Every year I make it my goal to read 50 books, and I have yet to reach that goal. But I did read 45 in 2017, and that’s pretty darn close. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the books I liked and disliked in 2017.
1. “Me Being Me is as Exactly as Insane as You Being You” by Todd Hasak-Lowy
A young adult-novel I read while ringing in the new year. Hasak-Lowy tells a riveting coming-of-age tale entirely in lists.
2. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I know it’s pretty unbelievable that I hadn’t read an American classic before I turned 22, but it’s not a joke. It’s just as amazing and world-changing as everyone claims.
3. “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri
A collection of short stories told from the perspective of young Indian’s new to America and grappling with a different set of cultural norms.
4. “The Princess Diarist” by Carrie Fisher
I know we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I really hated Carrie Fisher’s book chronicling her time during the filming of Star Wars. She’s incredibly bitter and is obsessed with reliving her short-lived affair with Harrison Ford. I promise to give her fiction a chance in 2018.
5. “W;t” by Margaret Edson
As a renowned professor of English is slowly dying from cancer, Edson explores what we all wonder about everyday — mortality.
6. “Lighthead” by Terrance Hayes
A collection of poems that I’m sure are incredibly meaningful, but I didn’t understand a word of because I had food poisoning while I was reading it.
7. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
I read this novel for the second time in my life and it meant so much more this time around. It’s a story set, technically, during post-slavery America and features a family that is struggling to deal with the ramifications of life in slavery and beyond.
8. “Angels in America” by Tony Kushner
An incredible play following a variety of characters dealing with the affect of AIDS on their lives.
9. “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen
I took a Jane Austen class in the spring, so her name is going to come up a lot in this list. “Sense and Sensibility” follows two sisters who couldn’t be more different in their search for love — one using her heart, the other using her brain.
10. “Love and Freindship” by Jane Austen
Austen’s first novel that she wrote when she was a young teen.
11. “Lady Susan” by Jane Austen
An epistolary novel following a seemingly evil woman on her endeavor to find love and acceptance.
12. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Arguable Austen’s most famous piece of literature, this is the book that features the acclaimed Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. Love, heartbreak, sisterhood — the usual Austen works.
13. “Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen
A satire on gothic novels, Austen’s first novel completed for publication features a naive heroine and an ill-spirited father determined to ruin love for his son.
14. “We All Looked Up” by Tommy Wallach
A young adult novel about what can happen between people when the end of the world is looming over their heads.
15. “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen
This was by far the hardest Austen novel for me to relate to because heroine Fanny Price falls in love with her cousin.
16. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson
You honestly get all you need to know about the book from the title.
17. “Persuasion” by Jane Austen
Lost love. Found love. Big families. Wealth. Poverty. A typical Austen storyline. This was her last completed novel.
18. “Room” by Emma Donoghue
Check out my full review of this heartbreaking story about a woman who tried to raise her child in a box after he was born in captivity.
19. “Sanditon” by Jane Austen
Austen’s last work that she was unable to complete before she died.
20. “The Circle” by Dave Eggers
A social media obsessed world that makes us see the worst in what can happen if we let the Internet control our lives. Check out my full review.
21. “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works” by Dan Harris
Dan has a panic attack while filming Good Morning America and decides he’s got to figure out how to chill. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book. I found it to be quite boring.
22. “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Phillbrick
A friend lent this to me and it was the best historical fiction novel I read in 2017. It follows passengers on a shipwrecked whale hunting vessel in their journey back to land in the 1800s.
23. “Talking as Fast as I Can” by Lauren Graham
It’s a book by Lauren Graham about Gilmore Girls. Need I say more?
24. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
I try to read a Harry Potter book once a year. Some people have happy places — I have happy books.
25. “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis
Basically a book written in 1935 about 2017.
26. “The Shack” by William P. Young
My grandmother gave this to me (as she does with most books she finishes), and I had no idea how religious is was. Update: Very religious. Basically the guy goes to the shack where his daughter was killed and meets God. Literally meets God.
27. “Gutenberg’s Apprentice” by Alix Christie
Another historical fiction novel about the early stages of mass-printing books.
28. “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom
A heart-wrenching story about what can happen when you actually listen to what someone wants to teach you about life.
29. “The Girl With the Lowerback Tattoo” by Amy Schumer
Not the best celebrity novel, but definitely not the worst.
30. “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett
A wonderful detective classic that’s got all the right amounts of fear, mystery, and threat.
31. “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo
A quick read if you’re looking to clean up your life and weed out the clutter.
32. “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir
An amazing young adult novel about what can happen when you decide to risk it all to stand out from the crowd.
33. “Bossypants” by Tina Fey
*Shrugs* Not as good as “Yes Please” by Amy Poheler.
34. “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline
Another historical fiction novel (I read a lot of this genre in 2017) that left me crying in my airplane seat about a young girl who always had the courage to be the strongest person in her life.
35. “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell
Ever wanted to learn about why trends and fads become a thing? Or how disease can spread so quickly? Check out Gladwell’s book.
36. “The Shining” by Stephen King
The first horror novel I’ve ever read. Here’s Johnny!
37. “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek
I’ve always loved Sinek’s talks, but I found this book to be a bit rambly.
38. “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
A moving collection of short stories chronicling a soilder’s time during the Vietnam war.
39. “1984” by George Orwell
The first adult-dystopian novel I ever read. I picked it up for a second time in 2017 and noticed a lot more aggression and hopelessness than I had the first time. Still a classic in my opinion.
40. “Year of Yes: How To Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes
Seriously the book that inspired me to take more chances. I listened to it in one sitting.
41. “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
A truly incredible historical fiction novel about French womens’ role in World War II.
42. “Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah
Noah helps readers see into what it’s like to be an outsider in your own country and how to overcome obstacle after obstacle to achieve greatness.
43. “Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone
A young adult novel about a girl who silently suffers from OCD and finds her place in the most unlikely spot on campus.
44. “The Bravest You: Five Steps to Fight Your Biggest Fears, Find Your Passion, and Unlock Your Extraordinary Life” by Adam Kirk Smith
Highly don’t recommend. I rarely dislike a book this much, but I had to force myself to finish it. I found it to be too much about the author and not enough about actually overcoming fear.
45. “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff
What an amazing book to finish off 2017! It was a bit slow at first, but as soon as it switched perspectives, readers got a whole new, eye-opening insight into marriage, secrets, and self-preservation.
I can’t wait to read another stack of dynamic books in 2018! I’ve already kicked the year off with the highly acclaimed “Ready Player One.” Let me know what books you enjoyed reading in the comments below!