I read a lot of books in 2017.
The grand total was 100 books. That was more than 32,000 pages of text. This total includes listening, as well as reading. I consumed most of my books as audiobooks this year.
My favorite book of the year?
Lincoln in the Bardo.
A weird, wonderful and woeful book. It was one of the best audiobook productions. It has a huge cast of readers taking on the multiple characters in the story.
This is the rest of my list in roughly chronological order, with my brief thoughts.
In interesting take on alien arrival on earth. The aliens arrive in Lagos Nigeria. The tale is, at times, more like an African folk tale.
A great who done it, in an interesting setting. A life-ending asteroid is plunging toward Earth, but his detective stays on the case of a suicide.
A bedtime story for The Girl. She really liked this mystery. I did not. But I was not the target reader, she was, so I’m giving it her rating.
An thriller set in the dark isolation of the the south pole base as it empties out for the long winter season.
Read for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge number 18: “Read a Superhero comic with a female lead.”
The book has an interesting approach to story-telling. The narration is through a series of case files.
The book starts with an interesting premise: living in a cursed town, haunted by a centuries-old witch. I really enjoyed some parts of the book.
Viesturs is one of the greatest big mountain climbers and is a good storyteller. This book is a hodgepodge of his own climbs and other historic climbs on Mount Everest. He also touches on climbs of other big mountain. He seems to just superficially touch many of the climbs and refers the readers to other books for more detail.
A YA book of a young woman’s first year of college as she struggles with identity, her twin sister, roommates, boys and writing fan fiction.
I was torn throughout this book about whether I was supposed to like Lola. The titular character is the leader of small drug gang in Los Angeles.
Perhaps President Trump should have read theses graphic novels before criticizing John Lewis. The three books tell his harrowing story of standing up to racism.
A tremendous tale of survival in the Yukon during gold rush. The protagonist is not out hoping for a fortune, but merely trying to survive.
The story is a compelling look at American culture. We were working to put men on the moon while there were still separate bathrooms for blacks and white engineers at NASA.
Winters takes us through an alternate history where the Civil War never happened and slavery still exists in the southern US.
The 2009 arrest of Raj Rajaratnam of the Galleon Group was the start of a long trail of insider trading prosecutions that culminated in the prosecution of SAC Capital. The SEC had identified Steve Cohen as the worst of the insider trading hedge funds and the SEC put his SAC Capital in its cross-hairs. It convinced the Justice Department to prosecute the offenders with criminal charges.
I found some aspects of the book to be interesting, but it fell flat for me. The world-building was expansive and rich, weaving the fantasy elements.
A cute audiobook for vacation getaway drive with the kids. At 3 hours, it was the perfect length.
A delightful audiobook for a long car ride with the kids.
The book started as interesting thriller. A woman was on the run from a mysterious pass. Then the story took some strange twists and turns.
I ended up with this book to meet goal number 20 on Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge: Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten…more
Nothing special here, just a whodunnit novel. I found some intriguing elements to the story and the characters, but they never came together.
A charming story of a transgender youth trying to show that the world that he wants to be seen as a girl. The tool is a performance of Charlotte’s Web.
This audiobook was a mixed bag. Thumbs up for Aziz reading it. At least that’s a thumbs up if you like him. Thumbs down because his reading was up and down.
I found it to be a perfectly fine mystery. I didn’t find much to like with the point of view protagonist and I found the unreliable narrator to be a tedious exercise in waiting for the reveal.
A remarkably detailed history of the events leading up to the start of World War I. It is full of detail about the events and the people who played a part.
A beautiful produced story about small town Alabama and John B McLemore’s life there. I did not find the narrative to be compelling.
A poetically tale of adventures from the early days of long distance flight. It was less of a travel tale than a metaphysical ramble on human existence.
I was confused and torn about my thoughts on this book and my experience with this narration of the audiobook.
Matthew Desmond took a deep dive into poverty and housing.
A delightful re-telling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by one of the great storytellers. Ms. Atwood’s Prospero is the director of theater festival who is thrown out by Tony. Prospero plots his revenge from exile during a prison play of The Tempest. It’s far from her dystopian tale in The Handmaid’s Tale that is getting so much attention these days, but this is a more enjoyable book.
A funny, interesting and at times gross look at the science of space travel.
A book for cycling fans and especially for those who love the courageous, attacking Jensie. No, it’s not well written and the stories are not always great. But it is Jensie’s whacky style.
I enjoy a good bourbon and enjoyed this book.
A fine thriller follows the twists when a baby is kidnapped. What did the parents do wrong?
Weird. Audacious. Ambiguous. It’s a post-apocalyptic Joan of Arc trying the power of life, stories and love through decaying human flesh.
It was recommended for the kids for a road trip. It kept nobody’s attention.
The remarkable story of the intrepid brothers determined to fly. Spoiler alert: They succeeded.
Reading this is liking drinking from a firehouse. Dr. Tyson packs a whole lot of astrophysics into a small book.
A blog to book endeavor that is incredibly well-researched and at times entertaining. Mostly, it’s just a story in how words get twisted and attributed mistakenly.
The writing and narration are great. Mr. Marsters carries a breathy world-weariness that I expect from Harry Dresden.
That was terrible. Thankfully it was short. On the other hand it stopped short of a meaningful conclusion, merely being the first in a series.
A wonderful bedtime story with my daughter. It’s even better to read out loud.
A tremendous, profound, troubling odyssey of a black man’s story of post-war life, traveling from the south seeking a job in the New York.
An interesting look at time travel through scientific, literature, history and popular cultur
A powerful mix of short stories.
There is always more of the infinite mystery of the Holy to explore.
A fantastic telling of the Norse myths by one of the great fantasy story writers.
This is a wonderfully researched book that enlightens the process of scientific discovery. Even the most brilliant of scientists can make mistakes.
An interesting book that is beautifully put together, but shallow on the subject.
An interesting concept of mobile cities roaming a post-apocalyptic world. The writing is good, but a bit flat. It could be a great movie.
A brief, fun book if you’re a fan of Star Wars and/or Carrie Fisher.
Wonderful pictures of modern Boston during the urban decline of the 50s-70s.
Poetry is not really on the top of my reading list, but I needed to finish Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. It required a collection of poetry in translation that was not about love.
If you have ever worked the front of the house in a restaurant, this book will resonate with you.
It’s nasty. Stephen King meets the Lord of the Flies. 
A book about a Book Of Books. Ms. Paul, the editor of the New York Times Book Review, uses books as a framework for events in her life.
A book by Al Franken, narrated by Al Franken, about Al Franken, with all of his droll, satire pointed at his new job as a US Senator from Minnesota. I read this before his sexual harassment allegations. I’m not sure how that influences my thoughts on the book.
A hatchet job on the energy conglomerate. Although not undeserved. The company’s approach to climate change denial while Lee Raymond was CEO was abhorrent.
A gritty crime novel about a corrupt detective on the streets of Manhattan North.
An eclectic collection of short stories at the intersection of bikes and zombies.
An interesting spy case that I don’t remember hearing much about. Unfortunately it spends more time exploring the “law and order” procedural.
A strange premise: murdered people come back to life. With this change, Scalzi explores the moral, legal and medical implications.
A great audiobook if you love Steve Martin and very good if you merely like him. The only thing holding me back in extolling my praise is that it’s not as good as Yes, Please or The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer do a better job with their memoirs and the audiobook version of their memoirs.
My motivation for reading this book is that my grandfather came to the US because of these events. Halifax was a key shipping port for WWI.
A possibly interesting concept fell into a mess.
A beautifully written novel, with rich characters and a compelling narrative.
It was a fine thriller.
A fascinating tale of a pending alien invasion. It provides a novel look at what the aliens might do to prepare for their arrival and what humans may do as a response.
The pirate hunters are as fascinating as the pirate and the search for the pirate’s sunken ship.
The problems with Adele slowly build and the plot twists and bends. But slowly, swimming through the thick atmosphere and creeping awareness that things are not right.
The books is mix of archaeology, exploration, adventure, and anthropology. It felt short on all of the ingredients.
Spoiler: They find the Lost City.
I found this to be a well crafted thriller and gave it it a bonus star for an excellent audiobook production.
With our current government focused on protecting our borders form Islamic terrorists, I found this book to be a great factual take on our home-grown terrorist problem. It’s not that they are taking orders from ISIS. It’s that they are influenced by its teachings.
With the threat of war (or the crazy rantings about war) with North Korea, I thought I should learn more about the history of the conflict.
Ms. Davis chronicles her cycling journey across the southern US in words and sketches. The book is mostly sketches so it’s not a big time commitment.
I picked up this book because it was the “Big Library Read” selection. I would not normally pickup a YA book about a high school girl coming of age.
If you need a bit more Westeros to fill the void.
The book goes back decades before the Ice and Fire saga to give the readers a look at the land before the Game of Thrones timeline.
Meh. I don’t remember how this book ended up on my to-read list. If I did, I would have to go back and question that source.
A great book on legal history. It’s good enough that non-lawyers and non-history buffs will also enjoy it. (I think.)
Could this book be anything other disappointing? Does Mr. Weir have a second great book in him after The Martian? This book was not it.
The humor didn’t resonate with me.
The Children of Men from the mother’s perspective. I really enjoyed parts of this story as civilization breaks down.
I found the book to be a mixed bag. Some of the early items show the progress of cycling and capture the rich history.
A classic dystopian novel. It gets rutted at times in “saying” instead of “showing” the problems with a future civilization.
I’ve enjoyed the other Kubica books more than this one. It’s her familiar style of multiple point-of-view narrators revealing portions of the story over different timelines.
Cutting edge science smashed together with a witty writing and a drizzle of cartoons.
A delightfully clever murder mystery wrapped in another mystery, commenting on thequirks and tropes of murder mysteries.
Why the conflicts? Because of the place. A great collection of information on how geography has influenced the economy and military goals of various countries and regions.
More of the Wizard Harry Dresden, battling his way through life and solving problems for magical creatures and mortal alike.