Video version of this post (first video filmed with my new camera! Eeee!):
2017 was a pretty good year for me and books. I met my Goodreads challenge, reading 46 books (one more than last year!), and also completed the British Books Challenge. I pretty much forgot about all my other challenges, and to be honest, I completed the British Books Challenge by default, as I have for several years now. It’s simply not that hard to manage one British book a month when you are British yourself and an avid reader!
I think I read a quite varied selection of books. 23 were teen/YA, three children’s literature (including middle grade), 14 were adult fiction, and four non-fiction. I also read two comic collections.
In this post I’m going to list all my favourites, the books that I look back on with the most enthusiasm, but first, it’s time for:
My Absolute Most Favourite Book I Read This Year
I don’t think anyone I know who’s read The Hate U Give will be surprised to learn that it’s my book of the year – it’s topped almost everyone else’s list!
I don’t think I have much to add to the chorus of voices heaping praise upon this book, but I’ll say anyway that it’s wonderful. Thought-provoking and emotionally devastating, but also heart-warming, and really, really funny – I am still marvelling at Angie Thomas’ genius re: that scene near the end in the car. Who knew it was possible for a scene to be extremely tense and hilarious at the same time? Not I, until Angie Thomas showed me the light and the laughter.
If you’ve yet to read The Hate U Give then get on it – you won’t regret it.
The Best of the Rest
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Laura Vanderkam) is the best ‘personal development’ book I have ever read. Inspiring and practical, I’d have read it again already if I hadn’t lost my copy somewhere in my flat! I got one of her other books, What Successful People Do Before Breakfast for Christmas and I’m really looking forward to it.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder (Sara Barnard). I’m not sure a more adorable UKYA romance has ever been written. I devoured it, and would read it again in a heartbeat. My book club loved it.
My partner gave me the first volume of Giant Days (John Allison) as a present and I read it early on in the year. I fell in love with the story and setting and meant to borrow his iPad so I could read the other volumes but have yet to get around to it. I need to make time for it in 2018, there’s no excuse for depriving myself of a great read!
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng has played on my mind ever since I read it. I normally don’t go in for family dramas but I’d seen so many mentions of this I decided to give it a try. It was well worth it, a gripping read about a family made up of people whose hopes and dreams directly conflict with each other’s.
Naondel (Maria Turtschaninoff) has a slow start but builds into a fascinating adventure about a group of women from wonderfully diverse lands.
The Time of the Ghost (Diana Wynne Jones) is a genuinely spooky mystery featuring parents who are so bad at being parents I’m still reeling over three months later.
Another book club read was Moxie (Jennifer Mathieu), a brilliant book about girls finding a way to resist sexism at their high school. I loved the feeling of developing community.
I read Golden Hill (Francis Spufford) for a different book club and everyone at the meeting loved it – it’s a fascinating look at early New York through the eyes of a immigrant from London with a secret purpose.
Women in Clothes was my breakfast book for five months. Even as I was reading it I knew I would be bereft when I got to the end of its 515 pages – I just love reading people’s reflections on the clothes they wear – so I’ve acquired at least three more books about clothes and fashion to read as a follow-up!
2017 was definitely the year I fell back in love with podcasts, and I decided to look up some of the podcasts I listened to the first time around, back in 2006. I’d stopped listening to CraftLit after the first episode on A Tale of Two Cities so I picked up where I left off, and fell completely in love with the story, or, to be more accurate, Madame Defarge. She is evil, I know, but such a badass!
On 30th December I still had one book left to read to meet my Goodreads challenge goal, so I grabbed Nimona to be on the safe side. Always best to go for a comic when you need to finish a book quickly! I had heard lots of good things about it, so I was also hopeful that I’d end the year on a high. I was not disappointed. The art and characters are really cute, and the story takes interesting and funny twists and turns.
So what about you?
What was your favourite book this year? How many books did you read? Do we have any favourites in common?