2017 Book Recommendations: 20+ Awesome Books That I Love

2017 Book Recommendations: 20+ Awesome Books that I Love | Here's my book recommendations for books I read and loved in 2017. Plus, what I'm excited to read in 2018.

Being that: a) we’re in that time of year that everyone is looking for the perfect gift, and b) educators will actually have time to read books during the two weeks they get off, I thought it would be a good time to write up a book recommendations post.  These books weren’t necessarily published in 2017, but most of them are books I read in 2017.  All of them are books that I recommend.  I’ve included a variety of categories because we’re all real people and we read more than just YA and professional development books (though those are in here too).

(Note: Post contains affiliate links.  Actions taken may result in commisions for Renovated Learning)

My Book Recommendations for 2017

Young Adult Novels

One thing I’ve loved about transitioning into a 6-12 school this year is that it gives me a professional excuse to read more YA.  This is only a short-list: there were a ton of these that I loved.  If you want to see my book recommendations throughout the year, be sure to follow me on Instagram – I often post what I’m reading.

  • Three Dark Crowns – Amazing fantasy novel about a set of triplet queens with special gifts who must murder one another to ascend to the throne.  The sequel is currently on my to-read shelf.
  • The Serpent King – Friendship.  Poverty.  Religion.  Finding yourself.  One of my favorite realistic fiction titles this year.
  • Highly Illogical Behavior – What happens when a boy with severe agoraphobia meets a girl determined to cure him.  And no, they don’t fall in love.
  • Dumplin’ – Amazing body-positive read about Willowdean, a self-proclaimed fat girl who takes on her town’s notions of what it means to be beautiful.

Professional Development

These book recommendations are mostly centered around making, creativity, and library spaces since those are my main foci right now.  And of course, I would humbly suggest the two books I wrote this year as well: Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace and Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.  I think they’re pretty awesome 🙂

Minimalism and Simplicity

This year has had a lot going on for me, but my embrace of minimalism and simplicity has really had a profound impact on me.  It’s helped me learn to be intentional, to slow down, to get rid of things in my life that I don’t need.  It’s also inspired me to really take control of my finances and get out of debt.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with life, I highly recommend checking out these books.

General Stuff

Because sometimes books I read don’t fall into neat categories.  Here’s my general book recommendations:

My to-reads for 2018

I read a LOT of books every year (around 40-50 when I used to track it).  So obviously, I’m not giving you an exhaustive list here.  These are books I’m planning on reading next year.  Some I just haven’t gotten around to yet.  Others are written by friends.  Some will be new releases.  But I think they’re all worth taking a look at.

What were your favorite books that you read in 2017?  What are you looking forward to reading in 2018?


Diana Rendina, MLIS, is the media specialist at Tampa Preparatory School, an independent 6-12 in Tampa, FL. Previously, she was the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School for seven years, where she founded their library makerspace. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves and is also the author Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.