At the beginning of 2017, I set my reading challenge on Goodreads to thirty books for the year. I was doing pretty well for the first six months, staying at least two-three books ahead of schedule, but in the second half it petered off as I went into a reading slump in the fall, and I ended up finishing at only twenty-two. Twenty-two books isn’t exactly a whole lot of selection to choose from when choosing a Top 5, but there were a few that stood out to me. When considering which books made it to this list, I looked at the rating I gave it on Goodreads, how fast I finished it, and how memorable it was for me. The books are in no particular ranking order.
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
I did a full review for this book here. This was a short book with a satisfying ending, and the things I liked most about it were the meta commentaries on writing, reading, and storytelling, and the dual plot line style.
The Nest by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney
For this book, the ending wasn’t super great, but I enjoyed the reading process immensely. Even though not much seemed to come of the story itself, I can still appreciate that this book was well-written, well-plotted, and entertaining. It was a fast read for me. Full review here.
The Break by Katherena Vermette
Symbolizing both a literal place and a metaphorical breaking of the soul, The Break was a memorable read for me because of it’s difficult content, amazing story-telling, and candidacy in the 2017 Canada Reads debate. The family of women in this story dips into characters from each generation, creating a sense of community that is both strong and sad as they carry themselves and each other through a history that repeats itself. It’s a book that I won’t soon forget. Full review here.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
This was an extremely fast read for me. My enjoyment was not only in the writing quality and plot line, but also in the fun of trying to figure what exactly the fuck was going on – and I still didn’t guess right. There’s so many things I love about this book; my full review is here.
Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy
This was a bizarre story that didn’t take me long to finish. I enjoyed the strange occurrences happening in the present timeline, and the foreboding, ominous tension coming from the past timeline. Although the ending didn’t quite live up to what I wanted, I enjoyed the story enough as a whole for it to make it to my Top 5. Full review here.
Honourable Mention – Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I read a a few nonfiction books in 2017, one of which I really enjoyed that I wanted to mention here. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by the author of Eat, Pray, Love. This book talks about Gilbert’s experience with living a creative life and the process of creativity itself. There can be such glitz and glamour associated with the life of an artist, which in turn has led to numerous cliches about being someone who has a creative outlet, whatever that outlet may be. This book pushes past those cliches and negative thoughts and faux glamour, discussing what really goes on during the creative process, and brings the whole notion back down to reality. Some things were very relatable for me, and it was nice to see those commonalities put into words. I’ll be doing a full review for it at some point.
I’ve once again set my reading goal to thirty books for 2018. Hopefully this time I’ll be able to meet that goal. Happy Reading!