Monday, January 1, 2018

What I Read And What I Rejected in 2017

In 2016, I read 137 books, which is above my average of 120 books per year.  A death in the family, a new curriculum at school, and some major life changes kept me way below average in 2017, and I read only 81 books, which is rather embarrassing.  Nevertheless, here is my list:


Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah **** historical mystery a la Christie 1/2/17
Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham ***** YA multicultural mystery a/a 1/5/17
MacBeth by Shakespeare (again) ***** tragedy 1/17/17
Inside the Magic: the Making of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them by Ian Nathan **** 1/18/17
Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz (again) ***** non-fiction, food 1/25/17
A Study In Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas **** NA mystery 1/27/17
The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison (2nd time)***** LDS cozy mystery 1/28/17
 His Right Hand by Mette Ivie Harrison (2nd time) ***** LDS cozy mystery 1/29/17
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (again) ***** drama 1/30/17
 For Time And All Eternities by Mette Ivie Harrison **** LDS cozy mystery 1/30/17
 To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton (2nd time) ***** cozy 2/4/17
 Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton ***** cozy 2/6/17
 Blood by Blood by Ryan Graudin  **** YA alt history WWII 2/12/17
 Caraval by Stephanie Garber *** YA postmodernist fantasy 2/18/17
 Unmentionable by Therese Oneill ***** non-fiction, feminist, humor, Victorian 2/23/17
 Globe: Life in Shakespeare’s London by Catharine Arnold non-fiction, history    **** 2/28/17
 Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones YA fantasy *****(*!) 3/3/17
 All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister ***** non-fiction, feminism 3/18/17.
 Daughter of the Pirate King by by Tricia Levenseller ***** YA a/a, fantasy (sirens) 3/19/17
 A Taste of History: 10,000 Years of Cooking in Britain by Peter Briers et al (again) ***** non-fiction, history, cooking. 3/25/17
 These Vicious Masks by Shanker and Zekas ***** (2nd time) YA a/a fantasy, alt history 3/26/17
 These Ruthless Deeds by Shanker and Zekas **** YA a/a fantasy, alt history 3/26/17
 The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (2nd time) *****YA alt-historical fantasy 3/28/17
 The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman *****YA alt-historical fantasy 4/2/17
 Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly *** non-fiction, history, biography, space-race 4/10/17
 The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron *** romance posing as historical mystery 4/12/17
 Acadia: The Complete Guide by James Kaiser **** non-fiction, travel 4/24/17
 MacBeth by William Shakespeare (2A) ***** drama 4/26/17
 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (1A) ***** 4/26/17
 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes for Two by Pam Ellgen **** non-fiction, cooking 4/28/17
 MacBeth by William Shakespeare (4B) ***** drama 5/1/17
 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (3B) ***** 5/2/17
 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (3A) ***** 5/3/17
 Celine by Peter Heller *** sort of a mystery 5/2/17
 MacBeth by William Shakespeare (4A) ***** drama 5/4/17
 MacBeth by William Shakespeare (1B) ***** drama 5/5/17
 Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman ** crime, 5/26/17
 Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books by Erica Ekrem *** non-fiction, crafts *** 6/2/17
 The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova **** realistic/historical adult fiction 6/4/17
 The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman **** mystery 6/7/17
 The Sinister Pig by Tony Hillerman **** mystery 6/9/17
 A House Full of Females by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich ***** non-fiction, history, feminism 6/21/17
 Rogue One by Alexander Freed **** sci-fi/StarWars 6/28/17
 A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue by MacKenzi Lee ***** NA historical adventure 6/30/17
 Murder at Mistletoe Manner by Holly Tierney-Bedford *** cozy 7/9/17
 Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas **** YA fantasy sans magic 7/11/17
 Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young *** typical YA light horror 7/13/17
 Signs & Symbols by DK publishing ** non-fiction (tiny print, bad illustrations) 7/14/17
 The Lost City of Z by David Grann **** non-fiction 7/23/17
 York by Laura Ruby **** MG/YA historical fantasy 7/25/17
 Twelve Angry Men ***** drama, realistic 7/30/17
 Beauty Sick by Renee Engeln **** non-fiction, women’s issues 7/30/17
 The Crime Book (DK) (no author listed) ***** non-fiction 7/31/17
 Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom by Bradley Schenck ***** retro sci-fi 8/6/17
 The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss **** holmes/monster mash-up YA w/older characters 8/8/17
  Diabetic Cookbook by Diana Watson * non-fiction, cookbook 8/9/17
 The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell **** YA Fantasy 8/15/17
 Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving ***** short stories 8/20/17
 Twelve Angry Men ***** drama, realistic 1A 8/31/17
 Twelve Angry Men ***** drama, realistic 4A 8/31/17
 Twelve Angry Men ***** drama, realistic 2B 0/1/17
 The Develin Diary by Christi Phillips **** historical mystery 9/8/17
 Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens **** cozy mystery 10/1/17
 Eat Fresh: Awesome Recipes for Teens by Rozanne Gold & Phil Mansfield **** cookbook 10/9/17
 A Spoonful of Murder by Connie Archer *** cozy 10/10/17
 Teeth: Oral Health in America by Mary Otto *** non-fiction, history, health 10/13/17
 Blood Sugar: The Family by Michael Moore *** non-fiction, cookbook 10/16/17
 That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston *** YA alternate history 10/20/17
 The Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Hansen & Elaine Hanna ***** non-fiction, cookbook 10/20/17
 Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin ***** mystery/crime 11/17/17
 Larceny and Old Lace by Tamar Myers *** cozy 11/19/17
 The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen   Beckett ***** Austen/Bronte pastiche fantasy 11/22/17
 The Secret, Book, And Scone Society by Ellery Adams **** cozy 12/5/17
 Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones ***** YA alt history, A/A fantasy 12/7/17
 Sherlock Holmes: Tangled Skeins by David Marcum **** mystery/pastiche 12/23/17
 Comic Sans Murder by Paige Shelton ***** cozy mystery 12/24/17
 The Power by Naomi Alderman ***** dystopia (adult) 12/28/17
 Steampunk Lego by Guy Himber *** non-fiction, art/crafts 12/28/17
 The Cozy Cookbook by various authors *** non-fiction, cookbook 12/29/17
 From Farm to Fork by Emerill Lagasse ** non-fiction, cookbook 12/30/17
 Snow Way Out by Christine Husom *** cozy mystery 12/31/17

And, as always, there were books I rejected.  Here's that list:

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The main characters were distant, robotic, and unappealing.  about 36 pages. 2/8/17
Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H Wilson all violence and weak females 80 pages 8/11/17
The Sacred Stone by the Medieval Murderers 15 pages, the story had a childish tone and did not catch my interest. 9/17/17
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. It’s supposed to be a historical mystery, but in 25 pages all I’ve seen is an obnoxious protagonist who is merely secretive about where his money comes from.. It’s arguing and no action, and I don’t have the patience for it. 9/29/17
The Breath of God by Jeffery Small. This is Dan Brown pastiche, which would be OK except for a couple of things: 1) instead of having a physical reason (i.e. a clue hidden in a historical building) to travel, Small has his characters run around the world to meet up with people who might have just made a phone call or set a letter by registered mail, and 2) his characters are stupid, making the dumbest mistakes and assumptions.  I cannot abide stupid protagonists.  When I reached 220 pages, I tossed it aside near the end of September.
Love: The Psychology of Attraction by DK publishing. This was actually good, but my father’s illness and death prevented me from finishing it before I had to return it to the library. 16 pages. mid-October.
What Happened by Hillary Clinton.  This was very interesting but my father’s illness and death prevented me from finishing it before I had to return it to the library. I will either purchase it or else request it from the library again in a few months. 47 pages. mid-October.
Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy by Ally Carter. So dull.  So cliche -- even for a fluffy YA mystery.  It’s like a bad sit com. 52 pages.  mid-October.
One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake. I liked the first one, but it’s been too long since I read it, and I don’t recall the details.  This one lost my interest three chapters in. 12/15/17