Hello friends! The new year is upon us and I have a new list of books I want to read in 2017. Unfortunately, 2016’s list was melancholy and disappointing. Never fear though! This year, I went to great pains to ensure my reading list is balanced between light-hearted, easy reads and those of depth – and possible negative narratives.
I hope to do a review of each book as they are finished, and I ask that you please jump in and comment if you love/hate/are interested in one. I love dissecting books with fellow readers!
Also, I increased the size of my reading list because I didn’t finish the books I had set for last year, and I very well couldn’t leave them behind! They have been added at the bottom. Let’s hope this year isn’t a total wash.
1. Admission by Jean Korelitz (452 pages)
I have had this book on my Goodreads “to-read” list for years. I also had no idea that it’s the same book that the movie “Admission” (Tina Fey, Paul Rudd) was adapted from. I’ve never seen the film, and I probably won’t watch it, but it’s high time I read the book. That’s why it is at the top of this list!
2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (295 pages)
Keeping in my tradition of reading classic books that shock the world, I’ve put The Awakening on my list. It brings feelings to light that are often not spoken of, especially back in 1899, when it was first published. It’s time to see if it really packs the punch people say it does.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (317 pages)
I put this on my list based on the cover and title. It could be the worst book I read this year. Call it my grab-bag book. Surprise!
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin (232 pages)
I love stories about women gathering together and finding themselves. Any type of story that involves a group of ladies communing and solving their issues is a compelling read in my book (pun intended). Plus, it has a castle. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
5. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (272 pages)
This one follows the employees of an international newspaper and how it fares as the age of the internet begins to take over. I believe it’s a character analysis based on the reviews. I’m interested to see how the author builds the characters and follows the decline of print newspapers. Reviews have been mixed.
6. The Instructions by Adam Levin (1030 pages)
I don’t know if I’m going to like this book. First, did you see the size of it? I can’t figure out what it’s really about based on the reviews, but it seems like it could be similar to The Goldfinch. It follows a young boy who gets into trouble. We shall see. I probably won’t read it until next Christmas.
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (295 pages)
Written by the one and only Steve Martin, this novel follows a snotty girl in the art world of New York City. Reviews are mixed, but I love Steve Martin and want to see what he brings to the table as far as writing goes. Not to mention, he’s writing from the perspective of a woman.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt (557 pages)
I didn’t connect the dots until just a few weeks ago that this is the same author who wrote The Goldfinch, which I am still trying to muddle through. This book looked intriguing and mysterious, so I thought, why not? And I won’t be leaving it until the end of the year either. If it’s as long and boring as Goldfinch, I’ll need ample time to finish it.
9. The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee (384 pages)
I love to write, and I love typewriters. This book follows a young woman in England as she tries to make her mark on the world. She first becomes a typewriter girl which leads to a better job offer, and we follow her life as she makes decisions based on the times. This is a historical fiction. I feel it will be satisfying in the way that these stories often are, though we typically see them take place in New York City.
10. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (230 pages)
This is one of the few non-fiction books on the list. I don’t often read non-fiction, but this one’s title is intriguing! This memoir follows a girl trying to find happiness as she tries to figure life out.
11. The Bette Davis Club by Jane Lotter (340 pages)
This comedy-filled read is meant to offer light-hearted laughter in the midst of all the dark novels. I admit, I chose it solely on its name. Bette Davis has my heart.
The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman (474 pages)
This novel is historical fiction involving brothels, female boxing, and fighting for one’s place in the world. It’s got a feminist twinge to it, so I’m anxious to see how it plays out.
13. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (317 pages)
This book is by a New York Times best-selling author (most authors on this list are best-selling, so I don’t know why I mention that here). Taking place in Vermont, it alternates between 1908 and present-day. The mystery swirls within the pages of a diary. I love diary-style books, and this one can’t help but please with the thrilling twists and turns.
14. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (462 pages)
If you haven’t read Rules of Civility, I recommend you add it to your list right now. Amor Towles’ second novel has excellent rules and is said to be just as, if not more enjoyable than his debut. I don’t know if this one will stand up to Rules of Civility, but if it does, I may find my second favorite book.
15. The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar (335 pages)
Again, I don’t know how to describe this book, so I’ll say what Goodreads said,
Four women, soldier, scholar, poet, and socialite, are caught up on different sides of a violent rebellion. As war erupts and their families are torn apart, they fear they may disappear into the unwritten pages of history. Using the sword and the pen, the body and the voice, they struggle not just to survive, but to make history.
There. Doesn’t that seem exciting? This is one of the few books I’m really excited about this year. It has 4.1 stars; by far one of the highest ranking books by Goodreads reviewers on my list.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum (288 pages)
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have little desire to bear children. The families hate it. Even though I have baby fever every now and then, and I might change my mind on this (I’m only 26), for now… Mike and I agree that children are not a priority for us. That is why I want to read these insights and essays from authors (most I’ve never heard of), on why they do not want children and how you can still live a promising life without them.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1168 pages)
I have wanted to read Atlas Shrugged for longer than The Fountainhead. Since they’re both on the list this year, I’m going to read them back to back to compare.
The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson (338 pages)
I chose this book because it takes place in 1962 Denver, and I just so happen to live in (near) Denver. Based on the summary, it might have some fantasy elements, as well. I’m excited to see how the author portrays mid-century Denver with some alternating universes.
The Castle of Kings by Oliver Potzsch (656 pages)
This historical fiction novel has some rave reviews. I discovered it while waltzing through the Tattered Book Store in downtown Denver this past September. I told my friend to snap a photo of it so I wouldn’t forget the title, and she sent it to me just a few weeks ago, reminding me that it has to be on this list.
20. Night of the Animals by Bill Broun (543 pages)
Just like the above, I also found this book at the Tattered Book Store. I couldn’t afford to buy it at the time so I had my friend save a photo of it. It’s a bit futuristic and was published last July, so it’s fairly new. The summary states that it retells the story of Noah’s Ark. Needless to say, I’m very excited about it. It has so much potential.
In addition to the above books, I’m throwing the leftovers of last year’s reading list.
- Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove (264 pages)
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman (402 pages)
- The Gemini Effect by Chuck Grossart (365 pages)
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (529 pages)
- Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik (416 pages)
If I’m to complete this reading list before the end of 2017, I will need to read 2.25 books per month. Ultimately, I will have to frontload, midload, and backload during my class breaks to finish them. Also, you can add me on Goodreads!