I know this is going to be a bit of an unpopular opinion given the nation’s political and social turmoil, but . . . 2017 was good to me, friends. Scratch that. It was great. Here’s why:
- I became a mama to a beautiful, healthy baby boy whose smile is the rising and setting of my sun.
- I spent a great deal of time with family members and even though the circumstances that drew us all together weren’t ideal, the days we had under the same roof were highlights of my year.
- I celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary with the man who swore to put up with my shenanigans forever in front of God and everyone. (So far, so good.)
- I started a Bookstagram page and have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the community of bibliophiles that Instagram plays host to.
Last night, as my tiny muggle lay nestled in his crib (and only woke up like, four extra times, ugh), I reminisced on my year as a reader (with the sound of Call of Duty: WWII and my husband’s muttered curses as background music). Overall, most of the books I read were 3.5 stars or greater, which is pretty satisfactory in my opinion. In the past, I’ve always believed in trudging through a novel — no matter how unsatisfactory — because there’s always some sort of remote chance the resolution will redeem any irksome qualities or shortcomings in the body of work. This year, though, I had to learn to let go of some titles after having a baby and discovering that hours of solitude for reading are few and far between. At first, I was reluctant to quit a book . . . but after several sleepless nights and days without even a moment to myself, it became easier to set aside novels that just weren’t doing it for me. Among that list this year: White Fur by Jardine Libaire, The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo, and Impossible Views of the World by Lily Ives.
Before I jump into 2018 with both feet, though, I’ve got a Christmas book haul to show off! In addition to the books pictured & listed below, my mother-in-law also purchased a 3-month BOTM club subscription for me and my mom gave me a B&N gift card, so, you know, it’s kinda the Christmas that keeps giving.
Christmas Haul 2017
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (fiction, from my Litsy exchange)
- In the Woods by Tana French (mystery, from my Litsy exchange)
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (classic/magical realism, from my Litsy exchange)
- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (fiction, from my Litsy exchange)
- A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (historical fiction, gift card purchase)
- Caroline by Sarah Miller (historical fiction, from my brother-in-law)
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (mystery, from my parents)
- Beloved by Toni Morrison (magical realism, from my parents)
- In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (history/nonfiction, from my in-laws)
- Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (historical fiction, gift card purchase)
- The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (fantasy, from my in-laws)
Plus a few BookOutlet purchases (Merry Christmas to myself?):
- Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (historical fiction)
- The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (fiction)
- Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (fiction)
- Girl at War by Sara Novic (historical fiction)
- Lonesome Dove by Larry Mcmurtry (western)
Whew! What a stack! Needless to say, I’m far more thrilled with these acquisitions than my husband is, which brings me to my next point: 2018 Reading Goals.
I am generally not a fan of reading challenges because I read for enjoyment, and in my experience, challenges lead to feelings of constriction and just . . . general . . . displeasure. That being said, I have decided to participate in one rather open-ended challenge/goal for the year: The Unread Bookshelf Project. As evidenced above (and in this post), I have a bit of a compulsive book-buying habit which has resulted in a pileup of unread titles on my shelves. I usually feel at least a little guilt about spending money on more books, but let’s face it, guys — I have an addiction, and the heart wants what it wants. Which, in my case, is an endless mountain of novels to bask nearby all day, every day. (Is this an appropriate time to insert #sorrynotsorry?)
Anyway — 2018 is the year I’m making it a priority to enjoy the unread titles on my shelves before purchasing any others for myself. The one exception (of course! y’all knew there was going to be an exception, right?) is my BOTM membership. I should probably let it go, but I just can’t. There’s something just completely thrilling about receiving book mail (or really, when you’re my age, any kind of mail that isn’t a bill . . . ). So, without further ado, here’s a quick snap of my January TBR pile.
Now, it’s off to the armchair with a mug of tea and a novel for me! Happy reading, friends — and happy, happy New Year.