Best of Books | Book Talk | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Culture » Book Talk

Best of Books

Best Selling Books & Personal Favs from 2017



1. 'Astrophysics for People In A Hurry'

by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

A most improbable bestseller that proves science is alive and well in Central Oregon. Tyson takes us from the Big Bang to the outer edge of our universe and beyond in a primer accessible to anyone, filled with 'wow' moments and ideas. Buy here.

2. 'Sun & Her Flowers and Milk & Honey'

by Rupi Kaur

Co-#2 titles, Kaur may have single-handedly revived interest in poetry for women under 30. Pain, love and vulnerability are all tapped to create a beautiful pastiche of real life that speaks to an entire generation. Buy it here.

3. 'Temperance Creek' by Pamela Royes

Royes trades in classes at U of O for the life of a sheepherder in Hells Canyon country during the early 1970s. Her descriptions of a vanishing way of life and the beauty of Eastern Oregon are as good as anything found in the nature/outdoor classics of the last 40 years. Buy it here.

4. 'My Absolute Darling'

by Gabriel Tallent

Our favorite book of 2017. An incandescent, searing story of abuse and redemption set in the backwoods of Northern California. Turtle Alverson is a character you'll not soon forget and one you'll root for like no other. Buy it here.

5. 'Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu' by Joshua Hammer

by Joshua Hammer

A heist worthy of Ocean's Eleven and adventure on par with Indiana Jones, this is the story of an archivist who smuggled 350,000 ancient manuscripts out from under the nose of Al Qaeda-controlled Timbuktu in Mali. This is narrative non-fiction at its best.

Tom Bean's Gives Us His Top Favorite Reads of 2017

1. 'The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O'

by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

This farcical mash-up of sci-fi and fantasy is about as much fun as you can have in 700 pages. Magic used to exist and a fringe government organization attempts to use time travel to bring it back. Problems ensue. Buy it here.

2. 'Magpie Murders'

by Anthony Horowitz

A brilliantly crafted mystery wrapped in a mystery. A modern-day editor is sucked into the manuscript of an English countryside tale of murder that pays a dark and brilliant homage to the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie. Clever and suspenseful, Horowitz ties the past and present together in ways that you'll never see coming. Buy it here.

3. 'American War'
by Omar El Akkad

Portland author El Akkad has penned what may be the greatest dystopian novel of our time. A second American civil war, rising seas and resource scarcity have driven young Sarat Chestnut to become a weapon against her own country. Set 50 years in the future, it's a novel that's frightening in its plausibility. Buy it here.

4. 'Kill the Father'

by Sandrone Dazieri

A detective with PTSD teams up with a victim of a childhood crime that left him with crippling claustrophobia and incredible powers of observation to create the most original investigative duo you've met in a long time. The first in a bestselling series translated from Italian. Buy it here.

5. 'The Impossible Fortress'

by Jason Rekulak

If you're a fan of "Stranger Things," a fan of all things '80s, or a nerd who used a Commodore 64, this is a book for you. The Vanna White Playboy issue as a central plot device may be the most original of the year. This is a book that'll leave you with a smile on your face. Buy it here.

Speaking of Tom Beans, 2017 Roundup

Add a comment

More by Tom Beans, Dudley's BookShop Cafe

  • Source Suggests These Books

    Source Suggests These Books

    A recommended summertime read: "Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time"
    • Jul 8, 2020
  • Source Suggests These Books

    Source Suggests These Books

    In the spirit of this Outdoor issue of the Source Weekly, here are three new Adventure Travel standout reads:
    • Jun 3, 2020
  • A Personal Top 10 Reading List

    A Personal Top 10 Reading List

    The books worth reading from 2019
    • Dec 24, 2019
  • More »