Bookmarked

Rosalind Faires’ Top Reads of 2017

Uncovering literary gems in areas such as historical fantasy, suburbia melancholia, female-centric speculative fiction, and more

Bookmarked

Maybe I'm supposed to feel a wave of Black Mirror anxiety when Netflix analyzes my watching habits and starts suggesting other Gritty British TV Crime Dramas Featuring a Strong Female Lead, but I'm a firm believer in embracing your particular interests. Hence this year's list of literary favorites, organized by the subcategories my wistful, anxious, old people and bread-loving heart longs for.


GENRE: Suburbia Melancholia

Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin Press) Celeste Ng's exploration of the intricate quandaries of motherhood follows the arrival of a photographer and her daughter to pristine Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Barking Dogs (Affirm Press) The lives of the Australian residents of Mount Barker are deeply ordinary and somehow that makes Rebekah Clarkson's precise observations about them all the more tender.


GENRE: Old LGBT People Telling You About Their Lives

The Heart's Invisible Furies (Hogarth) There's something Dickensian – which is to say, rambling and wry, full of cruel heartaches and lucky coincidences – about John Boyne's charting of a gay man's upbringing in postwar Ireland.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Atria Books) The prospect of reading an Elizabeth Taylor stand-in's memoirs is tantalizing enough, but Taylor Jenkins Reid goes one better by offering a deeply moving reminder of how the closet shapes the lives of those we elevate to stardom.


GENRE: Female-Centric Speculative Fiction That's a Little Too on the Nose

Future Home of the Living God (Harper) As evolution runs backward, a pregnant Ojibwe woman struggles to evade the government's attempts to control her womb with the help of her adoptive and birth families in Louise Erdrich's compelling, deeply human book.

The Power (Little, Brown) Naomi Alderman's imagined future, where the gender power balance reverses when women are suddenly able to administer electric shocks with their bodies, feels uncannily timely.


GENRE: What You Read When The Great British Bake Off Starts Making You Feel Cocky but Not Cocky Enough to Actually Bake Something

Sourdough (MCD) Robin Sloan's delightful techno-fable of a programmer gifted a possibly magical sourdough starter is just the thing to inspire culinary adventures in the new year.


GENRE: Historical Fantasy That Isn't Limited to Hot Takes on King Arthur and Robin Hood

The City of Brass (Harper Voyager) S.A. Chakraborty's Daevabad trilogy is off to a rollicking start with this sumptuous page-turner about a Cairo con artist who accidentally summons a djinn that she thought was merely a legend.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Top 10s
Marjorie Baumgarten’s Top 10 Films of 2017
Marjorie Baumgarten’s Top 10 Films of 2017

Marjorie Baumgarten, Dec. 29, 2017

Steve Davis’ Top 10 Films of 2017
Steve Davis’ Top 10 Films of 2017

Steve Davis, Dec. 29, 2017

More Fiction
Jessi Cape's Top Reads of 2016
Top Books to Inspire Hope Amidst Change
Memoirs of activism and tales of suspense helped ground this reader during a roller-coaster year

Jessi Cape, Dec. 30, 2016

Jay Trachtenberg's Top Reads of 2016
Top Books to Make Sense of a World Breaking Down
Three novels explore our planet in crisis in Israel, rust-belt Ukraine, and the Antarctic

Jay Trachtenberg, Dec. 30, 2016

More Arts Reviews
Capital T Theatre's <i>The Hunchback Variations</i> and <i>...Faustus</i>
Capital T Theatre's The Hunchback Variations and ...Faustus
The company's pairing of two Mickle Maher one-acts gets lit about art in a sublime way

Elizabeth Cobbe, Nov. 16, 2018

Mary Moody Northen Theatre's <i>Men on Boats</i>
Mary Moody Northen Theatre's Men on Boats
With a diverse cast of women playing white men exploring the Grand Canyon, this show recasts history to show guys who just don't get it

Robert Faires, Nov. 16, 2018

More by Rosalind Faires
Texas Book Festival 2018: Real Romance: Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory
Texas Book Festival 2018: Real Romance: Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory
The two on what makes their contemporary love stories sparkle

Oct. 29, 2018

Texas Book Festival 2018: The Real Story of Lolita
Texas Book Festival 2018: The Real Story of Lolita
Sarah Weinman on the true crime story behind Nabokov’s novel

Oct. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Top 10s, Fiction, Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng, Barking Dogs, Rebekah Clarkson, The Heart's Invisible Furies, John Boyne, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Future Home of the Living God, Louise Erdrich, The Power, Naomi Alderman, Sourdough, Robin Sloan, The City of Brass, S.A. Chakraborty

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle