Last year around this time, I set a Goodreads goal of reading 100 books. All this time later, I can't say I achieved this goal. And maybe any other year, this would have been more of a disappointment, but in the past year I've faced more rejection and accomplishment than I ever expected. Maybe those things happened at the cost of not reading as voraciously as I have in the past, but that doesn't mean I love reading or books any less.
In fact the 52 books I did read, helped me appreciate the craft and writing and helped me fall in love with reading all over again!
What follows are my favorite books from 2017:
1.) The Careful Undressing of Love by corey ann haydu
This was the first book I read in 2017, and it set high standards. With beautiful, lyrical writing, and heartbreaking characters, this promised a great year of reading.
2.) The Secret Lives of People in Love by simon van booy
I remember texting the best friend asking if he'd ever had a sentence break him, because I was breaking beneath the beauty of this short story collection.
3.) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Though this was technically a reread, I did listen to the audiobook version for the first time and Lin Manuel Miranda brought this story to life.
4.)The Collected Poems: Sylvia Plath by sylvia plath
Starting the Plath Poetry Project in April, I used this collection as a road map month by month. Though there's not much left of Sylvia's last year, there are more than enough poignant poems within this collection.
5.) Heartless by MARISA meyer
This is one of those audiobook listens I now need to own in hard copy because I can't wait to read this again. Taking all my favorite things: Wonderland, retellings, and villain backstories; this story was one I haven't forgotten!
6.) We Are Okay by nina lacour
Fun fact: this is one of the comp. titles I've used for my book while out in the query trenches! Nina's work was all at once heartbreaking and reviving, and this, too, is another audiobook I *need* to own!
7.) Caraval by stephanie garber
Filled with fun, adventure, and illusion, I'm thrilled to know the sequel will be coming soon. This was another fantastic audiobook listen that truly took me into the world of Caraval!
8.) Ten Miles One Way by patrick downs
This was the first book I started after moving this year, and it was one I anticipated because I loved the freshman novel by this author (Fell of Dark). However, I finished this book beside the best friend while on the subway heading to the Cloisters in NYC. As the characters traversed a city, so did I, and I couldn't imagine reading this haunting book any other way.
9.) Rome: Poems by Dorothea Lasky
Though originally a birthday gift for the best friend, it is currently living on my shelf. I found within this poetry collection, a narrative voice similar to my own, and I continue to reread it now because it gets better each time.
10.) Like Water by rebecca podos
While reading this book, I had so many thoughts of, "just one more chapter," and then, all too soon, I was finished. It was a book that demanded to be read and felt and I haven't forgotten Vanni or her summer at Mermaid Cove.
11.) Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: Illustrated edition by newt scamander/j.k. ROLLING, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill
Loved the movie. Loved the audiobook. But there is something about the illustrations that really brought Newt's work to life!
12.) Turtles All the Way Down by john green
I must confess I was nervous to read this for fear I wouldn't like it as much as John Green's other books. But this story made it's way to the #2 spot in my John Green favorite ( 1.) Looking For Alaska, 2.) Turtles All the Way Down, 3.) Will Grayson Will Grayson, 4.) The Fault in Our Stars).
13.) Warcross by marie lu
Another audiobook that succeeded to transport me both with narration and storytelling. While I'm not a gamer by any means, there was still so much to enjoy from this book, as well as a nod to Lu's Legend series, which I devoured many years before.
14.) A History of the Unmarried by Stephen S. Mills
While I've also read this before, I'd never read it straight through, but rather read sporadically. Perhaps organizing my own poetry collection inspired me to read this the way Mills intended. Maybe not. Either way, this is another brilliant poetry collection.
15.) Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi
I’m embarrassed to say this is my first Tahereh Mafi book I’ve ever read, but rest assured, it will not be my last. I can’t wait to read the companion, Furthermore. Mafi brings readers into a world of the macabre with just enough humor to get through the brutality and honesty of loss and living after grief.
16.) Harry Potter: A Journey Through the History of Magic by british library
One of my favorite Christmas gifts from my sister, I was most astonished by the story behind J.K. Rowling being picked up by Bloomsbury. Currently in the query trenches, Rowling's struggle resonated with me beyond the pages of this book.
17.) The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
Fun fact: this is the other comp. title I'm using for my book, which is currently in the query trenches. Ancrum's work is haunting, beautiful, and human. I can't wait to see more from this author in the future!
And I can't wait to see what's in store for this new year of reading!