It’s the most wonderful time of the year– sharing my January to December reading list!
Twenty-seventeen was the year I returned to fiction. A mere five books on this list were non-fiction or memoir, a big departure from recent years. It was also the year I discovered the joys of audio books, caught up on science fiction classics (thank you book club!) and fell in love with Carrie Fisher all over again.
Most importantly, it was the year I decided it’s OK to quit reading a book I’m not enjoying. My time’s just too precious.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (book club, reread)
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (book club)
Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales by Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson
Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (book club)
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (book club)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (book club, reread)
Nevertheless by Alec Baldwin
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Foundation by Isaac Asimov (book club)
The Flintstones Vol. 1 by Mark Russel and Steve Pugh
Ubik by Philip K. Dick (book club)
Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher
Kindred by Octavia Butler (book club)
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Elmo Bondoc
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (book club)
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (book club)
The Flintstones Vol. 2 by Mark Russel and Steve Pugh
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (audio book)
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (book club)
This was another year of standouts.
Station Eleven probably wasn’t the best choice to read right around the presidential inauguration when my anxiety was already high. But, it’s such a wonderfully crafted novel it was worth the angst. It only took me four days to read, but much longer to digest.
Another quick read/slow burn of a novel is The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. This book is a must-read, especially if you love cleverly imagined science fiction and well developed characters. The story kept me guessing (I was 50 pages from the end and still had no idea how a resolution would be reached) and was never once boring.
Call Me By Your Name was my first foray into audio books, and boy, was this a good one to start with. Narrated by actor Armie Hammer (who stars in the film adaptation), there’s a slow-burning eroticism between Aciman’s language and Hammer’s voice that makes this so enjoyable to listen to. Word of warning, it may feel immodest to listen to this on public transport.
Despite my “OK to quit” rule, I still mostly push through book club selections. There was only one this year I couldn’t bring myself to finish (Brideshead Revisited), but a few I was less than enthusiastic about. Gulliver’s Travels is a classic, but one I’ll likely never pick up again. The same can be said of The Turn of the Screw, which was ironically my suggestion. The Natural Way of Things was at times interesting, but ended on such an unsatisfying note that I can’t say I recommend it.
Looking forward to in 2018
I was making decent headway on by To Be Read pile, and celebrated this by buying more books. You know, as one does. As a result, books I meant to read this year are still sitting on my shelf. Reviewing my post from last year makes me feel even more “behind,” as I only managed to read two of the books I listed there. Whoopsie.
So this year I endeavor to get through my back list. Lots of graphic novels, more non-fiction, and more recommendations. Better get cracking.