Hello friends! In spite of cycling and gardening and a precipitous drop off in blog posts, it has been a fantastic year for reading. I did a very poor job of keeping track of all my books and had to try and reconstruct it all over the last few days. I added them all to Goodreads because that was the easiest way to go about it instead of doing the data entry in my books database. If you want to see the list, I believe this link will get you there. As a consequence of all this, I don’t have all the usual stats.

However, Goodreads tells me I read 80 books in 2017, which is simply astonishing to me as it is more than I have ever read. Perhaps not keeping close track is the key to reading a lot? That would be something new!

The shortest book I read was only 24 pages, My Night in the Planetarium, a wonderful children’s book. The longest book I read was The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante coming in at 471 pages. The average number of pages was 207. Since I have never counted pages before, I have no idea if it is more or less than other years.

Doing a little counting, it looks like I read 42 books of fiction, 30 nonfiction, and 8 books of poetry.

I read so many excellent books that I can’t begin to narrow them down to a short list of favorites. When I look at the list and try to pick out five favorites of fiction I quickly have five and then am faced with number six and not wanting to demote the five I had already. And then what about all of these further down the list? Same problem with nonfiction! It’s easier to make a list of books I thought were just okay. Ha! That would be resisting the “best of” list party wouldn’t it?

So here it is then, top five books I read in 2017 that I thought were just okay (in no particular order):

  • Jem and the Holograms by Kelly Thompson. I am just not the demographics for this one.
  • Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves [blah blah blah] by Neil Gaiman. So disappointing. At first the title was funny but quickly it just got super annoying. And the story took way too long to get going. By the time I got to the last page, it felt like finally, we were getting somewhere. And then there was nowhere to get because there were no more pages.
  • Solar Bones by Mike McCormack. I really wanted to like this and there were moments when I felt on the verge, but the moments weren’t enough to give me an overall great feeling about the book.
  • Trainwreck by Sady Doyle. There was a lot of good stuff in this book and some of it made me stop and think. But I had a really hard time even getting around to writing about it and now, some months later when I think about the book my feeling is, meh.
  • Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada. I have so many mixed feelings about this book at this point it couldn’t not make this list. When I first started reading it, it was not what I expected and I grappled to overcome it. I did, and when I finished the book I thought it quite good. However, when I think back about it, all I remember is trying really hard to like it. Don’t get me wrong, there was much to like about the book, but I feel like I fought so hard to like it, I swung too far from not liking to liking and now that time has passed and things have moderated, it falls into the it was okay category.

I know you all have been making your own favorites list and reading lots of others, so what book did you read that was good but not great?

Thanks for stopping by! And if you are celebrating today or tonight, have fun and be safe!

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