I set out to read 100 books in 2017…
I nailed that reading challenge ;)
My life evolved and changed in many positive ways reading 243 books.
You become better at everything, even just being you and knowing yourself, by reading books (including novels).
I’ve set my goal at 218 for 2018, although I secretly hope I can get to 250.
THINGS I LEARNED FROM READING 243 BOOKS in 2017:
- Debut novels are often the author’s best work.
- 2 Book Rule—read two books by any author before forming an opinion, especially if the first book wasn’t a slam dunk (or it was).
- It’s OKAY to jump in mid-series.
- Give it 100 pages or 10%—If you’re not feeling it by then, quit.
- Listening counts as reading.
- Wild cards—every few books try a genre (sci-fi, romance, historical fiction, police procedural, fan fiction, horror) that isn’t “you” at all but has a story that sounds interesting.
- Audible as education. Choose a great course or nonfiction book on a subject matter you know nothing about. (The more “wild card” the better.)
- Mini “challenges” help you read more.
- Audible Daily Deals (average price is $2.95)—take advantage. If it sounds even remotely interesting, buy it. Many of my 5-star reads were daily deals. I also discovered several new authors (and genres!) from buying daily deals.
- Everyone experiences “next book” anxiety. After reading a really good book, it can be difficult to start the next one. I tell myself, “You won’t love the next one as much, but that’s okay. Read it anyway.” Think of it this way: When you have a good meal, you don’t stress out worrying whether the next one isn’t going to be “as good” and you definitely don’t starve and stop eating out of fear you’ll spoil the previous one. Reading should be no different.
- Uber popular books are usually massive letdowns. (Harry Potter is the exception).
- It’s okay to quit books. You’ve got nothing to prove.
I catalogued all 243 books on Goodreads. If you want recommendations beyond this list, see what I rated as 5-stars. I also review *every* title suggesting who this book might be for.
BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Hate U Give.
I read this the week it came out (February 2017) and afterward said, “I’m calling it. Book of the Year.” It was. Absolutely. It was my top choice for fiction, YA, and overall.
Here are a few other noteworthy books from my pile:
You Will Not Have My Hate
Chain of Title
The Brain Defense (my non-fiction pick for 2017 books)
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Morale Molecule
New Jim Crow
Chasing the Scream
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Attachments (or anything by Rainbow Rowell)
Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner
Everything I Never Told You
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
Behind Closed Doors
Janie Johnson series (this devoured a weekend. I was a legit hermit)
All the Missing Girls
The Couple Next Door
BEST AUDIBLE BOOKS:
13 Reasons Why
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
One of Us is Lying
Harry Potter (series)
Ready Player One