Hello lovely bookish people!
We have made it into 2018 and for me personally, it’s a massive relief. I know last year was a slog for many people, for a variety of reasons and I was right there with you. What I wasn’t expecting, while I was dealing with a whole bunch of crap in my real life, was that my reading love would also take a hit.
I alluded to some of that in this post. I’m very much an avoider so when things get hard, I just don’t deal with them. In many ways, that was true for this space.
But it’s 2018 now and a lot of the stuff that was a problem for me last year has resolved itself. I’m still climbing out of the anxiety spiral I was in but it’s getting brighter every day.
And even in all of that, I still did manage to read some great books so let’s take a look at my reading in 2017 anyway, shall we?
Stats-wise, I finished 114 books. Out of those 114, 76% were written by women and 31% was non-fiction. My representational or diversity reading could have been stronger – only 23% counted as that.
Last year I wanted to re-read more books and I only managed to do that twice.
What were some of my favourites?
- Anything I read by Roxane Gay. This included An Untamed State, which I read in January and was confident was the book to beat. I still think about it now. Roxane Gay is just…I can’t put into words how much her work means to me. I also read her short story collection, Difficult Women, and her unflinchingly honest memoir, Hunger. I say this all the time, but please, if you haven’t already, read her work.
- Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
- One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad
- The Break by Katherena Vermette
- The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. You may recall that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first novel, My Brilliant Friend. But the way that book ended, eventually I found my way back. The rest of the series blew me away. I recommend these books to people all the time and I know that I’m going to a) buy the rest of the books (a case of having borrowed them from the library) and b) read them again one day.
- Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine. I went down a Bette and Joan rabbit hole this year thanks to the FX Series. This one was my favourite.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book is going to be everywhere the closer we get to the movie. Do yourselves a favour and pick up a copy that doesn’t have a move cover.
- Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Backman. Beartown was written in a completely different way and I wasn’t sure that I was enjoying it. But then it clicked and I loved it. A book about hockey in a small-town and what happens when sports dreams are achieved at all costs, it felt like a timely read. Enraging, but timely.
- Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Peterson.
- Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza.
- My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
- The Break by Marian Keyes
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This book was a f*&king delight. Jenkins Reid has caught me off guard twice now with the depth of her ‘fluffy’ girl books.
- How To Stop Time by Matt Haig. Haig always seems to write the books you need without your ever realizing you needed them. This one is no exception and it should be out in Canada in a month or so!
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I’ve loaned this out twice already.
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
- Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga. It’s been long-listed for Canada Reads 2018 and I can’t think of a more deserving book. This one changed the way I see Canada.
For a year where reading was hard, I still ended up reading some books that really stood out for me.
For 2018, I’m not setting any blogging goals. I want to focus on loving reading again.
Plus, I’m honestly not sure what my reading year will look like. In June, we’re expecting a new little bookworm to join our family. I hear conflicting reports on ease of reading with a new baby. If you have tips or tricks, let me have ’em!
18 thoughts on “The year that was…in books”
Congrats on the upcoming arrival! I’ve got my second coming in May, and like you, I’m skeptical about how much reading I’m going to get done 🙂
Congratulations! I can barely get my head around having one, I can’t imagine two just yet! Less reading time, but probably loads of other fun right?
oh yes, LOADS of fun LOL
Congratulations! My advice is to get the Kindle app for your phone. I read one book in the first three months after my first daughter was born, and then caved and bought a Kindle and immediately started reading again. I have such fond memories of some of those first books I read on my Kindle because reading them made me feel like myself again. Most of the books I read when my kids were in the baby/toddler phase were ebooks. And it doesn’t last forever — I’m back to majority paper books now that they are older!
I started reading your comment going “I’m never going to read ebooks” and by the end…I feel myself caving. I know how much an e-reader made a difference to my mom after some car accidents made it difficult to hold physical books. Why sacrifice something you love over format?
Congratulations!! I’ve taken up reading more ebooks – especially on my phone, with the black background and the light down low, so I just read a lot when I’m putting the kids down for bed and the light doesn’t disturb them. Also – I’m glad that things are improving for you – I hope they continue to do so 🙂
This was a huge source of the stress of the past two years. This and finding a new place to live. So that’s all sorted too!
Sounds like ebooks is the way to go! Feeling very conflicted about this…
If it makes you feel better, I do still have some time to read physical books – I just have to be a little more selective. I can usually only read about 1-2 physical books per month.
Yay yay yay! The backlight on the kindle is so great for holding a sleeping baby. I definitely did perfect a boppy hold involving nursing baby and a hardcover though so it is doable if you want to stay strong against the ebook. I can’t wait to start making a list of books we love that baby will need to hear too.
So, I’m curious about this, because I also didn’t really like the first Ferrante novel, so I didn’t read any more. What made you try the second one after not liking the first one?
The way the first book ended! I got to the point where I was still thinking about it and wondering what happened next. Plus, people kept talking about these books like they were something special. My compromise was not paying for them by using the library.
Hmm, I’ll think about whether I want to read more.
Great list! I really want to read The Hearts Invisible Furies, and Seven Fallen Feathers. Maybe this year!
And, now, onto the baby… I know I’ve already said it but Congratulations!! And if it makes you feel any better, there were no kindles when my kids were babies and I managed fine. I didn’t read as much as usual, but it wasn’t because of the format of my book. I got the most reading done while nursing (and then letting the baby sleep on my lap). 🙂
Definitely read both of those! And maybe have something lighter on hand for when you finish each…
Thanks again! And that totally makes me feel better. I just need to work out a way to hold a book one handed while I nurse. It’s clearly possible!
Congratulations on your new little bookworm! 😀 I love the books you’ve listed. An Untamed State is probably my favourite of Roxane Gay’s books. I read they were making that into a film too which is brilliant.
Congrats on the new addition and I’m sure you’ll find ways to wedge the books beside baby, using pillows and bits of furniture nearby (arms on chairs, etc.) and body parts!
Thanks! And I like the way you think!