XXY's Best Reads and Recommendations of 2017

XXY's Best Reads and Recommendations of 2017

As you may know from following our (ahem) Goodreads, that the brains and faces behind XXY are keen readers. As some of us have a background in publishing, all of us are simply avid readers and really just unapologetic nerds when it comes to paper (albeit being a predominantly online magazine). So we proudly give you our best reads for 2017. Before we weep into our TRB lists for 2018.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Having read Tartt’s The Goldfinch last year and loved it, I was keen to read more of her work. The Secret History was actually written twenty years earlier, but with its complicated characters, gripping plot and powerful opening I’d say it’s even better – it’s now a firm favourite of mine.

Holly O’Mahony

Culture Editor

A post shared by Jes 🇵🇭 (@jesyshelf) on

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Just Kids is an autobiographical detailing Patti Smith moving to New York in the 1970s, discovering her voice as an artist and her beautiful lover affair and friendship with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It was the first book in a very long time that I just devoured. It seemed like such a different world in the 70s when everything was new, exciting and experimental. There are no distractions of technology and Patti and Michael are constantly producing art while being completely broke in New York. Because it is written about the past it is a very romanticized and nostalgic account. It is such an inspiring novel for those of us struggling with inspiration and with a creative career.

Olivia Pinkney

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

A post shared by Jes 🇵🇭 (@jesyshelf) on

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
A story which has stuck in my mind and the top of my recommendations for others, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi may be my number one read of 2017. I went to Gyasi’s reading earlier this January and could not have asked for a better novel to open up my year. A story focusing on two timelines – sisters – one being a slave and the other a wife of a slave owner, Gyasi’s storytelling starts in the gold coast, before the slave trade began and ends in the present. Gyasi spent four years alone researching for the book and though it’s not overly descriptive in facts by any means, it’s telling in the character development. Warning: this story will irritate you in that you will want to know more about the names of those in the family tree.

Tahmina Begum


Letters From Medea by Salma Deera
“Tonight, I am not a girl. / I am a wishbone.”

I fell on Letters from Medea completely by accident while rifling through books available on my Kindle unlimited account and was enraptured. She turns every day experiences into evocative moments you want to sink into. Not all the poems are my favourite, but the good ones more than make up for it.  

Weruzochi Chinasa

Fashion Editor


More recommendations from the XXY Magazine team 

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write ed. by Sabrina Mahfouz

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge