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Update | 2017 wrapped up

It is time to say goodbye to 2017, and I can’t say I’m sorry.  For various reasons it’s been a pretty rubbish year, globally as well as personally, and I am looking forward to a fresh start.

Because of the aforementioned rubbishness, I managed to fail at my Goodreads challenge.  My aim was, as always, to read 52 books.  Sadly I only made it to 49.  I did consider racing through some graphic novels and short poetry collections, but to be honest I just couldn’t be arsed.  I’m ok with not reaching my target.  I think I have valid reasons for not reading as much as usual in 2017, and that’s that!

For the statistically minded

35% of the books I read were literary fiction, 16% crime and 10% psychological thriller.  No surprises there.  Only 8% were non fiction which makes me sad.

70% were by female authors.

By best reading month was July, when I read 10 books.  My worst months were August and November, with only 1 book read in each month.

50% were by English authors, 29% by American authors.  The others were from Ireland, North Korea, Nigeria and Canada.  This is really disappointing. In 2015 I made a decision to read a book by an author from every country in the world, and made quite good progress that year.  But my interest tailed off (I think I read too many depressing books about war) and this year’s effort was shameful.

The pick of the bunch

So what books DID I read and enjoy, I hear you ask?! Well, let me tell you about the 5 books I’ve added to my favourites shelf this year.

03 - commonwealth by ann patchettIn January I ready Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (reviewed here).  This book has stayed with me throughout the year and I often think of these characters.  This was so vividly written, it made me tense and anxious (in a good way) and Ann Patchett is definitely an author I will seek out in the future.

In May, and with some trepidation, I read Human Acts by Han Kang.  I read The Vegetarian in 2016 and didn’t love it as much as the rest of the world seemed to, so I was a bit wary going into Human Acts.  But oh my goodness, this book grabbed my heart, and squeezed it til burst.  Beautiful writing.

May was a good month!  I also read the deliciously creepy and unsettling See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt.  This one fascinated me and left me with such a feeling of unease.  I can’t wait to see what Sarah comes up with next!

34 - the colour of milk by nell leyshonThe Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon is a hugely underrated book I think.  First published in 2013, the book has only 2500 reviews on Goodreads and is massively deserving of many more.  It is a quick read but powerful and devastating in equal measure, and you should read it!

And finally, October found me fully engrossed in Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.  Now for me, this is a great example of how much of a mood reader I am.  I first picked up Fingersmith (which kind of sounds a bit naughty but is actually the term given to petty criminals and pickpockets) a year or so ago and just couldn’t get into it.  Thank goodness I gave it another chance!  This time around, it was a bit of a slow start, I’ll admit, but once the story picked up … my goodness what a ride!  I was enthralled.  Sarah Waters is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and thankfully I still have a few more of hers to read!

So that is my quick roundup of my favourite books of the year.

What was your top read of 2017?

Believe it or not, I’ll be back tomorrow with my reading plans for 2018!  Aren’t you lucky?!

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