The Best Books We Read in 2017

As is tradition for, well, all book blogs ever, we compiled a list of the best books we each read in 2017.

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Radical Compassion in The Year of the Runaways

Sunjeev Sahota’s heart-wrenching Booker-nominated novel The Year of the Runaways, which follows four young Indians in England over a year filled with tragedy and struggle, is one of the most beautifully written books I have read all year, and also the most sensitively observed work of social realism.

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Links We Loved This Week — 12/15/17

Sometimes a story comes along that’s just as valuable for the reaction it engenders as it is for the words themselves. You should read the buzzy New Yorker story “Cat Person,” and you should definitely read the short-lived but hilarious Twitter account, “Men React to Cat Person.” They have thoughts.

Vulture published a list of 10 great holiday-adjacent movies that aren’t Die Hard. We humbly submit that While You Were Sleeping, which takes place almost entirely between Christmas Eve and New Year’s, is an obvious hole in this list, but at least they got You’ve Got Mail!

YAY! Colin Meloy and Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a song!

The New Yorker published a thoughtful analysis of the controversial art created by Guantanamo detainees.

Links We Loved This Week — 12/1/17

Kinda looks like literature may be on the verge of its very own #Gamergate. Here’s hoping the sad young literary men are a little bit more woke than the sad young gaming men. In short, the acclaimed novelist Emma Cline is fighting accusations from an ex-boyfriend that she plagiarized her novel from his emails, because y’all know women don’t come up with stuff on their own: read about it in The Guardian.

The inspiring story of how a novice 30-year-old screenwriter writing on her kitchen table got her script for The Post made in under a year, via Vulture.

Louise Erdrich just wrote a book about dystopian enslavement of women based on their ability to produce healthy babies, so she was interviewed by the woman who wrote the book on fertility-based oppression: Margaret Atwood. Via Elle.

After a Never Let Me Go-style art exhibit by Guantanamo prisoners to demonstrate their humanity, the US government has declared that they own all of the art, and may start destroying it.

Nabokov’s dream diary, in which he details over 50 strange, violent, and erotic dreams, is about to be published for the first time. According to the editor, Gennady Barabtarlo, Nabokov completely failed to notice the similarity between his dreams and some of his writings.

The allegations against Mad Men showrunner Matt Weiner have gotten slightly lost in the ever-growing conga line of terrible men, but Buffy and UnREAL‘s Marti Noxon, who also wrote for Mad Men, believes them. She went so far as to call Weiner an “emotional terrorist.”

Amber Heard wans young actresses trying to find complex female parts not to play characters who are described as “enigmatic.” “The word ‘enigmatic’ means ‘Her backstory doesn’t matter.’ I fell for that so many times.” Via Women in the World.