2017 in Books

I did this a couple of years ago, but I’m going to do it again. This year, I read 176 books. I was only going to read 100. Then, Goodreads let people count re-reads towards the Goodreads challenge (something I hadn’t counted before), and I got a job that gave me actually breaks during which I could read. I, also, want to credit my endo giving me plenty of time to read to distract from the pain. That might be a personal best since the last time I read that many books might have been when I was young and reading lower lexile books. I’ve finished three YA series, read several Shakespeare adaptations, even more books about strong women, and a lot of books about race relations. So, I just wanted to recommend a couple of books.

Non-fiction:

  • Sisters In Law: How  Sandra Day O’Conner and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman (This is a great story about how the first two women on the Supreme Court interacted)
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson (This book is mainly about how people of color were treated after the Civil War. I would highly recommend reading this book in companion with next book.)
  • White Trash: The 400-Year-Old Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg (This one is about how poor mostly white people were treated by the rich people all throughout the history of the US.)
  • The Doctor Will See You Now: Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis by Dr. Tamer Seckin (Since I was diagnosed with endo in the summer, I’ve been trying to figure things out. This book was recommended to me by The Uterus and The Duderus podcast.)
  • Grant by Ron Cherow (I want you to read this because Lin-Manuel Miranda might go on vacation and come back with an idea of a hip-hop musical about US Grant.)
  • Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag (Especially in a world full of images, we tend to forget to think of others feelings. I read it for book club and couldn’t put it down.)
  • An American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeremy Toobin (I knew very little about Patty Hearst going in, and it’s informative)
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (I cried when I saw her onscreen for The Last Jedi. This was her last book and was published October 18th of last year.)
  • Plenty more though. I could fill more pages.

Fiction:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Would any list this year be complete without this book? It deserves all the praise it’s getting.)
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston (It’s another retelling of Cinderella but a really good one promise.)
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (Atwood retells The Tempest in the way that only Atwood could. I also reread The Handmaid’s Tale two times this year, so my judgement might be biased.)
  • Bloodline by Claudia Gray (Gray is on a role writing new Star Wars books. This one is set after the sixth movie. She’s had Ben and is conflicted about telling him about his grandfather.)
  • New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (A retelling of Othello set in a 1970’s school.)
  • The Nix by Nathan Hill (A woman throws things at an up and coming politician and has to meet up with the son she abandoned decades ago.)
  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (Atwood fictionalizes a real case about a woman who was put in jail for murdering two people.)
  • Crazy Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (I would recommend reading Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend first, but it’s great. Believe me.)
  • Plenty more as well, but I value your time.

Re-Reads:

  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (I watched it by the American Shakespeare Center. Tears were rolling down my face due to laughter and then, sadness.)
  • The Catcher in the Rye/Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger (I recommend as always to read Franny and Zooey as a complement of The Catcher in the Rye.)
  • Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me/Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (I love reading Mindy’s books. She’s very funny, and I actually watched The Office this year because of rereading these two books.)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (I’ve admitted earlier that I actually read it twice this year. Once for fun and a second time for book club.)
  • Just Don’t Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain by Josh Sundquist (Sundquist was the first YouTuber that I actually subscribed to. I like rereading his books once in a while.)

Old Favorites

1. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1961)

I love this book. If there are two characters who I relate to, one is Holden Caulfield. Which is weird because I am a 20 some year old who should not be that moody. But, I sort of explained that earlier in the year. And, I do want to catch people/kids before or during the fall off the cliff. I first read The Catcher in the Rye after years and years of people saying that it was banned. It was not an instantaneous love. It was one which was cemented in this last rereading. Now, I reread The Catcher in the Rye for that Contemporary Literature class. I caught somethings that I missed in the first reading. Yet, I still love this book.

2. Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger (1961)

Franny is one of the most relatable characters in literature to myself. If I would want someone to really get me, I would give them these to books. I am more of a Franny than a Holden. I read Franny and Zooey right after reading The Catcher in the Rye and maybe before Bright Lights, Big City.  It was just a coincidence that I was in the middle of a production while reading it. I reread it to do a comparison to The Catcher in the Rye. While looking, there is definitely a Hindu/Buddhist vibe yet there are also these profound moments that seem to promote Christianity.

3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (2008)

This book was introduced to me by a fellow English major a couple of years ago. This English major also introduced me to Bollywood, so she has amazing taste. It narrated by a young girl who is going to commit suicide and a concierge who is more than who she seems. They become friends through a mutual friend. I actually reread this one because I was going to rate it on Goodreads and you need a fresh reading to rate things properly on Goodreads. I got more out of the second reading than the first, which I think is typical of any book.

4. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman (1973)

I first ran across the movie in eighth seventh grade. Yet in high school, I ran across the book. It is set up as a fairy tale written by a 16th century writer with Goldman’s commentary throughout. This is partially confusing yet so much more effective than just telling the story. Again, Goodreads brought the two of us together. I reread the book and enjoyed it more knowing that my copy of movie the was safely tucked away in my room. For those who have watched the movie and not read the book, the action from the fairy tale is pretty much the same.