Hello! Yesterday, I wrote part one of this book review series. Part one focused on the negative side of reading: not finishing a book. This part, however, is more positive, and I am excited to share with you the list of books I did complete in 2017!
What about the books I did complete?
One of the first books I read in 2017 was a romance book I had on my shelf for years. I believe it was my Mom’s copy, but she let me have it because she didn’t want to read it again. That book is a romance book written by Danielle Steel (How awesome is it that we have the same first name?), Five Days in Paris. This was very fun read, as I am not a big fan of romance novels, for whatever reason, I’ll figure it out. But I was pleased with this one, and would like to re-read it in a few years.
I totally forgot that I completed reading a few books from this series, but I did complete the first two books from The Chronicles of Narnia series (picture of the book above, with my cat). I already wrote two blogs about the books I finished in 2017, and if you would like to read about the discussion, click here to read on about Narnia. I would like to continue with the three books I have left in the series, so that will be 2018 or 2019.
In the early part of the year, I realized how many children’s literature books I have not read, that are in the top recommendations of everyone I know. I read through Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Beautiful book, with a fascinating story! The way I would summarize the book, is about a boy, Max, who dreams of going on an adventure with monsters (after feeling misunderstood by people in his real life) and becomes King of there world. Max begins to miss home, and is brought back to reality of missing home. I have not watched the 2009 movie yet, but it is on my to-watch list.
This book follows a similar idea with another kids book I read a few months later.
The following month, I stuck with the “trend of books I haven’t read but should” list. Going up a few grade levels, I read Wilson Rawls Where the Red Fern Grows. As someone who grew up in East Texas on a ranch, I was compelled to cry multiple times, as the story went on. While I do not hunt and trap, most of my family still does, so I was able to have discussions with family about those times, and how hunting has changed over the years. I also, have not watched the movie made after this book, and I plan on doing so soon. If you have not read this (or its been a few years) it is a compelling animal lovers story, mixed in with southern United States values, and ways of life.
Around March, I wanted to re-read a small book (one that I hadn’t read since my Senior year in AP English). I do recall loving this book for not only how small it was, but also for the way the story was a horror classic. I am someone who enjoys reading classics, so it was no surprise that I would eventually re-read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Because I am learning German and Spanish at the moment, I would love to read the original version, in German someday!
And in April, I underwent a huge task of reading a larger book that I had always started, but had never finished. Sticking now to the horror theme, I read a post-post-modern book, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. A couple of years ago, I tried reading this, but could only get thirty pages in. I was not mentally ready for this type of horror book, so I went on to wait until I was. While I was able to complete it, with a lot of confusion and excitement (for finishing it), I am glad I read the book during the spring season. The book takes on a depressing feel to it, later mixed with horror and sci-fi (or maybe it was there all along, but you don’t recognize it till the end). The fall and winter are the worst months for my own depression, so reading this page turner during the colder months isn’t smart, for me. I plan on re-reading this either in the spring of 2018 or 2019. This is a book that I could see myself re-reading every couple of months, for clarity and for the love of the story. *One day* I will write a blog series on this book alone, because of all the questions it asks, and sometimes, not even answer.
Over the summer, I re-read a book I had read back in 2014, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. In 2014, I had never made it through the book because I was in college at the time. This time, I was able to read the entire story and enjoy more than I did a few years ago. 🙂
After reading that monstrous of a book in the early spring, I took a quick reading break during May. In June, I picked up with a simple, small book again. As someone who is still improving on my finances, I am glad that a friend of mine recommended this book to me in 2016. I had read the first couple of chapters before, but again, never finished it (wasn’t as financially ready to move past the first few chapters). The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason was written to use fables to help improve the character in the story, and our own, finances. My finances, after reading the book and doing other financial things, improved greatly in 2017.
Hot off the press, I bought Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and read it in 24 hours. All in one sitting, practically. A friend of mine is still, months later, borrowing my copy, and if you’ve ever borrowed a book or loaned one out, we all know the chances of the book making it back to your home is small. If you haven’t read one of 2017’s best books, then please do so before the movie is released. This book covers racism, activism, and political drama that follows after a young boy was shot by a police officer. Already, this book has been banned in a school district in Texas, which irks me to no end. The Hate U Give is, in my opinion, a book to spark discussion in the classroom for high schoolers. It’s difficult to have young adults read in school, and this is one book that will help spur the discussion, activism, and gaining kids interest to read.
Its rare that I read a new book the year it comes out, or even two years after it comes out. I highly recommend this book for those who are familiar to the problem that is racism in the United States, and to those people who have turned a blind eye to it.
In August, I went back to a children’s book. I had never read this book from beginning to end, but was very familiar to the story (thanks to Disney). Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is still one of my favorite children’s stories and I was glad to finally finish the book, and go to Hot Topic for a Peter Pan Pop. I also bought, and still haven’t read, Peter Pan: The Centennial Edition by Maria Tatar. The centennial edition comes with essays by Tatar about J.M. Barrie’s life, the story, and its history.
And finally, the book I finished just as 2018 began, I was able to complete another small book- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. This was another book that was released this year that I bought and read in a month. It is a fantastic read for all of us who are interesting in learning more about science. I have also watched parts of the cosmos on Netflix, which motivated me to read this book.
What books were you able to finish in 2017? Which book stood out for you this past year? Feel free to comment below, and I am available on all social media platforms. Hope you have a fantastic reading year this year!