My Favourite Books of 2017

It’s not actually the end of the year, but if I don’t post this now, it may not get done at all. I only read 37 new books this year (new to me, that is) – even fewer than last year. I did immerse myself in blogs and newspapers, trying to make sense of the political turmoil here and abroad, but I also re-read a lot of old favourite novels. This year was not an especially relaxing year for me, so I often felt a need to escape into familiar comforting reads and I don’t count those books in my annual book count.

So, what type of new (to me) books did I read this year?

Types of books read in 2017

Nationality of authors read in 2017

Lots of Australian writers this year.

Gender of authors read in 2017

Women writers dominate, yet again. And so they should.

Now for my favourites.

I really enjoyed Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson and How Bright Are All Things Here by Susan Green – both, as it happens, novels narrated by elderly Australian women who had to escape to London to fulfil their artistic dreams.

But most of my favourite reads this year were non-fiction. These included:

Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne
Indonesia, Etc: Exploring the Improbable Nation by Elizabeth Pisani
Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith

I didn’t have time this month to blog about Beyond Veiled Cliches: The Real Lives of Arab Women, but this was a thoughtful, nuanced exploration of the challenges faced by Arab women in the Middle East and in Western countries, by Australian-Palestinian journalist Amal Awad.

I also found myself engrossed in a couple of Australian memoirs, Aunts up the Cross by Robin Dalton and Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover.

My resolution for next year is to blog more about the books I enjoy, or at least to mention these books on Twitter. In the meantime, I have this book on the top of my reading pile for the holidays:

'End of Term' by Antonia Forest

I foresee an Antonia Forest read-along in the near future.

Thank you to everyone who read and contributed to Memoranda in 2017. I hope you’ve all had a good reading year and that 2018 brings you lots of wonderful, interesting books. Happy holidays!

4 thoughts on “My Favourite Books of 2017”

    1. I do know of the Dreamwidth community, but haven’t really explored much because I was avoiding plot spoilers. Kate and Ann’s comments below suggest it’s not as active as during the LiveJournal days. Maybe everyone’s moved to Facebook? And I’m not on Facebook… oh well.

  1. Sadly Trennels has been enviscerated by the deletion of lots of the best contributors who objected to Dreamwidth changing their privacy policy (I think).

    But End of Term readalong… I say Bring It Onnnnnn!!

    1. Re Trennels – I think it’s that lots of people objected to the changes to LiveJournal when it became Russian owned and run; hence the move to Dreamwidth. But it’s true that discussion has been fairly non-existent on there for a couple of years now, and hasn’t regenerated with the move to Dreamwidth.

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