That WAS a hard age for chores. When my DD was that age, I'd open up the dishwasher and quickly grab all the breakable stuff from the bottom shelf and put it on the counter. Then she would hand the rest up to me one dish, fork, etc. at a time. It wasn't fast, but it got done. Laundry - she comes down with me to put in a load sometime in the morning, then to switch it in the afternoon. Folding I still only do in after she's in bed. That one is just impossible :) But nowadays she can put away all of her own clothes from the basket in the morning, and she was able to start doing that pretty early on. Maybe not 17 months, but not too far after.
Let's see...putting books on the shelf...I probably wouldn't bother. I usually do a "walkways only" toy pickup midday, and then a real pick-up in the evening after bedtime.
For vacuuming, she has not one, but TWO toy vacuum cleaners, one of which actually picks a little bit of stuff up. AND she uses Daddy's lightsaber as a cleaning wand. As long as I don't try to do too much at one time, she can keep herself pretty entertained.
Cooking is tough one. I can sometimes get good prep done if I sit at the table with her while she works on an activity, like drawing or puzzles, or having a snack. I will also sometimes let her play at the sink while I cook, which works pretty well. I don't know if you could do that at your son's age. Maybe not for a few months yet.
And I totally second the five minutes here or there thing. I would deliberately set up my chores in 5 minute segments and set the kitchen timer to do them. It's amazing to see the difference that 5 devoted minutes can make.
Oh, and if it's any encouragement, my daughter is 2.5 and lousy at independent play and I STILL have absolutely no problem getting dishes, laundry, vacuuming, quick bathroom clean-up, and even sometimes dusting done on a regular basis. And she doesn't even nap!