12 Books We're Excited About Reading In 2017

And you should be too

There's no point denying these are dark and miserable times. But whether you're sticking your head in the sand or looking for some meaningful advice, books can be a comfort. We're still on the first pages of 2017 but skip forward a few chapters and there's a glut of wonderful reads to come, from imagined romances in cities on the brink of war to an explanation of why the human brain is addicted to technology. Here's what should be on your radar in 2017.

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Exit West - Mohsin Hamid

Hamid's second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, earned him a Man-Booker Prize nomination and widespread acclaim. His forthcoming novel, Exit West is a love story between two refugees set in an unnamed city on the brink of civil war.

Published 27 February

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The Brain Defense - Kevin Davis

Author and former crime reporter Kevin Davis explores the relationship between neuroscience and justice with reference to a court case where a husband strangled his wife then threw her body out the window. Later an orange sized cyst was found on his brain which his lawyer argued impaired his judgement. Stranger than (non)fiction.

Published 28 February

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Irresistible - Adam Atler

Addiction is not a new phenomenon, argues NYU professor Adam Atler, but our slavish devotion to Instagram, Netflix, Fitbit and email are. Looking at why we are drawn to technology that promises to make our lives faster and easier - while ignoring the obvious side-effects - Atler lifts the lid on how apps and platforms are designed to coax us into staying plugged in, and what we can do about it.

Published 2 March

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The Stranger In The Woods - Michael Finkel

In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not speak to another human being until three decades later. Here Finkel tells the story of how Knight survived by stealing food and clothes and water thanks to extensive exclusive interviews.

Published 9 March

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White Tears - Hari Kunzru

Best known for his award-winning debut novel, The Impressionist, Hari Kunzru is becoming one of Britain's most celebrated authors. His 2017 novel White Tears follows two white New York jazz lovers who collect records. When the young friends discover an unknown singer they are drawn into the history of the American blues.

Published 14 March

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The Mother Of All Questions - Rebecca Solnit

Writer and activist Rebecca Solnit was widely praised for her 'mansplaining' expos, Men Explain Things to Me. The Mother of All Questions is her follow-up collection of essays on feminism that will undoubtedly outrage, amuse and enlighten. Just as informative and essential for men as women.

Published 14 March

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Preistdaddy - Patricia Lockwood

New York Times-tipped Patricia Lockwood's memoir about growing up with a father who is a Catholic Priest recounts her childhood with painful honesty and emotion. It isn't without humour, though: Father Lockwood lounges around in boxer shorts and jams on the guitar, reverberating 'like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972.'

Published 2 May

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The Seventh Function Of Language - Laurent Binet

Binet won praise and several awards for his debut novel HHhH, and the French writer's follow up has now been skillfully translatedSet in 1980s Paris, the story begins when politician Roland Barthes is knocked down by a laundry van. When it is discovered he was carrying a valuable document explaining the seventh function of language, questions are asked of who is to blame for his death.

Published 4 May

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Men Without Women - Haruki Murakami

Murakami's first collection of short stories since his best-selling  Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage comprises of seven tales of men who find themselves alone for various reasons. Each story is centered around the concept of heartbroken longing or loneliness told with Murakami's illuminating written style. One for long-serving fans and newcomers alike.

Published 9 May

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House of Names - Colm Tóibín

The acclaimed Irish author of Brooklyn and The Master journeys to Ancient Greece for his forthcoming novel, House of Names. The story follows Agamemnon's wife Clytemnestra, a woman described as "audacious, violent, vengeful and lustful". Expect to be gripped from the start.

Published 18 May