Reading Recap: 2017

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2017 hasn't been a very kind year. While it has been a year of emotional upheaval, three things did not suffer at all, thankfully. Professional success, travel and reading. At the beginning of the year when I set a reading challenge of 50 books on Goodreads, I thought I was being preposterous. I thought that it would be way too far fetched and that I might not even make it halfway. But once the year started, the challenge turned out to be such a motivation for me. Although I wasn't too keen on following up with the challenge closely, by the second month of the year, I was 3 books ahead in the challenge. This turned out to be track record that I maintained throughout the year. As of today, I stand at 53 books that was read in 2017.

When you are emotionally taxed, reading somehow helps. It temporarily takes you away from the harsh reality of life and throws you into the world of words, twisted plots and interesting characters. Reading kept me sane throughout the year. Although, it is not as easy as it sounds. When you are going through something inside, it is really hard to focus. Reading is a hobby that needs 100% focus. Initially it was tough to invest so much time, energy and thought into it. But later, when I realized that it was helping me get better I was determined to try my best. I'm not the one to read for a living or someone who reads with the sole purpose of reviewing them. I enjoy reading and this time I looked at it as an escape. From the many things that I was going through. I usually am not an escapist. But at times, even the strongest fall. I bounced back quickly, I survived. And that's how I like to tell this story.

Out of the 53 books that I read, most of them turned out to be pretty good and some were awesome too. I started the year with B.A Paris's 'Behind Closed Doors' and loved it. As much as I love reading mystery and thrillers, this year I experimented with various genres. I started reading novels quite early in life. This left me barely exposed to the comic culture. I wanted to catch up on it and picked up a few books from the 'Tintin' series. I also explored the phantasmagorical genre for the first time with 'The Night Circus' and fells head over heels in love with the book. Although I do not like romance as a genre, when combined with food it does become delectable. 'Chocolat' and 'Like Water For Chocolate' left me with quite a heady and delicious hangover. The Harry Potter series that I started last year, was finally completed this year. When I dragged myself through 'Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire' last year, I almost abandoned the series. Trying to revive the fantasy mojo, I picked up the next book in the series and kept going until I had completed it. Did I love it? Yes. Would it be the best series that I've ever read? No.

Roald Dahl is an author that I only discovered a couple of years back. So I ended up reading a lot of books that I did not get a chance to read during my childhood. From 'Matilda' to 'The Wizard Of Oz', I read it all this year and loved every minute of it. This year, I also discovered my love for graphic novels thanks to my husband. He wanted to start a collection and as I bought books for him, I fell in love with the concept and the illustrations. 'The Graveyard Book' is what I started with and I went on until I was done with 'V For Vendetta'. Today, we have quite a lot of graphic novels in our collection and I plan to read them all by next year. I did read some classics this year too. 'Animal Farm' was such a surprisingly good read that I wondered why hadn't I read it until now. As was 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. Normally, I am a huge fan of P. G. Wodehouse and I love everything about his books, but the last book that I read in 2017 was his 'Jill The Reckless' and it tested my patience to no end. I thought of abandoning the book way too many times and picking up other ones, but there was no book abandoned in 2017 and I wanted to keep the record straight. Finally, I was done with it and I decided that it would be my last book for 2017.

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Now, to summarize my reading for the year in terms of how I loved/hated the books I read, I'll do what I do best. Yes, I'm gonna make a list. Starting with the good ones.

Best Books I read in 2017

~ The Night Circus
~ The Book Thief
~ Paths Of Glory
~ Big Little Lies
~ Winter Garden

Books that left me disappointed in 2017

~ The Handmaid's Tale
~ The Girl In The Ice
~ Jill The Reckless

Short reads that I loved in 2017

~ We Should All Be Feminists
~ Animal Farm
~ Lamb To The Slaughter

A book that surprised me with the ending

~ Big Little Lies
~ Murder On The Orient Express

A book that I'm embarrassed to have read in 2017

~ An Unsuitable Boy

A book on my shelf that I wished I had read in 2017

~ All The Light We Cannot See

Special Mention for the year 2017

~ Purple Hibiscus

I'm very happy with the way reading held me up in 2017 and I'm looking forward to read more in 2018. While I do have a vague figure in my mind, I am yet to decide on the count for the challenge for next year. Whatever the count is, I'm just going to enjoy this hobby and make sure I do not stress myself too much over it.

How was your reading for 2017?

18 comments:

  1. Oh I know what you mean. Whenever I have gone through rough patches in life, I have sought escape and healing from the world of books, and they have never disappointed me.I know 2017 has been rocky for you, but you are stronger than your circumstances, and you know it. I hope you have a much better 2018, Soumya.

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    1. Thank you so much, Shantala. Your quarterly goals were an inspiration for me too.

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  2. That's just fantastic. I'll make a note of your best reads as I've only read The Book Thief from the lot. Wishing you loads of reading in 2018 as well.

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    1. Do read them and let me know how you like it.

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  3. That's amazing you've read 53 books this year --- more than one a week! As much as I love reading, I spend far too much time online, outdoors {hikes etc}, socialising and Netflixing to fit in a book a week. Netflix is probably the biggest problem!

    I agree with you on Roald Dahl...how were we not introduced to him as kids?! I read his books a few years ago and fell in love. Haven't read some of the books on your list but will take note. Oh and I will choose to ignore you saying Harry Potter is not the best series ever.

    Happy reading in 2018!

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    1. Me too! The problem with me is that I have way too many interests and hardly anytime with a full time job and home. I try my best to sneak in time to read.

      Roald Dahl is fabulous! I don't know why nobody told me about him earlier! I knew you will be peeved about the HP thing :P

      Happy reading to you too, dear Sanch!

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  4. Gee you read all that this year? **hides in shame** In awe! Several books from TBR list are here I see. I only hope 2018 sees some on those list scratched off! Here's wishing you lots more reading in 2018.

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    1. I did manage, yes! Thank you Kala.

      Wish you a lot of time for reading in 2018.

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  5. Wow... I am going to make a note of all the best reads because yes, I am building my TBR for 2018. :) Happy Reading, Soumya.

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    1. Do read them and let me know how you like it Shalini.

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  6. Love the way you have done your reading re-cap. Very cool. Would love to know why An Unsuitable Boy embarrassed you! :D

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    1. Thank you, Shilpa!

      Oh, you have to read it to understand it :P

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  7. This is awesome, Soumya. I had a pretty good year with respect to reading too. I see a number of books that you have loved which are my favorites too. Let's hope 2018 turns out even better for books and reading for us :)

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  8. 53 books! Quite a read this year. Forget about 2017, wish you a happy new year in advance!

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    1. Hey Kay, nice to see you back!

      Thank you so much.

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  9. How I loved this post and the idea of writing this post! You are awesome in completing 53 books. Yes, reading does help you escape reality. I have loved all your book recommendations and I look forward to all your book reviews/recommendations next year.
    I surpassed my Goodreads Reading challenge this year- 34 books. Not so bad I think :D
    Hope you have a wonderful 2018 in terms of reading and everything else 😊

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    1. 34 is not bad at all and I know that you read some of the best books I know.

      Wishing you a wonderful 2018 too :)

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