2017: my year in books

Every year, I look back on the books I’ve read and create a loosely ranked list. Here’s what my reading list looked like in 2017.

Random stats

My 2017 reading list was…

  • 27 books long
  • 22% non-fiction, 78% fiction
  • 7% audiobook, 93% traditional book
  • An average of 319 pages per book
  • An average of 3/5 stars
  • 90% of my 30-book goal
  • 78% Caucasian, 22% non-white


Best for listening on a long driveBorn a Crime
Most likely to get really weird: Bonita Avenue
Stood up to the hype: The Hate U Give
Didn’t stand up to the hype: The Girl on the Train
Most thankful I didn’t put it down when I wanted to: 
Winter Garden


  1. Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
  2. Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance
  3. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion – Jonathan Haidt
  4. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson
  5. Make Your Bed – Admiral William H. McRaven
  6. Half a Life – Darin Strauss


  1. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  2. The Unseen World – Liz Moore
  3. Winter Garden – Kristin Hannah
  4. The Book of Catches – Robert Atkinson
  5. A Beautiful Poison – Lydia Kang
  6. Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf
  7. Room – Emma Donoghue
  8. Love Letters to the Dead – Ava Dellaira
  9. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
  10. All the Names They Used for God – Anjali Sachdeva
  11. Bonita Avenue – Peter Buwalda
  12. The Good Liar – Catherine McKenzie
  13. A Tangled Mercy – Joy Jordan-Lake
  14. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty – Ramona Ausubel
  15. A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler
  16. Almost Missed You – Jessica Strawser
  17. World Made by Hand – James Howard Kunstler
  18. There are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce – Morgan Parker
  19. My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
  20. Two by Two – Nicolas Sparks
  21. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

2018 reading goals

My biggest goal for 2018 is to read lots of good books! Aside from that, I’d really like to read more from non-white authors and/or authors from communities dissimilar to my own. Good writing transports the reader into a new world. I love hearing others’ stories, so why not make an effort to travel to worlds I don’t already know?

Plus, fiction is scientifically proven to increase our empathy. I can only imagine that reading stories about people who aren’t like us helps even more. Some of my favorite reading experiences of 2017 — Born a Crime and The Hate U Give — took me into an unfamiliar place and taught me something new. Even Bonita Avenue, set in the Netherlands and translated from its original Dutch, stretched my brain into a new place and culture.

What was your favorite read of 2017?