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A Review Of The Best Books Of 2017 And Which Ones You Should Read

2017 was a rollercoaster of a year and the bestseller charts reflected that. The quality of last year’s titles were second-to-none. How many did you read?
by Carrie M. King | Feb 2 2018

In 2017, it seemed like barely a week went by without a nonfiction title hitting the headlines — and the bestseller charts. But how many of last year’s most hyped books did you actually get around to reading? If the answer is none, don’t panic. We’re here to help.


So, what were the highlights? Hillary Clinton’s take on the 2016 elections is no doubt one of the most talked-about books of the last decade, not just the last year. And Walter Isaacson’s epic biography of renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci started to dominate bestseller lists as soon as it was published. To help you stay on top of what’s happening, we’ve curated a list of unmissable titles from 2017.

We all know that knowledge and being up-to-date matters, perhaps now more than ever. But time also comes at a premium. So, that’s where the Blinkist app comes in. We provide the key insights to the best nonfiction titles in short, digestible packs that you can read or listen to in 15 minutes or fewer. With the Blinkist app, you never have to miss out on another bestseller. We’ve read thousands of books, and we know our stuff when it comes to nonfiction. Here’s a quick overview of the most interesting titles from 2017, and why we think you should check them out.

1. Get the democratic perspective on the 2016 elections

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s loss of the 2016 US Presidential Election came as a surprise to many, perhaps to none more so than Clinton herself. The former Secretary of State’s take on how it transpired was one of the year’s most anticipated books when it was released last September. In a global climate where being apolitical is in itself a political stance, this is one of the most essential reads for understanding where our society is progressing.

2. Learn how humankind’s past predicts our future

Homo deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens (2011) has been sitting comfortably on bestseller lists for years. While Harari’s first book deals with the history of the human race, Homo Deus looks to the future, and what humanity might become if we follow current trajectories to their logical conclusions. It also examines the human tendency to worship the notion of individuality, and how this affects every aspect of our lives.

3. Understand why our relationship to food is rarely simple

Hunger by Roxana Gay

Roxane Gay needs little introduction to most people. The author and academic has an active following, both online and IRL driven by her bestselling essay collections such as Bad Feminist. Hunger is her deeply personal account of the physical and psychological impact of sexual abuse and how hard it can be to inhabit a body that is not deemed acceptable by society at large. A truly powerful and deeply affecting read.

4. Unravel the code of all-time’s most famous artist

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Journalist and professor Walter Isaacson is the uncrowned king of biography. His tomes on the lives of Steve Jobs, Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein have this year been joined by a new release on the life of renaissance artist, inventor, and all-round polymath Leonardo da Vinci. This sumptuously produced book is a pleasure to read and should absolutely be appreciated in its full grandeur. However, if in the meantime you’d like an overview of da Vinci’s life and times, make sure to check out this title on Blinkist.

5. Reconnect to people you love and build your community

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Some authors become household names due to their wildly popular TED Talks. Brené Brown is one of those authors. Her moving, engaging, funny talks on the power of vulnerability and the erosive nature of shame captured the imaginations of people worldwide through their wit and empathy. Released last September, Braving The Wilderness examines what it means to belong to community in a polarized age. Brown’s tenderly weaves anecdote and thorough research to light our way back to each other.

6. Mourn and learn how to come to terms with life-altering grief

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg is probably best known for her boardroom feminism, encouraging professional women to insist on being part of the crucial conversations that happen at work. However, this book, in the wake of personal tragedy is a very different experience. Sandberg’s husband died suddenly in 2015, and Option B is a moving and practical exploration of how she pieced her life and her family together again.

7. Sleep more, snooze less

The Sleep Solution by W. Chris Winter, M.D.

We all know that sleep is essential to living a good life, but do we really know why? And as part of a digital society that never sleeps, how can we make sure we’re getting the most from our forty winks? W. Chris Winter’s The Sleep Solution explains our fundamental misunderstandings about what happens when our heads hit our pillows, and how we can make it better, or get the most from the little sleep we do get.

8. Earn some cash on the side with the right business

Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

We live in the age of the side hustle. Very few people now identify as, or make money from, just one thing. But figuring out how to put your talents to best use, and how to make a success of what you do choose. Chris Guillebeau helps readers identify their most likely path to extra income and success, and how to set themselves up for a brighter future. Excited? You should be.

So, there you have it — the cream of 2017’s most hyped nonfiction. Each of these books will give you new insight into yourself and the world around you and we wholeheartedly recommend reading them in full. But don’t forget, you can access their key insights via the Blinkist app. Download it today and get up-to-date on the best books from the year gone by.

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