Now that 2017 is coming to an end, I decided to make a list of books and novels that I read (or listened to on audio) in 2017.
Generally I read on my Kobo Glo only while putting my son to sleep, which adds up to a few hours a week. I’ve also had a couple of long, solo car trips, so audio books kept me sane and awake.
At first I thought to present the books in the order that I read them in, but that doesn’t make sense. Instead I’m grouping them in two categories: would and would not recommend to my friends.
The Good (Would Recommend)
- Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Could be one of the best things I have ever read. If you pick just one book from this list, please let it be this.
- When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
A fantastic autobiography that I’ve already written about. A must read for people of all ages.
- Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
Must read! A great collection of success stories that are actually good examples of “accumulative advantage”, or the snowball effect.
“It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage.”
“The tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured.”
- Foundation (Foundation (Publication Order) #1), by Isaac Asimov
My first ever Asimov book. WOW. Just WOW.
- Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale #1), by Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
This lovely book is not for everybody. But if the quotes below pique your interest, then it might be for you.
“The tarantula stared at the ceiling not knowing at all what a ceiling is.”
“Josie produced a glass of water, through practiced manipulation of cupboards and valves and municipal plumbing. Neither she nor Jackie was impressed with the human miracle represented by how easily the glass of water was produced.”
“You believe in mountains, right? Not everyone does.”
- Neuromancer (Sprawl #1), by William Gibson
If you’re a fan of the Ghost in the Shell anime universe (Stand Alone Complex: The Laughing Man), then you’ll have an even greater time reading this.
“Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century’s most potent visions of the future.”
- Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
The very underrated Equilibrium movie was based on this book. A fantastic book that predicted the entertainment industry’s takeover over humanity.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1), by Philip K. Dick,
Blade Runner. Enough said.
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
A fantastic sci-fi book written in 1932, but it doesn’t feel outdated even a tiny bit. A must read.
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
I’m currently reading this (~60%), but I’m already certain that it should be here at the top.
- Riptide, by Douglas Preston
Listened to this as an audio book. What a fantastic adventure/thriller! I bet Mr. Preston is a big Jules Verne fan.
- The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson
A murder book that starts very well, but falls short in the end.
- Marrow, by Tarryn Fisher
A very well written dark thriller.
- Technomancer (Unspeakable Things #1), by B.V. Larson
A light fantasy/sci-fi book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Loved the idea about the objects. I think some of the reviews are too harsh. A few reviewers give it 1 star and bring up sexism. Really? Now even fiction authors get crapped on because of sexism? OK.
- Timeline, by Michael Crichton
Listened to this as an audio book. It’s been a while since I was surprised by a twist ending, so it was an enjoyable experience.
Apparently there’s a bad 2003 movie based on the book: Timeline (film).
- The Fold, by Peter Clines
A lot of similarities with Timeline, but not as well written.
- The Wave, by Walter Mosley
Listened to this as an audio book. A weird book to say the least, but in a good way.
- A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1), by V.E. Schwab (Pseudonym), Victoria Schwab
It was a fun read. Nice universe, nice premise, magic, etc. Reminded me of the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman.
- The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware
If you like detectives similar to Murder on the Orient Express then you might like this one. Even if you can very quickly anticipate some events, it’s still fun to read and see how much you were able to guess at the start.
The Mediocre & Bad (Would Not Recommend)
- Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks
From the author of The Notebook (yes, that one). Without spoiling too much, I think it is fair to say that people that went through an abusive relationship (or are in one) will appreciate this book more than I did.
- The Racketeer, by John Grisham
I’ve lost interest halfway through. A very forgettable novel that should come with a “made for TV” disclaimer.
- Variant, by Robison Wells
- Feedback (Variant #2), by Robison Wells
- Blackout, by Robison Wells
What if the X-MEN were terrorists?
- The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1), by James Dashner
Listened to this as an audio book. Meh. I think I developed an allergy to the name Thomas.
- Recurve (The Elemental Series #1), by Shannon Mayer
What to Read in 2018
My plan for 2018 is to read a few more books by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and more by Isaac Asimov. Want to recommend something? Please comment below :)