Monday, January 01, 2018


The image above, "borrowed" from Google images and huge thanks to its creator, spoke to me because it is called The Sleepless Reader. I have become someone who can nap any time of the afternoon but cannot always sleep at night. This year I finally faced it and just got up and read on the futon bed in my office until my eyes began to droop.

I had one of the worst years of my life, physically and emotionally, but it was reading that saved me, brought me back to some semblance of wisdom and best of all, informed and educated me. I tried, I really tried, to keep up with the news but that left me feeling powerless and often manipulated. Reading about the past, the present, and the future in books was how I found some kind of ground I could stand on. 

I read 119 books. Three less than last year but almost 2000 more pages because 11 of the books I read were well over 500 pages.

Books read: 119. Pages read: 41080. Average pages per day: 113. Average books per week: 2.3.
Fiction: 103
Nonfiction: 16
Written by women: 68
Mystery/thriller: 13
Historical fiction: 19
Fantasy: 5
Speculative/sci-fi: 9
Translated: 5
Biography/memoir: 9
Essays: 3
My Big Fat Reading Project: 43
My top 25 are my favorite books and as usual I had trouble narrowing the list down to 25, but isn't that just the nature of things? I think I gave less than 3 stars to only a handful of what I read this year. The books were published over a wide range of years, not just in 2017. All of the books on the list have been or will soon be reviewed here on the blog.
The List (in the order I read them): 
The Nix, Nathan Hill
Version Control, Dexter Palmer
All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders
The Time of the Doves, Merce Rodoreda
The Gods of Tango, Carolina De Robertis
Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien
To the Bright Edge of the World, Eowyn Ivey
A Book of American Martyrs, Joyce Carol Oates
White Tears, Hari Kunzru
Grace, Natashia Deon
Little Nothing, Marisa Silver
The Shadow Land, Elizabeth Kostova
The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes
Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
Sister Golden Hair, Darcey Steinke
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy
The Plague Diaries, Ronlyn Domingue
The Fifth Season, N K Jemison
Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn West
Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
Occasion For Loving, Nadine Gordimer
The Bedlam Stacks, Natasha Pulley
The Rise and Fall of DODO, Neal Stephenson
The Revolution of Marina M, Janet Fitch
If I follow your blog, I have read your lists for the year's most loved books. If I don't follow you or you don't have a blog, feel free to let me know of great reads I may have missed in the comments. Thanks to everyone who visits here!  
Happy New Year! Let's read our way to a better year.


  1. I keep hearing about Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn West and how good it is, so will have to add to my ever growing reading wishlist!

    1. I hope you get to read it soon! Maybe you will find a copy in one of the free libraries.

  2. Happy New Year! I hope this will be a better year for you. At least you read some great books in 2017 - I enjoyed To the Bright Edge of the World, The Shadow Land and The Essex Serpent too.

    1. Thanks Helen! I wish you a great year of reading in 2018.

  3. Happy New Year, Judy! Your list is impressive. I have To the Bright End...on my wishlist, and hopefully will be reading The Shadow Land this year. Here's to another great year of reading in 2018, and hopefully it will be a better than the past one in all the other areas of your personal life. :-)

    1. Thank you, thank you Carmen. It is such a blessing to have you as a blogger friend. Yes, my personal life needs an overhaul, but I have plans!! I look forward to your review of The Shadow Land! And To the Bright...

    2. You have a great strong list Judy! Always an inspiration too. I've noted the ones I must read, which are many. (Guess what? I received 2 copies of the Joni biography for Christmas without even ever having mentioned it. Ha, we value a legend when we hear one.) I'm very sorry though that your year was one of the worst in 2017 -- I had no idea. The fire by you was definitely awful but I didn't realize there was more. Good grief, sorry. May your 2018 be so much better. Will it be? I really hope so. So many more great books to carry us thru. Speaking of which, I'm going to a memorial this wknd for a dear friend in Colorado who took his life at 62, which breaks me in half. I will have to take a great book -- (& poetry too) to see me thru. Being a big reader, he would understand that. Wishing you the best in 2018, & light & comfort ...

    3. Thank you Susan for your kind words. That is so sad about your friend. I'm glad he was a reader and hope it brought him some solace. The Joni book was great. You can give one to someone else who would enjoy it! Soon I will read the new Stevie Nicks bio.

  4. I love "The Sleepless Reader" image but I'm so sorry to hear that it applies to you. I've been through that and I know how frustrating and depleting it can be. Here's hoping for a better 2018 for you.

    I'm impressed with the number and list of books you read in 2017. There are a few titles on your list that are still TBR by me - hoping to get to them in 2018.

    1. Thanks Dorothy. At least I can make my own schedule these days. I am looking forward to this coming year, planning to get more writing done, plant more succulents and spend less time with useless watering in this climate we now have. Just getting on with it basically but of course always reading and sharing what I read.

  5. Happy New Year! I really do hope this will be a better year for you.

    1. Thank you Jessica. I think I learned some good lessons and am putting those in use to make things better.