17 Books to Read in 2017

My list of some of the most intriguing reads of 2017 grouped by genre, some of which I have read, and some yet to...

Mystery/Thriller -
  • Abir Mukherjee's A Necessary Evil - As far as historical crime fiction is considered, Abir Mukherjee's Sam Wyndham series set in 1920's colonial India is the best thing I have come across in recent years. A Necessary Evil is all about Captain Wyndham and Sergeant 'Surrender-Not' Banerjee's investigation into the assassination of a heir to the wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore and it's a thrilling read!
  • Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders - A cunningly crafted matryoshka doll of a murder mystery set in the world of book publishing that's a whodunit within a whodunit.
  • Kristen Lepionka's The Last Place You Look - Can a disappearance that happened 15 years ago be solved? The Last Place You Look has the answers in what's Lepionka's gripping debut. What's more, when have you last read a novel with a bisexual woman as its protagonist?
  • J. Robert Lennon's Broken River - It's a bit hard to slot Broken River. Atmospheric, brooding and haunting, it is part mystery, part crime, part horror and all parts electrifying.
Science Fiction -
  • Zachary Mason's Void Star - If Change Agent had you hooked, wait until you read this chilling dystopian novel that unfolds in a future where rising seas and desertification are a reality.
  • Jeff VanderMeer's Borne - VanderMeer's first novel after the famous Southern Reach Trilogy has everything you would expect from a riveting story that blends elements of survival and thrills in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by drought and conflict.
True Crime -
  • David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - From the author of Amazonian jungle adventure The Lost City of Z comes an engrossing real-life mystery about a series of murders that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920's.
  • Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir - Yet another fascinating deep dive into the world of true crime that's about Ricky Langley, a paedophile who was convicted of the murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in 1992.
Science -
  • Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - Almost a spiritual successor to his previous book Sapiens that takes an urgent look at how current trends in science and technology is shaping the future of mankind.
  • Jim Robbins' The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future - Frankly speaking, who wouldn't be interested to know more about birds, the direct descendants of dinosaurs, and the important role they play in biological ecosystems?
  • Peter Brannen's The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions - A companion work to Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History that explores Earth's five mass extinction events and points out how ill-equipped we are as a species to deal with what lies ahead.
Non-fiction - 
  • Manuel Lima's The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge - Like the title says, a book about circles. This is how author Manuel Lima, a design lead at Google and founder of visualcomplexity.com, encapsulated the gist of it when I met him a few months ago - "Humans prefer curves, and circles represent happiness, wholeness, perfection, unity, movement and infinity."
  • Douglas Preston's The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story - An exciting true-life archaeological adventure in the dense jungles of Honduras that delves into the myth of the lost city of the Monkey God.
  • Ali H. Soufan's Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State - A former FBI agent and counter-terrorism operative himself, Ali H. Soufan offers an insider view of the workings of Islamic State.
Literary Fiction - 
  • Paul Auster's 4 3 2 1 - A long but rewarding read that takes a look at Archie Ferguson's life in four alternating timelines and in four different versions.
  • Han Kang's Human Acts - A hard-hitting story just as important as any other, but probably unheard of - that of the South Korean Gwangju Uprising in 1980 and the police brutality that followed to suppress it. Deborah Smith's evocative and richly-detailed translation makes it a visceral read.
  • Mohsin Hamid's Exit West - An extraordinary story of love and courage set in the backdrop of the refugee crisis.