New York Times Announces 10 Best Books of 2017

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On Thursday, November 30, the New York Times announced the 10 Best Books of 2017, as selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review. Over the coming weeks, ABA will work with the New York Times Book Review on initiatives to help booksellers feature and promote the 2017 Best Books list; watch Bookselling This Week for details.

Booksellers who are attending the 2018 Winter Institute will have the opportunity to hear more about the book review process and related topics during a session featuring New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul and ABA CEO Oren Teicher. The session will take place on Tuesday, January 23, from 10:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. 

The New York Times10 Best Books of 2017, as announced on November 30, are:


  • Autumn by Ali Smith (Pantheon Books)
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books)
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central Publishing)
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman (Little, Brown & Company)
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)


  • The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us by Richard O. Prum (Doubleday)
  • Grant by Ron Chernow (Penguin Press)
  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company)
  • Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead Books)

The Best Illustrated Children’s Books, now named the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award in honor of the 65th anniversary of the awards, were selected by a panel of three judges: author and illustrator Steven Guarnaccia, an associate professor of illustration at Parsons/The New School for Design; author and illustrator Marjorie Priceman, winner of two Caldecott Honors and two New York Times Best Illustrated Books Awards; and Louise Lareau, the head librarian of the New York Public Library Children’s Center.

The Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2017, as announced on November 2, are:

  • Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin, illustrated by Evan Turk (Atheneum)
  • Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra (NorthSouth)
  • On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna (HarperCollins)
  • Plume by Isabelle Simler (Eerdmans)
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Abrams)
  • The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi (KidsCan)
  • Town Is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Groundwood)
  • A River by Marc Martin (Chronicle)
  • King of the Sky by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin (Candlewick)
  • Feather by Rémi Courgeon (Enchanted Lion)

As ABA continues its campaign to highlight the importance of backlist titles, booksellers are encouraged to look back on last year’s New York Times Book Review picks and visit the ABA Book Buyer’s Handbook to review publisher and university press offers for Indies First, as well as publishers’ backlist programscurrent special offers, and more. ABA’s new Backlist Buying Calculator can help booksellers evaluate the advantages of backlist offers. (A username and login are required to access these items; booksellers can e-mail for login details.)