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We hope that whenever you are looking for a good book recommendation, you'll check us out, as we publish our favorite books released each season. (Images: Courtesy of each publisher)

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The 10 best books we read in 2017

If you haven't caught on by now, we read a looooot of books here at DC Refined. Thrillers seem to be a favorite among the team, but celebrity biographies, historical fiction and anything written by a local author often find their way onto our nightstands -- and into our hearts!

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite books that we devoured this year, and trust us, with the abundance of great releases in 2017, it was hard to narrow it down to just 10. We tried to keep this list to just books released this past year, but you'll find one from 2016 whose relevance is still going strong, and a 1985 classic that made a resurgence in popularity this year due to a hit television series remake.

We hope that whenever you are looking for a good book recommendation, you'll check us out, as we publish our favorite books released each season.

1. Lincoln in the Bardo
Author: George Saunders
Publisher: Penguin Random House (2017)

The Story:
This first novel by short story writer/essayist George Saunders has moments of incredible highs and poignantly sad lows, as we see President Lincoln, grappling with his own guilt surrounding the Civil War, bury his 11-year-old son Willie in a Georgetown graveyard. Turns out the ghosts of those dearly departed souls are having trouble leaving this world for the next. Yet their comedic banter provides some much-needed relief from Lincoln's sorrows.

2. Dead Letters
Author: Caite Dolan-Leach
Publisher: Penguin Random House (2017)

The Story:
Dolan-Leach shows incredible promise with her first book. Following twin sisters Ava and Zelda Antipova, Dead Letters takes readers on a twisted scavenger hunt, of sorts. A true page-turner! If you loved Gone Girl, pick this one up.

3. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Author: J.D. Vance
Publisher: Harper Collins (2016)

The Story:
When I heard the New York Times had called this book "One of 6 books to help understand Trump's win," I knew I needed to read it. Author J.D. Vance is a Yale law graduate whose family ties are rooted in a "poor Rust Belt town" in Kentucky, where his grandparents settled in postwar America. But after moving to Ohio to escape the poverty-stricken town, his family ultimately winds up among the middle class, and his graduation from an Ivy League seems to cement this hard-fought for status. Of course, underneath this white-washed surface lie demons that neither Vance nor any of his family seem able to escape.

4. The Lying Game
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press (2017)

The Story:
As Ware is prone to do, the novel revolves around the friendships between four women -- Fatima, Thea, Kate and Isa -- who were high school best friends before they were all expelled from Salten boarding school in their senior year under mysterious circumstances. The foursome was infamous for the myriad lies they spread throughout the school, which they called "The Lying Game." The rules were simple: tell a lie, stick to your story, don't get caught, know when to abandon the lie and -- most importantly -- never lie to each other. When a past lie comes back to haunt them, the girls must rekindle their fizzled friendship and return to a game they never really stopped playing.

5. Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books (2017)

The Story:
Hawkins continues to delve into the world of psychological thrillers, as Into the Water takes us to a small riverside town in northern England. A single mom and a young teenage girl have been found dead in the river, just a few weeks apart and the investigations begin to uncover some long-hidden truths about this close-knit community's dark past. As with The Girl on the Train, you'll find that there is more to this thriller than just the twists, turns and unexpected ending -- it's as much a story about human connection, community relations and instinctive reactions as it is about crime.

6. The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Anchor (1985)

The Story:
Nothing was more talked about this summer than the hit Hulu series remaking this eerie dystopian novel. After a staged terrorist attack kills the President and most of Congress, the government is deposed and taken over by the oppressive and all controlling Republic of Gilead. Offred, now a Handmaid serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules in hopes of ending this oppression.

7. I'm Fine...and Other Lies
Author: Whitney Cummings
Publisher: Penguin Random House (2017)

The Story:
Known by many for her take-no-prisoners humor and unapologetic roasts, don’t expect this book to be a laugh-out-loud extension of Cummings' stage shows. While subtle levels of comedy are interlaced through the pages of “I’m Fine,” this is by all means a self-help book, focused largely on Cummings’ recovery from severe co-dependence, eating disorders, and love addiction. The “Two Broke Girls” creator (and Georgetown native!) offers an unfiltered look into the messiness of her mental health and how she knew it was time to make a change five years ago because “being crazy is not cute in your thirties.”

8. Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years
Author
: David Litt
Publisher: HarperCollins (2017)

The Story:
You know in D.C. when there's a new book out involving Obama, it's headed straight to the top of the must-read lists. Especially when it's written by the man behind four White House Correspondents Dinner speeches. Oh, and did we mention the author was only 24 when he somehow found himself as the speechwriter for the President of the United States? With the eye and wit of a humorist, Litt uses his experience to address the legacy and future of the Obama movement in the age of Donald Trump.

9. Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Author: Mark Sullivan
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (2017)

The Story:
I never thought I was much of a historical fiction kind of gal, but after falling in love with "The Paris Wife," I've explored the genre more, and this novel has me aching for me of Sullivan's vivid characters and storytelling. Based on the true story of Pino Lella, "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" is the epic tale of how one Italian teenager goes from helping Jews escape over the alps to becoming the personal driver for Adolf Hitler's right-hand man in Italy, General Hans Leyers, and ultimately winds up a spy for the Allies.

10. Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Publisher: Penguin Press (2017)

The Story:
In Shaker Heights, Ohio, nothing is scarier than a disruption to "the plan." Which is exactly what single mother Mia Warren and her teenage daughter Pearl are when they arrive in this idyllic suburb of Cleveland, with little regard for the status quo. No one is more concerned than Elena Richardson, a mother of four who lives to follow the rules. Despite the fact that all of Elena's children seem drawn to Mia, the two women find themselves at odds over a neighborhood drama that could lead to the unraveling of both women's carefully protected secrets.

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