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Team Pushkin’s Books of the Year

Posted 7th Dec 2017

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the great reads of the last twelve months.

The Pushkin Press team has each chosen a favourite Pushkin book of the year (editors were forbidden from selecting their own commissions!), plus a title from the wider world of publishing. Read on to find out which books rocked our (literary) world in 2017…

Plus! Click here to get 15% off on our books of the year (AND free UK delivery).

Julia Nicholson, Assistant Editor

Tench by Inge Schilperoord

A dark, intense and very troubling novel by an astoundingly intelligent and thoughtful criminal psychologist. It should be read by all tabloid headline writers.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

A gripping fable with a compelling premise: what if the patriarchy was reversed?

Sarah Odedina, Children’s Editor-at-Large

My two picks for the year are Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais and The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and coincidentally both deal with notions of beauty.

Piglettes is such a great, uplifting, teen story about three girls, who have been voted the ugliest girls in school, who set off across France on bikes and find themselves and each other, along the way. The cruelty of the vote made ludicrous as we see just what wonderful and beautiful young women they are.

The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is about the five animals considered ugliest in East Africa (vultures, marabou stork, wildebeest, warthog and hyena) who of course are full of gorgeous energy and beauty and loved to pieces by their families and friends. It is a totally brilliant piece of rhyming fiction with pictures to relish time and time (and time and time and time and time…) again.

Never have books for young readers been so beautiful!

Jen Acton, Digital Editor

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

A blistering, unrelenting deep dive into a toxic and complex relationship; Riley’s tight dialogue and devastating turn of phrase makes this a must-read.

The Evenings by Gerard Reve

Can a novel be existentialist and rather Beckettian, but also perfect for Christmas reading? If yes, The Evenings fills that particular niche.

Daniel Seton, Commissioning Editor

La Belle Sauvage, Philip Pullman

Another spellbinding addition to a series I began when I was 11 and have never forgotten.

My Cat Yugoslavia, Pajtim Statovci

There is nothing about this beautifully strange book that isn’t fascinating.

India Darsley, Managing Production Editor

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic
A brutally murdered best friend. A deaf private investigator. A badass alcoholic sidekick. Clear your schedules, you’ll be hooked…

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Can I be so bold as to say that this is the reason books were invented? I sure can! Read this brilliant book (please).

Tabitha Pelly, PublicistA Chill in the Air by Iris Origo

A Chill in the Air by Iris Origo

Origo documents this one year – a pivotal moment in history, full of the grim absurdities of conflict – so elegantly and trenchantly. A must-read.


Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag
Precise, elegant and highly disturbing tale about family money. Read in an hour, remember for years.

Mollie Stewart, Publishing Assistant

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

I’m jumping on a very well-deserved bandwagon with this choice – hilarious and utterly heart-breaking, this is an exceptional call-to-action on behalf of the plight of junior doctors.

Some Possible Solutions by Helen Phillips

This extraordinary and beautiful collection of stories is a weird and wonderful exploration of precisely what it means to be human.

Sarah-Jayne Carver, Pushkin intern

Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

This collection of three stories, taken from the Pushkin Japanese Novellas series, are magical realism at its best. I loved the vivid imagery and how the logic constantly changes, so just as you’re getting comfortable everything shifts again. 

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Equal parts hilarious and horrifying, Adam Kay’s anecdotes from his time as a junior doctor build towards an important broader narrative which feels all the more pertinent in light of recent cuts to the NHS. 

Want to shop our books of the year? We’re offering 15% off, plus free UK delivery for a limited time only. Click here to shop >