Sunday, January 7, 2018

2017 Reads: What Rocked, What Did Not

In 2017, I read 60 books. I think.

Keeping track isn't as easy as it should be. Marking e-books as "read" on Goodreads is easy, thanks to a feature that prompts readers to "mark as currently reading" when opening the book and automatically listing them as "read" when flipping the last page.


Alas, print books don't offer the same auto-prompt when a reader cracks the spine. However, I try to remember to record completed print and audio book titles on my cloud drive, and cross-check my drive list against Goodreads from time to time. It's a handy resource to remind myself why a book seems so familiar. (Ahem, Mariana!)


Which is a long way of saying, "In 2017, I am pretty sure I read 60 books, give or take."


It's not a personal best, but it is a healthy number considering my bout of reading ennui this summer. A friend experienced the same thing last year, and I didn't understand until I stood in front of my bookshelves and perused my bursting Kindle and could only muster, "Meh." I managed to recover after a few months by gorging on "junk food" books, mostly rumpled paperback mysteries with titles that had numbers, letters, or other gimmicks. I may not be completely through it, but I feel like I'm on the reading side of my slump.


Of the 60 books I finished in 2017, Goodreads calculates that  I averaged 271 pages per book, so an occasional Inside-Outside Dinosaur balances out Anna Karenina


I discovered some interesting graphic novels this year, which were surprisingly substantial. Before I read them, I was known to confuse them with comics. I understand better the differences between the genres (but still counts as "reading," people!).

Here are my top eight favorite books of the year, in no particular order:



  • What the Hell Did I Just Read? — The latest raucous David Wong novel, whose title is accurate: I couldn't describe what I read in the book.
  • Little Fires Everywhere — A storm quietly brewing in suburban Ohio in the 1990s, reminding us how much our world, and expectation of privacy, have changed.
  • Uprooted — A new fairy tale with a strong female lead character. (Review here)
  • Pride and Prejudice — A wonderful classic that is as good as everyone told me, and I will re-read often. (Related article here)
  • Big Little Lies — Kept me going until the last page. If you watch the series, don't skip the book. (And if you read the book, you may not want to watch the series, I've been told.)
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life — Another fabulous novel by Benjamin Alire SΓ‘enz, who can share the truest, deepest parts of a teenage boy's heart.
  • The Handmaid's Tale — Alas, it is not as far-fetched as it seemed when I first read it back in 1987.
  • Wrinkles — Old people are people, too.
My least favorite books were:
  • Origin — One of my favorite authors has fallen asleep at the keyboard, and his latest book is almost a parody of his better tales. (Review here)
  • Yesternight — Cat Winters wrote a good book until she went off the rails at Chapter 25.
  • The Case Against Sugar — The author made a case, relentlessly, in chapters that started to blend together. The takeaway, in one sentence: sugar is big business, and the sugar industry has worked hard to protect their investment — at the cost of demonizing other food and throwing up smoke screens about the evils of sugar. 


Here is a complete list of what I read, and the format in which I read it (print πŸ“–, ebook πŸ“², or audiobook πŸŽ§). 



  1. What the Hell Did I Just Read? πŸ“–
  2. Do Unto Otters πŸ“–
  3. Miracles and Other Christmas Stories πŸ“²
  4. Adulthood is a Myth πŸ“²
  5. The Little Pup Collection πŸ“²
  6. Drama πŸ“²
  7. OriginπŸ“²
  8. Little Fires Everywhere πŸ“–
  9. One Book in the Grave (Bibliophile Mystery #5) πŸ“–
  10. The Tortilla Cat πŸ“–
  11. The Magician King πŸ“²
  12. Good and Cheap πŸ“²
  13. Uprooted πŸ“² 🎧
  14. The 5 Second Rule πŸ“²
  15. Truly Madly Guilty πŸ“²
  16. The Magicians πŸ“²
  17. Ghosts πŸ“²
  18. Gwendy’s Button Box πŸ“²
  19. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? πŸ“²
  20. Yesternight πŸ“–
  21. Mariana πŸ“²
  22. Paws and Effect πŸ“²
  23. My Cousin Rachel πŸ“–
  24. Murder Under Cover (Bibliophile #4) πŸ“–
  25. The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, Vol. 2 πŸ“–
  26. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire  πŸ“–
  27. Other Wordly πŸ“–
  28. Wrinkles πŸ“–
  29. Clockwork Scarab πŸ“²
  30. Star Wars: Jedi Academy 1 πŸ“²
  31. The Case Against Sugar πŸ“²
  32. Pride and Prejudice 🎧
  33. The Handmaid’s Tale πŸ“² 🎧
  34. Forgotten Bones πŸ“–
  35. My Best Everything πŸ“–
  36. The Lies That Bind (Bibliophile #3) πŸ“–
  37. Anna Karenina πŸ“² 🎧
  38. Big Little Lies πŸ“–
  39. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life 🎧
  40. Speaking From Among the Bones πŸ“–
  41. The Burning Page πŸ“²
  42. Ruined πŸ“–
  43. Ida, Always πŸ“²
  44. The Possession of Mr. Cave πŸ“–
  45. The Shadow Land πŸ“–
  46. Once Upon a Poem πŸ“–
  47. The Masked City πŸ“²
  48. The Bookman’s Tale πŸ“²
  49. Slumdog Millionaire 🎧
  50. The Annotated Godfather πŸ“²
  51. Conclave πŸ“–
  52. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them πŸ“²
  53. Congratulations, By the WayπŸ“²
  54. Cast Iron Nation πŸ“–
  55. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 🎧
  56. Toss the Gloss πŸ“²
  57. Hillbilly Elegy πŸ“–
  58. Inside-Outside Dinosaurs πŸ“–
  59. A Cookbook Conspiracy πŸ“²
  60. Turbo Twenty-Three πŸ“²

Have you read any of these books? Which did you like best, or least?


I have three books going right now: Little Dorrit, A Gentleman from Moscow, and The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel. What's on your nightstand?

Let's chat!