I thought I read a lot of books in 2016. Then Donald Trump became President, and my anxiety levels skyrocketed. My favorite way to self-soothe is reading, so my 2017 book total blows 2016 out of the water.
234 is a new personal record. What can I say? Books make me feel better. Lots of re-reading this year, too. Sometimes you just need to read a book that you already know you love.
Also, I love the Goodreads “Your year in reading” feature. How else would I ever have discovered that I read 84,218 pages this year? That makes me feel like a true book nerd badass.
I did round up my total by one book: I’m in the middle of one and I’m assuming that I’ll finish it in the next week.
Almost all of what I loved this year was genre fiction. When the real world is stressful, sometimes there’s nothing better than to vanish into a story that takes you somewhere else, even if it’s just for a while. Also, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that 100% of these books are by women, and 100% of the fiction has female main characters.
In other words: I was so annoyed with men in general in 2017 that I couldn’t stand to read about them or even read books by them. I credit this to our awful President and his cohort of creeps. I’ve always loved reading books about powerful women, but current events have left me uninterested in anything else.
Keep reading to hear about the the best books I read in 2017 (in no particular order):
This book is stunning. Dark, complicated, surprising; with an intricate cast of characters and and a gorgeously crafted world. It’s the first in a series, but I actually loved this one book so much that I haven’t gone back for more yet. I do that sometimes when I don’t want to risk a disappointing sequel soiling my experience of a great opening novel.
I think I’m about ready now: soon I’ll reread Kushiel’s Dart and then pick up the next in the series.
Fun fact: I’ve followed Loretta Chase’s blog for years, but I only just discovered my love for her books. After the first, I read as many as I could get my hands on (19 in quick succession).
If you enjoy a good historical romance novel – especially if you like ’em with a healthy sprinkle of darkness in the storyline – go read everything you can find by Loretta Chase immediately, just like I did. You won’t be sorry.
I know it’s cheating to include a whole series, but the way that I read it’s hard to differentiate individual books. Also: I’m still in the middle of book 5, so it’s possible this series takes a turn. But right now I’m all about it.
These books mature along with their characters. The plot of the first book is relatively simple, but the complexity of the story increases exponentially as each book adds layers to the characters’ universe. The main character is a powerful woman and every book is filled with strong female characters.
I want to read more by Sarah J. Maas in 2018.
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight.
This books sounds silly – and it IS silly – but it also makes some fantastic points. Self-care is so important, and this book is all about how to take care of yourself in a world that constantly demands so much of us.
It also makes a great gift, thanks to its hilarious title.
This one is particularly silly and absolutely delightful.
What happens when an explorer comes home from his travels to discover that he’s accidentally become Georgian era England’s hottest heartthrob? You’re going to want to find out.
I read Fangirl for the first time in 2013 – before I started making these lists. I read it all in one go while I was in the emergency room for possible appendicitis. (I turned out to be fine!). I’ve reread Fangirl a few times since then and it and its companion novel, Carry On, are undoubtedly two of my favorite books of all time.
Fangirl doesn’t really qualify for the 2017 list since I didn’t read it for the first time in 2017, but I love it so much that I think it deserved a mention. It’s a YA coming of age story, and one that resonates exceptionally strongly with the anxious, insecure, book nerd of a teenager who still lives on inside me. It always makes me feel seen and understood and like everything is okay. And Carry On, which appeared in last year’s favorite books list, is just a delight.
Delightfully absurd. This one had me giggling out loud. Also, I want to take a moment to make something clear. There are a lot of romance novels on this list. When I say “romance novel,” I do mean the kind with sex scenes.
These romance novels are all fabulous: wonderfully written and starring strong heroines. If you don’t want to read a romance novel, don’t read any of the romance novels listed here. But if you’ve never tried one, I highly recommend it. If you want advice on where to start, comment below (or email me!) and we’ll talk.
The latest in Sarah MacLean’s Scandal and Scoundrel series is just as great as the previous book, A Scot in the Dark.
I have to admit, my hopes weren’t high for this particular installment. The hero in Day of the Duchess is a huge asshole in the earlier books in the series and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to root for him to end up with anyone, especially not a character I liked. But I should have trusted Sarah MacLean: The Day of the Duchess is fantastic and I love the Soiled S’s more than ever before.
I had the great pleasure of doing a giveaway for this book earlier in the year.
It’s excellent: if you want to up your understanding of the Western world’s history with and relationship with diamonds, this is the book you want.
This book rocks. Read it with a fan handy. And don’t judge it by the first chapter – the hero is definitely full of bluster, but he improves drastically.
The introductory book in this series, Three Dark Crowns, made my list last year and I was delighted when the second book lived up to the first. Dark, eerie, utterly enthralling YA fantasy.
One of my goals this year was to give contemporary romance a chance. I read 10 or so contemporary romance novels and I only liked two of them, but the ones I liked, I really liked! This one and The Wedding Date were my favorites.
If you want to revisit past years’ top books, you can find them here: 2016, 2015, 2014. To keep up with my reading as it happens, find me on Goodreads here.
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