11th Blog of Christmas: Favorite Finds 2017 Wrap-up Edition

I’ve massively enjoyed a number of books, shows, podcasts this year, all of which I have written about in varying degrees (and which you can find by searching the “recommendations” tag). But I thought it would be fun to do a summary/wrap-up of my top favorites for each category.

It is always difficult for me to choose favorites, but I whittlesd these down based on what I found to be the most ground-breaking, enjoyable, unique, and impactful of my year (I specify my year because some of these didn’t come out in 2017, I just found them in 2017!).

Top Books of 2017: giphy-68

  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara 
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
    • In Turtles All The Way Down, Green has created a deeply moving and painful mirror in which to examine who we are when we are ill, what it means to be loved through it, and how we fight like to hell to know ourselves, all the way down. [Full review].
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    • This is the kind of book that will get you out of a reading slump. It’s fresh, different, dishy and glamorous, while also touching on darker topics like spousal abuse, LGBTQ+ issues, and mental illness. [Full review]
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    • This YA novel is nothing short of revelatory. In The Hate U Give, Thomas manages to encompass what are rage-inducing, political, cultural and topical issues, in a palatable and page-turning way. [Full review]
  • Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song by Sara Bareilles (audiobook)
    • Short listen at just under four hours, highly profound in small, thoughtful and emotionally validating ways. [Full review]
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
    • This is dishy YA at its best. The real song of the story is in the one of her and her sisters. [Full review].

Top Podcasts 2017:

giphy-69

  • Show Your Work
    • Hands down the most valuable and educational addition to my life in the past year. So much so, I dedicated an entire post to why you need to be listening.
  • Dear Sugar Radio
    • For fans of the original Dear Sugar column and columnists Steve Almond, Cheryl Strayed (Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things), and/or just want to listen to really compassionate, wise, intelligent people discuss life’s problems and issues through the lens of an advice column, this podcast is for you.
  • Terrible, Thanks For Asking
    • This podcast exists for those who need it most. True, unabashed, deeply upsetting and beautifully told stories of grief, loss, hope. Lots of tissues needed.

Top TV 2017:

giphy-70

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
    • I haven’t written about The Handmaid’s Tale fully yet because I only just finished it this week. I will need a lot more time to collect my thoughts, but my initial impressions are you MUST watch this show, it is unbelievably cathartic, empowering, and inspiring to see the legitimate fear women carry manifested into a world that is at once terrifying and not too far from the realm of possibility these days. Also Elisabeth Moss? All the awards.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
    • If you are a fan of musical theatre and whip-smart, fresh stories, this show is for you. Season three this year has been the strongest, bravest, and most illuminating yet. Do yourself a massive favor and dive in. [Full Review].
  • Insecure (HBO)
    • My god do you need to watch it if you don’t. It’s so smart, so funny, so spot on and unapologetically authentic. I legit laugh out loud every episode. [OG post]
  • The Bold Type (Freeform)
    • If you like shows with a strong female lead, this one has three. If you like shows about, by and for women, this show is for you. If you are looking for something refreshing and different, this is it. [My Full Review]
  • Stranger Things 2 (Netflix)
    • The sequel is solid for many reasons, primarily in overall story, character development, and visual scope. It is stellar for one: Noah Schnapp. [Full Review]
  • Glow (Netflix)
    • The freshest part of this show is the focus on female friendships and watching how some of them develop and fall apart is a real pleasure. Bonus: it has a killer soundtrack. [Full Review]

What are your favorites from 2017? What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

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