This previous year has been surprisingly productive for me. I started this blog and I’ve been actively using it since late April 2017. A feat I never thought possible with my poor track record of maintaining interest in, well, basically anything. I rarely get bored from lack of ideas or entertainment. I get bored with things. Usually very quickly in fact. It’s good for generating ideas and thinking outside the box, but not so great for keeping a book blog alive. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy. Some months have been pretty terrible. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Nothing worth doing is ever easy. If it was, I’d most likely have abandoned this project long ago.
Twenty-seventeen has been my best reading year ever. I’ve discovered new favorites, broadened my horizon genre-wise, and as I’ve already stated, something productive has come out of my love of books, namely this blog. Beyond the land of reading, I’ve travelled around the world twice to visit beloved family and dear friends, and I’ve finally decided which direction I want to go in concerning education. It’s been a wonderful year of opportunities and newfound clarity, but it has also been a year of loss and pain. I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my grandma. One of the most important people in my life. She’s always been there for me, and I’ve always tried to be there for her. She was a strong, festive and utterly loving individual. While no stranger to loss, she never let herself wallow in it. I can only hope to prove as strong and resilient as her.
Through bad times, as well as good, reading has been invaluable. Literature has the power to free you from reality. As a reader, you have the privilege of living a thousand different lives, to experience this world and the next. No matter which genre you’re reading you learn something new, something you might not even know you’ve learned until you need it. Literature has the power to put you in someone else’s shoes, which hopefully breeds empathy. I love reading, and I’m sure, if you’re reading this, you love reading too. So before I go off on yet another reflective tangent, I present to you my favorite books of twenty-seventeen.
For my favorite books I’ve read this year, I’ve selected six, which are the absolute best. I could easily have included several others, but I decided to restrain myself and narrow it down to the following. I have a strong feeling all of them will remain favorites for years to come.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke is one of the first hard science fiction books I’ve ever read. It blew me away very unexpectedly with its simplistic complexity. I’m still blown away by it, and desperately trying to compose a review that encompasses all of my thoughts and feelings.
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey is the first book in The Expanse series. This year I read all seven books currently out. It’s one of my absolute favorite series. As much as I like every book in The Expanse, nothing beats the first one.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I picked it up on a whim. It caught my attention because I recognized the title. I’ve watched Sofia Coppola’s film adaptation numerous times, the first time being when I was around twelve. Like the movie, the book is atmospheric and particularly melancholic. I think about it often, and that is how I know it will remain a favorite for a very long time, if not forever.
The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden is the only book on this list that was published in 2017. This is also very atmospheric. It’s rooted in Russian folklore, with spirits of the forest, the house and everywhere else. The writing is stunningly beautiful, and it takes the story and characters to the next level.
Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne took me a while to finish. Still, I never had any doubts that it would end up as one of my favorite books of the year. As the title clearly states, it’s mainly about black holes. How they’re born, how they work, and so on. I found it incredibly interesting as it supplies both history and the author’s personal accounts in addition to the science.
Crow: From The Life and Songs of The Crow by Ted Hughes. I love this short poetry collection so much that I read it twice during the course of the previous year. It’s rough in places, which makes me love it even more. Upon my second reading, I noticed the intensity and beauty of different poems than I did the first time. For me, it’s one of those collection that reveals something new upon every visit.
Lastly I just want to say thank you for following along on my blogging experience. It has brought and continues to bring me so much joy. Not just writing posts, but also interacting with likeminded people who are as excited about books as I am. I’m especially happy that I’ve met some great people in the community!