Waterstones’ Book of the Year 2017 is: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. It is the first volume of a new trilogy called The Book of Dust, set in the same world as His Dark Materials. The first book is “a story of survival, where two children, with everything at stake, find themselves pursued by a terrifying evil. In their care is a tiny child, and in that child lies the fate of the future.”
This book has been on my to-read list ever since I found out about it, and I’m not sure whether to read it now, or wait until the entire trilogy is out. I really loved Pullman’s earlier trilogy, I loved reading about Lyra and daemons in that world that Pullman so masterfully created. I am super excited to know more about that world. But should I read it now, or wait and read the entire trilogy at once? You see, Pullman said that these new books will take place before, during and after the original trilogy. So the first book is the one that takes place before (with Lyra as a baby), the second one, titled The Secret Commonwealth, will take place after with Lyra being 20 years old. And I’m guessing that this means that the third book will take place during? Or maybe even after the second book? I couldn’t find any information about it yet. If you have read the book, please let me know whether or not it can be read as a standalone book! Or if it’d be better to wait and read all three (plus reread the original trilogy) at once? I’d appreciate it!
Anyway, back to Waterstones book of the year! I loved their description, so I’ll just share it with you here.
A breathtaking, river-borne adventure, La Belle Sauvage is also a gateway to a vast and dangerous universe, a place where dark systems of power align with magic, science and myth. It’s a book that celebrates the true power of storytelling and the potential of reading to both fashion new worlds and illuminate our own.
Every year, Waterstones, the British chain of bookstores, asks their booksellers to nominate their book of the year (read more). All their nominations are then distilled into a short list of 6 titles, although it was 7 titles in 2017. The winner is then chosen by a panel headed by Waterstones’ Managing Director. The nominees were:
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo (Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls #1)
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
- La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (The Book of Dust #1)
- Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow
- Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis
- A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
- The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris