To say that 2017 has been a game changer for books would be an understatement. Whether it’s been fiction or non-fiction, some of the titles to hit the shelves have really pushed the boundaries.

Today, Walter J. Viola is going to talk over some of the very best books that have taken his fancy.


Penned by Min Jin Lee, the basis of this book is to explore the life of a Korean immigrant living in Japan in the 20th century. It focuses on survival and pride and is told through the eyes of a close Korean family.

Saints for All Occasions

Next on our list comes a book from J. Courtney Sullivan. If you like those books which really build characters up, this will be one of the best you will set eyes on. It focusses on two sisters who are traveling from a small Irish village to Boston. Their trip is by boat and also looks in great detail about their family life.

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders’ novel looks at how Abraham Lincoln visited the grave of his son. Of course, there’s far more to it than that, with Saunders narrating the story through anecdotes by ghosts.


This is more of a book about real life, so goes against most of the other titles we have documented. Hunger is about how food and body image is portrayed in modern-day life, using the art of self-reflection to do so.


Next on the list is a book about 15-year-old Cat, who becomes acquaintances with her next door neighbor. This particular neighbor happens to be extremely manipulating though – with the book exploring how Cat’s whole personality changes as a result.

The Golden House

A factual book, The Golden House has been written by a Booker Prize winner in the form of Salman Rushdie. This particular title looks at modern American culture and how various social realities are starting to shape it. It’s a deep read, but well worth it if this is your style.

The Rules Do Not Apply

Arial Levy’s book is perhaps one of the most intriguing of the year. The author documents the infidelity that occurred through her marriage, before breaking into the so-called rules of modern-day life and how the two link together.

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid focusses on the refugee crisis in this novel, using “magical doors” to highlight his message in clearer detail. Everything form romance to war is honed in on through this book and it’s another one of those titles which is ideal if you’re looking for something a little deeper.

What We Lose

It’s an emotional one, but one that has pulled at the heartstrings of most who have read it through the year. Zinzi Clemmons’ novel is about a young lady who is struggling with her own identity, as she battles to grieve the death of her mother.

A Separation

The title says it all with our final suggestion. Katie Kitamura’s novel is about a young marriage which has collapsed and all of the emotions that are involved within it.