2017 in review

Let’s do some awards, shall we?

Best series installments: (tie) Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9) by Ilona Andrews and The Furthest Station (Peter Grant, #5.5) by Ben Aaronovitch

Series installment that deserves shredding: Etched in Bone (The Others, #5) by Anne Bishop

YA book I wish I had read when I was nine: So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1) by Diane Duane

YA Book I still would have hated had I read it when I was nine: The Witches by Roald Dahl

Best YA book now: Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

Book I was happy to get rid of: School Days (Spenser, #33) by Robert B. Parker

Best graphic novel: Lumberjanes, Vol. 2 Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson!

Authors to watch: Stacey Berg and Stephen Aryan

Book I use every week: Janet Evans' Total Swimming by Janet Evans

Favorite spider heroine: A Long Spoon (Johannes Cabal, #4.5) by Jonathan L. Howard, with a close second by Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Scariest mermaids: Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep, #1) by Mira Grant

Book with design advice you definitely don’t want to follow: The New Bohemians Cool and Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney

Best Non-fiction everyone should read: Evicted Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Most overrated: (tie) The Long Walk by Richard Bachman, The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Favorite mindbenders that I won’t forget anytime soon: (Tie) Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith and The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston

Book I continue to re-read with as much enjoyment as the second time: Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

Book I listened to for the (cough-cough) time: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

Best new audio book: Stephen Fry reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Title that Always Makes Me Smile: The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy by Beatrice Alemagna

Books that provided the most insight and truths: (tie) The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and No Time to Spare Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin

All in all, a good reading year, although I’ll note you shouldn’t believe the hype: due to GR irregularities, a number of the listed ‘magazines’ were actually short story installments and some enterprising librarian re-shelved the free shorts from Tor.com into magazines. Jerks. And I shelved some books for my mom, as I act as librarian and book-orderer for her.

I avoided the true stinkers, thanks to myriad reviews and friends’ recommendations. I re-read some great ones, and I pushed myself into more non-fiction. I hope to see you all around in 2018!

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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7 Responses to 2017 in review

  1. neotiamat says:

    Oooooh, fun. Let’s see… thoughts.

    Series Installment = Love Aaronovitch, never quite got into Ilona Andrews though every time you post so rhapsodically about her I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe I should skip the first book and just amble over to the second.

    Best YA = Ursula Vernon is one of the literary treasures of our time. Also her twitter is absolutely hilarious (Strong Independent Chicken!)

    Spider Heroine = I am laughing because this is a thing. Also, in utter agreement.

    Glad you had a good reading year! Mine was a bit heavier on rereads than usual.

    • thebookgator says:

      Hey, you! Happy New Year 😀 You could do worse than skipping the first Kate Daniels-the authors have even admitted it was first a one-off and when it did well/in retrospect, they would have done some things differently (like try to make out Kate has a drinking problem), which I think they did better in the first book. Agree on Vernon. I actually meant to include The Tomato Thief in my list but got forgot it because GR librarians stuck in a magazine. I really had to give a shout-out to a year of strange heroines–the eight-legged ones really shown. I did a lot of re-reads as well–nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s time I start making space to re-read some of the excellent books I’ve read, with a little more time and space.

      • neotiamat says:

        Hrm. I will look into the second Kate Daniels book then. I’ve read it twice now (once because I enjoyed some other Ilona Andrews book, once off your recommendations of the series) and found it a decent-but-unremarkable paranormal romance type story. I’ll give Book 2 a whirl.

        As for Vernon, I may have said this story before, but she is my one hipster “I liked her before she was cool.” I found her through deviantArt back when she was only just starting Digger and long before she wrote more than a few LiveJournal entries, and it’s been great watching her zoom up in the literary world. I have a signed Digger Omnibus by her and I treasure it. :B

        Children of Time is my next read however. Hopefully I can strangle down the arachnophobia.

      • thebookgator says:

        Excellent find with Vernon!
        I look forward to your thoughts on CoT. I have my own mild Arachnophobia (did you ever see that 80s movie of the same name?) but I try to call a truce with spiders because they have an important roll to play. I wasn’t nearly as creeped out as I expected.
        Re Daniels, well, no offense if you don’t. I think the writing (general complexity) and world-building is above average, the humor welcome and the mythology interesting, but UF doesn’t float everyone’s boat. Its just this side of PNR for me because the relationship isn’t truly the main focus of the story.

      • neotiamat says:

        Well. I don’t dislike Urban Fantasy (my general fondness for the Dresden Files is testament to that, even if I think the story has passed its peak). Rather, I tend to enjoy the mystery side of things more than the romance side of things, and I feel that the genre as a whole has a bad problem with overly predictable characters/plotlines (yawn, yawn, chosen ones, love triangles, etc, etc — I am probably being unfair but the instant a character is mentioned as notably special/chosen/what-have-you I lose all interest in them, Jacqueline Carey’s Agents of Hel being a decent recent example).

  2. Stephen Fusher says:

    Overated: Dark Matter. Ha!
    New author: Berg. Yes. Arayn. Need to check out.
    Same for DeWitt and Mystic Arts. First I’ve heard of either.
    Evicted already on my TBR.
    Good choices all. Cheers.

    • thebookgator says:

      Thank you in return, Stephen. I adore Claire DeWitt, but sadly, Gran has not continued to publish. Huston’s work is fascinating, emotionally and structurally. Glad I’m not the only one on Dark Matter. Epic type fantasy has been pretty ~meh~ for me lately, but Arayn has written stuff I enjoy, and is filled with normal female characters.

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