My 2017 Reading List

I was inspired to make a post about what I read in 2017 after reading Marissa Meyer’s 2017 Reading List. I must say that 2017 was the best reading year I’ve had in a while, which is to say that according to Goodreads I by far surpassed my yearly reading total for the entire time I’ve been keeping track.

I’m excited to keep the trend going in 2018, and I’ll be posting my 2018 reading goals pretty soon. For now I’ll be sharing my 2017 reading stats broken down into category and genre, along with my favorite book I read in that genre this year. For the full list of what I read and what I’m currently reading, check out my Goodreads.


Total Books Read: 47

The breakdown:

Young Adult: 20

Fantasy / Urban Fantasy: 13

By far my favorite YA books this year was the SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY series by Susan Dennard. I read this trilogy back in September and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Contemporary: 7

Three of these seven books were me rereading the ALL FOR THE GAME trilogy by Nora Sakavic, so out of the four I read for the first time in 2017 I’m going to have to go with ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN by Jenny Han.

Middle Grade: 6

Five of these six was the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS series by Rick Riordan, and the other was THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING by Alexandra Bracken. I’m equally obsessed with both and am looking forward to continuing reading both authors in 2018.

Nonfiction: 5

Writing Craft: 3

I’m going to go with SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder as it was the most technically helpful of the three, though I enjoyed the storytelling and humor of all three.

Sports History: 1

The lone book in this category is THE MONTREAL CANADIENS by J. Alexander Poulton.

Crime/Science: 1

Another lonely category, this time consisting of THE SCIENCE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by E.J. Wagner.

Graphic Novels: 4

Another tie as this consists of two series I’m equally obsessed with. I read the first three volumes of LUMBERJANES and Vol. 1 of THE BACKSTAGERS.

Science Fiction: 3

I’m beginning to see a pattern. Once again there’s only two series in this category. I read the first two HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY books by Douglas Adams and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey.

Fantasy / Urban Fantasy: 3

This one is a tight race, but I’m going to go with a book I’ve wanted to read for years and finally got around to, which is GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Short Story Collections: 2

Since one of these was a reread of the all the Sherlock Holmes stories, I’ll stick with BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO HATE ME edited by Ameriie.

Fiction (mystery): 1

ARROWOOD by Mick Finlay.

Fiction (classic): 1

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

Poetry/Novels in Verse: 1

THINGS LEFT UNSAID by Stephanie Hemphill

Other: 1

CAT’S LETTERS TO SANTA by Bill Adler and Illustrated by Paul Bacon.



Setting a (Moderately) High 2017 Reading Goal

I’ve seen several posts already this year of people setting low or no reading goals for 2017 as a way of keeping the pressure off. I think that’s a great idea, but one I’ll be saving for personal use in future years.


My TBR shelf as of December 2016

Right now, I have close to 50 or 60 unread books on my bookshelf, and while that’s low for some people it’s pretty high for me. In an effort to resist spending money I don’t have, as I’ve just graduated college and don’t have a job yet, I’m setting my reading goal in an effort to force myself to read the books on my shelf.

If you check out my goodreads you’ll see my reading goal is actually only 40 books, because I’m not at my own apartment right now and haven’t counted the exact number of TBR books I have recently. So I went low, but the idea is that I’ll knock out the majority of that reading goal with books I already own, as well as some books I’ve borrowed from my sister and haven’t returned for more than a year (oops).

I will definitely end up buying more books. In fact, since setting that reading goal I’ve already used a gift card I got for Christmas to buy four books, and I have a lot of 2017 releases I’m looking forward to. I’m trying to keep blinders on though, and I’m having to remind myself that I can’t just walk into a Barnes and Noble “for fun” if I’m trying to save money.

As for the 40 book goal itself, it’s the highest reading goal I’ve ever set on goodreads, though I’m sure back in my middle school/high school days before I was keeping track I was reading a lot more than that in a year.


Books I’ve read each year (according to Goodreads), if you’re interested.

But I’ve also been making sure to remind myself that there’s no requirement for the number of books I read in a year. I want to read what I enjoy, whether that’s a popular book I’ve seen all over Youtube and Tumblr or a random book that’s already been on my shelves for years.

Hopefully y’all keep that in mind, too. A lot of what I’ve seen is that people feel the pressure of reading a lot and reading specific books, and I almost fell into that for a few months too, but I have to remind myself that I was a reader before I was ever aware of YouTube or Tumblr, and reading is a personal experience and is allowed to be treated as such. So, whether you’ve set your goal to 1 book or 100, I hope you’ll keep the focus on enjoying the reading experience, and remember you don’t have to meet any expectations other than your own.

Differences Between Books and film Adaptations


Books (photo via Flickr/Jennie Faber)

Many times when reading a book I will visual every scene in my head. Often when the book is turned into a film adaptation I only notice the differences between the two.

A lot of popular books include details that don’t translate well to screen. This is for a variety of reasons and personally I think the biggest one is that some effects just don’t look realistic. In “Twilight” it came across as awkward when certain details didn’t work on screen the way we pictured them in our heads. The sparkling and the werewolf transformation being the biggest two for me. There were differences in how the characters acted as well. If you want to read more differences between the “Twilight” novel and movie check out this article on the Examiner.

Often fans of movie versions of books will like both separately. I have liked books and the film adaptations as different stories, but when comparing them only noticed the differences. It’s easier to enjoy a film adaptation when you haven’t previously read the book. It keeps you from having preconceived notions of exactly how the movie should be and the disappointment when your favorite scene doesn’t make it onscreen. Here’s a poll on Goodreads showing that most people prefer reading the book before seeing the movie.

Personally I find it fun to go see movies based on my favorite books. The same goes for watching TV shows based on books. However, I have to remember that not everything translates well between the two mediums. When one of your favorite scenes or characters gets cut from the onscreen version, just remember you can go back and reread the book.

Characters Made to Hate

Caroline Bingley (photo via Flickr/colorinchi)

Caroline Bingley (photo via Flickr/colorinchi)

Characters are meant to be disliked, even when we can’t help but like them. In every story there is a lovable villain, or even a protagonist who gets on our nerves.

In books it takes time to notice that the character is more than one dimensional. I’ve noticed that as I read through a book or series, I sometimes hate a character and sometimes love them. Some examples of characters from books that we love and hate can be found on BookRiot.

Movies are faster paced than books are, yet we still catch glimpses of characters that make us love and hate them. A movie is much more interesting when you accidentally start rooting for the antagonist.

Possibly the most obvious medium that we find characters to love and hate is in TV. Episodes on TV develop characters over several seasons and give us different sides to these characters. Some sides we identify with and others make us wish the character would get killed off. For a list of some of these characters you can check out WordandFilm.

Essentially, almost every villain has a human side to them, something for us to love. In the reverse, all our favorite characters are capable of cruelty or some other quality we usually associate with the antagonist. These characters make the storyline interesting and provide a real life element to the plot. The books, movies and TV shows we remember and love always include our most loved villains and hated heroes.

How J.K. Rowling Ruined my Childhood

Recently J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series has revealed that she wished Harry and Hermione had gotten together instead of Ron and Hermione. The article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 3. A lot of fans were furious with the announcement and I agree.

The appeal of Hermione and Ron was that neither one of them was the main protagonist. They were Harry’s friends and Harry didn’t fall in love with his female friend. Harry and Hermione represent what a real friendship is capable of.

It was refreshing to see two friends be extremely close and care for each other without it being romantic. The two characters cared for each other and made each other happy in a purely platonic way.

Ron and Hermione represented a natural progression. In the beginning they were both more focused on being Harry’s friends and being thrown together because of that friendship. They also became friends but didn’t have the same connection as they did to Harry.

This made it easy for romantic feelings to develop without it just being another story of a guy and a girl falling in love as friends. By saying that Harry and Hermione should have been together instead of Hermione and Ron, Harry Potter becomes another cliché.

Regardless of fans personal preferences for the relationships, the storyline was already finished. By admitting to a change J.K Rowling wishes she’d made, she’s affecting how fans see the story that already exists. The Guardian had an article on Feb. 8 that further questions whether or not J.K. Rowling should have revealed her doubts.

Harry Potter books. (photo via Flickr/Anders.Bachmann)

Harry Potter books. (photo via Flickr/Anders.Bachmann)