My year in books! 2017

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How many books did you read this year?
60! I EAT BOOKS FOR BREAKFAST. Wait, no, that is not an efficient use of books, as my stomach doesn’t know how to read.

What was your number one TOP FAVORITE of them?
Usually this question has me pacing in circles and wringing my hands, because to pick a single favorite of the year is literary masochism, but this year? This year I think I’ve got my winner… A Tale For the Time Being (Ozeki). BUT it’s very closely followed by The Highland Witch (Fletcher), and Some Kind of Happiness (Legrand), and ohhhh about 15 others.

Favorite new-to-you author that you discovered this year?
Oh jeez, I dunno. There were lots of new authors I read this year who I’d like to read more of.  (Cop-out answer.)

Best new-to-you book by an author you already liked?
Borne, by Jeff VanderMeer. Really liked his book Annihilation last year. (YES I’m still meaning to read the rest of that trilogy, hush.)

What book were you surprised to like?
None were surprises, because “Gosh, this sounds terrible! But maybe it won’t be!” is not a thing I say when picking books.
There WERE, however, books I expected to be great and was sorely disappointed by, but I won’t name those here. (*slides a grumpy side-eye over at one in particular*)

What was the funniest book you read this year?
How to be a Normal Person, by TJ Klune. It’s an indie novel that had me LOUDLY busting up.

What book made you cry?
Tiny Beautiful Things
A Tale for the Time Being
Some Kind of Happiness
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

The books that make me cry are always the ones I like most.

What was the most beautifully written?
The Highland Witch – Guhhh, unnfff, hrrnnngggggg

Most thought-provoking or life-changing?
Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. It’s all about embracing vulnerability as a deliberate way of living.

Most shocking or disturbing?
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Not the whole book, but one section in particular had me going “WHAT THE FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF”

Most imaginative?
In terms of world-building I’d say The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, both part of the same story by Patrick Rothfuss. But in terms of weirdness I’d say The Raw Shark Texts (TRIPPY AS HELL) and Borne. Or, oh! – The Fifth Season by NK Jemisen, which had a fascinating magic system.

Who was the most memorable character of the year?
The grandmother, in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. She was a hoot.

Most memorable romance or friendship?
Corrag and Alasdaire, in The Highland Witch. OH THE TRAGIC, MANY SWOONS.

What genre or subject matter did you try that you normally don’t read?
Hmmm, I guess I don’t read many graphic novels, and I read two this year. But it’s not like I NEVER read them, so… *shrug*

What book can you not believe you waited this long to get to?
I suppose I’m a bit late on the Rothfuss bandwagon. A number of fantasy fans had to yell at me before I finally read it, but once I did I agreed the yelling was warranted. It was great. 🙂

Favorite quote from this year’s reads?
“I wanted it to happen. I wanted to let my knees buckle. Let my shoulders slump, just let it all go – fall forwards, down and finally, thankfully, out. This monster river could take me away and unknot me and spread me out however it wanted and however it liked because, honestly, finally, I just felt so fucking tired of endless hours of doing my shitty best to cling my component parts together as a human being. I wanted to pile up and silt-slide, wrap around the trunks of trees, a lost nothing of unthinking debris and high watermarks. Just to be all the way empty, just be all the way gone.” – The Raw Shark Texts

I would include a quote from The Highland Witch too, but I’d end up just copying the whole book.

What books did you read based solely on recommendation or peer pressure?
Name of the Wind, but it’s not that I was opposed to it, I just didn’t know anything about it so I was indifferent. I’m glad I read it though.

Which of your reads did you recommend most to others?
I talked about The Fifth Season to a lot of my fantasy-loving friends because the magic system was so unique and cool.

Did you start or finish a series?
Yup, those two Rothfuss books are part of The Kingkiller Chronicles, which is supposed to get a third book sometime this millennium…?
Also The Fifth Season, I still need to pick up the next 2 in the trilogy.

Shortest book?
Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too, by Jomny Sun. Not the shortest in page numbers, but it was a graphic novel with very little text, so it was the quickest read. ALSO IT WAS ADORABLE AND WONDERFUL which is irrelevant to its length BUT I STILL WANTED TO SHOUT THAT.

Longest?
The Wise Man’s Fear, 994 pages. Yikes. Rothfuss be wordy.

Favorite cover of the year?
The Gracekeepers. Just look at this beauty. Guhhh.
the gracekeepers

What was your favorite reading spot?
I hiked a lot this year, and always brought a book with me. My favorite spot was this cliff edge over a small canyon where I was able to descend a bit down some rocks which hid me from the main trail. I LIKE TO READ DANGEROUSLY.

Did you read anything published within the year?
Yup – The Changeling, Borne, Into the Water, The Stranger in the Woods, Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too, The River at Night, Child of Nod, and Nine Parts Bluster.

Did you watch a movie based on a book you’d read?
I watched The Light Between Oceans, but that wasn’t a read from this year.

Which books were re-reads?
None. I meant to continue my re-read of Narnia (read 1 and 2 last year) but wasn’t feeling it.

What are you most excited to read next year?
Well my “priority” shelf on Goodreads has 86 books on it, out of the 413 other want-to-read books, so… this would be a long answer. 🙂

And lastly… THE LIST! All of your reads from this year, ready, go!

  1. The girl with the lower back tattoo – Amy Schumer
  2. The highland witch – Susan Fletcher
  3. How to be a normal person – TJ Klune
  4. The storied life of AJ Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
  5. Foehammer – Lorena Black (hi friend!)
  6. Predictably irrational – Dan Ariely
  7. Man walks into a room – Nicole Krauss
  8. Uprooted – Naomi Novik
  9. Tiny beautiful things – Cheryl Strayed
  10. My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry – Fredrik Backman
  11. Name of the wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  12. Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
  13. This is a book – Demetri Martin
  14. Savage spawn – Johnathan Kellerman
  15. Without you, there is no us – Suki Kim
  16. The woman in cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
  17. Furiously happy – Jenny Lawson
  18. The wise man’s fear – Patrick Rothfuss
  19. The raw shark texts – Steven Hall
  20. Nurtureshock – Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  21. Brain on fire – Susannah Cahalan
  22. A head full of ghosts – Paul Tremblay
  23. Dark matter – Blake Crouch
  24. Memoirs of an imaginary friend – Matthew Dicks
  25. Although of course you end up becoming yourself – David Lipsky
  26. The boy who drew monsters – Keith Donohue
  27. Nine parts bluster and other stories – AZ Anthony (hi friend!)
  28. Summerlong – Peter S. Beagle
  29. Exponential Apocalypse – Eirik Gumeny (hi friend!)
  30. I am the messenger – Marcus Zusak
  31. The first fifteen lives of Harry August – Claire North
  32. The selected works of TS Spivet – Reif Larsen
  33. Heft – Liz Moore
  34. The gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan
  35. The mother tongue – Bill Bryson
  36. The vegetarian – Han Kang
  37. The river at night – Erica Ferencik
  38. All the birds in the sky – Charlie Jane Anders
  39. Wolf in white van – John Darnielle
  40. Daring greatly – Brene Brown
  41. Into the woods – Tana French
  42. Still Alice – Lisa Genova
  43. Why we broke up – Daniel Handler
  44. Some kind of happiness – Claire Legrand
  45. The history of love – Nicole Krauss
  46. A leg to stand on – Oliver Sacks
  47. The shock of the fall – Nathan Filer
  48. The fifth season – NK Jemisin
  49. A working theory of love – Scott Hutchins
  50. The changeling – Victor LaValle
  51. Into the water – Paula Hawkins
  52. Through the woods – Emily Carroll
  53. Everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too – Jomny Sun
  54. The butterfly garden – Dot Hutchison
  55. Borne – Jeff VanderMeer
  56. The stranger in the woods – Michael Finkel
  57. Child of Nod – CW Snyder (hi friend!)
  58. A tale for the time being – Ruth Ozeki
  59. Wasted – Marya Hornbacher
  60. Where’d you go Bernadette – Maria Semple

Feel free to answer these Q’s yourself if you want, and link me so I can read them!

Past years’ answers: 2016, 2015

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14 thoughts on “My year in books! 2017

  1. I literally said “Yay!!” out loud when I saw that you’d posted an annual reading review! I just added several of these to my TBR, so thanks for that. I’m especially eager to read The Highland Witch and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry based on your recommendations.

    We don’t have a lot of overlap, but I did read Annihilation a couple weeks ago. I’m looking forward to the movie, but Thomas said the rest of the trilogy is suuuper weird, so I’ll probably skip that.

    I’m within a few days of finishing my current read (All the Light We Cannot See) (it’s pretty good, btw) and vowed that I will start reading one of the books I receive for Christmas ON CHRISTMAS DAY. I’m not sure the timing/priority has ever worked out for me to do that before, so I’m pretty excited. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • And *I* literally said “Aw!!” out loud when I read your comment! Eeee, I’m so happy when people add books that I recommend. Life mission: accomplished.

      Being able to start a Christmas gift book right on Christmas sounds awesome! I’d love to know what books you receive. 🙂

      All the Light We Cannot See is on my to-read Goodreads shelf AND my real-life shelf, so I will read that soonish. Glad to hear it’s good.

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

      Like

      • Update! I received several books for Christmas (some of which I asked for): The Goldfinch, Breakfast of Champions, How to Build a Girl, The Secret Diaries of Lizzie Bennet (based on the YouTube series), and a few others I can’t remember right now. I started reading The DUFF on Christmas Day after — much to my surprise — LOVING the movie adaptation, but the book turned out to be atrocious haha.

        I don’t want to give too much away re: All the Light We Cannot See, but I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts after you’ve read it. I think you’ll like the writing style, but I was disappointed by the climax. I didn’t think it lived up to the long, slow buildup.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yay! I’d been meaning to ask you what book you started on Christmas. Wow, it’s so rare that a movie adap is good and the book is bad! I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered that. Closest example I can think of is The Martian, which I thought lent itself better to a movie format, but I still enjoyed the book.

        As for All the Light… Uh oh… My patience for slow books has dwindled. If it’s too slow I may not finish it. But if the climax is disappointing then I guess I won’t be missing anything! I’ve decided to be more aggressive this year about not finishing books that aren’t gripping me. I’ve read way too many in recent years that were Just Fine. My to-read list is long enough as it is, I have no time to waste on Just Fine.

        I got to start my first book of 2018 right on Jan 1st. 🙂 It’s “Forever Today” by Deborah Wearing, a nonfiction about her husband’s amnesia which was so severe he couldn’t remember anything longer than a few moments. He constantly felt like he was *just now* blinking into consciousness for the first time. It’s terrifying, but the way she writes about her love for him is so poignant too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pfft…60 books. I read the Horton Hears A Who and Horton Hatches The Egg double bill 897 times at least this year out loud to my kids 🙂 Never fails to amaze me just how much brilliant work is out there in the world as I don’t think I’ve read more than 2 or 3 on your list! I’m going to try and reach double figures this year – already on my second book but with back to work tomorrow… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve just started The Girl In The Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz – easy to pick up and put down and will be handy as I’ve got a couple of days of hanging around airports and hotels this week!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A late response but interesting to see your list and it always inspires me to try harder! Think I managed about 28 last year so a bit of catching up to do! Have read a couple on here; The Vegetarian, that was an interesting one.. and I have got the Marcus Zusak one on my ‘must read 2018’ list after I loved The Book Thief. Will keep your top choices in mind for my book group 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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