While I think we can all agree that 2017 was an epically stupid and oftentimes terrifying year to be a human, it was a magnificent year to be a reader. That has always been the case in my life: books save me from the crazy in my head and the crazy in the world.
I read 69 books in 2017, which is a little bit less than what I read last year, but still pretty average for me. In my day job, I edited an additional 28 books for other authors, so I suppose my total book consumption is 97 books. That does not include the huge number of books I started but didn’t finish. I will say it again: give it 50 pages and if you don’t love it, close the book and move on. Life is way too short to finish a book you don’t love.
This year I joined the Book of the Month Club. I have NO excuse for that. I have one whole bookshelf full of unread books already waiting for me at home, not to mention a Kobo Aura and a Kindle Paperwhite full of digital books, plus a wicked library habit. The last thing I need is a service that mails books to me every month. But I have to say I am really enjoying the Book of the Month Club. I think the price is really good for beautiful hardcover books. (If you join through that link above I will get a free book, but this is not a sponsored post. Book of the Month has no idea who I am. I’m just telling you about what I love.)
For the second year in a row I did not read any Jane Austen, which is strange. I intend to read her in January, but I said that last year, too, so who knows. Otherwise I had a pretty decent mix of genres this year, leaning heavily toward mainstream and literary fiction and romance.
A couple things I’d like to change in 2018: I’d like to read more classics, and I would like to read more non-white authors and non-American authors. So, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for diversifying my reading list in the upcoming year.
So, here you have it: my complete list of books in 2017, complete with Amazon links so you can start reading immediately. How was your reading year? I always love to talk books, so please tell me what I should add to next year’s reading list.
FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Far and away, this is my most recommended book of the year. I gave it to both my mother and mother-in-law for Christmas and when they opened it I said “Go read it now, please, just go in the next room and read it right now and so then we can talk about it.”)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (And this is the book that has lost me the most friends. I loved it, but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you are intimidated by all of the different points of view, I hear the audio book is fantastic.)
BEST BOOK TITLE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski (Funny title but also an important book. You don’t know your anatomy – or your partner’s – as well as you think you do.)
Running With a Sweet Talker: Brides on the Run Book 2 by Jami Albright (the third book in this series is coming out this year and I can’t wait. Jami is a dear friend of mine and she writes exactly like she talks in person: Hilarious, sexy, and a whole lot of fun.)
(I’m not sure precisely where to put this one. Usually CoHo is pretty solid romance but this one had a younger vibe. I gave it to my teen daughter when I finished it. Still, I don’t think it’s officially categorized as YA.)
BOOKS I HAVE READ BEFORE AND NEVER GET TIRED OF RE-READING
(Italo Calvino said ‘A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.’ Needless to say, this one is still absolutely terrifying.)
(My all time favorite book. I re-read this one every year or so, and I think it is a perfect book.)
AWESOME BOOKS THAT DON’T FIT INTO OTHER CATEGORIES
(I read this one cross-legged on the floor of the library. It is a graphic novel, with an odd, poetic story line and strange, haunting drawings. This is the reason we need libraries in our world: I never would have picked this up if I hadn’t quite literally stumbled over it.)
BOOKS ABOUT FOOD & DRINK
(Do you read cookbooks straight through, like a novel? I do, and this one is a great read. Also, I’ve only had it since Christmas but have already tried several recipes and they are excellent.)
BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS AND READING
(We are approaching the roaring twenties of the 2000s and I for one intend to adopt the Gatsby way of life. Except not winding up dead in a swimming pool.)
BOOKS ABOUT PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH
BOOKS ABOUT BUSINESS
(I recommend Cal Newport’s books to everyone, no matter your occupation. It will change the way you think about your work.)
BOOKS ABOUT WRITING
(This ‘Like A Boss’ series is my new go-to recommendation for anyone who is thinking of publishing.)