rating all the books I read in 2017.

I read 61 books in 2017. It’s funny – when I look back at the list of books I read, there are some books I remember clearly, and other books I can’t even remember what the book was about.

I had a few 5 star reviews and no 1 star reviews. My 3 and 4 star reviews were split evenly.

Here are the ratings to all the books I read in 2017. Links are to my reviews.

5 stars:
The Lake House by Kate Morton
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Act Like It by Lucy Parker
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

4 stars:
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Life Rewritten by Andrea Johnston
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I See You by Clare Mackintosh
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell
Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4) by Jill Shalvis
Fatal by John Lescroart
Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar by Kelly Oxford
On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Blackout by Marc Elsberg
Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Snowblind (Dark Iceland #1) by Ragnar Jónasson
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan
Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Jane Austen Mysteries, #12) by Stephanie Barron
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

3 stars:
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison
Day Shift (Midnight, Texas, #2) by Charlaine Harris
Night Shift (Midnight, Texas, #3) by Charlaine Harris
Twelve Days of Christmas: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber
Montana Secret Santa (Love at the Chocolate Shop, #3) by Debra Salonen
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell
Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1) by Jill Shalvis
Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3) by Jill Shalvis
Fair Game by Josh Lanyon
Suddenly One Summer by Julie James
A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen
Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin
Thank You, Jeeves (Jeeves, #5) by P.G. Wodehouse
Friday Night Brides by Samantha Chase
The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan
Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard

2 stars:
One Less Problem Without You by Beth Harbison
Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris
Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
Her Private Avenger by Elle Kennedy
Jay Walking by Tracy Krimmer

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2017 reading in review.

Looking back at my 2017 year of reading. My goal was to read 55 books and I’m excited to say that I met that goal and exceeded. I read 61 books in 2017. Once again, I pretty much read whatever caught my eye and sounded interesting.

Here’s how I did in 2017:

Number of books read: 61
This averages out to 1.17 books read per week.

Number of pages read: 21,427
Averages out to approximately 412 pages read a week.

Longest book:
Afterworlds at 624 pages.

Shortest book:
Act Like It at 199 pages.

Average Book Length:
351 pages

According to Goodreads, my average rating was 3.5 stars.

Books by genre:
Fiction – 56
Nonfiction – 5

I further broke down the categories within the genres:
Fiction
Fiction – 22
Young Adult – 5
Romance – 29

Nonfiction
Memoir – 4
Finance – 1

Books read for book group – 6

Books by acquisition type:
46 books were borrowed from the library.

Books by format:
Paperback – 18
Hardback – 24
Ebooks – 19

First book read in 2017:
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Last book read in 2017:
Night Shift (Midnight, Texas, #3)

Another great year for books!!

what I’m reading: jane and the twelve days of christmas by stephanie barron.

This is the 12th book in a series where Jane is an amateur sleuth. This book takes place in the later years of Jane’s life when she is about 39. Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park have all been published.

It’s the Christmas of 1814 and Jane, her sister Cassandra, and their mother are traveling to their brother James’ home for Christmas. On their way, their wagon has an accident and they are rescued by a Mr. West. When they arrived at James’ home, which we learn is Jane’s childhood home, they find his wife Mary who is prone to “megrims” and has a sense of melancholy about her (she seems likes a bit of a hypochondriac).

The Austen’s are invited the next day to join a Christmas celebration at The Vyne, home of William and Elizabeth Chute, an old friend of Jane’s. When they arrive, they discover other visitors including their rescuer from the day before, Mr. West, and the Gambiers. A snowstorm hits and the party becomes stranded at The Vyne for the next several days. A courier arrives bearing important political papers for Mr. Chute. However, after he departs, the courier is thrown from his horse and dies in what appears to be an accident. Jane however, is suspicious, and suspects he was murdered. Soon, one of the other party guests is found dead in an apparent accidental overdose. Jane is suspicious again and believes the young woman was murdered as well. Jane comes to the conclusion that someone at The Vyne must be the killer.

Narrated by Jane, this book is full of English customs and celebrations including a Yule log and a twelfth night celebration. I enjoyed all the little details about 19th century food and presents, especially Jane and Cassandra gifting their niece with a new doll outfit on each of the twelve days.

I thought this was a fun little cozy mystery. Because it is narrated by Jane, the book uses time period spelling for some of the words, which honestly I could have done without. It actually sometimes took me away from the story because I had to think about what the word was. I did think the mystery was interesting and I definitely didn’t know who the culprit was. Some of the conclusions and deductions made by Jane went over my head, but I guess that’s why I’m not an amateur sleuth.

what I’m reading: twelve days of christmas by debbie macomber.

It’s not Christmas until you read a Debbie Macomber holiday romance.

Julia’s neighbor Cain is the biggest Grinch. He’s grumpy, never smiles, and asks Julia to keep it down when she is singing Christmas carols. And to top it off, he has the nerve to steal her newspaper. Julia decides, that in the twelve days leading up to Christmas, to kill her neighbor with kindness in the hopes that she can change his Scrooge-like behavior. Julia starts blogging about her efforts and soon her blog goes viral.

What a fun and quick holiday read. This book was super short, about 200 pages, and the print seemed a bit large in the version I was reading. It was a typical Debbie Macomber book that contained all the elements of a holiday romance – a meet-cute in the elevator, Christmas cookies, a walk in the snow, Christmas carols. There was a grumpy boy and a sweet girl, with miscommunication between the two characters and a secret that could have been cleared up had they just been honest with one another.

The book does take place over 12 days, so some of the story lines seemed a bit rushed. I really liked some of the ways that Julia tried to win Cain over including baking him cookies, buying him coffee, delivering his newspaper to him personally, and bringing him soup when he gets the flu. Julia’s blog “posts” that detailed her endeavors and Cain’s reactions to them all were amusing and made me laugh. Of course, everything works out as it wouldn’t be a romance novel without a happy ending.

I did enjoy the message this book has of being nice to others and spreading kindness. Another entertaining Christmas read!

what I’m reading: chasing christmas eve by jill shalvis.

chasing christmas eve book coverIt’s December, and during the month of December, I like to read holiday themed novels.

Chasing Christmas Eve is the fourth book in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay series. I’ve adored this series since reading the first book last year. The cast of characters is so enjoyable and the neighborhood they inhabit in San Francisco is charming.

Colbie Albright is a bestselling young adult author who has a bad case of writer’s block. All the stress from her family and work has overwhelmed her so she decides to get away and takes a trip to San Francisco. She ends up literally running into Spencer Baldwin and falls into the fountain of the courtyard of the building Spence owns. The two hit it off but since Colbie is only in town for 2 weeks, just until Christmas, can they find a way to make a relationship work?

I really enjoyed this light and fun holiday romance. Many characters from the other books in the series made an appearance, but this book can also be read as a stand-alone. There is no real need to know the backstory of all the secondary characters in order to enjoy the book.

This is an amusing and quaint story and it was the perfect start to my holiday reading.

what I’m reading: snowblind by ragnar jónasson.

snowblind book coverAri Thór Arason is a rookie policeman who has taken his first job in Siglufjörður, a remote fishing village in Northern Iceland. When an elderly man falls to his death down a flight of stairs and then a young woman is found bleeding and unconscious lying in the snow, the town wonders if there is a killer loose in their midst.

This is a slow moving whodunit, in a town where anyone can be a suspect. The town is so close knit that everyone knows everyone and none of the townspeople want to believe that a person they’ve known since they were young can be a killer.

I picked this book up because it takes place in Iceland and I love reading about Iceland. That said, Iceland and the city of Siglufjörður are one of the main characters in this book. The story takes place during January so there is not a lot of sunlight to be seen. The snow and the darkness and the fishing village history play such a part and by the end you feel as if you are right in Iceland with Ari Thór. As the book goes on and bodies are found, an avalanche cuts off the only road in and out of Siglufjörður. The sense of darkness and claustrophobia builds tension in the town until Ari Thór is not sure he can take the stress.

I have to confess this book was a bit hard to read because I couldn’t pronounce all of the Icelandic names. As a result, I ended up skipping over many person’s names which made it hard for me to remember who was who.

This book is the first in a series of Icelandic novels translated into English and I am curious to find out what happens next to Ari Thór.

what I’m reading: red queen by victoria aveyard.

book cover red queenMare Barrow lives in a world divided by blood, where Reds are commoners and Silvers are the elite. The Silvers possess superpowers and use these gifts to rule society. As a Red, Mare spends her day stealing and pickpocketing in order to get by. But when she is hired to work at the Palace, she discovers she has powers of her own. The Silvers are forced to fabricate a story to explain Mare’s power, declaring Mare to be a long-lost Silver princess. Mare soon finds herself navigating Silver politics while working with a covert Red militant group to overthrow the Silver government.

I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it. I thought there was so much potential here. I was intrigued by this world of two castes and hints of a revolution and rebellion, however it did have a lot of similarities with Hunger Games and other dystopian books.

I found the characters didn’t have any real development. No one really learns or changes and some of the storylines were a bit predictable. Plus, for someone whose goal is to overthrow the Silvers, I thought Mare was a little too trusting of everyone she came across at the Palace.

My main criticism is that I still have a lot of questions about what a Silver exactly is and how they came about. I was interested in the fact that all of them had some sort of “gift” but then, after reading more, I realized that their superpower gift could be anything and it kind of lessened the appeal for me. It was as if the author couldn’t decide on two or three superpowers to make the Silvers extraordinary so she just threw them all in. There are Silvers who can read minds, who can control fire, who can control metal, who are really strong, who are really fast, who can control the wind, who can control water, who are basically everything.

Plus, what is a Silver? Are they Gods? Are they genetically mutated? Have they always been around? In the book, they have been fighting wars for hundreds of years and yet their armies consist of Red soldiers. If the Silvers have all these superpowers, why are they sending lowly Reds who have no powers to fight in their army? Won’t they have a better chance of winning if they fight themselves? I have too many questions about this world that were not answered.

This is the first book in a series and I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to continue. I’m worried that a love triangle (or love quadruple) is developing and I’m not sure the world and characters were fleshed out enough for me to care to read the next one.