Books I Read In 2017 📚

Going for the one long list! My reading challenge this year is 52 books and I'm not optimistic. P.S. Join the Goodreads Book Club!
  1. 1.
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    The Princess Bride is one of my all time favourite films and is apparently so faithful an adaptation that the book unfairly reads like a novelisation. I enjoyed the differences and extra background details but wish I'd skipped the anniversary extras as they dragged the joke out too far for me. I can't give this a fair rating.
  2. 2.
    Carlos & Sakura 1&2 by Joanna Zhou ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Why have I never included comics and zines in these lists?! I got these for Christmas and they're short cute reads. Nice to own a little bit of kawaii history too as Joanna is a famous YouTuber now (and once drew me!)
  3. 3.
    The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    This is so beautifully written (with such a beautiful cover!) that I wished it was longer. Set in Victorian England with the rumour of a sea monster haunting an Essex village, it meanders through superstition, science, religion, romance and politics with a cast of memorable characters. I was never quite sure where the story might turn next but I loved it all. Read it!
  4. 4.
    Darth Vader #1-#6 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I'm not generally a Marvel comics person but this was hard to resist. I liked it a lot! The artwork is great and it's set right after A New Hope so there's lots of familiar characters plus some cool new ones. Definitely going to read the rest at some point.
  5. 5.
    The Lighthouse Stevensons by Bella Bathurst 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    Despite growing up in a seaside village where the coast is dominated by a lighthouse, I had never wondered who built them or how. The answers are a) 4 generations of Robert Louis Stevenson's family (including himself, briefly) and b) with enormous difficulty. This is a surprisingly thrilling book about engineering covering the stories of building of a few of the most difficult lighthouses on tiny reefs in remote dangerous parts of the Scottish coast. I feel even more fond of our lighthouse now!
  6. 6.
    A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    I always thought I would like this book just from seeing the original cover art, and I do! Parallel universes are always cool and this is as well imagined as some of my favourites (His Dark Materials, The Magician's Nephew). Since there are sequels I was worried the plot was going to get dragged out unnecessarily but it all tied up nicely. It's going to make an amazing film. I've got the sequel too but will save it for a while.
  7. 7.
    Who's That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    When you really enjoy a book and then all the author's following books are just not as good but they always go on the 99p kindle offer so you keep buying them and this was fine for a quick easy read but also kind of stupid and did not make me laugh out loud as the cover promises. The end.
  8. 8.
    Gokinjo Monogatari vol 1 by Ai Yazawa 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    Ai Yazawa is my favourite manga artist/writer but her early work hasn't been translated into English. Now I have an iPad so I can read scanlations! This series follows next door neighbour teens Mikako and Tsutomu who are also minor characters in Paradise Kiss (my favourite) so it's fun seeing their origins and more of Yazawa's fashion designs. Looking forward to reading the rest.
  9. 9.
    Love and War in the Apennines by Eric Newby 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    He's such an expressive and amusing writer. This is a memoir about his time in Italy during WW2 when he escaped from a prisoner of war camp with the help of a lot of heroic locals including his future wife. His exasperated humour at his own idiocy and the awful conditions hiding in remote mountain villages keeps things light and it's frequently hilarious.
  10. 10.
    Dumplin' by Julie Murphy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I enjoyed this but I didn't love it. Great to have more body positive female protagonists though - I wish there'd been more books like this when I was a teenager.
  11. 11.
    Gokinjo Monogatari vol 2 by Ai Yazawa 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    The rest of this series won't count for my reading challenge as they're not on Goodreads but that's not going to stop me. This one has the origins of Mikako's fashion brand Happy Berry which is still an amazing name.
  12. 12.
    The North Water by Ian McGuire ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This is a relentlessly grim story about the crew of an arctic whaling ship but so brilliantly written that I was hooked from the first horrible page. It's not for the faint hearted and has a monstrous antagonist that I won't easily forget but I'm very glad I read it.
  13. 13.
    Bunheads by Sophie Flack ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The comforting thing about ballet novels is that they're all essentially the same. This one is based on the author's own experiences so lacks some of the usual drama but that's a nice change. Worth the 99p it cost me from a charity shop.
  14. 14.
    A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    This is such a fun series and I love everyone. This book might be better than the first one, because magical tournament. Boo to cliffhangers though.
  15. 15.
    Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly
    Ditched it after 3 chapters so not counting it for my GR challenge. This is one of those 'visit a load of places with a tenuous link' travel books, based on the shipping forecast (a BBC radio institution) but degenerated quite quickly into a load of matey banter on my wacky adventures in rural communities 🙄 Going back to the charity shop.
  16. 16.
    Seveneves by Neal Stephenson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This is such a long book that it took me all month to read it! In a similar vein to The Martian matching actual science with a cool disaster/survival story after the Moon is destroyed. I loved the first part where everyone's problem solving how to save humanity, mostly enjoyed the second part where it all starts to go wrong and was not a fan of the third part, which could have easily been a 10 page epilogue instead.
  17. 17.
    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I thought I should probably read these since I have unwittingly read so many spoilers from later books and Leigh's tumblr. Not quite as exciting and clever as the Six of Crows duology so far but cool to find out more about this world. I'm on the second book now and it's a little more fun.
  18. 18.
    Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Now I understand why everyone loves Nikolai so much. He's hilarious and this book would be super depressing without him.
  19. 19.
    Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Pretty good ending with some unexpected twists. I really want to reread SOC/CK now.
  20. 20.
    Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Interesting overview of geopolitics - how countries form due to natural features and why certain borders and regions are often in dispute. I hadn't really thought about these things much before and I feel a bit more knowledgeable about areas like the Middle East and what Russia and China are up to. Just a shame it was published before Brexit happened.
  21. 21.
    The Shark and the Albatross by John Aitchison 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    Series of essays by a wildlife cameraman who films for the big BBC wildlife documentaries, mostly in the Arctic and Antarctic. His stories are all fascinating and he's a great writer with a nice streak of typically Scottish humour. Recommended!
  22. 22.
    A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I was finding this a bit dull to begin with but once they started adventuring it got really great. Pretty good ending to the series and I hope she writes more about this world.
  23. 23.
    Modern Lovers by Emma Straub ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I enjoyed this but there were too many random story threads and nothing much really happened.
  24. 24.
    As You Wish by Cary Elwes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I got my library card fixed and can borrow books again! This was delightful.
  25. 25.
    Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Mean Girls ballet academy sequel. This zips along in an enjoyable fashion but everyone is so awful that it's hard to know why I should care.
  26. 26.
    Facing the Other Way: the Story of 4AD by Martin Aston ⭐️⭐️.5
    I ditched this early on because the writing is so incredibly dull and the story kind of boring but gave it another go. I skimmed over all the bands I wasn't interested in but it still wasn't really worth it. Excellent record label though!
  27. 27.
    Not Working by Lisa Owens ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was a quick read and I quite liked the diary/random tweets style format. But really, how many more books do we need about female protagonists who are always getting into "hilarious" #relatable mishaps usually caused by drinking too much red wine?
  28. 28.
    Darth Vader vol. 2: Shadows and Secrets ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Yay, the rest of this series got a big price drop. I'm enjoying this so much, especially how it fills in some gaps between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. It even makes events from the prequels seem poignant. The comic panels swipey feature got really swishy recently too. So cool.
  29. 29.
    Bloodline by Claudia Gray ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I've been in a book slump so I bought another Star Wars book. This is my first of the new Disney timeline books and it's hard to put aside the old timeline but this was pretty great. It sets the scene for The Force Awakens while conveniently keeping Luke and Ben Solo out of contact so as not to spoil the upcoming films. Worth reading!
  30. 30.
    When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Obviously I was sold by its promo promise of the Mindy Project meets Rainbow Rowell. It doesn't quite live up to that but it's extremely cute and a quick fun read. It ties up a bit too neatly at the end but sometimes it's nice for everyone just to be happy. Will look out for her next book.
  31. 31.
    Modern Slorance: the Canada issue 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    I got a sneaky early copy! This covers Neil's trip to Toronto and Montreal for the comics festival and is the usual mix of observations, musings and great comic art. I now want to go to Canada and eat all the things. You can get it on Etsy.
  32. 32.
    Into the Black by Rowland White 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    This is promoted as some kind of Apollo 13 style near-disaster tale of the first space shuttle mission but it doesn't even launch until half way through a very long book and then only takes up a few chapters. What it really is is a fascinating, detailed history of how the shuttle came to be, from its origins in experimental jet planes and secret military spy programs. I enjoyed it so much and I'm sad it's finished. Also the photos made me all teary. I ❤️ the space shuttle too much.
  33. 33.
    Darth Vader Vol. 3: The Shu-Torun War ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was a bit confusing at the beginning as it jumped into a whole new plot line and introduced loads of new people and I kept wondering if I'd bought the wrong issue. Turned out pretty good though with some really cool artwork. I'm really enjoying the evil C-3PO style droid who's a little bit Bender from Futurama. Also Darth Vader has some very silly lines - extra star for the above.
  34. 34.
    All Over The Place by Geraldine DeRuiter ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    It's always great when your favourite bloggers get book deals. This is a very funny memoir about travel, marriage, family and brain surgery that I read in two sittings. One star off because a lot of it was familiar from the blog but still highly recommended.
  35. 35.
    Hello Tokyo by Ebony Bizys ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I got this as research for a project I'm working on and it's such a weird thrown together book. It just seems really superficial and privileged with a lot of gushing over her friends and how amazing her life is. The craft projects are pretty simplistic too. Disappointing but at least there were a few things I liked.
  36. 36.
    [Insert summer holiday reread of A Song of Ice and Fire]
    I love the stupid TV show but it's diverged so far from the books now that as an OG book reader I was getting annoyed that I was starting to forget what happened in the books. I feel better now that I can make more educated guesses about which TV plots will end up in the books (very little I think). I'm not counting rereads for my GR challenge but I'm still ahead so it's all good.
  37. 37.
    Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I really wanted to love this as the fan convention setting is great but the romance was a bit too cliched overall. So many misunderstandings!
  38. 38.
    Space Trash 1&2 by Lydia Butz ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Cute story of space, aliens and cats! What's not to like? I just wish there were more issues out - I have no patience when it comes to ongoing comics.
  39. 39.
    His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This is a clever little novel about a violent murder in the Scottish highlands in 1869. It's formatted like a true crime book with the accused's memoir, police statements, trial transcript etc. I can't say much more without spoilers but it's very well done. Also reminded me a lot of one of my all time favourite books about the Oscar Slater case, which even gets a footnote later. I feel a Scottish books list coming on...
  40. 40.
    The House of Secrets by Sarra Manning ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I'm a little bit tired of the 'two intertwining stories from characters in different decades' format but at least both were equally interesting. The modern day protagonist being a freelance illustrator/writer probably helped me like this too.
  41. 41.
    Darth Vader vol. 4 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    They saved the best stuff for last. I really enjoyed this one, especially the art - lots of cool space stuff! Also space whale ships. I hope they can work some of those into a film. Are any of the other Star Wars comics worth checking out?
  42. 42.
    Gokinjo Monogatari (Neighbourhood Story) 1-7 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    It took me so long to find readable copies of the later books that I had to start from the beginning again. I love how creative all the characters are and how many of them I remember from the later Paradise Kiss series. It's definitely worth reading them in the wrong order as it's more surprising discovering all the back story.
  43. 43.
    May Contain Cats by Ellen Stubbings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    This is so cute! Just short little comic strips about their daily life - and cat! - but each one is sweet and funny. Almost made up for my 5.5 hour round trip to MCM Scotland Comic Con today (the trains were down - it would usually take less than 2 hours 😫)