As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back on the reading lists and piles of books for the ones that made an impression in 2017. Did your favorite make the list?

While not all of these were published this year, it is when I read them (and they are all recent). This list is in no particular order. Titles link to my reviews, when applicable.


A Books I’ve Reviewed

The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris

Lindsey Fitzharris gives us an unflinching look at the difficult, unsettling world of early medicine through the lens of Joseph Lister’s career.

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

As Merrick and his friend Clements “Clem” Markham traipse into the mountainous interior of the Andean highlands, reality and fantasy slowly dissolve into one another.

Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims

Using Mary Shelley’s seminal work, Frankenstein, as a starting point on the timeline, readers are given glimpse into the mindset of the Victorian era idea of science fiction.

Bitten by Witch Fever by Lucinda Hawksley

Lucinda Hawksley has written a brief, approachable history of the use of wallpaper and arsenic in the Victorian era.

The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye

Faye’s Sherlock stories are stellar. They are adventurous, insightful and loyal to the canon. I will gladly grab my coat and trusty service revolver, and follow wherever she wishes to lead me.

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

Mazzola based the novel on the real murder of Hannah Brown in December of 1836. The book is a lively read. It pulls the reader in quickly and keeps up the pace throughout.

Read, but not reviewed
Believe it or not, sometimes I just a read a book for fun, with no intention of reviewing it.

Titles link to Goodreads page.

The Road to En-Dor by E. H. Jones

I first heard about this story on the Futility Closet podcast and I knew I had to read it for myself. In WWI, a group of British troops are captured and taken to a prison camp in Turkey. Largely bored and looking for a way to safely escape, the men concoct an amazing plan that includes a Ouija board, a story of buried treasure and a little bit of luck. This book is the first-person account of one of the masterminds behind the plot.

Vacationland by John Hodgman

I myself have memories of painful beaches having grown up in New England, with summer vacations in increasingly remote maritime provinces. Hodgman’s stories are heartwarming and funny, with a dash of sharpness. His tone of Americana is something to be savored.

r  Reading, but not finished
I’m reading these now. I’m not finished yet, but I am loving them.

Titles link to Goodreads page.

Sugar Money by Jane Harris

Jane Harris is a writing treasure. Each of her books has its own tone and world, yet they are all stellar. Sugar Money is a dash of Treasure Island, a pinch of Huckleberry Finn, and a serving of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but it is all her own.

Guilty Thing by Frances Wilson

I have always been fascinated by Thomas De Quincey, the famous “English opium-eater” but my knowledge of him has been as a legend rather than a real person. This biography is a highly readable account of his real life and how his persona became larger than life.


What are your favorite books from 2017?

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