2017 Reading List

book stacks

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.)

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

 

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.)

 

ROMANCES

Running From a Rock Star: Brides on the Run Book 1 by Jami Albright

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.)

Temptation: Sundown Wolves Book by Aria Chase

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

Book Boyfriend by Claire Kingsley

Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley

 

MEMOIRS

Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

My Life in France by Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Theft by Finding by David Sedaris

Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer

Dear Girls Above Me by Charles McDowell

 

MYSTERIES/THRILLERS/HORROR

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Evasion by Mark Leslie

The Widow by Fiona Barton

A Canadian Werewolf in New York by Mark Leslie

Curse the Day by Annabel Chase

 

YA BOOKS

The Giver by Lois Lowry

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

(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.)

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

 

BOOKS I HAVE READ BEFORE AND NEVER GET TIRED OF RE-READING

The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

(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.)

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Howard’s End by E.M. Forster

(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

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson

The Nix by Nathan Hill

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

Jellyfish: A Natural History by Lisa-Ann Gershwin

Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman

Make Trouble by John Waters

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Bridget Jones’ Baby by Helen Fielding

The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffeneger

(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

The Whole Foods Diet by John Mackey

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo by Talia Baiocchi & Leslie Pariseau

Food 52: A New Way to Dinner by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs

Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball

(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

So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan

(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.)

Start Here: Read Your Way Into 25 Amazing Authors, edited by Jeff O’Neal & Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Start Here, Volume II, edited by Jeff O’Neal & Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence

 

BOOKS ABOUT PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH

Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight

Thirteen Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

I, Athlete by Josh Mathe

Foodscaping: Practical and Innovative Ways to Create An Edible Landscape by Charlie Nardozzi

Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden by Niki Jabbour

 

BOOKS ABOUT BUSINESS

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

(I recommend Cal Newport’s books to everyone, no matter your occupation. It will change the way you think about your work.)

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

Estate Planning for Authors by M.L. Buchman

 

BOOKS ABOUT WRITING

Write Like a Boss by Honoree Corder and B. Hale

Publish Like a Boss by Honoree Corder and B. Hale

(This ‘Like A Boss’ series is my new go-to recommendation for anyone who is thinking of publishing.)

Going Deep into Deep Point of View by Beth Yarnall

Making Description Work Hard for You by Beth Yarnall

Some Like it Hot: Writing Sex and Romance by Beth Yarnall

The Introvert Writer: Being Your Creative Best by Being Your True Self by Jamie Arpin-Ricci

I Give You My Body: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon

 

 

 

 

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