Posted on January 01, 2018
Growing up I used to read a lot, but fell out of habit during college due to lack of time. This year my new year's resolution was to read again. I set a goal of reading 26 books (1 every 2 weeks), and managed to exceed that by 3. Going to shoot for 30 in 2018 :). Here it is, everything I read in 2017:
Looking at the timeline, I read the most when I was flying (been traveling for work more frequently). There's also a few blank spots where I started a book and gave up on it (most recently retried As I Lay Dying by Faulkner, and I still can't get through it).
A few highlights:
Infinite Jest is a trope, but was still one of the best books I've ever read. I started it in 2016 and for a few months carried that 10 lb book everywhere, doubling as an exercise routine. Recommend.
I read a good portion of Kurt Vonnegut's works this year. His pointed humor is still relevant 50 years later. Top picks: Cat's Cradle and God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.
In high school we read one Toni Morrison book (Sula), and I didn't care for it then. Coming back to her 10 years later I now like her style (her content has depth and her descriptions are vivid without being overwhelming). If you read anything by her I recommend The Bluest Eye.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Every book Connie Willis has written has been nominated for (and usually won) the Hugo award for best novel. She's fantastic.
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats) was surprisingly good. I've loved his lyrics, but other musician-turned-authors haven't always been as appealing. I've also been enjoying the podcast I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats by him and Joseph Fink (of Welcome to Nightvale), although that may only appeal to fans.
I didn't particularly care for Blood Meridian. Cormac McCarthy writes stunning descriptions of landscapes and vague descriptions of characters. This one takes place in Texas and is mildly historical, so it was neat to tie scene's to places I've been, but didn't make up for the book's deficiencies. It was also way darker than The Road, which I didn't think was possible.
I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane in one sitting. Neil Gaiman is consistently great. Reminded me a bit of the dark childhood tales Roald Dahl is known for.
Homegoing was on this year's Stanford 3 book list (for incoming freshman), and is the most recently published book I read. I loved it enough to mail it to my sister, who's passing it on. Recommend.