My Top Reads of 2017


If you have been reading and following my updates on social media for a while, then it’s safe to assume that you know about my love for reading. And for the uninitiated, let’s just say that even if I’m dead tired, I need to read a few lines before turning in for the day. Not reading is just not acceptable. What can I say it is an indispensable and non-negotiable part of my everyday life. So, like every other reader who loves being lost in the pages of a book, I read a bunch of books every year. And this year the number managed to reach as high as 45 (and counting) which is something beyond extraordinary even if I say so myself. Yes, try reading with a naughty toddler and a full-time job among the millions of other things women need to do every day and you’ll agree too.


With the year coming to an end, I thought why not talk about some of the best books that I came across and read. It’s a good way to reminisce about the wonderful stories that I have breathed and lived through while perhaps even helping a fellow bibliophile pick up a book.


So, without further ado, here are the top book that I have read in 2017.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett


Set in the 60s, this book talks about the life of black maids in Jackson, Mississippi and their treatment by the white families.  As mentioned in the book as well, it is probably the story from the perspective of Scarlett’s Mammy from Gone With The Wind. It is a story of women by women and most of all the story of the help. The characters Aibileen, Skeeter, Minny and Hilly will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. It grips on you, talking about the prejudice that existed and maybe in many ways still do. At the bottom of it all, it’s a very humane tale one that you won’t be able to get over for a long time. Needless to say, it has become one of my absolute favourites.


Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


This book is exceptional. Told from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old, Kambili, you can say it is the discovery of the harsh truths of life, rather the discovery of life in itself during a tumultuous time in Nigeria. Living a strictly regimented life, Kambili slowly discovers a world beyond what is approved and allowed by her fanatically religious father. If anything, read this book for Kambili’s journey. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has become one of my favourite writers though I was already a fan of her after listening to her Ted talk ‘We should all be feminists’.


Spymistress: The True Story of the Greatest Female Secret Agent of World War II


I’m a sucker for books on World War 2. For some reason, the extraordinary courage shown by ordinary people in one of the worst man-made humanitarian crisis in history fascinates me. Especially when it talks about how the women fought just as actively as the men on the frontlines. I have lost count of the number of books I have read on this subject. Hence, when I came across a book on Vera Atkins, I couldn’t resist. If like me you feel not enough is talked about the contribution of women in defeating Hitler and his cronies, then you’ll love this book on one of the greatest female spies in history. It is non-fiction so pick it up only if you like reading non-fiction though it’s nothing short of a spy thriller.


Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service


We all know that Israel has the greatest secret service in the world. Well, being a small country surrounded by enemies leaves a very little choice, doesn’t it? Well, this book is about the Israeli Secret Service and their missions. Yes, actual missions that they had undertaken. So, again, nothing short of a thriller. I loved every bit of it. If you find reading about spies intriguing like me then this one is for you.


Dear Zari: The Secret Lives of the Women of Afghanistan


If you are a feminist or let me put it this way, if you care about the condition of women around the world, if their plight strikes a chord in you, then you need to read this book. It is a book with stories about women in Afghanistan. It is a tale of their struggles, their agony, their fighting spirit, the bias they are born into. It is a book which is a window into the world of Afghani women who deal with so many odds every day and unfortunately seldom win. Read it because their stories need to be read if nothing else.


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese (Foreword)


What would you do if you had everything that you ever worked for and suddenly found out that you had only a few days left, that you were dying?  Scary, isn’t it? This book is about Paul Kalanithi and his journey since he learnt that he was indeed dying. This book will make you cry and realise the fragility of life. One moment you may have everything, and you might be almost at the point in life where you had imagined you would be but at the next everything could turn to dust. This book is written by a man in that situation and it cannot get more real than this.


The Danish Girl


What can I say about this book? It is probably one of the greatest love stories ever written, an unusual one at that but definitely one of the greatest. Inspired by real persons, this is the story of the boundless love of a wife for her husband even though the latter seeks life as a woman with another man. Read it for the complexity and yet the simplicity of this story.


There are many more great books which I have read this year. Yes, 2017 has been a good year in terms of books. I wish I could mention all of them here. But for the time being, these are the 7 that stand out. You can check out all the books I read this year here.


Now tell me, which are the top 3 books you read in 2017?


A list of great books which you can't miss reading. Take look. #books


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12 thoughts on “My Top Reads of 2017”

  1. Wow, some brilliant reads there! 2017 has been a bummer in terms of reading for me. I enjoyed a few light reads by Lynda Rehnham and re-read some classics Wuthering Heights, To Kill a Mockingbird amongst others. Purple Hibiscus, I am hearing a lot about, may just pick it up. Hope 2018 sees a lot more good reads for you!

  2. Okay, I am bookmarking this post for when I need reading suggestions. Except for When Breath Becomes Air, I’ve read none of the above. For me, The Book Thief and Wonder were the best books I read this year.

  3. My favourite book this year was Tools of Titans by Tom Ferris
    It was life changing. Lovely meeting you fellow bookworm .Have aN even longer reading liSt in 2018.

  4. My favourite book this year was Tools of Titans by Tom Ferris
    It was life changing. Lovely meeting you fellow bookworm .Have aN even longer reading liSt in 2018.Loved the suggestions.

  5. Those look like some really good books. Of your list, I have only read When Breath Becomes Air and loved the book. it was one of my favorites too from 2017. Have you read – Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mehmoodi? Please pick it up. I am so sure you will love it.
    My 2017 favorites include Homegoing by Yaa Gayaasi, I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (spy and thriller), and all the books by Jumpa Lahiri. I had a goal of 30 books in 2017 and I am currently reading 30th. Hoping to finish the challenge. 🙂
    Oh yes – marked all the above books in my TBR list. Thank you for sharing!
    Parul Thakur recently posted…#ThursdayTreeLove – 30My Profile

  6. Every book you mentioned here found its way into my heart, Nabanita. These are just the kind of books I would love to read..LOVE!
    Am going to jot down these names in my phone and look for them when I visit my bookshop soon. So, a bit thank you for this post!
    This year, I did not read many books. but, there were some that I simply loved.
    The Lone fox dancing – autobiography of our fav Ruskin Bond
    The boy in the stripped pyjamas. (I read the book and then saw the movie, too, and cried both the times.
    These two names came to mind…the rest I seem to have forgotten! 😛 Guess I am ageing!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…The lessons I learnt from the year 2017.My Profile

  7. For me, the best books were ‘A Man Called Ove’, ‘Wonder’ and ‘The Help’. I finished kalanithi and his compelling book last year and it is still one of my favourite books. Also read ‘The Kiterunner’ and loved it.

    Love your picks. Adding a few of them to my TBR. Oh and congratulations on finishing your good reads challenge in style!
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Wonder by R.J.Palacio: A Book ReviewMy Profile

  8. When Breath Becomes Air is on my reading list but could not read it last year. Planning to read it this year.

  9. Some great & umm…intense reads! I really admire you as a reader (as a writer too :)). You seem like a very focused reader.

    I have read Purple Hibiscus & loved it. It’s one of my best and memorable reads. I instantly fell in love with Adichie’s writing.

  10. I am going to save this post for future reference.
    And I am going to hope that my new book ‘Pretty Vile Girl’ will find its way into your list for 2018!

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