Favorite Books of 2017

I made a goal of reading 30 books this year. Last year my goal was 25 and I (barely) hit it, so I figured what the heck, let’s step it up.

I did not step it up. I only read 23.

I started off really strong, reading about 2-3 books a month until about August. And then I basically… stopped reading for 3 months. Oops. But that’s okay, I still read 23 and REALLY enjoyed some of them! And that’s what counts. (these are things people who failed at something say).

I think next year I’ll go back down to 25. Maybe from now on I’ll read the age I’m turning that year. That way I only reach to read one more each year. Might be tough when I turn 60 but we’ll see.

I decided to post my favorite reads of the year. I was thinking about how it’s often the location I’m at that helps me get in the mood to read… so I’ll also post my favorite place I read that specific book. Or the most memorable spot I can remember reading it. btw this is in chronological order for the year, because I don’t have the energy to actually rank them.

1. The Sell Out, by Paul Beatty
Book: Recommended by Jesse Tyler Ferguson in late 2016, I took his advice and got it from the library. It was unlike anything I’ve read before, a satirical novel about race and poverty. It’s all about a man whose trial gets sent to the Supreme Court and all that got him there.
Favorite place I read it: at a red light leaving work in January (I was really into it and seized the 45 second opportunity).

2. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
Book: I was late to the Man Called Ove train, but I loved it once I actually read it. Ove is such a cutie and I hope he’s always a grandpa to those neighbors and is never sad again.
Favorite place I read it: Arches National Park sleeping in my car

3. Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling
Book: Mindy Kaling is a dream and this book was a dream. I sped through it and I laughed out loud and wanted to be friends with Mindy more than I already did. She’s got such a great voice and I love her writing.
Favorite place I read it: on the plane to visit Alex in LA!

4. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
Book: If I WAS ranking my books this year, this would easily by my number one choice. The best book I read in 2017. I read Gone Girl a few years ago and knew Gillian Flynn has two other equally dark novels, but every time I requested them from the library they had multiple holds on them. Then one day in May I was laying on my floor in my room and noticed I OWNED Sharp Objects, and I didn’t even know because I’m a doofus.
Anyway, I started to read it and never wanted to stop. Many times while reading my jaw literally dropped and I had to look around to see if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing. The writing in the book is so good and captivating and the plot is… wow. Really insane, intense, amazing story.
Favorite place I read it: my bed all day on Memorial Day bc I couldn’t put it down all day

5. Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
Book: Even more behind on this book, but I uncharacteristically watched this movie before I read the book, a few years ago. Decided to read it anyway, and the book is obviously way better. All the details that Jon Krakauer added, plus his personal stories added in, made it an amazing read. Alexander Supertramp is my hero.
Favorite place I read it: at the pool in Longmont, CO

6. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Book: This could be tied for my favorite book of the year too. Such a trippy book but like… I got it. I very much vibed with Vonnegut playing creator/narrator guy. And it was also very witty and I like giggling at witty novels.
The big show is inside my head.
Favorite place I read it: at the lake across from my CO home, which I was really enjoyed until dusk came and the friggin’ mosquitos attacked me.

7. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
Book: It’s hard to believe this is a memoir and not a fictional story. I think the reason I was so invested was my half disbelief that a family was raised in this manner… I finished the book having a lot of respect and admiration for the author and her siblings. Her writing is also a-one stuff.
Favorite place I read it: Grand Teton National Park, with my feet in the Snake River

8. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Book: WOW you know? Everyone was talking about the show that came from this book, and I wanted to read it before watching it. I really loved this story and was captivated by Offred and her strength. I do feel like there was details of the past missing – it would have cool to learn more back story. I feel like that’s probably why they made the show, so I’m hype to watch in 2018.
Favorite place I read it: on a train ride home on a Sunday morning

Books are great, you know? Here’s to 25 in 2018.

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