I can’t believe it’s July already and we are halfway through 2017! I would like to take a moment to think about what I’ve read so far this year and also look at some of the upcoming releases. I am 80% through my personal challenge to read 60 books in 2017. (48 books completed as of today!) Needless to say, I will probably exceed my goal. I think this is mostly due to the way I have changed my approach to reading this year. I am being more intentional about what I read. My TBR list dynamic, which means it is always growing, but I am also trying to go back and remove some of the books I added to my TBR years ago and will probably never read. I find this process to be very liberating. (Hey, I never denied I have a problem.)
That being said, here is my mid-year reading report:
Best book I’ve read so far in 2017
The Dry by Jane Harper
It’s not surprising that my “best book of the year” (so far) is a mystery/thriller. I wish I had found it on my own; however, I picked this up based on all the buzz. It was by far the best application of an original mystery that I’ve read. If you haven’t read it yet, put it at the top of your pile!
Favorite sequel this year
The Trespasser by Tana French
I don’t read many series. I picked this for the list purely because it’s the only thing I’ve read this year that could be considered a sequel. I do enjoy Tana French’s writing so I will usually read her books. This is the latest in the Dublin Murder Squad mysteries.
A new release this year that I haven’t read but really want to
This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Highly recommended by Anne Bogel on the What Should I Read Next? podcast — I have been saving this one for my vacation reading pile. It is a novel about parenting through some hard stuff. I have a feeling I will relate to the struggles this family goes through as they take a leap into the unknown with no idea what they’re doing.
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye: A Lisbeth Salander Novel, Continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series by David Lagercrantz
A sequel! As I said above, I don’t read many series but I have a few that I am loyal to. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one that I enjoyed and stuck with, even when the original author died. David Lagercrantz is continuing the series, and is doing a fantastic job carrying this story on. I look forward to this new installment coming in September 2017!
Note: Another series I am pretty loyal to is Dan Brown’s featuring Robert Langdon. There is a new Langdon book coming out this fall, too! Origin releases on Oct. 3.
Biggest disappointment of the year
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
I was disappointed that Kostova’s latest release didn’t have the same gothic feel that I got from The Swan Thieves or The Historian, which focused on the dark side of human nature (with some supernatural elements!) The only connection to classic gothic elements in this novel is a few dodgy characters and an urn full of ashes.
Biggest surprise of the year
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I don’t usually read sci-fi or fantasy, but this book kept appearing on the “must read” lists so I gave in. From the beginning I was hooked. It is like nothing I’ve read before. I struggle to find a way to describe it properly. It combines multiple genres into a totally new concept. It is part quantum space theory – part love story – part thriller!
Favorite debut author
Katarina Bivald, who wrote The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
This was an a surprise find! I picked it up at a library book sale and discovered that it was one of my favorite reads of the year. Then, when I did more research on the author, I found that she is an inexperienced writer who just pieced together this book on a whim. I hope she writes more, as I really enjoyed her quirky style.
New favorite character
Katey Kontent from Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Katey is a 25 year old single girl in post-depression New York who is attempting to climb the social strata on her own. She is a true example of strong feminist in a time when most girls were looking to get married to the richest men so they didn’t have to work. Katey preferred to be single. Towles portrays women so well – you won’t believe how captivated you are until you finish it and you actually miss Katey and her inner monologue. Plus, as a bonus, reading is a favorite pastime of Katey’s, so a lot of familiar titles appear throughout the book.
The most beautiful book I’ve bought/received this year
Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams
I don’t buy a lot of new books, so I chose one that I received. I love this cover! If only the story was as good as the cover. (The writing was fine; I just wasn’t interested in the story.)