As this stray 2017 gets flushed away by vodka tonics and nachos, I find myself reflecting back upon the year and all its greatness. Sure, it wasn’t always wonderful, but there were some aspects of this year that I was pretty damn happy about.
I mean, I read a lot of books. A LOT.
In this last week of the year, I finally managed to hit my 100 books for the year. As a fairly slow reader, this is a pretty nice accomplishment. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, dedicate time in the evenings to read, and just generally work hard to consume stories.
And some of them were quite good.
Books of My 2017
Following are some of my favorites of the year. They aren’t necessarily books that came out this year, but they’re books I READ this year. And I liked them.
- All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders – I loved this book, and it’s wonderful. I read it early 2017 and I still think about it from time to time.
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – This is a beautifully written book full of Russian folklore. It was a pleasure to read, and I’m really looking forward to the sequel.
- City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett – This whole series is good. This is powerful fantasy deeply rooted in the issues of the day, but full of those stand-up-and-cheer moments that really only happen when you get really, truly involved with the characters.
- The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – Another fantastic series. Deeply powerful books and for sure worth your time.
- Guns of the Dawn by Adrien Tchaikovsky – I’ve read a bunch of Tchaikovsky’s work this year and Guns of the Dawn was my favorite. Such richly realized world and characters drew me and kept me going the whole way through. It’s long, but the audiobook is read by Emma Newman and she’s fantastic at pretty much everything.
- Lab Girl by Hope Jahren- Picked this audiobook up randomly from the library’s Overdrive and was floored by it. Chapters alternate between rich, powerful descriptions of botany and the events of Hope Jahren’s life. It’s a wonderful book and, I mean, she’s a paleobotanist. Isn’t that just the best word?
There were many other great books, but hey I gotta draw the line somewhere, right? You can follow me on Goodreads if you’re really interested in tracking my reading as it happens.
Short Stories of My 2017
In addition to books, I spent a whole pile of time reading short stories. I’m working on improving my own short story writing, so one of the things I’ve done is crank my reading WAY up. This, actually, made the completion of my 100 book challenge a lot harder. I mean, I made it anyway, but it was tough.
Here are a few short stories I read that really had an impact for me. Some I’m using to teach my classes, while others are just cool.
- Crispin’s Model by Max Gladstone
- Turn a Corner, Lose a Life by K.S. O’Neill
- How Lovely is the Silence of Growing Things by Evan Dicken
- The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer
- Some Remarks on the Reproductive Strategy of the Common Octopus by Bogi Takács
- Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
- Luminaria by John Hornor Jacobs
Oh, and there’s so much more out there. My goal for next year is going to be 75 books and a whole lot more short fiction. There’s so much happening out there in the world of short stories, that I feel like I’m missing quite a bit.