Howlin Books 2017 Book Awards

Ok, not really an award just what I decided to call my favourite books of 2017. In total, I read 154 things I think actual novels would make up about 100 of that number. I’m only using the novels for this list though I think the YA book I picked is technically a novella…oh well.

I divided my choices into 10 categories including a Best Book of the Year.

Author of the Year

Kresley Cole

Every time I read a book by this woman I find it absolutely impossible to put down. I end up devouring them every dang time! Even when I think I’m not in the mood for a paranormal romance once I’m past the first paragraph, I’m hooked.

Cole writes romance novels in four sub-genres. She has two Historical series, one Young Adult, one Erotica and her amazing Paranormal series. The only series I have yet to try is her YA but that’s just because I’m always wary of YA. But she’s so amazing I will definitely read it at some point.

Series of the Year

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

I can’t believe it took me so long to really get into this series. I read Storm Front (book #1) in 2014 and loved it but I was struggling to get into Fool Moon (book #2) until someone suggested I try the audiobooks. Well, I fell in love all over again. I started them near the end of 2016 and listened to one after the other until I was caught up in 2017. As a whole, the series blew my mind. Butcher has an amazing ability to reinvent the series but still stay true to the characters and the world he created in the beginning. Not an easy job with such a long-running series (there are currently 15 novels released plus novellas and short stories). The Dresden Files follows Harry Dresden, a wizard for hire (no kids parties or love potions please), on his adventures assisting the police and dealing with Chicago’s paranormal baddies.

Urban Fantasy Book of the Year

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

An Urban Fantasy series that borders a touch closer to High Fantasy than most UF. Bishop does a fantastic job of building the world of The Others without stunting the progression of the story. It all flows quite naturally and she creates a very interesting and exciting world here. In The Others, the supernatural species are dominant and prey on humans whenever they step out of line. Written in Red follows Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet who escapes her controller and finds refuge in the Lakeside Courtyard. Home to vampires, shape-shifters and elementals who are all suspicious of her and her peculiar behaviour.

Romance Book of the Year

The Professional by Kresley Cole

*Ahem* technically this is Erotica but that’s still romance!!! Sex is an important part of a romantic relationship and boy howdy is there sex in this book! The story follows Natalie Porter after she finds her long last Russian birth father and then discovers he is part of the mafiya. He assigns ‘The Siberian’ as her guardian and *ahem* you can guess what happens after that. But you may be surprised by the intensity of their relationship and, even though the situations they end up in may seem far-fetched, it makes for a very entertaining read. Great if you like action and probably perfect for you if you enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey (I’ve never read that so I don’t really know but there’s lots of BDSM in this book).

Young Adult Book of the Year

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

The second book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series follows twin sisters Jack and Jill while they were in the world of their door. They were introduced in book #1, Every Heart A Doorway, in which we learn about Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The series follows children or teenagers who have returned from adventures in other worlds (such as Narnia and Wonderland) and have trouble adjusting to being young again and back in this world.

Non-Fiction Book of the Year

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We should all be feminists and we should all read this book. This 52-page essay explores the meaning of feminism in our modern world. What it means to everyone not just women from everyday sexist slights do the more damaging situations.

Literary Book of the Year

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book was huge this year, it barely needs any introduction. But if you haven’t heard of it, The Handmaid’s Tale is the disturbing story of an entirely too possible future America. For whatever reason infertility has become very common and a religious group decides to take over and instil women known as Handmaids into the homes of wealthy/powerful men as pretty much a broodmare. We follow a handmaid known as Offred through her daily life in this new regime.

Classic Book of the Year

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South is basically Pride and Prejudice with strong socialist themes but it’s still a beautiful romance in its own right. If the masters vs workers stuff annoys you it’s easy skim over it but a lot of it is necessary for character development I think. The story follows Margaret Hale after her father decides to leave his job in the south and move his family to an industrial town in the north. Here she meets John Thornton, one of the masters, and begins a turbulent relationship with the man. And speaking of Mr Thornton *swoon* serious competition for Mr Darcy!

Favourite 2017 Release

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

The eight and most satisfying instalment in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series (I am a total fangirl for this series). This was it. The book we were all waiting for and Chance did not disappoint. She tied up some of the recurring storylines but thankfully it’s not the end. Since it’s the eight book I can’t really tell you much about the plot without spoiling it but the series follows Cassie Palmer a clairvoyant who becomes the supernatural communities chief seer. Her boyfriend’s a vampire, her trainer’s a mage, together they kick ass!

Best Book of 2017

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Fully expected an Urban Fantasy book here but got an Urban Fantasy – Science Fiction combo. Any time I’ve read something like this in the past it doesn’t quite work but it really does here. Andrews are such a great writing team every book I’ve read by them has been a 4 or 5-star read. The book follows Dina Demille the proprietor of a Victorian inn in Texas. But her inn is not just an inn and Dina is no ordinary innkeeper. Her Shih Tzu is not just a Shih Tzu for that matter.

All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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10 thoughts on “Howlin Books 2017 Book Awards

  1. Hi. I just wanted to share a book I am just finishing up now. Its a historic work called Undaunted Courage: Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose. Its crossing over for me from 2017 to 2018 but I have wondered about the life of Lewis for some time and how that exploration had come to be. The book is somewhat dry and historic in some spots but in others I think Ambrose wrote with a flourish and sense of the history and dynamism of that time. If anyone likes reading history; they may like this book. Its taken me awhile and soon I will off to some Fantasy. Do others read in cycles I wonder? A bit of history then science fiction and then something else?


  2. We obviously have a shared love for urban fantasy. The Others series was my favorite find this year. Listen to the audio if you can, the narrator does an amazing job! Anything by Ilona Andrews is wonderful also. I love the Innkeeper series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I listened to Written in Red on audio, it was really good. Really helped with pronouncing so many of the names. I would definitely have gotten a lot of them wrong from just reading the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Dresden Files! Love! ❤

    I have intended to check out the audiobooks ever since I found out they were narrated by James Marsters… Strangely enough, i just recommended that to one of my friends about an hour before I read this post. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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