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Your 2017 Reading Calendar: Round Out Your Reading This Year


New year, new books, new... you?

Listen, dear reader: It's time to get around to those books that you’ve always meant to read but never have.

With our 2017 reading calendars, you can focus your reading on something new and emerge at the end of 2017 a more well-rounded reader.

We've put together lists of 12 books on three different tracks:

Track 1: Modern American Classics

Track 2: YA Novels for Adults Too

Track 3: Genre Sampler Pack

Pick a track, and read one book per month. Simple. And you can chat with other readers working the calendars! Become our friend on Goodreads and join the group for your chosen track.

Track 1: Modern American Classics

“Hey, I’ve been meaning to read that book…”

This list aims to help you read more great books in 2017.

By “modern classic,” we mean a defining or definitive work of art, published in 1960 or later, that’s a brilliant accomplishment or a near-perfect example of a genre — a standout book that’s important or representative of a particular idea or school of thought. It doesn't have to be a bestseller, but the title and/or author is likely recognizable to most people who have an interest in books.

Here are our 12 picks, one for each month:

cold blood
tales city
fifth season
house on mango street
fight club
westing game
joy luck club
hill house

1.      The Color Purple by Alice Walker

2.      The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

3.      In Cold Blood by Truman Capoteby Truman Capote

4.      Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

5.      The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

6.      The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisernos

7.      Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

8.      The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

9.      The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

10.  The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

11.  The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

12.  Beloved by Toni Morrison

Alternate: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides


Track 2: YA Novels for Adults Too

Maybe you’ve never read any fiction written for young adults (defined as ages 13-18), but you’ve heard about it and want to give it a shot.

Maybe you’ve read some of the more well-known YA books — Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars — but want to read more.

Or maybe you’ve read a ton of YA, but you’re looking for some exciting new books, plus a couple classics that reveal the underpinnings of the whole genre. (Note the alternates, in case you’ve already read some of the books on the list.)

Here are our 12 picks, one for each month:

three dark crowns
rest of us
are you there






bunker diary


1.      Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

2.      Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz

3.      The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

4.      Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. by Judy Blume

5.      Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

6.      Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

7.      Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

8.      The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

9.      Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

10.  When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

11.  Graceling by Kristen Cashore

12.  The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Alternates: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Track 3: Genre Sampler Pack

Genres are subsets of fiction: romance, fantasy, thrillers, urban fiction.

They’re often looked down upon, for a variety of reasons — too popular (really!), predictable or clichéd (only if it's poorly written), or not “literary” enough (whatever that means).

We disagree, and we’re here to give you a taste: one book from 12 different genres, in alphabetical order. These picks aren’t necessarily THE representative in every category, but they’re decent examples of the kind of book in each one.

Here are our 12 picks, one for each month:

water knife


1.      Fantasy: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

2.      Graphic novel: Saga by Brian K. Vaughn

3.      Horror: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

4.      Mystery: Dragonfish by Vu Tran

5.      Paranormal: Dead until Dark (the Sookie Stackhouse series) by Charlaine Harris

6.      Romance: Silk Is for Seduction by Loretta Chase

7.      Science fiction: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

8.      Steampunk: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

9.      Thriller: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

10.  Urban fiction: Moth to a Flame by Ashley Antionette

11.  Western: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

12.  Young adult: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Modern Classics List

Looks like a great list, but just a point, Alice in Wonderland is listed as an alternate for the Modern Classics, but it was published in 1865, so not more recent than 1960.

you're right!

Ha, what's a century among friends? :) Good point -- it's off the list.

I love the diversity on the

I love the diversity on the American list but Winterson is British

you're right

Thanks so much for that comment -- I hadn't remembered! It's been replaced now.

12 books for 2017

Americanah is a great book. But the author is Nigerian, not American.

you're right

Oh my gosh, what a foolish mistake. Sorry about that; I replaced it!

Another alternate

Can you add a second alternate for the Modern American Classics list? I got an unintended head start :)

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