The Top 12 Books that Made a Difference in my Life in 2017

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My Top 12 Books of 2017

2017 was a weird year for me; I completed one degree and started another one, I stepped far out of my comfort zone in multiple areas of my life, and I’ve started making plans for all sorts of exciting changes that I can start on once I’m done my degree in April (stay tuned for future announcements!).

However, one thing that has stayed constant throughout these changes has been my love of reading. Whenever I get overwhelmed with university or life in general, I can always lose myself in a good book, and count on it to bring me back to my center. Although I read far more books than the ones listed here, I’ve included these twelve because they had the greatest impact on me.

As I’m not one to ruin another person’s fun, there will be no spoilers in the following blog post, only general overviews of what you could expect if you decide to read the book yourself (and I highly recommend all of these books).


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson

I started the year in a funk. I didn’t have any motivation to do anything creative, I didn’t want to be around people, and I felt a general aura of blah surrounding me. Thankfully, a friend recommended I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, which was just the thing to slap me back into shape. It helped me take a step back, examine how I was feeling, and distance myself from negative self talk. If you’re struggling with feeling unhappy, or are constantly beating yourself for one thing or another, this book is for you.


The Garden of Eden – Ernest Hemingway

I picked this book up on a whim from a nearby thrift store, and I’m glad I did. I’m not sure what it was about the story maybe I felt a connection to one of the main characters, Catherine (it’s even spelled the same as mine!), or maybe it was the plot that took the characters hopping all over Europe, but this book resonated deeply with me. If you aren’t familiar with Hemingway’s writing style, it may take some time to get used to, but it’s worth it.


Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood

I hadn’t read much Atwood before Cat’s Eye, but let me say, I was not disappointed Atwood is recognized as one of Canada’s greatest writers for a reason. She expertly weaves commonplace events, like playing marbles in the school yard and dealing with childhood bullies, into a captivating narrative that keeps the reader wanting to flip the pages until the very end.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson

I read Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House for a Gothic literature class I took last year, and fell in love (and ended up reading several of her novels over the year). If you like spooky, but not over the top horrific stories, then Jackson’s work is ideal for you.


Hollow City – Ransom Riggs

Usually, I’m not one for YA fiction; I read a lot of it when I was younger, but it doesn’t really resonate with me anymore. However, I read the first book in this series, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, several years ago and was hooked, and Hollow City is no different. From front to back, Riggs snags the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go.


The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson

Another one of Jackson’s creepy tales that takes a strange turn (as most of her books do). It’s hard to talk about this book without spoiling the surprise, but if you enjoy stories that include obscure mental disorders and that keep you guessing until the end, then I highly recommend this.


The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

I’m sure many of you have read this already or watched the TV series, and if you haven’t, you should. In true Atwood fashion, she gets eerily close to present day issues, all while maintaining a thin barrier between reality and fiction.


The Diviners – Margaret Laurence

Like Atwood, Laurence is one of Canada’s great writers, and with good reason. Similar to Atwood, Laurence takes common events and weave them into a captivating narrative. In The Diviners, the narrative spans borders of time and space, and although the plot itself is rather simple, it’s entirely relatable and completely mesmerizing.


The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood

If you enjoy a good dystopian narrative to jolt you out of your first-world reverie, then I’d recommend Year of the Flood. Atwood takes the average dystopian theme and transforms it into a engrossing, realistic chronicle that will feel, despite being fiction, all too real.


For Your Safety Please Hold On – Kayla Czaga

I first read one of Czaga’s poems in my poetry class at the beginning of the semester. I enjoyed it, but it got buried under the countless other things I had to read in the following weeks. However, when my friend loaned me this book last month, I was hooked. For someone in her twenties, Czaga expertly touches on topics of love, family, and navigating adult life in a fresh and interesting way that makes you want to read her poetry book from front to back several times over.


Pluck – Laisha Rosnau

I picked this poetry book up at random from the library one day while I was killing time, and I wasn’t disappointed. As with Czaga’s poetry, Rosnau makes mundane things like apple picking and waiting for a child’s dance class to be over into entrancing verses that hit you hard.


Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

Reading this was honestly the best way to finish the year off. After keeping so busy this semester, I was in a creative rut. I had no idea how to re-start my creative process, and didn’t feel particularly inspired, either. Gilbert’s inspirational yet down to earth writing, which is peppered with personal anecdotes, was the kick in the pants I needed to start creating again. If you’re feeling unimaginative and need motivation, I highly recommend Big Magic.


Share Your Top Books of 2017

And there you have it, my twelve books for 2017. What books did you read this year that resonated with you? Let me know!


Thanks for reading! If you liked this, you can find more posts like it here. For more ramblings and photos of pretty things, follow my Twitter and Instagram.

I believe in transparency, so a note to you: the links I’ve provided here are all Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you choose to buy one of these items using the provided links, I do get a small percentage of the sale price. However, I will never have links or advertisements for items that I do not fully support; everything I post, I truly value and recommend.

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