The best fiction reads of 2017

Put your feet up! There's plenty of good reading to do this year.

It feels like New Years Day was only a couple of weeks ago but we’re now three months into 2017.

That’s right, queue the heralds of ‘How is it *already* March’?

To celebrate World Book Day we’ve taken a look at some of the best fiction books of the year so far, as well as some of the best books to look forward to for the rest of 2017.

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

This much anticipated debut novel from famed short story maestro George Saunders is sure to not disappoint.

The story is based on the death of Abraham Lincoln’s young son, Willie. It’s set over one night, the 22nd of February 1862, two days after the boys death, in which Abraham Lincoln visits his son in the crypt and decides to spend the night with the body.

It is a novel written in voices and set in a supernatural realm between life and death. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward for Saunders.

Released: 9th March 2017

Human Acts

Han Kang

From the author of the Man Booker Prize 2016 winning The Vegetarian, comes an emotional and tragic story of political unrest and the search for justice.

The book is set in 1980s South Korea, centered around a student protest that turned horrifically violent. A young boy named Dong-ho is tragically killed.  The story of this episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho’s best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho’s own grief-stricken mother.

All Grown Up

Jami Attenberg

Andrea Bern is 39 years old, single and child-free. The novel is written in gut-wrenchingly honest language as the character navigates family, sexuality, friendships and a career that she never wanted.

Posing such questions as: What if I don’t want to hold your baby? Why does everyone keep asking me why I’m not married? And, at what point does drinking a lot become a drinking problem?

Wickedly funny and intelligently written, All Grown Up tells the story of what it is to be a 21st century woman, though they might not always want to admit it.

Released: 6th April 2017

House of Names

Colm Tóibín

In this novel of longing, betrayal and intimate violence, Tóibín reworks ancient Greek myth and drama to tell the story of the fall of the house of Atreus. On the day of his daughters wedding Agamemnon sacrifices her in exchange for fair winds to Troy and marches off to war.

Three years later he returns and has to cope with the fall-out, and plots of bloody revenge, from within his own home.

Released: 18th May 2017

All Our Wrong Todays

Elan Mastai

Set in a Utopian 2016 magically devoid of the natural and man-made horrors of our current reality, All Our Wrong Todays follows a young man named Tom as he mistakenly finds himself in an alternate universe. That alternate universe is what we know as the present day. Through the eyes of Tom we see it how he does, as a horrifying Dystopia.

On top of the brilliant philosophical premise of parallel version of ones life and the people in it – of the ‘what might have been’ had history unfolded differently. Mastai’s book is also full of infectious humour and you won’t be able to put it down.

The Massacre of Mankind

Stephen Baxter

Set 14 years after the Martian defeat in the War of the Worlds, the world has moved on, always watching the skies but content in the knowledge that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to earth germs, and the Army is prepared.

So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins. He’s sure that the Martian’s have learned, adapted and understood their defeat.

Norse Mythology

Neil Gaiman

The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien to Game of Thrones and Marvel comics. They’ve also inspired some of Gaiman’s own bestselling fiction. Now he’s gone back to the original source of the stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales. Gaiman brings the god’s to life on the page – they are visceral, playful and passionate.

The novel carries us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods. Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers, brought to life by one of the best writers of the last few decades.

Into the Water

Paula Hawkins

The eagerly awaited new novel from the author of the world-wide best seller The Girl on the Train.

This story centers around two sisters and is set in a small riverside town. Nel spends the last few days before her death calling her sister Jules, who didn’t pick up the phone. Now Nel is deal and Jules is being dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool.

Released: 2nd May 2017

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Arundhati Roy

This could go down as one of the most eagerly awaited books of this year. This is the second novel from Roy, just a mere two decades since ‘The God of Small Things’ won the Man Booker Prize.

It follows the stories of various characters, both human and animal, who have been broken by the world we live in, but are ultimately mended by love.

This fiercely original author is sure to have weaved another extraordinary novel, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some more awards in Roy’s future.

Released: 6th June 2017

Winds of Winter

George R R Martin

Ok, so this one is a little bit tongue in cheek. No-one, apparently not even Martin himself, knows when this book will be released. But we can but hope it will be in 2017? Maybe? That will only make it six years since the release of the last book in the Game of Thrones saga.

Expect many battles, white walkers and a fair amount of surprises. Almost definitely including the death of your new favourite character.

Released: When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves.*

*We’re kidding – but please announce a date soon George. Please.

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