We were spoiled for choice when it came to crafting our reading lists this year. The lists, admittedly, keep getting longer and longer, but with so many fantastic 2017 releases, can you really blame us? Every month brought new books we couldn’t wait to devour. With new novels from perennial best-of-listers George Saunders, Jesmyn Ward, Celeste Ng, and Louise Erdrich, as well as thrilling debuts from Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Ayobami Adebayo, and Lesley Nneka Arimah, there are simply so many great books and so little time. So we’re not going to waste a second. This great writing demands to be enjoyed, and we plan to keep enjoying it—and sharing it, of course.
With this list, we’ve chosen our favorite novels of the year, some of which have already won big prizes (we’re looking at you George Saunders and Jesmyn Ward). In no particular order, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the very best of the best of this year. There are so many compelling books, this page is practically bursting at the virtual seams. For this particular best-of list, we’re sticking to fiction, and even though we’ve chosen 23 great new novels and short story collections to include—disclaimer—there are more honorable mentions than we can count. Like we said, it was a great year for books.