2017 Reading List

I had a goal this year to be on social media less and on my Kindle app more. So, like, in those spare minutes when I would normally pick up my phone and scroll thru Facebook, the plan was to instead pick up my phone and open my Kindle app and read a few paragraphs.

Good idea, right? Well. I can report that I didn’t follow through. I was not on social media any less. Whatcha gonna do. It was a crazy year! I couldn’t look away!

But!! I did still manage to read many, many great books. A lot of social media + lot of reading = a lot of laundry left undone. Worth it.

I have some observations about my list. Nerdery ahead:

I always say “I don’t read much nonfiction” (guiltily, with a tone that lets you know I feel I should read more), but nonfiction comprised nearly 25% of the books I read this year. What?! Never would have guessed that! Go me.

My favorite author discoveries this year are Chris Cleave and Ann Patchett. I plan to put more of their books on my to-read list for 2018. (And Diane Chamberlain is my favorite discovery in the “beach reads” category.)

It’s taken me a while to figure out my star system but I think I’ve got a handle on it:

3 stars: it was basically enjoyable, I didn’t get irritated or annoyed at plot lines or characters, and I didn’t consider quitting before finishing. 3 stars means I probably won’t recommend it to anyone, and will likely forget nearly everything about the book and not think about it ever again, but it was enjoyable in the moment.

2 stars: I finished it, but begrudgingly because I found something about the plot or characters or writing style annoying.

1 star: I seriously considered quitting, didn’t, and was then mad that I wasted my time finishing.

My 4 and 5 star ratings are trickier to describe. These are books whose characters start to feel like friends, or that move me in some kind of intellectual/spiritual/emotional way.

4 stars: I really, really like it and would recommend it to a friend. Weirdly, I can’t always put my finger on exactly why it didn’t earn that 5th star.

5 stars: I loved it, it made me think, I would recommend it to anyone, and will likely read it again and again.

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