To those who have read this blog before, thank you for joining me for my first year at The Hungry Little Bookworm! And to those who haven’t, welcome! May 2018 treat us all well…
About the Books
- Newcomers: Icelandic literature, medieval history, religion & politics | These can be traced back to several uni classes: Literature and Culture in Medieval Europe; Politics in a Changing World; and Religion, Violence & Peacebuilding.
- Increasing: Fantasy | Fantasy fell under “Other Fiction” in 2016; I only read one. Thanks primarily to The Lord of the Rings and The Raven Cycle, it’s the genre I read the most this year.
- Declining: Crime | In 2016, I read seven crime/thriller novels. This year, I only read one: The Woman Who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home (sequel to The Sea Detective/great book – gotta love Scottish crime writers).
About the Authors
One thing I noticed while compiling this year’s data is that my reading list was skewed toward male authors in 2017. I was curious about the origin of this shift, so I broke it down further:
Turns out, there was a small divide in my fun-reading that increased dramatically when reading for school; women explicitly authored less than 30% of the books I read in class this year.
While I make a conscious effort to read books by people from different backgrounds (LGBT+, straight, Latinx, African, Asian, European, etc.), there is, as you can see, a Western bias in my reading. This makes some sense, as I grew up and live in the West, I major in literature from one very small (Western) region, and I love getting involved with and supporting the Scottish publishing industry.
Still, as someone who wants to learn about the world and its citizens from as many perspectives as possible, I hope to read not just books by Americans and Brits of various backgrounds but more world literature in 2018.
About My Reactions
Turns out, I read very few books that I hated in 2017! (Sorry, Eleanor Oliphant…)
(By Partiality) 5 Star Books Read in 2017:
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
- Golden Son by Pierce Brown
- Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
- Freedom to Do God’s Will: Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change by Gerrie Ter Harr (editor)
Some honourable mentions that left big-but-more-complicated impressions:
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang
- Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is Another Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo
And that’s a wrap on 2017! What did your year in books look like? Do you have any recommendations for me for 2018? Let me know in the comments!