Best Books of 2017

Jennifer DeSimone
January 16, 2024

It's no surprise that within our community of travelers we also have a vast community of readers.

We asked our community to tell us what their favorite book of 2017 was, and we've put the most incredible list together!

Our list includes personal development and empowerment focused reads, a special section for fan favorites (books with the most recommendations), and even a couple of poetry submissions. Many of the books stretched our personal boundaries and many books challenged our current views of the world.

What stands out most is that the diversity of our community is represented across the diversity of the books that were chosen.

We can't wait to dig into some of these....and hope you enjoy!

Without further ado, here is our Best Book of 2017 List created by our community (in no particular order).

‍Looking at books in Lima: Photo cred: Jonno Appel

Nonfiction Fan Favorites

A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
A Year of Saying Yes by Shonda Rhimes
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

"Our book club selections made huge impacts on me: Year of Living Danishly and Year of Yes." - Casey Herrlich

Fiction Fan Favorites

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Exit West by Moshin Hamid
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee



Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Brida by Paulo Coelho
Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
Small Great Things By Jodi Piccoult
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz 
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

"Just Mercy - a powerful read that made me angry, depressed, and hopeful at the same time. Non fiction book about our often eff'ed up justice system." - Ilya Zhest


We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
The Hillbilly Elegy by J.D Vance Between
The World And Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah 
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
Between Two Worlds: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi and Laurie Becklund
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Book lovers heaven in LA

Personal Development - Self

How to Hygge by Signe Johansen
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Being in Love by Osho
Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz
Trauma Stewardship by Laura Lipsky
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
It's Okay To Laugh, Crying is Okay Too by Nora McInerny Purmort

Personal Development - Business

The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma
Mastery by Robert Greene
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

"It was a year of #girlboss authors for me." - Thorunn Jonsdottir 

Women Focused

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It by Valerie Young and Susan Ericksen
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
A Year of Saying Yes by Shonda Rhimes
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling


The Hashimoto’s Protocol by Izabella Wentz
Head Strong by Dave Asprey

Books at Laundromat Cafe in Iceland - Photo cred: Erica Hyder


Tell Me by Kim Addonizio
The Language of Moisture and Light by Le Hinton


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss!! 

"The Name of the Wind is an amazing fantasy series that rivals Harry Potter and LOTR. I know that is a big statement to make, but it lives up to the hype. Much better than GOT in my opinion!" - Lauren Coffey

The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter, the newest book in the Riyria Series by Michael J Sullivan
Oathbringer, Book 3 of the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
The Mystery Knight and The Sons of Dragons by George RR Martin

And last, but not least, my own personal pick for 2017 that has not yet been mentioned...

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue - the story is heartbreaking and beautiful, and in so many ways reminded me of my dad, who is an immigrant and like Jende, believes so much in the American dream.

Hope you enjoy these reads!

Be sure to keep track of your favorite books throughout the upcoming year so you can contribute your recommendations for our 2018 list.

Questions? Shoot me an email!

Jennifer DeSimone
Currently based in Austin, Jennifer is the Chief of Community for U30X. She has a passion for creating connections, community, and opportunities for more empathy. In her spare time you can find her on her yoga mat, whipping up something yummy in the kitchen, or reading a good book.


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