It’s a new year so it’s time for a new reading list!
2016 was a brilliant year for literature. A number of record-breaking best sellers were published and many previously underrated novels were brought to public attention and given the recognition they deserve.
From among the masses of brilliant stories, here are the books you absolutely must read in 2017 (if you haven’t already). We’ve compiled a list of 12 unique and best-selling stories, one book for each month, that any bibliophile should have under their belt.
The Circle (2013)
About: The story of a woman who starts working at The Circle, a leading tech company. The longer she works there the more suspect things begin to seem.
Why: The Orwellian themes of the novel resonate a little too well with the current-day reader, which has caused the book to rise to cult status.
Movie: The film adaptation is due to be released in the middle of 2017 and stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.Buy it here
Hidden Figures (2016)
About: The true story of the female African-American mathematicians who played a crucial role in some of NASA’s biggest achievements in early space exploration.
Why: This incredible true story has received a tonne of critical praise and is a New York Times best seller.
Movie: The book has already been turned into a film starring Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson. It has received a number of Golden Globe nominations.
Brave New World (1931)
About: Regarded as a canon classic, Brave New World tells of a dystopian future where humans are created and conditioned in accordance with a strict caste system.
Why: Part of the literary canon, Brave New World is regarded as one of the greatest books of all time, in part because it is eerily prophetic. The book has become more and more relevant as time passes. A must read for bibliophiles.
Movie: A made-for-TV movie was released in 1980 but was not well regarded.
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo (2016)
About: The memoirs of comedian, Amy Schumer. The book wittily explores her teen years, family and relationships.
Why: Amy Schumer is not only one of the world’s most hyped comedians but she’s also an activist, a feminist and the voice of generation of women. Her book is a must read.
Movie: There are no current plans for a film adaptation.
A Long Way Home (2012)
About: Saroo was adopted by a white Australian family after he was lost as a child in India. Now as an adult he tries to retrace his steps and find his family.
Why: This incredible true story has received rave reviews from The Sun Herald, The Age and more.
Movie: The 2017 film adaptation stars Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, David Wenham and Rooney Mara. It has been nominated for a number of Golden Globe Awards.
The Mountain Between Us (2011)
About: This romantic disaster novel follows the story of two people who are injured and stuck in the wilderness after surviving a plane crash.
Why: This critically-acclaimed romance novel has high ratings of 4.2 and 4.4 on Goodreads and Barnes & Noble respectively.
Movie: The 2017 film will star Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.
When Breath Becomes Air (2016)
About: As a man almost reaches the completion of 10 years of neurosurgery study he is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
Why: This book ranked as the seventh best selling book on Amazon in 2016. It won Goodreads Choice Awards Best Memoir and Autobiography.
Movie: There are no plans for a film adaptation as of yet.
Thank You For Your Service (2013)
About: An intimate look at what life is like for soldiers after they have returned from war.
Why: Named as Book of the Year 2013 by the Washington Post and Notable Book of the Year 2013 by the New York Times.
Movie: The book will be turned into a movie in 2017 starring Amy Schumer and Miles Teller.
The Girl on the Train (2015)
About: A crime thriller told from the perspective of three women: Rachel, an alcoholic who pines for the life she lost with her ex-husband Tom; Anna, Tom’s new wife and mother to Evie; and Megan, Anna and Evie’s mysterious nanny.
Why: This book debuted as number one on the New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 and it stayed there for 13 consecutive weeks. Published in February 2015, it had sold 1.5 million copies by April 2015.
Movie: The film adaptation, which appeared in cinemas in 2016, starred Emily Blunt and Justin Theroux.
The Light Between The Oceans (2012)
About: A couple living in a remote area of Australia informally adopt a baby girl that washes up on an abandoned boat. Years later they discover more about the child’s past, which forces them to make an impossible choice.
Why: This award-winning best seller is one of the most successful novels to come out of Australia in recent years. The book was so successful that it caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who turned it into a movie.
Movie: The film adaptation was released in 2016 and stars Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz.
All the Light We Cannot See (2014)
About: The story of a blind French girl and a German boy who meet during the Second World War in occupied France.
Why: In addition to being a New York Times best seller, in 2015 the book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Movie: There are no current plans for a film adaptation.
About: After suffering an emotional trauma at a young age, Humbert Humbert develops an unhealthy fixation with young girls, specifically, his step-daughter Lolita.
Why: Regarded as one of the best and most controversial books of the 20th century, it has been both banned in many countries and considered a part of the literary canon.
Movie: Two major film adaptations of Lolita have been released. One in 1962 directed by Stanley Kubrick and one in 1997 starring Jeremy Irons.