I would like to caveat this post by saying that these books are by no means all published in 2017, but are simply the best that I have read this year. I thought I would share this firstly because personally I find it interesting to hear what other people are reading and recommending and secondly because with Christmas just around the corner books are often the perfect present. As such, I have created a guide of who these would be “perfect for”; whether that be for lovers of fashion, food, finance or simply fiction.
Coco Chanel by Justine Picardie
Perfect for: Fashion lovers
After watching Coco Before Chanel I became immensely curious about the life of this iconic legend and as such I spent a substantial period of time researching which of her many biographies was the most accurate. I could not have been happier in my decision to choose this edition from Justine Picardie. It is exquisitely written, not only in terms of the language but also in terms of Picardie’s storytelling ability.
This is accurately summarised by the following quote form The Daily Mail; “Justine Picardie’s vividly told account of Coco Chanel’s life has all the elements of a novel: the mystery, the sense of loss, the quest for fame and fortune, the distinguished lovers…in the style of Chanel herself”. The book is also filled with numerous illustrations from Karl Lagerfeld as well as previously unseen photographs from Chanel’s past.
Additionally, unlike the film that initially sparked my interest, this book dives into every aspect of Chanel’s notoriously guarded existence, not just her childhood abandonment and subsequent upbringing in a convent orphanage, but also her friendship with Winston Churchill and wartime affair with a German officer initaiting allegations of her being a Nazi collaborator.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Perfect for: Food lovers
“Sweetbitter is a novel of the senses. Of taste and hunger, of love and desire, and the wisdom that comes from our experiences, both sweet and bitter.”
Upon opening the first page of this novel the audience is transported into the protagonist Tess’ world as she begins to navigate the tumultuous life of a waitress in a renowned New York City restaurant. This transportation is achieved first and foremost through Danler’s adrenalised and somewhat manic style of writing, which can be seen as being reflective of the chaotic life of a waitress.
Furthermore, whilst this book does revolve around a dark, alluring love triangle, it would be a gross understatement to classify it as a romance novel. It is as much about the blossoming love between its characters as it is about Tess’s blossoming love for food, wine and literature. The all-encompassing way in which Danler describes food; from its taste, to its aroma, its texture and even its effect on the human body, is truly phenomenal. It is no wonder that this novel is an international bestseller.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Perfect for: Finance lovers
I actually received this as a gift last Christmas and it was the first book that I read in 2017 and acted as the catalyst for many interesting discussions. Although it is aimed at parents, who Kiyosaki regards as “a child’s first and foremost important teachers”, I think it is equally important for young adults who are looking to make more informed financial decisions.
This non-fiction book explores two contrasting perspectives that Kiyosaki received about money; one from his “rich dad” (actually the friend of his father who he became very close to) and one from his “poor dad” (his biological father). The book is then sectioned into easily digestible “lessons”, which are those that Kiyosaki himself was taught from this “rich dad” and which he proposes as guidelines to teach others how to attain wealth.
Whatever your preconceived notions are of finance, I would highly recommend this, which is widely regarded as the #1 Personal Finance Book of All Time.
The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne
Perfect for: Fiction lovers
“One of Sarah’s daughters died. But does she know which one?”
It is safe to say that I have an obsession with psychological thrillers and that the majority of my reading is within this genre. Understandably therefore, it takes quite a lot to blow me away, but The Ice Twins most certainly did. Without wanting to give too much away, this novel is the story of the death of one identical twin sister and the effect that it has on her family. To describe this novel as eerie, mesmerising, haunting or gripping would not be enough to even begin to scratch the surface of the web that Tremayne has spun.
I hope this gave you some last minute Christmas gift ideas or even just some inspiration in terms of your next book to read. If you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments below!