Favorites of 2017

I’m a bit of a book nerd.

I love to read, there’s something quite magical about losing yourself to a book. So to celebrate the end of a crazy 2017 and my love for books, I’m going to share with you my best reads of 2017.

There’s no particular order, I wanted to originally do my top five books but when it came to chosing them I just could decide out of two of them. So, here are my top 6 books of the year.

Odd Girl Out

By Laura James

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So this might have to be the most relatable book I’ve ever read.

Odd Girl Out is the journey of discovery that Laura James, the author, takes as an adult in being diagnosed with autism. She pulls on past memory’s and experiences of her life to give the reader a personal insight of what it’s like being an autistic woman and how she came to terms with her diagnosis.

Not only is it extremely well wrote, it’s also a bit of an eye opener for you as the reader. I find it quite funny how I came across this book. I was in Booka, my local book shop, in the cafe messaging the wonderful person I’m dating. They had been raising up some of my quirks for a while, and through their own experiences had brought up the word autism several time. This however, was very quickly shot down by me. They’d mentioned it several days in a row and for whatever reason, I’d decided to disagree with them and have a ramble at God about it as I walked round the shop, if anyone knew if I was autistic it’d be God, after all he made me.

So there I was skimming the books, noting was taking my fancy, then I saw the spine of Odd Girl Out. I think my thinking was ‘Ok, I’ll admit I’ve always felt like the odd person out but that doesn’t make me autistic and anyway, girls don’t have autism.’ But I pulled out the book anyway and there in bold white was the words ‘autistic woman’. It make me giggle sometimes, was that pure coincidence or God stepping in? After finished the book I arranged an appointment to speak to my GP, Laura’s experiences were too real in my life. From that appointment I’ve been refered to a orgaisation that supports adults with autism. The county where I live does not have the facility to diagnose it, it’s not a service that is available (it’s my lack of official diagnosis that stops me from talking about it on my blog) however, I ticked enough boxes for the organisation to take me in as someone with autism.

All of this came from a book.

It’s educational, well wrote, tells a moving story of self discovery and very eye-opening.

I’d really recommend it.

 

Uprooted

By Naomi Novik

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So who’s up for a strong, independent female protagonist whose drive to save the world isn’t because she wants to have sex with the hot guy who won’t look twice at her?

Uprooted had me hooked from the very start.

Agnieszka, is such an interesting character that you can’t help but love. It was her character that really drove this book for me. You can have all the books in the world about magic and dark evil forests, all of which that are quite similar in plot, but none of them are quite like Uprooted. This is a raw and powerful book that had me gasping in both shock and horror. The author really makes you feel part of the story.

Another thing I love particular is how mysterious this book comes across. The cover design gives you a Rapunzel vibe, the synopsis gives you so little detail about the book that you as the reader go into this book blind. Everything that the synopsis tells you happens within the first few pages, as a reader you have no idea where the plot is going.

You discover things as the characters do and that just immerses you in the story. For this reason, I’m not going to talk about the plot for this book, that’s up to you to discover.

This is truly a unique book.

 

Alien Rain

By Ruth Morgan

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I’m not really one for Sci-Fi stuff in books. I love it in films but some reason I just can’t root for it in books. So I almost didn’t read Alien Rain. Truth be told, the only reason I gave it ago was because of the cover. Yes, I know you’re not meant to judge a book by its cover but guys, how pretty is that cover, how cool is that dragon-fly? It caught my attention so I had to gie it a shot and I’m glad I did.

I’d say this book is more designed for young adults or teenagers. Maturity wise I couldn’t always connect with the charters or protagonist because their actions seemed immature, but that probably has something to do with me being an adult now (although I sometimes still describe myself as a teenager).

The world building is inane in this book though.

I have a very visual, vivid imagination and this book really appealed to me. Some books leave it up to you to craft the details of the world, but this book gave you all the info you needed to really picture the environment.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but you follow the path of a teenage girl called Bree who lives in a Martian city. It’s her dream, along with everyone elses, to return to Earth. You probably think you know where the plot is going just from that, but I wouldn’t be too sure of yourself, this book is full of twists, turns and cliff hangers. However, if you like a splash of poetry on the side, this book is for you.

 

Live To Give

By Austin Gutwein 

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‘Letting God turn your talents into miracles’

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like a right old waste of flesh. This feeling can sometimes amplify when talking to Christians of a similar age to me who God is doing some really cool things in their life. You feel really happy for them and so excited about God moving, but once the conversation is over you kinda deflate and doubt slips in. I feel like I have nothing good to offer God.

If you ever feel like that, I’d say give this book a read.

It’s by no means a ‘how to’ guide in discovering your talents and gifts or becoming a super mega christian. It is however, an engorgement. One thing that really sticks in my head from this book is that ‘God doesn’t need your help, but he wants it.’ It focus on the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and how one boys offering his small lunch to Jesus lead to one of the biggest miracles in the bible.

This isn’t an airy fairy book either. God used Austin Gutwein’s, the author, hobby of baseball to found Hoops of Hope, an international AIDs relief organisation and through the book Austin tells you his own story and what amazing things God’s been doing with his small hobby.

 

I Wanna Be… A Woman Of God

By Beth Redman

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So this book was given to me by someone from my church for Christmas and truth be told, I haven’t finished it yet. However, what I’ve read so far has been very meaningful and relevent to me, so I’ve decided to include it in my top 6.

This is an easy read that packs a punch.

It gives relevant advice to young women and girls that’s backed up by the word of God. It’s not long and complicated, it’s not boring or overly simplified. It pulls on other women’s personal experiences and testimony to make it’s points, there’s even a whole section that has been wrote by a professional and trained counsellor so you know what your reading has credibility.

This book covers the feeling of being unwanted, self-identity, conflict within the church and wanting to be someone else and comparing yourself to them.

Like I said before, I haven’t got all he way through this book so I can’t give you my full opinion of it yet. But what I’ve read so far is great and I can just tell it’s going to be one of my favorites.

 

PopCo

By Scarlett Thomas

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My final book is PopCo.

Sadly I don’t have a pretty photo like the others. Turns out I’m dating a book thief who currently has this book held captive (or I may have borrowed it to them because this book is amazing!). But they snapped a photo of its cover for me so I could show you guys, what’s awesome.

This is 100% an adult book. It’s an amazing book, and I’ll explain why later, but I’m not really going to recommend it to anyone under the age of 18 really. It’s not fulled to the brim with sex, there is a few descriptive bits and bad habits that I personaly can not promote, but the main reason I wouldn’t reason it is because it’s very business orientated. I think you need some knowledge of a working life, business and maturity to make the most of this book. I’m not saying you can’t read it if you’re one of my younger readers, I’m just saying that you probably won’t fully appreciate it.

This is a fun book filled with codes, suspense, mystery, the odd burning romance, if you’re intrested in that, and real life. This isn’t a book about heroes or saving the world. This is a nitty-gritty real life book that as a reader I could just get. It’s a true breath of fresh air in the book world, because I’ll admit that sometimes will all need a break from the popular plot of a perfect protaganist who’s going to save the world.

I have no other way of describing it other than it’s something different, a breath of fresh air and it’s just something new.

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

 

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So there we go, those are my best reads of 2017.

I wish I could have gone into more detail about the plots of the books themselves but I personally love going into a book with as little knowledge as possible, so I can make the most of a surprising plot. I’m not sure how many others think the same as me but I just didn’t want to spoil anything.

I hope you all have a great 2018, I am personally looking forward to all the new books I can get my hands on. I hope you have something to be looking forward too in the new year.

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