At the beginning of the month I had this big plan to post my 2017 wrap up back to back with my January TBR in the first few days of January. But that plan quickly got derailed when I couldn’t nail down exactly what I wanted to read this month. I’ll go into more detail about how I finally picked my TBR later this month in my wrap up, but until then, I’ll show you the photo of my TBR from my Instagram, which you guys can follow for more day to day updates!
Anyways, enough about January; this blog post is about November and December. In total, I read 4 books in November and 3 in December. Overall not bad, but since my life got more hectic in the last two months of the year with a new job, my work on NanoWrimo, holidays and lots of travel, I saw it coming. But hey, I finished my Goodreads goal of 50 books in 2017 with a total of 55 books, so I’m counting this all as a win! I’m going to break down this wrap up by month.
November Wrap Up
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
Women are some kind of magic, book #1; Poetry Anthology
I’m not usually a poetry reader. However I’ve seen this poetry anthology all over the place and when I do read poetry, I tend to find inspiration in it. So because November I was trying to write a novel, I figured reading something that could possibly inspire me wouldn’t hurt, right?
The Princess Saves Herself in This One was beautiful. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one sitting in my bed, tearing up at the same time I was feeling inspired. There is one poem in this anthology called “The sign you’ve been waiting for” that I have bookmarked to look at over and over again because it truly was the sign I needed to pick up my pen to start writing during NanoWrimo.
I urge everyone who is looking for poetry to read to pick this up – especially since part 2 of this series (The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One) comes out in March.
My Rating: 5/5 ★
Flux by Orion Carloto
Flux was suggested to me by Goodreads because I read Princess, and I was enthralled by the cover, so I bought it. The poems were as beautiful as the cover, although very sad. Which I should’ve seen coming, considering the description on Goodreads called it “a somber narrative, an ode to change, a collection of poetry and prose written from the many states of grief over a broken heart”. And honestly, it was. But the words were beautiful as were the illustrations throughout.
My Rating: 4/5★
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
Short Story Collection; read by combination of audiobook and hard copy
I. Love. Tom. Hanks. He’s my favorite actor ever, and when I heard that he was writing a short story collection, I knew I had to have it. So I pre-ordered it on Amazon and honestly did everything short of waiting in the leasing office of my apartment building on publication day. Like most short story collections i didn’t enjoy them all. And there were some that I couldn’t get through while reading them physically, so I got the audiobook. Which Tom Hanks narrated. So bonus points.
Some of these stories were connected by layout (A bunch of stories are news paper articles written by a man named Hank Fiset) or by cast of characters (about three or four are about the same group of friends), but my all time favorite from this anthology was The Past is Important to Us. In a book full of slice of life narratives, this futuristic scifi-esque story about time travel as a vacation option was so interesting and a cool way to break up the different stories.
My Rating: 4/5★
December Wrap Up
The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners, book 1; Read as an audiobook
Since I’m a genius I kicked off my December reading the longest book on my TBR list. I’ve always been interested in The Diviners, but a few things were keeping me from picking it up. It’s an intimidatingly large book, and on top of that, it’s a paranormal thriller. When it first came out I wasn’t really in the right place to read something that terrifying – I’m still not, but now I’ve just decided to power through – so I gave my copy away.
I decided to give it a second chance this year, but didn’t have the book. I opted to get the audiobook since I’ve heard amazing things about the narration, and all those amazing things were right. January LaVoy does an amazing job narrating, her voice almost creating the ambiance of 1920s New York City.
The book was beautifully written, terrifying at points, and just overall amazing. Libba Bray doesn’t shy away from the injustices of the 1920s, and uses the extremely diverse cast of characters to compare and contrast the party scene of the roaring 20s to the issues of that time period as well. The characters were compelling and I devoured the sequel the first three days of January, but we’ll talk about that later.
My Rating: 5/5★
Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett
Read as an audiobook
One of two re-tellings of A Christmas Carol, this one about Jacob Marley was a look at if Marley had the same chance as Scrooge did. This one was interesting because the way it was written almost sounded like Dickens’ original prose, and fit so well into the narrative, I had to remind myself that it wasn’t part of the original story. The other thing I loved about this story was how it followed Scrooge after his meeting with the three ghosts, which was really interesting.
I will say, the one thing I didn’t like about this one was how long winded it could be in parts of it. There were some parts that took ten minutes to explain, that could’ve just been explained in a lot fewer words, although I think about that with Dickens’ work as well so…
My Rating 4/5★
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
The second of the two re tellings I read of A Christmas Carol, was amazing. A story of a girl who didn’t take the ghosts advice and was forced to work as the Ghost of Christmas Past, it was funny, endearing and a great Young Adult way to retell such a classic. There are parts where you think you can guess what’s going to happen, but then the story throws you for a loop, and everything about it is endearing.
I think I can see myself returning to this book each Christmas season, because honestly it was just such a good book. All the characters was intriguing and this company – Project Scrooge – that recreates the Christmas Carol moment each year was so interesting to read about. It’s definitely was one of my favorite reads of the year. (also, look at that cover. Absolutely gorgeous).
My Rating 5/5★
So there you go! The last wrap up of 2017! What were your favorite reads of 2017? Let me know in the comments!