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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Top 5 Books of 2017

Better late than never, right? Since it's still January, it's time for me to pop in my one of my annual Best Books lists. Because I'm always down for pushing my favorite books onto other people, and if you're here, I'm assuming you're down for it, too.

The five best books I read in 2017, in descending order. Here we go.

5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This book has become the type of modern classic that I had ignored up until now, the type of book that you see everywhere but never really consider picking up until a copy falls into your hands, as it did to me. It's a beautiful story of love, politics, friendship, and homeland that will break your heart. (Trust me: I did nothing but stare out a bus window for half an hour after finishing this.) It's big, tackling not-so-distant history, but its intense personal story of forgiveness and redemption is what makes it really shine.

4. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
This is the type of strange, haunting novel that blurs the lines between genres and the lines between fantasy and reality itself. There's a small-town magic to it that sings through Laura Ruby's gorgeous prose. It's not a light read, but it's the kind of book that you'll want to reread immediately after finishing it, as things come together and you realize everything you missed.

3. The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Let 2017 be known as the year when I furiously and obsessively devoured all of Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere books (save one, which I'm currently finishing). I had to narrow my favorites down to just two books, though, as to not crowd this list. I'm listing The Way of Kings, but really, the number three spot goes to the entire Stormlight Archive series. While creating a sprawling, detailed, three-dimensional fantasy world is an accomplishment in itself, Brandon Sanderson never neglects the most important part of a story: the characters. I don't remember the last time I was quite so invested in another author's fantasy characters. Oathbringer, the third book in the series, also came out this year, and did not disappoint. And apparently we've got seven more of these beastly books to go. I'm so ready.

2. Release by Patrick Ness
Patrick Ness' books are everything to me. Release is a story of young love, of letting go, and of the complicated process of coming of age. It simultaneously made me ache for the characters--and myself--and filled me with hope like no other book ever has. Patrick Ness has never disappointed me, and his novels are consistently among the highlights of my reading year. If you've never picked up one of his books, please make 2018 your year.

1. The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson
Oh look, here's Brandon Sanderson again with the coolest magic system I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. And also, a series finale that I have yet to recover from, even several months later. The end of this series comes together in the most simultaneously shocking yet satisfying way, putting all of the pieces together in a way you didn't even realize they could fit. "I should've seen this coming," you think. "It makes so much sense." And yet, there's no way you could have ever pieced it together on your own. Besides, you're probably crying too hard at that point to even care anymore. As a series, Mistborn was absolutely, without question, the best thing I read in 2017. (As a bonus, there's a substantial meme community surrounding this series. If you needed more motivation to read this.)

There's 2017 for you! Also, if you haven't noticed, I've done a slight redesign. Nothing much, but it was time for an update to make it look a little cleaner. I'm hoping this will motivate me to blog more in 2018, but we'll see. I have so many things to write about, but I also have so much homework always wanting my attention.

Regardless of what I do here, I wish you a wonderful year of reading. As always, you'll hear from me sooner or later, even if it's just to dump a pile of recommended books on you and then retreat into a dark hole in the ground. As one does. The coming year will see me getting a job and doing real paid writing things (exact type of things TBD), so you'll probably hear about that, as well.

In the meantime, friendly reminder that you can keep up with me other places across the internet:
Twitter: @annekopas
Instagram: @anniekopas

What were your favorite books of 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018?
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