One of the greatest pleasures in life, believes Walter Viola, is to open a brand new book and not being able to put it away again until all has been read. When people are in school, they are forced to read certain books, the literary classics. However, it is after that when people’s love for reading really starts to shine through. The time when they have the choice to pick a book that they genuinely like themselves, a book that grips and captivates them. Of course, whether a book is good or not is a subjective concept. You may personally feel that Dean Koontz is the best writer of all times, and that Jill Mansell writes things suitable only for toilet reading. Someone else, meanwhile, may believe that Marcel Proust’s books should be devoured, while J.K. Rowling’s writings are just for children. That said, there are some books that have been released this year that are absolute must reads. Let’s take a look at Walter Viola’s personal best reads list.
The Top Reads of 2017 According to Walter Viola
- Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A Novel
This is the latest novel by Roy, which is a graceful and intricate story of magic, and how love can men lives broken by tragedy. It is a storytelling book, but one different from all others. 20 years ago, Roy published The God of Small Things and it took him two decades to write his new book, but it was worth waiting for.
- David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
This book is a true story, albeit a story few people now of, about serial murder and oil, as it occurred in the 1920s on the Osage Indian Reservation. It is one of those books that leaves you angry at the world, and at how inhumane and arrogant our forefathers have been. It also points the many imperfections society still has to overcome.
- Fredrik Backman’s Beartown: A Novel
Backman is perhaps best known for his novel, A Man Called. However, Beartown is something completely new. It is about truth-telling and soul-searching. In the novel, a small town where everybody is mad about hokey is rocked by a crime that nobody wants to believe in.
- Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West: A Novel
This novel is futuristic in nature, in which young lovers run from a Middle Eastern country. They hope to find safe refuge in a western country, but cities like London are overrun by settlements of refugees. Hamid is best-known for his novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and he uses this new book to point out that all humans are refugees of some sort.
- Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy: A Memoir
Patricia Lockwood had to move back into her parental home. Her father was a priest, but one passionate about electric guitars. Her mother, meanwhile, obsessed over Satan worshippers and disasters. Moving back in reminds Lockwood of her childhood, and the book is essentially a remembering of all that happened to her as a child.