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  1. Jupie

    Jupie Senior Member

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    What's been your 2017 Reading List?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Jupie, Nov 22, 2017.

    Since we're nearing the end of the year I thought it would be cathartic to list all the books you've read this year.

    I apologise if this has been done before or if it feels too similar to the 'reading now' thread, but to be fair this is more reflective and a chance for you to think about everything you've covered this year. Some of you may not remember all of the books because there's so many, or maybe it's just been a long year, but that's fine as well. Just list whatever comes to mind and if you like, leave some comments about the ones you've most enjoyed (or wouldn't recommend).

    My 2017 list:
    Al Murray: The Pub Landlord (don't ask, Xmas gift)
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (excellent)
    The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins (worthwhile)
    Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd (not great)
    Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (disappointing, underwhelming...)
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (a light, gentle read)
    Alexander the Great: Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault (a chore)
    The Rings of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence) by Jonathan Stroud (okay...)
    The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (recommended by Jannert, all four books are a great read)
    The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
    The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart
    The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (finally got my hands on this, a lovely read)
    Down Under by Bill Bryson (tremendously funny)
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (I enjoyed this one)
    The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman (novella)
    Needful Things by Stephen King (one of his good ones)

    16 books and 1 novella in total. Sounds like I've not read enough this year! In my defence, some of these are on the larger side but I would like to nearly double this list next year. I've been so busy writing that I've not had a enough time to sit down and enjoy a good book.

    I haven't re-read any books this year, these are all new to me. I have to say it's been quite mixed. The first half of the year wasn't great and with some duffers. That said, the Song of Achilles was my favourite this year and that's one I read back in January. After that, it didn't really pick up until I got to the Mary Stewart series which was brilliant. All the books since then have been really good.

    What about you guys? Any books you'd like to share? I expect I'll read the Anansi Boys by Gaiman before the year ends and I'm currently reading the Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval Britain for research purposes.
     
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  2. Night Herald

    Night Herald Have you seen the Yellow Sign? Supporter Contributor

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    This is going to be embarrassingly short, but okay.

    ASOIAF - A Game of Thrones by G.R.R.M (reread)
    ASOIAF - A Clash of Kings by G.R.R.M (reread)
    ASOIAF - A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow by G.R.R.M (reread)
    ASOIAF - A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by G.R.R.M (reread)
    ASOIAF - A Feast for Crows by G.R.R.M (reread)
    A World of Ice and Fire by G.R.R.M, Elio M. García Jr., Linda Antonsson
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Norwegian translation, by Erik Egeberg)
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
    At the Mountain of Madness by H.P Lovecraft
    The Shadow out of Time by H.P Lovecraft (reread)

    + a bunch of short stories by Lovecraft and William Gibson. Mostly rereads.

    Books I intend to finish before year's end:
    King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
    Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

    So, yeah. Not only have I read little in 2017, I've read inside a narrow range of authors, with not a few rereads. Gonna have to be much more adventurous next year.
     
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  3. Jupie

    Jupie Senior Member

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    That was me last year. I re-read all ASOIAF and read very little else. No worries there though, we all go through peaks and troughs with reading :)

    Did you not fancy reading A Dance with Dragons this time around? I have yet to read his other Westeros related stuff, so I'll have to give those a try at some point. I have the Knight of the Seven Kingdoms short stories in mind for next year.

    HP Lovecraft is a very strong inspiration and influence for Stephen King. I've read a bit of his stuff, but not nearly enough. Lovecraft is such a big deal to the genre that I feel like I've missed out until I read more of his work.

    I often try to read new stuff but I never forget about a good book after the first time. I really would like to go back and read Harry Potter, given that I haven't read through the series all at once and the last time I read these was back in 2008. That's a long time. Same goes for the Dark Tower, I love that series and really must go back.
     
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  4. Night Herald

    Night Herald Have you seen the Yellow Sign? Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, I'll get around to reading A Dance with Dragons, but I needed a break from Westeros, to read something brand new. I'll probably save it for when Winds of Winter draws near, whenever that might be.

    Lovecraft, yeah, I have something of a love/hate relationship with him. I find his style unappealing in places, but also strangely charming. Many of his stories are kind of samey, but I love the alien worlds and fathomless ages. He's certainly been an inspiration to me.
    The high point of this year was definitely the discovery of Ray Bradbury, as a writer and as a person. His books, as well as his lectures, have rejuvenated my love of writing. That never burns down completely, of course, but sometimes you need kindling.

    Not sure what I'll be reading next year, to be honest, but I know I'm going to step more out of my genres, and I want to get at some of the classics. Dostoyevsky is on my list, I know that much. And apparently Oathbreaker (from Sanderson's Stormlight Archives) has just been released, so I'll probably read that well. Most of all, I'll try to read every remaining book in my collection, even the bad ones.
     
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  5. MachineGryphon

    MachineGryphon Member

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    Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke (Only a short one, but well worth it. Far ahead of its time and introduced me to Clarke)
    IT - Stephen King (Enjoyed for the most part but dragged in places, which with 1,100 pages is inevitable)
    The Shining - Stephen King (Loved this one, better than the film in most aspects)
    Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky (Pretty decent Sci-fi novel)
    Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King (4 novellas in one book, enjoyed 3 and the other was instantly forgettable)
    I am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes (A long one, but worth every page. Extremely clever and doesn't let up the pace)
    The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Stephen King (Wasn't a massive fan of this one. Not sure I'll bother with the rest)
    Deathlist - Chris Ryan (Read most of his work. The destination is 100% predictable with them by now, but I like the journey)
    The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells (Honestly didn't like this much, and I really wanted to. Wasted potential)
    The Hatching - Ezekiel Boone (Pretty average)
    Dark Moon - David Gemmell (I liked one of the characters and that was honestly it. Fantasy is rarely my genre)
    The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler (Not bad but not great)
    Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey (Fell in love with this and the entire Expanse universe)
    Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey (Pretty invested in the franchise now and this was also great)

    May have forgotten one or two but it's been a good year. Overall favourite is a three-way tie between I am Pilgrim, Childhood's End and Leviathan Wakes. Find it tough to pick between them. Got two and a half more novels of The Expanse to get through before I move onto the massive pile I've been building.
     
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  6. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    I've read more this year than any year previous, so it's quite a list. Deep breath, and:

    Larry's Party, by Carol Shields
    Murphy, by Samuel Beckett
    The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald
    Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
    Autumn, by Ali Smith
    Brick Lane, by Monica Ali
    Animal Farm, by George Orwell
    Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter
    A Closed Eye, by Anita Brookner
    Of Walking in Ice, by Werner Herzog
    The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
    We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves, by Karen Jay Fowler
    A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
    Robert Frost’s Poems, ed. Louis Untermeyer
    The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt
    Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck
    The Cinema of Werner Herzog, by Brad Prager
    The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Watt, by Samuel Beckett
    Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
    Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut
    One-Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    The Finkler Question, by Harold Jacobson
    The Complete Short Works of Samuel Beckett
    The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
    The Gods Will Have Blood, by Anatole France
    Mercier and Camier, by Samuel Beckett
    The Complete Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett
    The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    His Bloody Project, by Graeme Macrae Burnet
    How It Is, by Samuel Beckett
    Procession of Memories, by Harry Martinson
    The Invention of Angela Carter, by Edmund Gordon
    The Phantom Carriage, by Selma Lagerlof
    A God In Ruins, by Kate Atkinson
    Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
    Essays In Love, by Alain de Boton
    The Return, by Hisham Matar
    Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was, by Sjon
    Multiple Choice, by Alejandro Zambra
    The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
    The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell
    The Iliad, by Homer, tr. Martin Hammond
    Undue Influence, by Anita Brookner
    Eileen, by Ottessa Moshfegh
    Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid
    The History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund
    Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
    A Burial at Thebes, by Seamus Heaney
    The Antigone of Sophocles
    Antigone, by Jean Anouilh
    The Story of Antigone, by Ali Smith
    Elmet, by Fiona Mozley
    4 3 2 1, by Paul Auster
    The Odyssey, by Homer, tr. by E. V. Rieu
    The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
    The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
    Home Fire, by Kamila Shamsie
    The Iliad, by Homer, tr. by Caroline Alexander
     
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  7. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Voracious. I'm envious, my count this year is a quarter that. Do you have a favourite out of that bunch?
     
  8. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    Yeah I've never come close to that quantity of reading before. Usually I go through periods where I stop for months. This year I made sure that didn't happen, and this was the result.

    The best for me was easily One Hundred Years of Solitude. I've never read anything like that novel. It goes to some pretty uncomfortable places though, fair warning, and the magic realism makes some people's blood boil, but I thought it was mindblowing.

    Both of Arundhati Roy's novels (with 20 years between them) are amazing. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is my favourite book from 2017 that I've read so far; The God of Small Things is even better.
     
  9. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    P.S. How about you? Any recommendations?
     
  10. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    I've read two translations of the Iliad this year (along with Khamilie Shamsie's novel based on Antigone), so this sounds very on point for me atm. Will check it out.
     
  11. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I enjoyed

    Byron Easy ~ Jude Cook (comedy balances the blackness of it)
    Song of Stone ~ Iain Banks (even blacker & sans comedy (balanced this time by interesting fuckedupness of the protag))

    and for a lighter read

    The Third Policeman ~ Flann O'Brien (pseudonym)
     
  12. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    Ooh I have this sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get my arse in gear!
     
  13. Fiender_

    Fiender_ Active Member

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    This is what I've done this year:

    Finished, enjoyed:
    -Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi
    -I am not a Serial Killer, Dan Wells
    -Mr. Monster, Dan Wells
    -I Don't want to Kill you, Dan Wells
    -Queen of Blood, Sarah Beth Durst
    -The Reluctant Queen, Sarah Beth Durst
    -Arcanum Unbounded, Brandon Sanderson
    -The Stars are Legion, Kameron Hurley
    -Age of Myth, Micael J. Sullivan
    -Waking Gods, Sylvain Neuvel
    -Sleeping Giants, Sylvain Neuval
    -All systems Red, Martha Wells
    -Shadows Beneath, Brandon Sanders & others

    Finished, ultimately didn't enjoy:
    -The Immortal Prince, Jennifer Fallon
    -A Conjuring of Light, V.E.Schwab
    -The Diabolic, S.J.Kincaid
    -Flamecaster, Cinda Williams Chima
    -Dark Intelligence, Neal Asher

    Couldn't finish:
    -Traitor's Blade, Sebastien de Castell
    -City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett
    -Two Serpent's Rise, Max Gladstone
    -This Savage Song, V.E.Schwab
    -Behind the Throne, K.B.Wagers
    -Long May She Reign, Rhiannon Thomas
    -Sea of Shadows, Kelley Armstrong
    -Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
    -The Shadow of what was lost, James, Islington


    Right now, I'm reading The Core by Peter V. Brett, the last book in the Warded Man series. Whoooo boy, I might not have the patience to finish that one. Whether I do or don't, I do hope to finish at least one book beyond that, before the year is out.
     
  14. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Hi floor, make me a sammich. :P Supporter Contributor

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    To long to list, and some are a layover from last year. :p
     
  15. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Compared to this list, I can't even call myself a "reader". Dammit. Your list is bigger than
    the number of my unread books. You're a fast reader, by any chance?
     
  16. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    About a book a week, plus a bit extra during holidays, long train journeys, etc. To be fair, about ten of those are very, very short (e.g. plays), but then some of them are huge too, so...
     
  17. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    ...so anyway, respectable sh*t you've pulled off.
     
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  18. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    Haha thanks! I doubt I'll match it next year. You read anything you'd recommend this year?
     
  19. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    I've read Journey Under The Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino. A Japanese kinda-noir detective thriller. It's a tough, slightly demanding read, the story spanning twenty or so years, sth like Murakami less metaphysical and with actual resolution at the end meets dreamy Chandler.
    Also digging into House Of Leaves. That's a very what-the-fuck book.

    You'd recommend anything by Pynchon?
     
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  20. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    Ah yeah, my friend lent me house of leaves years ago and I just didn't get around to it but I'd like to give it another shot one day. I'm more into experimental form these days. Multiple Choice (in my list above) was one of my favourite new books this year.

    I can wholeheartedly say that The Crying of Lot 49 is a great way to start Pynchon. It has all the stuff that makes you go wow and has the added advantage that, if you don't like it, it's brief.

    Gravity’s Rainbow is great too, but it's not easy keeping track of characters who disappear for hundreds of pages.
     
  21. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    I read Crying of Lot 49 back at university and didn't like it much. But then again my literary taste was in its infancy, so to speak. I believe there are themes I'd appreciate today.

    I'm used to disappearing and reappearing characters, so I think I'd be fine. Other merits? :)
     
  22. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    The narrarive becomes increasingly disoriented as the main character does, quite effectively so. Like Lot 49 it's a mine (field) of obscure knowledge. Also like Lot 49 it's a sort of detective story into madness that can't ever be resolved. It's very Pynchon and it's very long and tough and brilliant.
     
  23. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Mine field of obscure knowledge seems to be exactly what I need right now, a parody of all the sh*t I don't understand about the world.
    Saw Inherent Vice in the book store the other day. Looked interesting enough. But then again I might as well read for damn times my current reading speed, so many unfinished books I got that I didn't buy it.
    Which reminds me, not really a 2017 read, but hey, Fight Club. A gritty classic.
     
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  24. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Active Member

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    Hmm, I'll include manga to help out my list a little, rpg books too. I had a crazy year so I read less.

    The Statement of Randolph Carter, H.P. Lovecraft
    The Alchemist, Lovecraft
    The Tomb, Lovecraft
    Nobilis 2nd edition, R. Sean Borgstrom/Jenna Moran
    IS 15 and 16
    Usagi drop 1 and 2
    Finder 8, Ayano Yamane
    Maid RPG
    Saturn Apartments 1
    Uzumaki, Junji Ito

    Started, not finished:
    Infinity, Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath, Lovecraft
    Unlikely Flowerings 1.1 (Jenna)

    Reread:
    Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0., Mike Pondsmith
     
  25. Kenosha Kid

    Kenosha Kid Active Member

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    Inherent Vice is my least favourite of his books tbh. Probably Pynchon's least favourite since it's the only one he's allowed a film adaptation of. Still good though, just not great.

    I'd rather not talk about it.
     

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