The 2017 reading challenge wrap-up!

There were a lot of highs and lows in my reading list this past year, especially nearer to the end of 2017 when I was trying to cram in some light literature to meet my reading goal (40 books). So, I ended up reading drivel like Second Life, but also some spectacular YA reads, like Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

I’ve reduced my goal to 35 this year, to tackle some bigger reads. (Certainly not the likes of Ulysses, but ya know.)

2017 Reading List

My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante

The High Water Mark – Noah Pelletier

Talking Tico (Mis)adventures of a Gringo in and Around Costa Rica – Joe Bauer

Resistance – Anita Shreave

Hard Light – Michael Crummey

This is That: Travel Guide to Canada – Pat Kelly

Ru – Kim Thúy

Baltimore’s Mansion – Wayne Johnston

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson

The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward

In Order to Live – Yeonmi Park

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

Bird Box – Josh Malerman

Travel Deeper: A Globetrotter’s Guide to Starting a Business Abroad – Ryan Spiegel

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson

Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders – Greg Malone

Hokkaido Highway Blues – Will Ferguson

The Lightkeeper’s Daughter – by Jean E. Pendziwol

The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking – Matt Kepnes

February – Lisa Moore

Lost in Shangri-La – Mitchell Zuckoff

Backpacking 101 – Heather Balogh Rochfort

House of Sand and Fog – Andre Dubus III

The Cottingley Secret – Hazel Gaynor

Before I Go to Sleep – S.J. Watson

Lady Chatterly’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence

An Audience of Chairs – Joan Clark

The Divine Ryans – Wayne Johnston

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez

Those Who Wish Me Dead – Michael Koryta

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day – Matt Kepnes

Second Life – S.J. Watson

Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well – Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda –  Becky Albertalli

The Quickie – James Patterson

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

Top 5

Number Of Books You Read: 40
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Fiction

This reading survey was lifted from previous surveys created by the delightful Perpetual Page Turner. Thanks!

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

It’s a toss up between The Hate U Give and Life After Life, honestly. I can’t think about Life After Life without getting emotional. (If you read the book and had a similar experience, can we chat about it? PLEASE?) But The Hate U Give…it’s so damned important. And I read it in less than two days. SO GOOD.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Probably The Sun and Her Flowers. I loved it, but not in the way I thought I would. It’s nice to see poetry going “mainstream,” but I don’t think this particular prose did it for me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Life After Life, in a good way. The book cover and the description totally turned me off…and then I started reading it. I thought the pacing and timeline were both extraordinary, and so was the character development. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of “what if” — what if I made this simple decision, instead of that one? Where would it lead me? How would life turn out? This book goes there.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Hate U Give. READ IT.

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

The only series, really, was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I enjoyed the book but didn’t have the energy to commit to the full series.

 6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2017?

Jesmyn Ward, and Haruki Murakami.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Bird Box by Josh Malerman! It’s a thriller, which is something I’d never normally read — but holy hell, I was hooked. A seriously terrifying and fascinating read about a world in which even looking out your window could be fatal.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Bird Box by Josh Malerman, or Those Who Wish Me Dead.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Life After Life.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

The Lightkeeper’s Daughter! It came in a book subscription box. The book was meh, however.

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Oh, so many. Simon from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (so, so good), Starr from The Hate U Give, and Ursula from Life After Life.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Life After Life.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Life After Life, and The Hate U Give.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

Possibly Norwegian Wood, because Haruki Murakmi is such a big deal these days.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

“it isn’t what we left behind
that breaks me
it’s whatever we could’ve built
had we stayed”
― Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: The High Water Mark

Longest: Life After Life

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I think House of Sand and Fog. Boy that was a punch in the gut.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Simon and Blue!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Starr and her father in The Hate U Give. Fack, that was real.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Baltimore’s Mansion by Wayne Johnston. This was actually an incredible read — it’s just that I read so many good books this year, this book kinda got eclipsed.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I hadn’t even heard of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda until she basically thrust the book in my hands. I’m so glad she did.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Starr’s father.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

Noah Pelletier’s The High Water Mark.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Potentially Life After Life (I’m a sucker for war books) or Norwegian Wood. Murakami really sparked an intrigue for Japan.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

This is That: Travel Guide to Canada. Laugh out loud funny!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Um, all of them? Life After Life, The Hate U Give, Love in the Time of Cholera, Baltimore’s Mansion, Ru, House of Sand and Fog

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Ru. Beautiful and poetic account of a Vietnamese refugee’s journey as a new Canadian.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Life After Life, The Hate U Give.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. Sometimes the descriptions were so gross, I could hardly keep reading. But in the end I was hooked. It’s also the only fictional account I’ve read about Hurricane Katrina.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Second Life. What the fuck was that! Who ends a book that way?!

31. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

It’s about time I read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. Especially since I’m such a fangirl. And also because the book is on my nightstand.

32. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Read better books, not just fillers for my reading list!

What were your favourite books from 2017? I’ll add them to my Goodreads list!


  • January 08 2018

    Awesome recap!! I love reading things like this as it’s such a fun way to discover new authors. I’ve had Life After Life on my Kindle unread for a long time and after reading this, I want to read it ASAP! My favorite books of 2017 were Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (loved every second of it, especially since Italy is my dream travel destination), Hunger by Roxane Gay, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’m with you on reading goals for this year; I ended up reading a lot of nonfiction and self-help books in 2017 and while I do enjoy them, I much prefer losing myself in a fictional world. Life’s too short to read so-so books! Looking forward to seeing what’s on your list for this year.

    • January 10 2018

      Ha, I say that ALL the time! Life’s too short for shitty books! Lol. I read “Beautiful Ruins” last year, and loved it. (Or maybe it was two years ago…?) But yeah, that was quite a beautiful read!

  • January 08 2018

    Good suggestions for my list this year! I went the opposite direction from 35 last year to 40 this year. I recommend that you read the March graphic novel series by John Lewis. Another important read!
    Caroline Eubanks recently posted…Behind the Curtain: January 2018

    • January 10 2018

      I did 35 the year before last, so I upped it to 40, and now I’m dropping it back down to 35! Lol. Yikes.

      Just added John Lewis’s series to my to-read list. Now that looks good.

  • January 09 2018

    That’s pretty impressive. I remember Rupi Kaur’s “Milk and Honey” in 2014 which was her first self-published book.

    • January 10 2018

      She self-published?! Wow. I want to read that one — I hear it’s quite different from “The Sun and Her Flowers”

  • January 09 2018

    Great reading list! I have already requested a few from the library. I think I read your 2016 reading list as well. I also had a bit more reading time in 2017 and managed to read 25 books and listen to 9 audio books. It is fun to go through the list at the end of the year.

    • January 10 2018

      Yay! I hope you enjoy them! That’s so great

  • January 11 2018

    I got My Brilliant Friend for Christmas, so hopefully I will finally read it in 2018! I’ve never heard of it before but you’ve officially convinced me to read Life After Life, I’m adding it to my goodreads now! I completely relate to your “quit reading filler books, read better books” goal. I set my goodreads goal to just 1 book this year, so I can focus on quality over quantity. For me personally, having a high reading goal stresses me out SO BADLY and I end up reading short books and finishing them even if I don’t enjoy them. But that’s not what reading is about! So now it’s my goal just to read a little bit every day. :)
    Victoria recently posted…My Last First Day

    • January 20 2018

      AGREED! Haha. I’d purposely pick up shorter books or quick reads just so I could meet the reading goals. Not the best way to get your reading fix, lol.

  • January 22 2018

    What a great suggestion in your post! Great list of books! Loved your article post.. Looking forward to see more post. Thank you!

  • February 05 2018

    I will definitely have to check out Life After Life with such a high recommendation! I’m curious what you thought of The Language of Flowers?

    • February 05 2018

      Yay! I really loved The Language of Flowers, but I ready so many good books last year I guess it just kind of got overshadowed! Haha

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