My reading goal that I set on the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017 was 50 books.
I read 34.
I will not be disappointed, I will not be disappointed…
I have to think of it as that’s six books more than the previous year.
I won’t deny I’m upset that I didn’t reach my goal. But between sickness, migraines, and honestly reading a lot of thicker books this past year that slowed things down, I should be pleased.
I was going to set another goal of 50 books for 2018, but I’ve decided to keep things realistic, and so my goal is to read 40 books in the next twelve months. That’s another six book jump, and so I feel rather confident that I can keep on top of this goal.
I won’t go through every single book I read in 2017, but I wanted to be sure to highlight a few of my favorites.
One of my goals for 2017 was to expand my reading horizons. For years I have gravitated solely towards fantasy, with a lot of Christian fiction in my teenage years. While I did read a substantial amount of fantasy this past year, I managed to read four auto/biographies, two contemporary fiction thrillers, a couple of educational books, a western, and a historical fiction.
Favorite in Non-Fiction: Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin
If you aren’t into non-fiction and view biographies as a chore to read, I’d encourage you to read this book. I used to think this way, but I gobbled up Mrs. Kennedy and Me and only wish there was more to read. This book will take you through every emotion imaginable and change your view on the first family and Secret Service agents who protect them.
Favorite ReRead: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
While I absolutely loved rereading The Secret Garden, I can’t not choose Jane Eyre. I always liked the story, but I fell in love with the book this year…and might have become slightly obsessed (I have a bookshelf dedicated to Jane Eyre which I will showcase at some point). The character of Jane is progressive, strong, and tormented, and the story is a masterpiece.
Favorite in Fantasy: The Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler
Okay…is this a surprise to anyone? This fantasy series stole my heart. I chose to listen to the first book on audiobook, thinking it would be a quick filler, enjoyable but nothing special. I instantly fell in love with the characters and Jeff Wheeler’s writing style. The first three books were my favorite of the series (of which I still have two left to read), and I would recommend this to anyone who loves YA fantasy or wishes to start reading the genre.
Unexpected Favorite: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
I avoided reading this book for a while because…I hated the cover. But my preferences tend to change drastically overnight, and one day I saw this book and thought, “Wow, that artwork is amazing. I guess I’ll pick up the book.” (I’m doing nothing to refute my shallowness here, am I…) I ended up enjoying the story, loving the main character, and greatly admiring the use of western dialect the author artfully created. This YA western was a perfect dip for my toes into the genre. (Heads up, while this is labeled YA, there are dark themes and some adult language in this book.)
Worst Book: True Honor by Dee Henderson
I’m picky about Christian fiction, but Dee Henderson doesn’t usually disappoint. She usually weaves clean stories that keep me engaged, creates fun characters with great chemistry, and focuses on the story rather than writing a sermon hidden behind the label of “Christian fiction.” But this book…oh, this book was terrible. I was bored, I was angry, I was cringing. There was zero chemistry between her characters, she led readers down one path and veered sharply off at the end of the book without addressing the change, and there was absolutely nothing believable about the story.
Favorite Book of 2017: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This was a bit of a tough choice, but in the end, A Monster Calls won. A graphic novel/children’s literature/dark, intrusion fantasy, this book captured my heart and holds more than a few tear-stains between its pages. I literally sobbed after I read this book, it affected me so deeply. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe it’s because I finished it at midnight, when emotions are at their most fragile. But I think it was because Patrick Ness knew what he was doing and wanted to shatter the emotional stability of his readers. Thanks, Ness. I will never be the same.
I’m curious: Did you have a reading goal for this past year? What were your favorite books of 2017? Do you have a goal set for 2018? Happy reading!