Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 Book Round Up

Swinging back by my blog to share the rest of my 2017 reads! 
Never mind the fact that I haven't posted on here in months...

You can read what I read in January-June of last year HERE.

Last year, my goodreads reading goal started with 15 books, and when I quickly passed that, I bumped it up to 30. When the year was all said and done I ended up reading a grand total of 45 books  (or 14,868 pages)! A few of these were chapter books I read aloud with M, but I think they count! Below I'll list each book and the rating I gave it on goodreads (here's my profile, I'd love on be friends on there!). You can go to my profile to read a more thorough review of each, and at the end of this post I'll round up my top 5 favorites from the whole year, along with 3 honorable mentions!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 3/5 stars
He Said She Said by Erin Kelly 4/5 stars
Bear Town by Fredrik Backman 5/5 stars
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 5/5 stars
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan 4/5 stars
Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson 3.5/5 stars
Hourglass: Time Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro 2.5/5 stars
Castle of Water by Dan Hucklebridge 4/5 stars
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder 4/5 stars
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham 3.5/5 stars
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid 3/5 stars
Stuart Little by EB White 2/5 stars
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith 3/5 stars
Refugee by Alan Gratz 4/5 stars *
Little House on The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder 4/5 stars
At Home In The World by Tsh Oxenreider 5/5 stars
After the Eclipse: A Mother's Murder, A Daughter's Search by Sarah Perry 5/5 stars
Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly 3.5/5 stars
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn 2.5/5 stars
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 2.5/5 stars

Obviously, if I rated this with 5 stars, I'd recommend it to you! All of the 5 star books on this list I'd suggest to pretty much anyone. And the 4 stars were pretty great, too!

Now...the moment you've all been waiting for, my year end favorites. I really don't think I can rank these, so instead I'll order them in the order I read them.

  1. The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner This book rocked me in the best way possible. I flew through it in a few days staying up late at night to finish. I love a good memoir, and this has probably been my top recommendation to friends this year.
  2. Homegoing Yaa Gyasi I actually only gave this 4.5 stars, but I really think it was because it was painful to read. But gosh, 11 months later, and I still think about it regularly. It'll put you through the ringer, but it'll also give you hope. One goodreads review said it's an "incredible and horric look at history" and I think that says it all. Go read this book.
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas This book is everywhere right now on end of the year best of lists, and there's a reason for that. It's SO GOOD. It's YA and you'll read it quickly, and you'll finish it and be thinking about it for days and weeks, and months to come. It's extremely relevant to the time we're in right now, and if I could buy everyone a copy to read, I would! I went to a favorite things party in December an brought three copies of this as my "thing"'s so very good.
  4. Bear Town by Frederick Backman When I read the jacket cover description of this book, I didn't think it would resonate with me the way that it did, but good gracious. I LOVED this book. I think I'd have to say this is my very favorite read of 2017. It's a book about hockey , but (stick with me) it's truly about so much more. I read one review after I read it saying it's the Swedish version of Friday Night Lights, but ice hockey and Sweden instead of football and Texas. That felt about right. It's excellent. 
  5. After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry  Another memoir, so different from The Sound of Gravel. But the one thing they both have in common is excellent writing. I don't even remember what it is about this book that made me add it to my library list, or where it was I first heard of it, but it blew me away. It's a gritty, raw story, and if you can't handle violence and graphic details, I wouldn't recommend it. But Perry's story, of her life before and after her mother's murder (she was in the room next door when her mother was stabbed to death), was one that was just so raw and so beautiful. 
Honorable Mention
  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid This book is nothing life shattering, but it's really really enjoyable. It's light but it's not stupid, if you know what I mean. She also tackles a bigger issue in this book that I didn't see coming from the jacket cover, but her approach to it was great. 
  2. At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider This was just such a beautifully written book. Tsh's story of her family of 5 making their way around the globe over the course of a year was such a quiet and easy to read story. I am so glad I read this. It also made for a great change of pace in my reading this year as it was nothing like anything else I read. And again, her way with words was just captivating.
  3. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel If you want a book that'll suck you in from the very beginning, read this. It is quite different from my usual fiction pile, but the haunting plague apocalyptic tale will stick with me forever. I also think this one would make a fantastic movie or TV mini series. Bonus points for having what I felt to be one of the most satisfying endings of all the fiction I read this year
  4. And I know I said 3 books for honorable mention but I'm adding a 4th! Columbine by Dave Cullen. This is an older selection, but I finally got around to picking it up in 2017. It's not easy reading this book, but I learned so much. Things I thought I knew, I was completely wrong about. It's engrossing, despite the hard subject matter.
So there you have it! My book list for 2018 is already too long to even keep track of. Hoping to read 50 this year...I think I can do it if I do a good job throwing in some audio books in there too!

Now tell me...
What's your favorite read from 20217?

**All thoughts and opinions are my own. Amazon Affiliate links are included above**


  1. Loved this post! I miss blogging at the end of every year because I so loved writing about my books for the year. I agree with so many of your favorites and have a few new titles to add to my list. Thanks!

  2. My favorite of the year was Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman. I would put in the same category as Seven Husbands - light but not stupid - but it just gave me all the feels. I'm going to have to look at your reviews on some of the books above because I liked several way more than your stars show, so I'm curious about that. I also really liked The Language of Flowers, The Dry, I Liked My Life, and All the Missing Girls. This wasn't my strongest reading year (stupid post-partum for the 3rd time, so I read a lot of Nora Roberts ha), but I do a monthly post about the books I read if you want to see all (December's goes live tomorrow and I had a good December):

  3. I love your book posts. They always give me something to add to my goodreads list. My favorite book this year was Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

  4. Thank you for these! It's great to "see" you back here. Love your suggestions and agree with so many of your favorites that I'm adding the rest to my list.