A Year of Reading in Review

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Now that 2018 is upon us, it only seems appropriate to take account of 2017’s reading. Mine, anyway. But perhaps—dear anonymous internet reader—in a yet unknown and oblique way, it will be helpful to you. And what better way to disseminate that information than a list? Because after all, isn’t New Years’ Eve all about countdowns? Also, I’ve included the entire reading list at the bottom for your perusing pleasure. So behold, my Top Ten Reading Countdown of 2017:

10)  I read 61 books this year. This is higher than usual as the yearly goal hovers around fifty.

9)  I read 50 fiction books and 11 nonfiction books. While the ratio of fiction to nonfiction (5:1) seems lopsided, my affinities are usually closer to a 10:1 ratio.

8)  Of the 11 nonfiction books I read, six were biographies or memoirs.

7)  Of the 50 fiction books I read, four were short story collections.

6)  Twenty-three were Science Fiction and Fantasy.

5)  Two were historical fiction. This is an aberration as historical lit is often fighting for the quantitative top spot.

4)  Sixteen could be classified as “Literature.” Five were what I call ‘contemporary literature’ or popular fiction. Three were mystery/thriller.

3)  I started, but didn’t finish three novels. Those were The Thirteen Gun Salute by Patrick O’Brian, Postcards by Annie Proulx (I normally love her work), and Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie (people have raved about this series, but it didn’t catch with me).

2)  The shortest book was 135 pages (The Red Badge of Courage), the longest was 782 pages (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell).

1)  All things considered, I read a lot of mediocre books. I only felt strongly about a third of them (anything higher than 3 stars). Most, however, fell squarely on the 3-star which is to stay I enjoyed them, but you won’t catch me offering additional recommendations. So here’s to 2018, my ever growing list, and—fingers crossed—bundles of 4 and 5 star reads!


The List:

War of the Flowers by Tad Williams

The Pony by John Steinbeck

Nine Stories by JD Salinger

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suzanna Clarke

Do Androids Dream of Electrical Sheep? by Philip K Dick

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card

The Long Ride Home by Tawni Waters

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne

Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin

Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Home by Toni Morrison

World Without End by Ken Follett

Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno

Brothers at War by Michael Walsh

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

Sign of the Four by Robert Conan Doyle

Methuselah’s Children by Robert A Heinlein

The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov

Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf

Shadows of the New Sun Anthology by Various Authors

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

The Fireman’s Wife by Richard Bausch

Igniting the Reaches by David Drake

The Water that Holds Me by AR Horst

The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter

Under the Skin by Michel Faber

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Total Eclipse by John Brunner

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Old School by Tobias Wolff

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Timescoop by John Brunner

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

The King by Donald Barthelme

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers



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