Reading in 2017: A List of Must-Read Books to Start The New Year


Reading In 2017

Charlotte Mandy, Editor

As an ever changing species in search of the next dopamine rush, humans are finding the instant gratification of information-sharing technology very attractive. Studies show that we are even rewiring our brains by usage to graze through an article or written piece quickly, gleaning only the ‘best’ facts from it and finding the lengthier, wordier items boring.

The odds are you’re doing it right now.

Like most people, you may be, knowingly or not, fashioning your brain into a word herbivore, and one with the most delicate of digestive tracts. If the information you consume is not accessible or efficient enough, it spits it out.

But, you might protest, I am in fact a most avid reader. My shelves are populated by all manner of books that either demand reading or have been read enough times to fall into disrepair. I deal first and foremost with words, you say, and certainly never treat them so rudely as to bypass them all together.

Or, perhaps, you are not a reader but wish to become one, and no omniscient narration of modern reading from myself can dissuade you. I have not made my brain into anything, you tell me; I intend to read, and I intend to like it.

Whatever your relationship with books and words is, there is only one way to maintain not just proficiency but enjoyment of reading, and that is…to read. Like anything else, it must be developed. A page a day can become a chapter a day, and from there, the possibilities are as limitless as your access to reading material. The more experienced and older readers among us often profess that it transitions from chore, to habit, to necessity.
Reading is not only essential for improved focus in this high-speed time, but also for memory, relaxation, and mental stimulation. It is, in and of itself, amazing. Any scientist or casual coffee shop bookworm will tell you that. Just think: I, or J.R.R Tolkien, or Stephen Hawking, or Veronica Roth, or someone who lived thousands of years before you were even born, can imprint a two dimensional word that translates into four dimensional, complex thoughts in your head and conjures up worlds and understandings and innumerable possibilities.
Well, having ranted a bit about it, I’ve elected to be (hopefully) a bit more useful to your reading this year of new devices and movies and any number of other exciting novelties.

I have compiled a list of some of my favorite and perhaps lesser known works for a variety of interests. I also highly recommend the Goodreads app, useful for constructing reading goals and reminders, if you need them…I know I do. Most of all, if you are in need of a reading inspiration, my suggestion is always to make a visit to the nearest bookstore.

A book adoption is inevitable.


2017 Books Looking to be Adopted by Your Esteemed Self

  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The odyssey of an Indian castaway named Pi Patel, whose sole company is a Bengal tiger. The story is a canvas on which the author paints a vibrant and colorful world with a palette of faith and perseverance.
  • Tamar by Mal Peet
    A darker novel of “espionage, passion, and betrayal,” about Dutch agents in World War II and the search of a girl decades later to understand what happened to them.
  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White
    For readers of Tolkien, Lewis, and other legends, this dense, four part adventure explores Arthurian tales like you have never seen them. White captures both the light-hearted mayhem of a child’s life and the fiercely tragic fate of the once and future King Arthur.
  • If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino
    A strange, multifaceted journey through many works of fiction all woven into one. You, the reader, are the protagonist.
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adamas
    The wildly amusing and amusingly wild experiences of a certain Arthur Dent after Earth is destroyed to make way for a space highway. The sole survivor of Earth, Dent must make his way in the universe in the company of an alien.
  • Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick
    Intriguing to the Revolutionary War fanatics among us, the bestseller offers an account of the true roles of famous and notorious figures in the war, namely George Washington and Benedict Arnold.
  • Time Reborn by Lee Smolin
    For those interested in physics and theory, this remarkable nonfiction work can be enjoyed by both the novice and the expert. With hefty evidence, it explores a possibility: time is not an illusion. It is real.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    An English tale of romance and heartbreak that follows the Dashwood sisters as they move into a new residence with their widowed mother at the genesis of their introduction to the world as women.
  • A Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
    Internationally acclaimed, this story is of Jean Perdu, a Parisian “literary apothecary” with a skill for healing the troubled. That is, all except himself, lovelorn since the disappearance of a woman twenty-one years ago.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
    An astronaut is, as a result of an accident, left on Mars. A witty depiction of human ingenuity and survival in the face of extreme odds.
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
    As intensely imaginative and complex as Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, the first installment of the Wheel of Time series will immerse you in a world unlike ours, one of Force-like magic, rebirth, and a cycling war.