2017 in Review

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What a wreck of a year that was. While the world slowly crumbled down around us, I personally had quite a good time. We travelled a bit, spending a week in London and three weeks in Australia, and just generally enjoyed ourselves. I feel like I lost my drive for a bit there in the beginning, but the second half went much better.

The year went in the opposite direction reading-wise, with a strong start and a lackluster end. My interest in both reading books and writing about them took a hit at the end of the summer and didn’t really come back until recently. For the next time this happens, and it will happen again, I really just need to immediately drop what I’m trying to read and pick up whatever quick book interests me the most. It sounds obvious, but I get set in my habits, I guess.

I’m planning to change how I review here as well this year. Writing sizable posts on every book and comic worked for a long while, and I absolutely love having this little historical record of my reading, but I’ve fallen about ten books behind now and it’s starting to feel a bit like a chore. I’m going to start writing small reviews when I’m behind, or when I don’t have much of a response to a book, and group them in a single posts. Maybe that will free me up to have a bit more fun with what I write here, getting more into cookbooks and other topics. Once this begins to feel like work, that’s the time to stop, so I’m going to try to keep it fun.

The Stats

Overall books read: 48

Format
Graphic novels and comics: 7
Audio books: 22
E-Books: 0
Poetry compilations: 0
Short story or essay compilations: 5
Plays: 0
Non-fiction: 9

Country (of author)
America: 20
England: 10
Canada: 6
Scotland: 3
Australia: 2
France: 2
Netherlands: 1
Sweden: 1
India: 1
Ireland: 1
Russia: 1

Genre
Literary/Contemporary Fiction: 20
Science Fiction: 12
Memoir: 4
Gothic/Horror: 3
Comedy: 3
Thriller: 3
Mystery/Crime: 2
Historical fiction: 2
Non-fiction-food: 2
Non-fiction-literature: 2
Non-fiction-travel: 1

Other
Most novels by same author: 2 (Robin Hobb, Muriel Spark, Sylvain Neuvel, Shirley Jackson)
New authors (to me): 29
Female authors: 14.5 (The 0.5 is a co-author, not a mermaid)
Re-reads: 0

Reading Resolutions

  • Read more plays – It’s been years since I read a play, so this really needs to change. I’d like to read multiple this year, with at least one of those by Shakespeare.
  • Read more books by women – Books written by women made up 30% of my reading this year, up from 18%, and I found some great authors in the process. I’d like to raise this up even higher this year.
  • Read more poetry – I feel like I read some poetry this year, but unless we’re facing a clerical error, it appears I have not. I’d like to read at least a book or two in 2018.
  • Read more from authors I know – I tried to do this last year and NOPE. This went up from 17 books to a whopping 29. I’m not as worried about this, as I think it’s healthy to let your curiosity drive you, but I would like to dive deeper into the bibliographies of authors I love.
  • Read more authors who aren’t American or English – I did somewhat better this year. 39 of the books and comics I read in 2016 were by American or English authors, and this year that number was down to 30. I’d love to get that down closer to 50% of what I read. I love authors from these countries, but I think it’s worth broadening my tastes a bit.
  • Read more Canadian and Scottish authors – I’m a first-generation Canadian with Scottish parents, so I have been trying to expand my reading in these two countries. This year I read six Canadian novels, better than last year’s three, and three Scottish novels, which is one less than last year. I’m happy that these two countries are the third and fourth in my list, but I’d like to raise the numbers for this year.

The Challenges

The Classics Club: I finished the Classics Club in March! The goal was to read fifty classics in five years, and I finished half a year early. I ended with fifty-six book, as I kept reading until the time period was up. I’ve started a second list and am currently six books in.

Back to the Classics Challenge 2017: Eight of the twelve books read.

Foodies Read 2017: Seven books read.

The Top Fives

These are all lists of media that were new to me this year, not necessarily released this year.

Fiction

  1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  2. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
  3. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  4. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  5. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Non-Fiction

  1. Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
  2. Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence
  3. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
  4. Believe Me by Eddie Izzard
  5. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens

Comics

  1. Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
  2. Kaijumax, Season 1 by Zander Cannon
  3. Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain) by Robert Wells
  4. Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi by Anthony Bourdain
  5. I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin

Audiobook Narrations

  1. Eddie Izzard narrating Believe Me
  2. Simon Vance narrating The Three Musketeers
  3. Clive Mantle narrating The Dinner
  4. Bernadette Dunne narrating The Haunting of Hill House
  5. Peter Hosking narrating Cloudstreet

Video Games

  1. Oxenfree (2016) (PC)
  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (2017) (PC)
  3. Super Mario Odyssey (2017) (Switch)
  4. Little Nightmares (2017) (PC)
  5. The Sexy Brutale (2017) (PC)

Movies

  1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
  2. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
  3. Rogue One (2016)
  4. Hidden Figures (2016)
  5. The Big Sick (2017)

Television series – Fiction

  1. Master of None: Season 2 (2017)
  2. BoJack Horseman: Season 4 (2017) (technically watched the last two episodes this month)
  3. Stranger Things: Season 2 (2017)
  4. Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later: Season 1 (2017)
  5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 4 (2016)

Television series – Non-Fiction

  1. The Mind of a Chef: Season 4 (2015)
  2. Departures: Season 3 (2010)
  3. Chef’s Table: Season 3 (2017)
  4. Last Chance to See (2009)
  5. The Mind of a Chef: Season 5 (2016)

It was a bookish year. #2017bestnine

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Here’s to a great 2018! Let’s hope we aren’t looking back fondly to 2017 in a few months’ time.

2 thoughts on “2017 in Review

  1. Geoff W

    Can’t wait to see the new reviews! I went through a phase a few years ago and finally was like I’m going to ramble on about whatever random thing in a book inspires me. None of this trying to write a publishable review. It made it a lot fun and a lot easier to review books 😀

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      Yeah, it makes sense. I’ve never really aimed for publishable, but I do try to flesh out some books a little more than I should and then fall behind. Which is silly when it’s just a fun little hobby.

      Reply

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