My Top 10 Books of 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, it is time to start reflecting back on another great year of reading. First up is my round-up of my favourite new-to-me books. After a long, hard think here are my top ten books (ordered alphabetically by author) I have read this year:

~ 1 ~

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)

This classic, historical fiction gave me a moving and detailed look at the bloody French Revolution, through the eyes of a wonderful cast of memorable characters.

~ 2 ~

Assassination at Bayou Sauvage by D J Donaldson (2017)

A brand new and deeply engrossing, audacious Broussard and Franklyn mystery in the colourful New Orleans – I could hardly put it down.

~ 3 ~

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (2009)

A brilliantly wrought piece of historical fiction about Elizabeth Woodville during the War of the Roses, which has wonderful touches of romance, mystery and magic.

~ 4 ~

First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson (2016)

This brilliant new piece of historical fiction also looks at the War of the Roses, but puts the spot light on the often side-lined Jasper Tudor, and it had me enthralled from beginning to end.

~ 5 ~

Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley (2001)

From one of my favourite authors, comes another wonderfully immersive and gripping mystery, that swept me away to the drama of the beautiful villa Il Piacere in Italy.

~ 6 ~

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (1951)

Another wonderfully atmospheric, gothic suspense, that is full of secrets, rumours, tension and passion. Which for me is right up there with the pure quality of Rebecca.

~ 7 ~

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham (2016)

In this beautifully wrought, powerful and candid memoir, TV personality Chris shares the difficulties he had growing up in a world that didn’t understand him.

~ 8 ~

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett (1989)

Another extremely fun and wacky, Egyptian-inspired instalment in Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series.

~ 9 ~

Sandlands by Rosy Thornton (2016)

This enchanting collection of short stories took me on a gentle journey through the landscape and history of Suffolk; with a wonderful touch of magical realism.

~ 10 ~

Seven Stages by Geoffrey Trease (1964)

A fascinating non-fiction that explores the history of seven influential figures from the stage, which while highly detailed was also very readable.


With so many great reads in 2017 honorary mentions must also go to fictions: The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle, The People the Fairies Forget by Cheryl Mahoney, Monstrous Little Voices edited by David Thomas Moore and The Lioness and the Spellspinners by Cheryl Mahoney. And non-fictions: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung, Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir, If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg and Plant Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka. I also loved re-reading His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and audiobook Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling and read by Stephen Fry.

Have you read any of these? What were your favourite books in 2017?

Next I will do a round-up of my favourite new-to-me adaptations I have watched in 2017 and finally, on New Year’s day, I will share some reading statistics.

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26 thoughts on “My Top 10 Books of 2017

  1. I thought I was going to have to temporarily boycott/protest your blog! Seeing Dickens at #1 nearly gave me a heart attack! It is an interesting work and I can appreciate it, but that man just didn’t do it for me.

    I really like the diversity of genres on your list I’m reading a bunch of them right now catching up on blogs and so many are all one genre.

    1. HAHA Geoff, in this instance Dickens is at the top of the list because it is ordered alphabetically 😛 However I do love Dickens! At the same time though I do also appreciate that his style isn’t for everyone. And thank you, I am impressed with my mixture of genres this year too. It can often be quite fantasy and historical fiction heavy. 🙂

  2. I love reading my blogger friends’ favorite books of the year lists and yours was no exception. I plan to read A Tale of Two Cities this year. My Cousin Rachel is one of my favorite Du Maurier novels and recently I watched the movie, which I felt captured the book in a great way without just copying it.
    Happy reading in the New Year Jessica! My list went up on the blog yesterday.

    1. Judy, I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed reading this and other blogger’s favourites list. It is also great to hear you thought the film adaptation of My Cousin Rachel captured the book well, as I would really like to see it.

      Thank you and happy reading to in the New Year to you as well, hopefully it will include A Tale of Two Cities. 🙂

  3. Tale of Two Cities is one of my all-time favorites. It was a reading assignment for my junior year in high school and I’m so thankful for the teacher who introduced me to it, and to Dickens, who I had not read previously. This was one of the main books that turned me on to reading classics. She was the same teacher that lit the fire for a love of Shakespeare. So grateful to her.

    I need to read some more Pratchett this year. He is consistently funny and enjoyable.

    1. Carl, sounds like you had a fantastic teacher at school. Sadly my school didn’t introduce me to a great deal of classics or any Shakespeare other than Romeo and Juliet, which is great but after fours years studying it it got a little old! Fortunately I came to appreciate Shakespeare and many classics after school.

      I hope you are able to read more from the wonderful Pratchett this year. I turn to his books regularly for a good titter. 🙂

  4. Great list, Jessica! You had a great reading year. Hopefully 2018 will be equally good or better. I’ll be reading Season of Storms and two du Mariers next year.

  5. That’s a great top ten. A Tale of Two Cities is my favourite Dickens novel and I loved My Cousin Rachel too. I enjoyed the two Wars of the Roses books as well. I’m still working on my own list but it should be ready in the next few days!

    1. Thank you Helen – I am pleased we’ve continued to enjoy some of the same books and authors again this year. Also I look forward to seeing what makes it onto your own favourites of the year list 🙂

  6. The only one I’ve read is A Tale of Two Cities, and I’ve read another of Philippa Gregory’s books (I must have read out of order) and a couple of Rosy Thornton’s books (she is under-rated, I believe – and I would love to read this one!). You’ve also reminded me that I haven’t read a Pratchett this year – goodness, now that is a regret, as I am certain that I could have used a dash of that humour in 2017! I’m still reading right ’til the end of this year, so I haven’t chosen favourites yet, but I do feel that there have been many good reads in 2017!

    1. B.I.P, I am so pleased to hear you have read and loved a couple of Rosy Thornton’s books, as this was my first read of her work and I would love to read more! I really hope you are able to read Sandlands and some more Terry Pratchett soon, and I look forward to seeing what makes it onto your favourites of 2017 list.

  7. That’s a lovely list of books, Jessica. I’m not a great lover of Dickens but I did enjoy ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘My Cousin Rachel’ is a particular favourite. I hope that 2018 will be a great year for you, in life and in books.

    1. Thank you Jane. I am pleased to hear you also enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities, especially as you’re not a great lover of Dickens, and that My Cousin Rachel is a particular favourite of yours. I also hope that 2018 will be a great year in life and in books for you too 🙂

    1. Nikki, I am glad you loved Pyramids too… got to love a bit of Pratchett?! I hope you are able to get a copy of Fingers in the Sparkle Jar soon and yes I watched Packham’s recent documentary on Autism, which was shown not long after I read his memoir and it made a good complimentary watch for me.

  8. Always glad to see Dickens in a Best of list, and I reckon A Tale of Two Cities is one of his best. I also loved Sandlands, especially the spooky ghost story. Here’s to another great year of reading in 2018! 😀

    1. FF, yours was one of the wonderful reviews that made me so keen to read Sandlands, so thank you! Also I agree A Tale of Two Cities is definitely one of the best of Dickens’ large body of great novels. And hear, hear to another great year of reading in 2018 😀

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