The Passerbuys Best Books of 2017

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The holiday season is the perfect time to stay inside near the radiators and catch up on some reading. If your resolution is to read more, here’s a start.

There's no such thing as reading too many books. Get started on the books that made noise and drove conversations in 2017. Check out the most recommended books according to the women featured on Passerbuys, including some honorable mentions.


1. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true. A moving memoir of the adventure and heartbreak of being.

Recommended by: molly young, Susan Alexandra, Kalen Kaminski, Erin Allweiss, Natalie Pace

 

2. The Idiot By Elif Batuman

The Idiot is a brave yet modest view of both the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as exciting as it is disturbing. With remarkable emotional and intellectual sensitivity and cutting wit, Batuman amplifies the uncertainty of life at the peak of adulthood. 

Recommended by: molly young, marion lange, nada alic

 

3. Conversations With Friends By Sally Rooney

An accurate novel about friendship, passion, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century. Conversations With Friends follows the darkly observant Frances, a student in Dublin pursuing a career as a writer and her self-possessed best friend, Bobbi.

Recommended by: molly young, Angie Venezia, Nada Alic

 
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4. Dining In By Alison Roman

Having worked professionally in kitchens of New York's Momofuku Milk Bar and San Francisco's Quince, Alison, known for her simplicity and comedic voice brings us her debut cookbook, featuring 125 recipes of simple, trendy meals along with tips and techniques.

Recommended by Angie Venezia, Stephanie Danler & Eva Goicochea

 

5. South And West By Joan Didion

Joan Didion, one of Passerbuys' most recommended authors, shares her never-before-seen-notebooks of overheard dialogue, observations, articles, drafts of essays and interviews offering a glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. 

Recommended by: Gia SalvaggioAngie Venezia

 

6. Abandon Me By Melissa Febos

Following up her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febo encapsulates the intense bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. Both a vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer’s life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal.

Recommended by: Angie Venezia & Stephanie Danler

 

 

7. Goodbye, Vitamin By Rachel Khong

Goodbye, Vitamin tells the story of thirty year old Ruth who leaves her fiances, her job and town only to find herself in an even more complicated situation. Drawn from a deep well of insight, humor and unexpected tenderness, Rachel Khong guides us through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

Recommended by: Angie Venezia & Stephanie Danler

 

 

 

8. We Are Never Meeting In Real Life By Samantha Irby

Blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms, she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

Recommended by: Angie Venezia & Mari Andrew

 

9. Her Body And Other Parties By Carmen Maria Machado

Destroying the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism, Her Body and Other Parties bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

Recommended by: Angie Venezia & Nada Alic

 

10. Too Much and Not the Mood By Durga Chew-Bose

A surprising and beautiful exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today. Too Much and Not the Mood gathers Durga Chew-Bose's writings in a lyrical collection of poetic essays that examine personhood and artistic growth. Drawing inspiration from a diverse group of incisive and inquiring female authors, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression.

Recommended by: NICOLE STERIOVSKI

 

Honorable Mentions: