The best books to escape 2017

Cheer up with a good book. After a tiresome political year, here are Salon's top picks to kick off 2018.

Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams and book publicist Angela Baggetta discuss the best books from 2017 that are guaranteed to not disappoint you, anger you or make you cry (we've all had enough of that this year). The duo weave through all genres, recommending a collection of picks from fiction and nonfiction that are guaranteed to uplift.

Their top picks include a realistic science-inspired sci-fi novel, Southwestern cooking with a twist, beautiful hiking trails, astrophysics for the average mind, and a photobook from a White House insider.

Baggetta and Williams stressed that the importance of reading, especially after such a polarizing and emotional year. "It's important to remember that stories serve many purposes for us human beings," Baggetta said. "They are here to illuminate and to help us think through hard issues and difficult times and reckon with those, but they're also here to help us grow as people and to make us happy."

Watch the clip above to see the full list. And tune into SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage," daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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