Our Favorite Books Of 2017 Are All Right Here

Not long ago, we read a study that made our bookish hearts stir. We're pleased to inform you — if, that is, you didn't already know — that print is absolutely, positively, not dead. It's very much alive, in fact. People still prefer actual paper tomes to e-readers and audio. Not to mention: Women are among the most likely to stop at a real life bookstore and snag some physical reading material. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that books are just so damned good right now? Either way, huzzah!

Nice job, gals — both the readers and writers among you. We predict that 2017, just like the year before it, has brought with it a mile-long reading list of new releases to be piled on the proverbial bedside table. So without further ado, here is a list of all the titles we've been excited about since New Year's. Happy reading!
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Photo: Courtesy of Riverhead Books.
A Separation
By Katie Kitamura
Out February 7

When a young woman and her husband separate, he asks that she tell no one — and she obliges. But when her estranged spouse goes missing in a remote region of Greece and her mother-in-law bids her to go find him, she must embark on the mission. In the process, she begins to uncover details about her former lover's life that have been buried for all the years she's known him.

A spellbinding portrait of how a marriage frays and how intimacy can betray us, Kitamura has spun a tangled web of a story we could absolutely not put down until the final sentence came to a close. Gone Girl fans, take note — you’’re definitely going to want to dive into this one.
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Photo: Courtesy of HarperCollins.
The Possessions
By Sara Flannery Murphy
Out February 7

For years now, Edie has worked for Elysian Society: a private service that allows the bereaved to reconnect with their dead loved ones. Elysian Society workers don the clothes and personal paraphernalia of the dead, and then channel their spirits for brief periods of time.

But when Edie first channels Sylvia, the deceased wife of Patrick Braddock, she knows something is different — and more than a little dangerous — this time around. What happens next is the story of how Edie disappears into memory of a dead woman and discovers long-buried secrets about her own past along the way.
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Photo: Courtesy of Picador.
The Woman Next Door
By Yewande Omotoso
Out February 7

Hortensia James and Marion Agostina have been neighbors for years. Both are successful. Both are newly widowed. Each has a secret that the other desperately wants. But as sworn enemies — divided by a hedge between their houses and by race — neither Hortensia nor Marion has ever tried to truly get to understand her neighbor. Until now, that is, when they most decide what is more important to hold onto: a grudge, or their way of life.
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Photo: Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.
All The Lives I Want
By Alana Massey
Out February 7

From the writer behind the viral essay "Being Winona In A World Made For Gwyneths" comes a beautifully articulated, personal collection of cultural criticisms on the subjects of celebrity worship and the performance of womanhood in the world.

From Anna Nicole Smith and Amber Rose to Scarlett Johansson and Lana Del Rey, Massey's debut covers a lot of territory, but keeps you pinned to the pages at every turn. We're recommending this one for your next book club — All The Lives I Want is the book we want to be dissecting with all our girlfriends in the months to come.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ecco.
A Book of American Martyrs
By Joyce Carol Oates
Out February 7

To be honest, there’s not much (i.e. anything ) by Joyce Carol Oates we wouldn’t recommend reading. But even so, her latest novel stands out at the top of our reading recommendation list.

The story of two families in a midwestern community, A Book Of American Martyrs chronicles what happens after an abortion care provider is murdered in a small Ohio town. Urgent and epic, this fictional work is also an important interrogation of how issues divide neighbors — and our nation — today.
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Photo: Courtesy of Penguin Random House.
The Girl From The Metropol Hotel
By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
Out February 7

Acclaimed writer and reporter Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born inside Moscow’s famed Metropol Hotel in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution. But not long after that, the hotel became the Second House of the Soviets, and she and her family were cast into the streets to fend for themselves.

This is Petrushevskaya's story of being tossed from her posh home and raised among outcasts. Biting but beautiful, it’s an autobiography that says much about the world both then and now.
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Photo: Courtesy of Flatiron Books.
Schadenfreude, A Love Story
By Rebecca Schuman
Out February 7

Every once in awhile, a coming-of-age memoir arrives that truly breaks the mold — and this one certainly fits that bill. Like a lot of people, Rebecca Schuman fell in love for the first time as a teenager. But unlike most everyone on the planet, the object of her affection was a man who had been dead for a near-quarter century: Franz Kafka. What unfolds in Schadenfreude is the story of their (admittedly one-sided) affair, and then some. Germanophiles, this one's for you.
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Photo: Courtesy of Riverhead Books.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel
By Heather O’Neill
Out February 7

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914, but it quickly becomes clear that there are more to the duo than meets the eye. Pierrot grows into a piano prodigy; Rose can charm any room with her dancing and personality. Together, they begin to perform throughout the city and plan a circus act the likes of which the world has never seen. But when fate tears them apart, the lovers must find their way back to one another through the seedy underbelly of a city with many secrets beneath its bricked streets.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bloomsbury.
Piecing Me Together
By Renee Watson
Out February 14

Jane's family is poor — and she knows her only way out is a good education and the opportunities to come along with it. So when her elite private school offers her a chance to see the world through a study abroad program, she's ready to pack her bags.

But before Jane can leave her family, her community, and her circumstances behind, she must enroll in a mentorship program, where she is matched with a young woman named Maxine who just doesn't understand Jane's life. Finding common ground becomes much harder than either girl could have ever imagined — but the journey to understanding one another is an education unto itself.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ecco.
Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember
By Christine Hyung-Oak Lee
Out February 14

When Christine Hyung-Oak Lee woke up with a headache on the last day of 2006, she never would have imagined that within a week she would lose her ability to form sentences, or decide what to wear in the morning by herself.

But as her symptoms progressed, it became clear to doctors that the then-33-year-old had suffered a stroke. This honest and meditative memoir is the story about how Hyung-Oak Lee rebuilt her life, quite literally one step at a time, and how she discovered the person she had always wanted to become.
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Photo: Courtesy of Melville House Books.
Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto
By Jessa Crispin
Out February 21

If you're looking to get some real talk going at your book club, we definitely suggest bringing this new title into the mix. Crispin, founder of the beloved (and now defunct) literary blog Bookslut, has a complicated relationship with feminism. It's not that she isn't a feminist — this is a feminist manifesto, after all — but she does have some major questions about the kind of feminism we seem to be subscribing to these days.

Is the feminist movement too watered down and consumerist to matter anymore? Does being a feminist really just mean believing women are equal to men? Who gets to claim the feminist label — and who doesn't? These are just a few of the questions and cultural criticisms posed in this smart and provocative release. And, especially in this modern moment, it's worth considering them all.
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Photo: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Flâneuse: Women Walk The City
By Lauren Elkin
Out February 21

Sure, there’s plenty of literature devoted to the meandering walks and subsequent observations of men. But this book turns the tables, delving into what happens when women go wandering: Equal parts memoir, social critique, and cultural criticism, Flâneuse is new world walking and watching literature — this time, from a much-needed female perspective.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bloomsbury.
Abandon Me
By Melissa Febos
Out February 28

In her critically acclaimed memoir Whip Smart, Melissa Febos gave readers a peek into the lifestyle of professional dominatrix, while also traversing themes of power and desire, subversion and fulfillment.

In the highly anticipated Abandon Me, she peels back another layer: Her latest release is a work that looks at the father her left her behind and the one who raised her, as well as the ripple effect those two relationships had on her life more largely. Intimate and mesmerizingly vulnerable, Abandon Me is a boot that gets at the heart of who we love, how we love — and why.
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Photo: Courtesy of Random House.
Everything Belongs To Us
By Yoojin Grace Wuertz
Out February 28

Jusin and Namin are best friends who couldn't have had more different lives before reaching university. The former is the daughter of a wealthy tycoon, without a care or want in the world; the latter, the daughter of street vendors, whose only goal in life is to launch her family out of poverty.

But when a young man enters their lives and draws them into a prestigious club at their elite university, Jusin and Namin must decide where their allegiances lie — to their families, to their politics, to their hearts, or to one another.
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Photo: Courtesy of Random House.
By Emily Ruskovich
Out January 3

Long-married couple Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves in northern Idaho. But as Wade's memory begins to fade, Ann becomes determined to learn more about her husband's first wife, Jenny, and their daughters.

Little by little, the shocking tragedy that split Wade and Jenny emerges, as does the story of how Wade and Ann found one another. Haunting and full of heart, this book is a perfect place to begin your new-year reading list.
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Photo: Courtesy of Atlantic Monthly Press.
History of Wolves
By Emma Fridlund
Released January 3

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents on a near-abandoned commune woods of northern Minnesota — a loner, isolated at home and among her peers, she craves a sense of community and belonging. Linda's wish is fulfilled when a young family moves into a house across the lake, and she becomes the babysitter for their young son. But one day, she stumbles upon a family secret, and must make a series of choices that will ripple through her life, forcing her to confront who she is, what she was born into, and if she can escape.
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Photo: Courtesy of Grove Press.
Difficult Women
By Roxane Gay
Released January 3

What wouldn't we read by Roxane Gay, patron saint of bad feminism? In Difficult Women, we get a peek at Gay's formidable fiction skills: Each story in this collection takes on a complicated female character and peels off her layers, one by one. Clear your afternoon, because you'll probably want to read this book all in one sitting.
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Photo: Courtesy of Random House.
The Most Dangerous Place On Earth
By Lindsey Lee Johnson
Released January 10

On the surface, the students at a wealthy San Francisco high school seem to have it all: opportunities, academic support, good friends, a solid community.

But look a little closer and you'll see that a few of them are barely hanging on by a thread. Abigail — all but bound for an Ivy League — has a secret that could undo all her academic efforts. David must take desperate measures to live up to his parent's expectations. Emma is a talented dancer with a wild streak that puts her life in danger. And all these teens are carrying around an awful incident from their middle school days. Looking for a book that makes you glad high school is behind you? You've found it.
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Photo: Lee Boudreaux Books.
The Futures
By Anna Pitoniak
Out January 17

Evan and Julia met and fell in love at Yale before moving to New York City to start their post-grad life together. Julia — born wealthy and beautiful — goes to work at a nonprofit, while Evan — who went to the elite Ivy on a scholarship — lands a job at a prestigious financial firm.

Yep, this is another novel about the economic collapse of the late aughts. But it's an especially good one, about the things you believe in when you're young, and what breaks your heart along the way.
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Photo: Courtesy of Random House.
The Animators
By Kayla Rae Whitaker
Released January 31

Mel and Sharon met in college — they've been best friends, and artistic collaborators, ever since. Eventually, the pair moved to Brooklyn, where they drank and drew their way through their twenties, together: Sharon has spent all these years trying to get out of her own head, while Mel has worked to understand her turbulent past.

Finally, after a decade, the women are receiving critical acclaim for their first full-length feature — an indie film centered on Mel's troubled childhood. But their success shines a light on cracks in their friendship foundation, splitting them apart and making Sharon feel suddenly expendable. When Sharon's childhood friend Teddy reenters her life, her past and present collide. Things only become more complicated from there, and ultimately Sharon reaches a fork in the road where she has to make a decision about where her loyalties — and her heart — lies.
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