Best books of 2017

Make space on your shelves and get ready to add to your reading list

A Secret Garden, by Katie Fforde
Bestselling author Katie Fforde writes romantic fiction for people who love love. This latest follows the lives and loves of a gardener and her plantswoman friend who work in the grounds of a beautiful manor house. Each meet potential love interests, and though feelings begin to blossom (see what we did there?), the path is unlikely to be a clear one, if previous Fforde novels are anything to go by, anyway.
Release date: February 2017.

Early Riser, by Jasper Fforde
Jasper Fforde (cousin of Katie Fforde, who married into the family, in case you were wondering) is the creative genius behind the Thursday Next novels (think literary detectives investigating crimes committed by nursery rhyme characters) and Shades of Grey (set in a world where the ability to view colours is the ultimate commodity). A sequel to the latter is pencilled in for 2018 but, until then, fans of inventive wordplay and Fforde’s imaginative worlds will have to make do with this standalone story in which humans are forced to hibernate through long, cold winters and are kept alive by a band of dream-monitoring sleep marshals.
Release date: February 2017.

Humans, Bow Down, by James Patterson
The ludicrously prolific blockbuster novelist shows no signs of slowing down his output. Having already broken the record for most No.1 New York Times bestsellers and having sold upwards of 300 million copies worldwide, Patterson will continue to churn out pages in 2017. Of the several novels already announced, it’s this dystopian sci-fi that grabs our attention most. If you’re into a world where machines run the planet and humans are an endangered species then this should be right at the top of your reading list for the year.
Release date: February 2017.

My So Called Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella
When not writing the charming, funny and occasionally heart-warming Shopaholic series, Sophie Kinsella writes, er, funny, charming and heart-warming standalone novels. The latest looks at the life of a lowly admin worker living in a tiny apartment, struggling with a commute and desperately trying to make her Instagram feed seem more exciting than her life really is. Relatable at all?
Release date: February 2017.

No Middle Name, by Lee Child
The Jack Reacher novels have made Lee Child a mountain of cash, millions of fans and even inspired a few movies along the way. No new feature-length novel will arrive this year, but a short story collection, including previously unpublished novellas, is lined up for publication and will tide Child’s legion of fans over until more bulky new stuff hits the shelves.
Release date: May 2017.

Origin, by Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code’s crime-fighting Harvard professor Robert Langdon is set to return for a fifth instalment of Dan Brown’s puzzling thriller series. Expect more conspiracy theories and head-scratching thrills than you can shake a briefcase at. Plus, there’s likely to be a Tom Hanks adaptation in the pipeline before too long.
Release date: September 2017.

Sirens, by Joseph Knox
When one of the UK’s biggest book shop workers sparks a ten-way auction for his debut crime novel (and other writers line up to provide glowing tributes for the cover) it’s time to sit up and take notice. The story has a disgraced detective, undercover operations and gritty nocturnal Northern English cities. We’re looking forward to what is hopefully the start of a long series.
Release date: January 2017.

Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen and Owen King
The master of horror’s diehard fans (Constant Reader, as he affectionately calls them) have a testing year ahead. A cinematic remake of IT and adaptations of The Dark Tower and Gerald’s Game all hit the big screen and will no doubt divide opinion on their artistic merit. No solo novel has been announced, but he will be collaborating with son Owen on this tale about the goings-on in a women’s prison. Can we expect King Senior’s signature supernatural suspense?
Release date: TBA.

The Accusation, by Bandi
A collection of short stories by a dissident North Korean writer, which was smuggled out of the country to publishers in the West, is obvious fodder for an international publishing sensation. This writer tells tales of the daily struggles that everyday working citizens in North Korea face. It’s both brutal and fascinating.
Release date: March 2017.

The Best of Adam Sharp, by Graeme Simsion
From data modelling expert and IT consultant to bestselling, award-winning novelist is not a standard route to literary success. Yet Simsion’s The Rosie Project has sold more than a million copies in more than 40 countries. His latest novel is about an IT consultant and trivia mastermind (shades of Don Tillman we don’t doubt) attempting to rekindle a lost love.
Release date: May 2017.

The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly, by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
This series of eccentric crime novels is translated from Swedish to English and loses nothing of the absurdist comedy along the way. The old-age criminal masterminds are back and will most likely be up to more Ocean’s Eleven-style capers from the comfort of their mobility scooters. This time, the League of Pensioners aim to cheat billionaires out of their luxury yachts in Saint-Tropez, France.
Release date: January 2017.

The Midnight Bell, by Jack Higgins
When a writer has been publishing for almost 60 years, has sold more than 150 million copies and has genre classics such as The Eagle Has Landed on his bibliography, it’s fair to assume he has picked up a trick or two along the way. Now 87, Higgins is a master of the spy genre and brings back Sean Dillon for another outing. Expect intrigue, complexity and international thrills from a veteran master of the suspense thriller.
Release date: January 2017.

The Red Sphinx, by Alexandre Dumas
Wait, what? The Count of Monte Cristo author has been dead for almost 150 years, but in the latest example of from-beyond-the-grave revivals, a direct sequel to The Three Musketeers is to be published this year. First published in French in 1946, this is the first English translation of the forgotten follow-up. For those who like to have their buckles swashed, this is the one for you.
Release date: January 2017.

The Thirst, by Jo Nesbo
This will be a massive year for detective Harry Hole. A movie adaptation starring Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, JK Simmons and Chloe Sevigny is set for an October release, but before then there is an 11th tale in the saga to be published. There’s a new killer on the streets and Mr Hole begins to suspect a connection to his only failed case, forcing him to confront the one killer who has always eluded him.
Release date: April 2017.

The Winds of Winter, by George R. R. Martin
Make no mistake – this is the book Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for. It’s been more than five years and numerous missed deadlines since the last instalment of the Westeros saga (2011’s A Dance With Dragons), and despite numerous spin-offs and the television series overtaking the novels in plot development, it will be a landmark publishing moment. We’re hoping that 2017 is finally the year Martin makes it happen…
Release date: TBA.

Where to buy your books in DUBAI

Bookworld by Kinokuniya

This Japanese bookstore is humongous. Multilinguists are well catered for here, as the shop stocks more than half a million titles, including magazines, in English, Arabic, Japanese, French, German and Chinese.
The Dubai Mall (04 434 0111).

This international bookstore stocks everything you could possibly want for your bookshelf – the latest releases, bestsellers, graphic novels, cookbooks and more non-fiction reads. It also has a Paperchase shop in store, so if you’re thinking of penning your own novel and need an inspiring notebook to jot down your ideas as and when they hit you, this one-stop shop will have you covered.
Various locations including Ibn Battuta Mall (04 434 1924).

Virgin Megastore

The chain is an entertainment all-rounder, with electronics, movies, music and games, but it has a decent book selection, too. New novels, coffee table hardbacks, graphic novels and gift items aplenty are to be found here.
Various locations including Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4353).

One of the UK’s leading book retailers has many homes in the Middle East. Get the latest novels, fascinating non-fiction and more self-help books than you can shake a stick at. It also has an excellent selection of magazines, newspapers, stationery and travel tomes, as well as some confectionary thrown in for good measure.
Various locations including The Dubai Mall (04 431 2214).

Page-to-screen adaptations coming in 2017

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Beloved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot will return to the big screen with Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley and Michelle Pfeiffer in November.

The Circle, by Dave Eggers

Sci-fi thriller about an ambitious college graduate who finds the mysterious tech company she joins is not all it seems. Tom Hanks and Emma Watson star, and the film is slated for April.

Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

This is an inspiring story of a wondrous boy with a facial deformity who struggles for acceptance in a new school. Julia Roberts appears in the film version, to be released in April.

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