King County Library System releases its Best Books of 2017

Librarians share their annual Best Book titles for a variety of readers’ interests

King County Library System (KCLS), one of the largest library systems in the country, released its selections for the Best Books of 2017. The annual list includes KCLS’ top 25 titles each under four categories: adult fiction, adult nonfiction, teens and children’s.

Best Book Lists are selected by nominations from King County Library System librarians and staff members who, collectively, read and download hundreds of books each year. Once nominations are made, KCLS Reader’s Services Specialist, Emily Calkins, reviews all titles before final selections are made by a team of adult, teen and children’s librarians.

“It’s a tough choice to make! So many great books come out each year, and our staff are passionate about the books they read and recommend,” said Calkins. “We’ve come up with four wonderful lists, and we think any reader will find something to love on them.”

Following are King County Library System’s Best Books of 2017:

Best Adult Fiction Books 2017: (in order of author’s last name)

  1. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  2. American War by Omar El Akkad
  3. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
  4. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  5. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
  6. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
  7. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  8. The Dry by Jan Harper
  9. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  10. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  11. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  12. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
  13. The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor
  14. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
  15. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  16. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  17. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
  18. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  19. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
  20. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
  21. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  22. Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
  23. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  24. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
  25. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Best Adult Nonfiction Books 2017: (in order of author’s last name)

  1. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
  2. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee
  3. Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
  4. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
  5. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-nehisi Coates
  6. The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
  7. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Jr. Forman
  8. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  9. Ghost of Seattle Past by Jaimee Garbacik
  10. Hunger by Roxane Gay
  11. Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  12. Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as An Adult by Bruce Handy
  13. We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby
  14. No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein
  15. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
  16. Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
  17. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy
  18. Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O'Donnell
  19. The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals by Joel Satore
  20. Daring to Drive: a Saudi Woman's Awakening by Manal Sharif
  21. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  22. The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
  23. Make Trouble by John Waters
  24. Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope: Voices From the Women's March
  25. The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures

Best Teen Books 2017: (in order of author’s last name)

  1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  2. City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson 
  3. Crack in the Sea by H.M. Bouwman
  4. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  5. The Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley Doyle
  6. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  7. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
  8. Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World      edited by Kelly Jensen
  9. Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
  10. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour 
  11. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  12. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  13. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
  14. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  15. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  16. Loving Vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell
  17. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  18. Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  19. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
  20. Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
  21. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  22. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  23. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whelan Turner
  24. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
  25. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Best Children’s Books 2017: (in order of author’s last name)

  1. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander
  2. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
  3. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
  4. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
  5. Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
  6. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
  7. Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt
  8. Star Crossed by Barbara Dee
  9. The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy
  10. Windows by Julia Denos
  11. Moto and Me by Suzi Eszterhas
  12. When's My Birthday by Julie Fogliano
  13. Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart
  14. Real Friends by Shannon Hale
  15. The Good for NOTHING Button! by Charise Mericle Harper
  16. Egg by Kevin Henkes
  17. All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jackson
  18. Shark Lady by Jess Keating
  19. Lost and Found Cat: the True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey by Doug Kuntz
  20. Train I Ride by Paul Mosier
  21. A Different Pond by Bao Phi
  22. Three Billy Goats Gruff by Jerry Pinkey
  23. Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
  24. Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
  25. Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

All Best Books 2017 are available to borrow in various formats, including print, audio, digital audio and eBook, at your local KCLS library or online to download at