Books Read in 2017

My goal = 40. My project = alternating a book I've never read with a re-read. The ranking = out of five stars
  1. 1.
    S. by Doug Durst (and conceived by JJ Abrams) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    OK, I'm late to the game with starting this reading list because it took me this long (Jan 1-15) to get thru my first book of the year! But not a toil at all, just...a definite committment. An immersion. A project. And so worth it! I'm not sure which story I love the most- the novel proper, the mystery behind the author (and his translator) or the back-and-forth within the margin notes.
  2. 2.
    Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (re-read)
    I first read this book during the 2015 Paris attacks, which gave a poignant spin to reading about a Revolutionary-era relationship between the US and France. I now re-read it in the the Hamilton craze era, which gave it a new spin. It's interesting to read about the Revolutionary War framed in a point of view not focused on the Ham-dogg. Vowell's ascerbic wit and modern-day commentary make an an enjoyable experience out of historical nonfiction that is unparallelled.
  3. 3.
    A Wrinkle in Time- Madeleine L'Engle ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I never read this as a kid. I was too busy reading every Baby-Sitters Club book. And TBH I was not a bright child so this book would have gone over my head. But reading it as an adult? It was incredible! And is it just me, or has everything I've read thus far in the setting of a #NotMyPresident presidency taken on such an ominous, poignant tone? That's got to stop. I've gotta go back to The Baby-Sitters Club. Though Kristy Thomas' bossiness could harken some totalitarian vibes.
  4. 4.
    To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee (re-read) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    So um...remember whan I said everything I've read this year has taken an ominous poignant tone with the new #notmypresident regime? Re-reading TKAM was NOT the way to get out of that rut! ☹️
  5. 5.
    Go Set a Watchman- Harper Lee? (re-read) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I have a lot of mixed feelings about this supposed pre-TKAM-written sequel which I don't care to expound upon. Suffice to say, while most people discredit its publication on the basis of Harper Lee being too demented to consent its release, I posit that this was written by a ghostwriter post-dating TKAM. Having Harper Lee as the "author" raises the credibility. Without her name on it, it's glorified fan-fic. I pair-re-read it with TKAM to see if I could detect a similarity/difference in voice.
  6. 6.
    Bluets- Maggie Nelson ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    A woman's profession of love/devotion/committment to the color blue, in all its forms. Composed in numbered pragraphs. Some good lines/passages, but overall not quite my cup of tea.
  7. 7.
    Bee+Puppycat vol. 3- created by Natasha Allegri ⭐️⭐️
    Highly recommend the original 10 minute long Bee+Puppycat series (parts 1 and 2), found on YouTube. The subsequent episodes and comic books are lacking.
  8. 8.
    Men Explain Things to Me- Rebecca Solnit ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Chock full of new poignancy in this political/social era. But the value is in the inspiration it provides for women to have self-confidence, and confidence in our abilities to resist/change the disturbing decisions that have been made with this presidency.
  9. 9.
    The Princess Diarist- Carrie Fisher ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The world has lost a wonderful person. This is a focal memoir of her time filming Star Wars. It contains some diary entries she wrote at the time (aged 19) which outshine her later recollections.
  10. 10.
    An American Childhood- Annie Dillard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (re-read)
    One of my favorite books! For the self-awareness of being a child. For the charicatures of her family (descriptions of her mother give me serious Mom-goals). For her love of science/nature and her ability to turn that into beautiful prose. It's like To Kill a Mockingbird, with an unabashed perspective of a young girl, minus the burden of needing to carry a sustaining social message. And an easier read (ie less dull) than Pilgrim of Tinker Creek, which I have yet to finish.
  11. 11.
    Talking as Fast as I Can- Lauren Graham ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    For no particular reason I've been reading a lot of actors' memoirs. Her writing is good (given the English major and bestselling novel under her belt). But no gossipy behind-the-scene Gilmore Girls stories to provide us with. Everyone in her life was just reportedly a delight to work with. No commentary on the plot holes of A Year in the Life (ASP is a genius!)
  12. 12.
    Reading Like a Writer- Francine Prose ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    There's nothing I like more than reading books about reading books. Not at all condescending, and inspires me to read all the works she talks about. Aand her name is Francine PROSE! What a cool writer name!
  13. 13.
    The Haters- Jesse Andrews ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Inspired by a Gilmore Guy plug (Demi's pick). About teens who start off in a dorky jazz camp, then run away to achieve the once-in-a-lifetime experience to be a band on the road. LOL funny at times.
  14. 14.
    The Name of the Wind- Patrick Rothfuss ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Ohhhh girrl! This was literally an EPIC read. Inspired by li.sters @amieshmamie and @justjills. I plan to li.st about it, if I have the strength and fortitude to put my thoughts together without the crutch of drafting 😕
  15. 15.
    The Idiot- Elif Batuman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I had read her grad school memoirs, The Possessed. This is her first novel, and it was amazing. I have this working theory that despite different circumstances, there are universal feelings teenage/early 20s girls tend to have.
  16. 16.
    The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Really fun, hilarious modern day poetry. "It's a pirate party! It's a pirate party! So shake your booty!"
  17. 17.
    Scrappy Little Nobody- Anna Kendrick ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I don't know why I keep reading actress memoirs. I don't particularly like them. I think it's because they tend to have long hold lists at the library, so they seem coveted.
  18. 18.
    Too Much and Not the Mood- Durga Chew Bose ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I've read a lot of good, 5-star books this year, but this one sticks in my mind as a YOU MUST READ THIS!! Essays that read like poetry (in the best if ways). They try to categorize it into a box of that I think cheats the work of it's true resonating impact. I won't tell you what thax box is lest it makes you categorize it.
  19. 19.
    My Life With Bob- Pamela Paul ⭐️⭐️
    So it sounds like a sound premise- she has kept a list of books she has read since she was a teen. I do that. I'm doing that right now. But the author is so insufferable. Even if she's self-aware of past arrogance...it doesn't make it any less painful to read.
  20. 20.
    The Summer Before- Ann M Martin ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    😬
  21. 21.
    Otto: The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  22. 22.
    Shortcomings ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I think this graphic novel depicts many prevalent problems Asian Americans experience. Main character is kind of a dick though.
  23. 23.
    Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries- Kori Stamper ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    So good! Things I've never considered about how dictionaries are constructed, their role in society, and words in general.
  24. 24.
    A Moveable Feast- Ernest Hemingway ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    There is no reason why I have not read Hemingway earlier in my life than now except that I was a rebellious Oak Parkian who did not want to celebrate the best writer of her hometown.
  25. 25.
    Dandelion Wine- Ray Bradbury ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I have been trying to finish this book since it was first gifted tonme by my cousin in 2002. I wanted to read it during summer—it's such a summery book. It's good but sadness-undertoned.
  26. 26.
    Paper Girls vol 1- Brian K. Vaughn ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Unclear if I'll be moving onto vol 2
  27. 27.
    The Handmaid's Tale- Margaret Atwood ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (re-read)
    I first read this in 1990/1 when saw the movie on tv. I was perhaps a little too young (10/11) to get the scope of this book. I re-read it before watching the hulu series. I don't like how people think it's a commentary on our current US society/political construct. The book was written in 1985. It shows that perceptions of women have not changed very much since then. Which is discouraging.
  28. 28.
    Killing & Dying- Adrian Tomine ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I like his drawing style. But the stories seem inconclusive.
  29. 29.
    Tenth of December- George Saunders ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Oh yeah! This book is my jam! I believe I once got unfollowed on Li.st by a prominent lister because I used the term "my jam." Still bitter. Don't unfollow me! 😬
  30. 30.
    Theft by Finding- David Sedaris ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Curiously, the only David Sedaris work I have read. 🙂 I....should read more of his stuff.
  31. 31.
    The Nix- Nathan Hill ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    So good! So good! Highlight of my Summer!
  32. 32.
    Surpassing Certainty- Janet Mock ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Amazing. I think I've been jaded about memoirs for so long because I keep reading ones "penned" by celebrities who can't write worth a damn. It's much more worthwhile and enriching to Read 👏 a Memoir 👏 by An Actual 👏 Writer!!
  33. 33.
    Priestdaddy- Patricia Lockwood ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    First half hilarious, second half poignant. There are many ways that would not have worked out, but it seemed very well balanced.