A Note from Andrew, RJ Julia's Adult Book Buyer:
January is rife with lists. A natural time of reflection, you’ll see lists from every source of the year’s top books, movies, restaurants, TV shows, athletes, albums... you name it. You'll even see our list, below, of the Best Books of 2017.
At RJ Julia, we judge our Best Books of the Year list very seriously. Harshly, if necessary, because this is for posterity. We want to be sure that we are truly giving you the best of the best from the year past.
Without further ado, please peruse below our Best Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children’s Books of 2017. Questions and comments are encouraged, as long as they are passionate.
by Emily Fridlund
Not purely a psychological thriller, but psychologically thrilling! Boiling with tension from the first page, this one is a must-read.
by Min Jin Lee
Min Jin Lee plays with the fates of her deeply felt characters. Epic yet intimate.
by Mohsin Hamid
Relevant, profound, and exquisitely written!
by Anthony Horowitz
A modern mystery, a classic English mystery, and a mystery within a mystery all at once.
by Jesmyn Ward
Beautifully written and realistically tragic.
by Neil Gaiman
The tales of gods you may know – Odin, Thor, Loki – and gods and goddesses you may not yet know.
by Naomi Alderman
Thrilling to the last sentence, Naomi builds an alternate yet believable scenario, showing that power without management is always corruptible.
by Hannah Kent
I love that I could smell the scents and feel the dew as I read this book. Beautiful and haunting!
by Jennifer Egan
Egan's first historical novel is an absolute triumph filled with vibrant details and flawed, compelling characters.
by Elizabeth Strout
Strout proves herself a master! Each chapter reminds us that the past is extremely powerful and can result in different interpretations.
by Walter Isaacson
Isaacson has painted the most riveting picture of Leonardo in full-color. Here's an engrossing true tale that you will not be able to stop reading.
by Douglas Preston
Join the team of intrepid explorers as they uncover the mythical lost city, braving venomous snakes, crippling disease, biting insects, and jaguars.
by Caroline Fraser
The book Laura Ingalls Wilder fans have been waiting for! The first full length biography written for adults delves into the long debated mystery as to whether Laura or her daughter Rose was the true author of the Little House books.
by Ron Chernow
Chernow tackles the enigmatic general then president, Ulysses S. Grant. Chernow is at the top of his craft and fame.
by Edward O. Wilson
Wilson explores the complicated relationship between the humanities, the sciences, and creativity itself.
by David Grann
This is the best kind of true crime book: the crimes occurred 100 years ago, have since faded into obscurity, and you can't believe you never heard a thing about them!
by Liz Thorpe
This great companion is organized not by type of cheese, but by nine gateway cheeses which guide the reader based on taste.
by Russell Shorto
With fascinating details, Shorto gives us a deep understanding of the society that the revolution played out in.
by Paul Kix
For the WWII lover, this account is of a young man who, by the age of 21, has survived the Nazi’s toughest torture. The opening scene will shock you!
by Nate Blakeslee
One of the most thrilling, affecting books I’ve ever read. O-Six and her family are besieged on all sides in Yellowstone National Park, and yet the alpha female, seemingly invincible, endures.
A Note from Jamie, RJ Julia's Kids' and Young Adult Book Buyer:
Best selling books in the Kids' department always include old favorites, but it's fun to see what has squeezed onto our shelves and into our hearts, snuggling in with those classics.
Here is a short list of what your kids loved this past year. We loved them too, and hope that you find your own favorites, and maybe something new, below.
by Britta Teckentrup
A perfect winter's day read for you and your little one. I adore Teckentrup's sweet illustrations and story about finding your voice in your own time.
by Agnese Baruzzi
What a wonderful, interactive book! So much fun to read with your two-year-old!
by Anna Dewdney
Is Little Excavator too small to help the big rigs? Active rhymes and engaging pictures help this book earn its RJ bestseller status!
by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Laurel Molk
With the help of his toy monkey and friend Eleanor, Suki the dog finds that facing your fears can be wonderful and confidence building.
by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
Join Harper on her mission to find her cat Midnight, and the rest of the cats from the city of clouds, when they suddenly vanish!
by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
Zoey wears her Thinking Goggles on top of her head so they are closer to her brain! Adorable, educational, and fun!
by Lauren Wolk
Told in an intimate and determined voice, Crow's search to find her roots rocks her fragile world and endangers those around her. Profound yet utterly relatable.
by Jeff Kinney
Fasten your seat-belt and prepare to laugh (and maybe shed a few tears of agony) when you go on holiday with Greg and his frazzled family.
by Rick Riordan
The final book of Magnus Chase does not disappoint! Riordan is true to form with well-paced action and - my favorite - spot on humor!
by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
A great reminder for us all, but especially kids in middle school, to stay true to themselves. The talented Shannon Hale really knows and understands the age group she writes for.
by Leopoldo Gout
"Trust no one." A collection of diverse hackers are brought together for a competition devised by a rising-star CEO. But is it just a competition? Or is something more going on?
by Nnedi Okorafor
Sunny was born and raised in the U.S., but her family has moved to Nigeria. She is an albino, but there is so much more that makes her special. When a serial killer strikes close to home, she must master her powers and herself.
by Brittany Cavallaro
A thrilling mystery that must be solved by none-other-than the great, great, great grandson of John Watson and the great, great, great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes.
by John Green
A book about friendship and love and trying to truly understand your best friend. It’s about anxiety and fighting your demons, and giving in to them sometimes. It’s about mental illness. It’s about grief. Possibly the best John Green book.
Ages 4 - 8
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
A book to uplift and encourage children to never give up, this is one you'll go back to again and again.
Ages 8 - 12
by Elena Favilla and Francesca Cavallo
This collection of personal stories has taken the country by storm! This book does not shy away from the broader global reality of being a girl.
The Playbook by Kwame Alexander, photos by Thai Neave
This one is for our sons and daughters. Read a chapter every day - they're short, but powerful, and will set a positive, uplifting tone for the day.
by Kate T. Parker
Filled with captivating photos that inspire, a must have for daughters and granddaughters.
Do you have a kitchen drawer absolutely over flowing with plastic bags?
Well then we have a solution for you:
make it your New Year's Resolution to only use reusable bags!
Blu Bags from rockflowerpaper are the perfect size to stuff in your purse or pocket,
can hold up to 50lbs and come in a variety of colorful patterns!
They are easily washable and a donation is made by rockflowerpaper
to Ocean Conservancy for every bag sold!
We're delighted to host a gathering of booklovers on a weekly basis and our book clubs are always excited to welcome new members! Learn more about book clubs here and see what they are reading this month!