2017 – A Year in Books

 

I put my laptop away for the Christmas break and had a few days up in Fraser Island – which I’ll tell you about tomorrow. That means that even though it’s Wednesday, there’s no writing progress to tell you about today…it is Wednesday, isn’t it? I figured that I’d give you a round-up of my reading over 2017 instead.

How many books did I read?

According to Goodreads, I read 98 novels: 27359 pages – although there were others that didn’t make it to Goodreads.

Yes, that’s a lot of reading, but for the first few months of the year I was on a bus for an average of 3 hours a day – longer if there was a traffic problem on the M2.

And the ones that didn’t make it to Goodreads? Mostly genre romances that are devoured in an hour or so and are sweet but guilty pleasures – like glasses of bubbly and vegemite and cheese on white bread with butter.

The longest book?

Ok, I’m not great with commitment, so the longest book I read was Marian Keyes “The Break” at 576 pages. As an aside, whilst I gave “The Break” 5 stars it felt too long.

Any new series?

I worked my way through the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn series. I still have a few to go. It’s a series of cozy mysteries set in 1920s England and all very jolly hockey sticks.

I also worked my way through Amy Andrew’s Rugby series (I nearly wrote that I worked my way through Amy’s Rugby boys, but realized in time just how bad that sounded!), Anna Campbell’s Dashing Widow series and Nalini Singh’s Rock series. Yes, all of these are romances.

Additions to favourite series?

Sulari Gentill’s Rowland Sinclair was back for A Dangerous Language, and Sulari also gave us a prequel in The Prodigal Son. Her stand-alone Crossing Lines is on my kindle waiting for its turn.

Series I missed this year?

Ian Rankin’s Rebus…although apparently there is one scheduled for 2018.

Thanks for the recommendation…

I rely on my book blogger friend Debbish for additions to my to-be-read pile, and she certainly didn’t let me down in 2017.

Any 5 star reads?

Yes – nine of them…three of which I read in December. Sure it could be that I was feeling generous because of the season, but I don’t think so. Here they are, in the order that I finished them – from most recently read…

  • Two Steps Forward, Graeme Simsion and Anne Buit
  • Numbered, Amy Andrews and Ros Baxter
  • One More Song, Nicki Edwards
  • Deadly Kerfuffle, Tony Martin
  • The Word Is Murder, Anthony Horowitz
  • The Break, Marian Keyes
  • Best Day Ever, Kaira Rouda
  • The Shape Of Us, Lisa Ireland
  • Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay, Jill Mansell

Any books adapted into a movie?

I tend not to read blockbusters – in much the same way that I tend not to watch anything nominated for an Oscar. I’m a bit of a reverse snob in this way. This means that often I don’t watch movie adaptations.

Genre-hopping?

There was definitely more cozy crime consumed this year – I’m loving that genre. I also read a some historically based women’s fiction – although I’m still not big on that term. Of these, Fiona McIntosh’s The Tea Gardens, Natasha Lester’s A Kiss For Mr Fitzgerald, and Victoria Purman’s The Three Miss Allens were the stand-outs. Gill Paul’s The Secret Wife also took an interesting turn back into Tsarist Russia.

Craft books read?

No, not this year

Any business books?

Nope.

What annoyed me this year?

My editor’s advice must be sinking (finally) into my brain because I read way too many books this year where sub-plots were added late into a book for the sole reason of enabling the author to tie together loose ends. There were also too many books that told us in the last couple of chapters about the character’s growth without showing these traits throughout. Oh, look! She used to be like x, now she’s like y…that sort of thing.

This cost at least six books on my list from getting a 5-star rating.  What is concerning is that all were traditionally published yet they felt like they needed tightening editorially. Perhaps I only noticed because I’m aware that this is something I’m guilty of too – like typos in quickly cobbled together posts…whatevs.

Best cover blurb?

On Tony Martin’s Deadly Kerfuffle: “Deadly Kerfuffle proves yet again that there is nothing Tony Martin can’t do. I wish I’d read the entire thing” Sam Pang.

2018?

This is much the same as last year. I have a heavy writing schedule planned, so will probably limit my chick lit again this year. I have a cozy crime series fermenting at the back of my brain, so will read more widely in this area – just nothing where the kid is taken or the dog dies. I still haven’t read any Agatha Christies so will rectify that.

Book-related resolutions?

This isn’t great news for the authors that I support, but my resolution this year is to go three months without buying any books at all. I have books on my bookshelf – both physical and virtual – that are crying out for attention and yet last year (and the year before and the year before that and…you get the idea) spent the equivalent of a very good holiday on books and music. I intend to work my way through some of these this year. I’ll revisit my progress (and my wilpower) at the end of March.

What about you? Any favourites? Recommendations? 

 

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