It’s almost hard to believe that December is already here! Almost… And as we’re wrapping up the year it makes sense to think about our favorites of the year.
Full disclosure before I start, I don’t typically read a lot of new books. Since I’ve started this blog I’ve read a WHOLE LOT MORE new books than I usually do, but my final total for the end of this year still only comes out to 10.
I think it’s also worth noting that my absolute favorite book this year was not actually new. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell has so far been the winner, and at this point is unlikely to be be displaced. If you’re interested, you can check out my Top 10 books of the year here. I know people have mixed feelings about Rainbow Rowell books, and Fangirl in particular, but it just felt like it was written just for me. I adored it.
So, without further ado, my favorite book published in 2017 is…
The Bear and the Nightingale
Oh. My. Goodness.
This is another book that received mixed reviews, but I was crazy about it! I loved it so much that I not only BOUGHT A COPY, but pre-ordered a copy of the sequel, The Girl in the Tower, which comes out later this month. That might not sound like a big deal to you, but let me just put that in perspective for you. I have bought exactly 3 books this year, one of which was only purchased for the signature on the front page. I haven’t pre-ordered a book since Harry Potter 7 came out in 2007. So, yeah, I liked this book. A lot.
As far as modern fairy tales go, this one is both unique and beautiful. Many readers have criticized the pacing, but I enjoyed the more leisurely tempo of the book. The magic was unique and enchanting, and the descriptions were vivid and beautiful. I wrote in my review that the Russian winter seemed to seep out of the pages, even though I was reading in a hot Texas July.
The setting of medieval Russia was also fascinating. I’ve never read anything in that setting before, and I was absolutely fascinated. The way Arden wove folklore into her story was both interesting and enchanting. And the book was so well-researched that it really felt like reading a traditional Russian story.
The characters, however, were what really captured me. They weren’t at all one-dimensional. Even the more minor characters were complicated and conflicted.
I cannot recommend The Bear and the Nightingale enough, especially to people who love fairy tales. Or historical fiction. Wow. Great book.
Calendar Girls Books is a monthly discussion hosted by Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile and Melanie at MNBernard Books. To find out more about the Calendar Girls, visit either of their December picks. Here’s Flavia’s and Melanie’s.
Our chat will be on Twitter on Sunday December 17th at 8 EST.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else picked, and maybe adding some more books to my TBR!