for her daughter already turns the male dominated sci-fi/fantasy genre on its head, then add that most of the characters are black, then add the LGBTQ representation, plus the laugh out loud moments— what an equation! But really I don’t need to be here glowing about it, there’s plenty of reviews like this one that explain how awesome of a series it is.

All of the books I read in 2017:

  • The Fate of the Tearling (Erika Johansen)
  • The Sympathizer (Viet Thanh Nguyen)
  • The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)
  • Modern Romance (Aziz Ansari)
  • Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • The Dinner (Herman Koch)
  • Stories of Your Life and Others (Ted Chiang)
  • The House of Spirits (Isabel Allende)
  • The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
  • The Three-Body Problem (Liu Cixin)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
  • The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
  • Chemistry (Weike Wang)
  • How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (Mohsin Hamid)
  • Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng)
  • The Fifth Season (NK Jemisin)
  • The Obelisk Gate (NK Jemisin)
  • The Stone Sky (NK Jemisin)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • The Refugees (Viet Thanh Nguyen)
  • The Complete Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi)