My 2017 Reading Year

So I managed to read 20 books last year. Not too bad. 20 isn't stellar but it's not a zero. Obviously. But I am happy with it.

I've had some pretty awesome reads this 2017 too. And my top ten are as follows:

1. I would say Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is my best book of 2017. Surprise, surprise. The novel is a feat in terms of style and emotionally electric in terms of content. And if you doubt my word, give a listen to an interview of George Saunders in Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, right HERE.

2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood was another memorable read. So much so that I now have a necklace with the mock Latin phrase: "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum". What I love about Margaret Atwood is how her writing tends to be quiet and subtle, but it pulsates.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was such a fun read, took me back to the old gaming days of blowing on cartridges, and playing straight because they didn't have memory cards back then. And the absolute tragedy of losing the game because you yanked on the controller too hard and the screen froze.

4. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows was quite a history lesson. There is an underlying hint sadness to it, but there is also a lot of charm and schmaltz (in a good way), the result of which is a charming and uplifting read. 

 5. Lenonard Peacock is among the well-written characters I've read in YA. This is the reason why Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick is on this list. I cannot help but think about Leonard as if he is an actual person that I know, and that is perhaps the best thing a literary character can achieve, to feel so real to the readers.

6. Wonder by R.J. Palacio is one of those books that I would love for my niece and nephew to read because when you live in this world for a certain amount of time, it can get to you, and it is easy forget to be kind, and then you'll be out of practice, and then you'll become a terrible adult. 

7. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was truly spellbinding and romantic. I now have a red scarf which was an impulse buy, during the height of my feels for Night Circus. It is too thick for the tropics and I guess I will have to wait to find myself in much cooler climes.

8. It's quite easy to look at The Holocaust as a piece of history, to feel a little bit removed from it because we weren't there. But when you read a very personal account of it, such as Elie Wiesel's Night you can't help but feel deeply moved and grieved and angered by the things that we humans do to each other.

9. I am also happy that I got to read books that aren't necessarily in my wheelhouse. Like the science book, Seven Brief Lessons on the History of Physics which was an eye-opening and mind-blowing read. There were still a lot of concepts that I had diffculty with but Italian theoretical physicist, Carlo Rovelli has pared things down, the most basic way he can. But not in a cold, and clinical way, he pretty much waxes poetic about science and it is great.

10. I was quite excited about the pet themed month over at our book club last year. A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron inspired me to teach my dog the "find" trick. Okay, my dog is of the toy breed variety so it's not the kind of "find" trick that police dogs like Ellie does. What happens is that I put her in a room, hold an object close to her nose, and then leave her locked inside said room. I would then proceed to hide the object in question in another room/area, and let her out and yell "find!" This party trick is quite a hit with the niece and nephew during the holidays.

Blogging wise, I must admit, writing about books has been getting harder somehow. There is nothing in my brain except superlatives. And words like "freaking" and "awesome" and "great". And I realized that I say "really" a lot, which make me cringe. Anyway. I also say "anyway" a lot. Gosh, I am losing steam now.

I really don't have much by way of goals except to continue keeping up with my online book club reads for the year, and to read 10 physical books on my shelf that aren't new acquisitions (that is only books acquired during the year 2017 and below). I haven't been very good with reading challenges too, so I am going to skip that this year. So yeah. I'm keeping it casual. 

So that's it! I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of the books on my list, as well as your very own memorable reads of 2017!


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