All About Books

A book blog, mostly touring foreign worlds of fantasy novels with occasional detours into space and explorations of magical realism, featuring book reviews, random bookish thoughts and hand lettered quotes.

2017 Recap: favorite books and stats

Stack of books

While the last few weeks of 2017 weren’t that great in terms of books, 2017 overall was definitely a great year filled with great books. I brought my rereading to a whole new level (I actually came close to having 50% of my books read being rereads which I jokingly suggested I do in 2017), and found a few new to me authors that I definitely want to read more of.

Best of 2017

I’ve never stuck to “top 10 of the year” kind of lists (if I followed my pattern it would actually be top 17 now), but with so many great books I read this year and want to shove into people’s faces, I’m gonna make a few lists this time.

Favorite novels

Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno – a book I’ve read three times by now and I cried so hard every damn time. I also laughed a lot and my heart just bursts from all the feels every damn time.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta – Reading contemporary isn’t something that happens often and calling it a new favorite afterwards even less so but Tom is my absolute favorite, my tragic, broken boy and his most precious family.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – I mean… duh. Calling this a satisfying ending to my favorite series would be the understatement of the year. While there is the new series to look forward to, I’m still struggling with the fact that there won’t be a next book this February.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – another conclusion (what were you thinking, Schwab???) and my precious monster boy more than delivered. 

A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – This is the kind of scifi we deserve. These characters give me life! (kinda sad about the fact that part of my excitement is that these characters call each other “best friends”, like why are there so few books where I get to read that hmmm?)

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – Unique magic, great writing, a main character to my liking and a twisty story made this easily a new favorite.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones – Does anyone read this and not just love it to pieces?

The Song of the Orphans by Daniel Price – THIS. SERIES. I can barely handle how epic it is. Non-stop action, feels galore and just overall AMAZING.

The Tiger’s Daugher by K. Arsenault Rivera – Still surprised I enjoyed this romance-heavy book so much but the FEELS, and the wonderful writing, and the kickass ladies, and and and.

The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley – Let me tell you, it was NOT fun to wait for almost a year for the PB of this to come out. I was THIS close to just buy the HC instead. SO WORTH THE WAIT THOUGH.

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – I swear, this Pacific Rim kind of epic, mind-fuckery type of a book/series was written for me. 

I also gotta mention: Paradox Bound by Peter Clines, Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill, The Prey of Gods by Nicky Draydon, The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley P. Beaulieu, Thunderbird by Chuck Wendig, Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty, Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill

Favorite short fiction

Reading more and more short fiction these days and as always Tor.com does not disappoint. Especially their scifi stories were amazing.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey – Sarah wrote some of the most precious characters ever! And this western-like adventure on adorable, yes adorable, (but also visious) hippos is the absolute best.

These Deathless Bones by Cassandra Khaw – Cassandra is one of my favorite short fiction writers and this was just another great one of many great ones.

Killing Gravity by Corey J. White – SPACE WITCH!! what more do you need to know hmmm?

All Systems Red by Martha Wells – The POV of a murder-bot with an existential crisis. It doesn’t get any better than that.

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson – SUCH MIND FUCKERY. I mean, imagine having to kill yourself…. over and over again.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy – this is the most unique critique of any form of society I’ve ever seen. WITH A DEMONIC DEER!

A Red Peace by Spencer Ellsworth – Super fun space adventure!

Favorite comics

Motor Crush Vol.1 – This series better keep on going for like forever because it’s THAT good

Monstress Vol. 2 – Still the most beautiful comic I’ve ever seen.

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 5 – I was a little disappointed in the last two volumes but this is actually might favorite of all of them.

Saga Vol. 5 –  This series just stays on the same level of epic and I never want it to end.

Paper Girls Vol. 3 – This series is such a delight and want more people to read it.

Authors I read for the first time and want to read more of

I discovered so many new to me authors this year and I can’t wait to read more of their books. I hope in some of the cases I don’t have to wait too long for new stories to come out.

  • Sarah Gailey
  • Corey J. White
  • Martha Wells
  • Diana Wynn Jones
  • K. Arsenault Rivera
  • Becky Chambers
  • N.K. Jemisin
  • James S.A. Corey
  • Madeline Ashby
  • Lara Elena Donnelly
  • Nicky Draydon
  • Spencer Ellsworth
  • Tade Thompson
  • Margaret Killjoy
  • Anthony O’Neill
  • Mur Lafferty

Book related highlights of 2017

I have a super shitty memory so who knows what things I forgot, but there were some fun things happening in 2017 that I did not forget so that automatically makes them special.

The Dark Tower binge read

This was the most intense buddy / binge read of ever. Shari and I pushed each other hard. I wouldn’t have read half as many pages in those weeks if it weren’t for us pushing each other constantly. And the series was great too, perfect for binge reading. 

Agatha Christie galore

Maybe not a highlight per se because I’m still bitter that Harper discontinued / redesigned the Agatha Christie covers I wanted to collect but my massive hauling and hunting for all her books was quite fun too. (and I’m not done yet). I still wish I had bought them all earlier, but I guess that’s what you get when you pause reading an author for a whole year and find out about cover changes when it’s too late.

Meeting other bloggers / bookstagrammers

I was insanely busy this year and not always in the mood with certain life things happening, so not much happened in this department BUT I did meet Steph when I went to London in August to meet V.E. Schwab again and it was so great to just walk through book shops all day or sit down and talk books.

The ADSOM Collector’s Edition

THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY YEAR! I still can’t believe my art is on an actual book that people buy and post pictures of tbh and I never want to keep this kind of secret ever again LOL but OMG, this was seriously the most amazing thing to happen in 2017.

Statistics of books read in 2017

Now to the real fun part because I love me them numbers! 

Overall (including short fiction, graphic novels and comics) I read 170 books. It sounds like a lot, but I did listen to quite some audiobooks and a not so small part are the comics and novellas so… I actually “only” read 123 full length novels, 55 of them being rereads = 45%. So close to 50%! Including rereads my average rating was 4.24, excluding rereads 3.91 (39 x 5 stars), so definitely a good year. 

 

Genres read

I knew pretty early in 2017 that this would be the year when I read a LOT of scifi and that it might even take over fantasy. And it actually did. With 30.6% it was my most read genre in 2017, closely followed by fantasy with almost just as much. The rest is a mix of many genres, including horror, magical realism, historical fiction, steampunk and others.

I also had a great bookish year because I don’t read a lot of YA anymore. Not that I have anything against YA, but most books just aren’t for me and I only make few exceptions these days. Over half of the YA books I read in 2017 were rereads and the others were authors I really trust and I knew to write outside the usual.

Formats read

At the end of 2016 I was at an absolute high with my audiobook time and I thought I would continue like that in 2017 but somehow I got lost along the way. I don’t know what happened but there were a few months in the fall were I rarely listed to any audiobooks. I’m on my best way to change that again in 2018 though.

My most read format is ebook (36%) which isn’t surprising, considering that a lot of my reading this year happened to/from work and ebooks are just easier to take with me (especially since I got my new kindle), and almost all novellas were read as ebooks/online too. Second most read are paperbacks at 30%, followed by audiobooks at 23%

Gender of authors read

When I pick my books to read I don’t really take care of having a diverse set of authors but I’m happy to say that I read more books by women than men in 2017. Especially in adult SFF there seem to be way more men than women, so it’s nice to see that this happened without me doing it on purpose. This year, about 60% of the books I read were written by women.

Series

I usually track what series I start and finish/mark as DNF, always trying to get the number of series I’m in the middle of down and not start too many new ones. This year I just stopped doing that and only checked at the end of the year, which was quite refreshing. I mean, I had to start all these adult SFF series now that I don’t feel like reading most of the YA ones anymore, right? 

I started 38 new series this year, which I think is a-okay considering that quite a few of them are short fiction and easily finished again + I included my comics and I started a bunch of new series there. I really don’t mind reading dozens of comic series at once LOL. I did finish 13 series though, so: progress!

Smallest / biggest book

Longest book: The Dark Tower by Stephen King (1045)
Shortest book: This World is Full of Monsters (3 pages)

Longest audiobook: The Providence of Fire (1d 0h 7min)
Shortest audiobook: A Monster Calls (4h 0min)

Did you have a great reading year in 2017?
What was your favorite read of the year? Any other bookish highlights?

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Comments:

  • Beautiful photo at the beginning of your post. Do you have a Bookstagram? I haven’t read any of your favorites novels yet, sadly. :(

  • Dominique Dixon • January 8th, 2018

    I’m also trying to collect all of Agatha Christie’s books. Glad to know a fellow Christie hoarder! Also, Howl’s Moving Castle is also one of my favorite novels, and I’m so happy that Waking Gods is as good as I was hoping it would be.

  • The Fifth Season! YAAAAAAS QUEEN! NK Jemisin is a new fav for me this year too. I read the whole Broken Earth trilogy and I’m usually really terrible at reading series.

  • I’m so jealous that you got close to 50% rereads. My rereading was pathetic last year!

    I still can’t believe you actually read and loved The Piper’s Son. \o/

    I can’t believe I still haven’t read Killing Gravity. >.< Or Monstress Vol: 2! Blah.

    I'm still sad that we didn't manage a single meetup, lol.

    Considering how I wasn't expecting to read at all after February, I think I had a great reading year! One of my favorites that I think you'd like is Failure to Communicate. I'm sure Lucille has recommended it to you as well. It reminded me of TLWTASAP in some ways. (Friendships FTW)

  • I had a pretty decent year. I’ve never read as much as I did in 2017. My favorite had to be Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho though. Judging from your favorite books of 2017 which I see some of my favorites among as well, I think you might really like it as well. :)

    May 2018 be a great reading year!