The Best Books of the Year...So Far

RoyIt's hard to believe that 2017 is almost halfway through, and just in time for summer reading season we are excited to reveal our picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far, published from January through June. No sooner had we narrowed-down our darlings for number one when Arundhati Roy (finally!) released her first novel in 20 years, and it is decidedly not the victim of a sophomore slump; it slays. We echo the sentiments of Senior Editor Seira Wilson who said that The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is an "intricate and graceful story of lives touched by magic, broken by tragedy and mended with love. It's an exceptional work of storytelling and well worth the wait since her beloved debut, The God of Small Things." 

Below, you'll find the books that round out our overall top ten (Ms. Roy had some stiff competition). To browse all of our favorites so far this year--which span over a dozen categories including kids and teens--all you have to do is click right here.

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#2: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Smart, taut and gripping. Grann’s true-if-largely-unknown tale of big oil and serial murder on the Osage Indian Reservation in the 1920s is sobering for how it is at once unsurprising and unbelievable, full of the arrogance and inhumanity that our society has yet to overcome. --Jon Foro
 

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#3 Beartown by Fredrik Backman
The author of A Man Called Ove sidesteps the predictable as he forges a new path of soul-searching and truth-telling in his gripping new novel about a small, hockey-mad town whose hopes and loyalties are torn apart by a crime no one wants to believe happened. --Adrian Liang
 

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#4 Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Young lovers flee a war-torn Middle Eastern country to seek safety in the West, where cities like London have become embattled refugee settlements in this futuristic novel. Hamid (author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist) has said that in some sense we are all refugees, and it’s easy to sympathize with his protagonists, who find their romance tested by their travails in exile. --Sarah Harrison Smith
 

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#5 Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
When Patricia Lockwood temporarily moves back in with her parents—her father a Catholic priest who loves electric guitars; her mother focused on disasters and Satan worshippers—she returns, as well, to the memories of her upbringing. Poetically precise language and darkly hilarious observations spark zingers that will make you rethink your own childhood indoctrinations. --Adrian Liang
 

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#6 You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
In this family memoir set in the Spokane Indian Reservation, Alexie (author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven) connects, with humor and poignancy, the troubled life of his whip-smart and sometimes-cruel mother to the history of oppression and violence suffered by the larger American Indian community. --Sarah Harrison Smith
 

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#7 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Set in 1862, at a ghost-filled cemetery where President Lincoln’s beloved son Willie has been laid to rest, this first novel by acclaimed short-story-writer and essayist George Saunders will upend your expectations and leave you hooting with laughter when you aren’t wiping away your tears. --Sarah Harrison Smith
 

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#8 The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
A coming-of-age story tucked inside a love letter to the strange and wonderful 1980s. It's one of those rare and special books where once you've finished it, you want all your friends to read it immediately. --Seira Wilson
 

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#9 Hunger by Roxane Gay
In this brutally honest and brave memoir, the bestselling author of Bad Feminist recounts how a childhood sexual assault led her to purposely gain weight in order to be unseen and therefore feel safe; it’s a story that will inspire you to be more considerate of the bodies of others, and more accepting of your own. --Erin Kodicek
 

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#10 Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
With Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari follows up his bestselling Sapiens—which looked back at the last 70,000 years of human evolution and history—with a look forward. In short, where do we go from here? --Chris Schluep
 

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