2017 year-end wrap-up

December 30th, 2017

It’s not quite the end of the year yet, but I think it’s unlikely I’ll finish another book over the next two days, so here goes. I think 2017 was the first year ever in which the number of movies I saw was greater than the number of books I read, which I attribute to having started to date someone who a) is very into/knowledgable about film b) has a MoMA membership and frequently gets us tickets to film screenings there and c) convinced me to join MoviePass, which has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. But it was a solid reading year for me, too. I read fewer books than last year (50, as opposed to 52 last year) but enjoyed most of what I did read. The breakdown:

Picture books/middle-grade books/YA (including one play): 15. Highlights: Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea, with its magic of intuition and empathy, and the way it mixed fantasy/Chosen One elements with real-world/coming-of-age elements. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with its smart/no-nonsense protagonist and its depiction of a Black family in the South in the 1930s. The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. PĂ©rez with its mix of prose and visual art, and its mix of plot-focused narrative and lovely descriptive passages. I also loved re-reading The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper in December.

Fiction (for grown-ups, including graphic novels): 23. Highlights: Empty Streets by Michal Ajvaz, with its gradually unspooling connected stories, The Chimes by Anna Smaill, with its gorgeous and musical writing, and Autumn by Ali Smith, which is so full of heart. I also was totally engrossed by Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, both of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children books, and Max Gladstone’s latest in the Craft sequence: but, really, I read a lot of good fiction this year. More of what I read this year was of the plot-driven/delicious variety than the thorny/challenging variety, and I’m OK with that.

Non-fiction (including autobiographical comics): 12. In the books-about-other-places category I really liked Marcelino Truong’s graphic memoir about the Vietnam of his childhood, Such a Lovely Little War, and Nell Stevens’s Bleaker House, about going to the Falkland Islands to write. In the books-about-sex category, I was delighted by Emily Witt’s really really smart book of essays, Future Sex, and by Toni Bentley’s memoir about sex/submission/transcendence, The Surrender. And of course I loved Tamara Shopsin’s Arbitrary Stupid Goal, which includes a lot of great bits about the NYC of decades past and about Shopsin’s quirky/interesting family.

I ticked off 14 of the 24 categories for the Book Riot 2017 Read Harder challenge, and am probably going to approach the 2018 challenge in a similar way as I did the 2017 one: keeping an eye out for books that might fit the challenge, but mostly reading according to my whims. I hope 2017 was a good reading year for you, whatever that means for you, and that 2018 is full of bookish delights.

2 Responses to “2017 year-end wrap-up”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End Says:

    I hope your 2018 is full of bookish delights as well! My 2017 in reading was actually really stellar — I need to write a wrap-up post! — so I’m trying not to expect too much of 2018. Can’t possibly measure up! :p

  2. Heather Says:

    Yay, I love reading people’s wrap-up posts – looking forward to yours :)

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