My first ten books read in 2017

At the beginning of the year I knew that I needed to spend more time reading – and away from my tablet and laptop. So every evening I try to set aside at least 30 minutes for reading. This usually ends up being the entire 6pm hour, between our 5pm dinner and 7pm coffee (and we don’t drink decaf!). I didn’t read as much as I had wanted to the last two or more years, and I knew that too much staring at a screen isn’t good.

I finished my tenth book this Wednesday, and I figured it would be nice to share those books here with a quick thought or two. I stink at book reviews (and never cared for them in school), so don’t set your expectations high haha.

So, from the beginning…

1 (Jan 8-16 2017)

  1. I’ve had Jane Eyre in my pile of books for a few years, having picked it up at a library book sale (as I do with most of my books). I hesitated to read it because it’s long and I was concerned that my attention span would be an issue. Nope! I loved the Gothic themes, and I really enjoyed Jane’s character. The ending had me crying, it was that sweet and it made me happy. This now ranks as one of my all-time favorites, and really started off 2017 on an excellent note! (I did watch the 2011 movie adaptation with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, which didn’t do it justice; I may try to find another adaptation to watch.)

2 (Jan17-Feb3 2017)

2. Pride and Prejudice was my first Jane Austen book. I had a hard time getting adjusted to the writing style. It was alright, but I may try to reread it at a later time and see if I get more enjoyment from it with better clarity.

3 (Feb 9 - Mar 2 2017)

3. I’ve read a few other Margaret Atwood books before (the MaddAddam trilogy, The Penelopiad, and The Handmaid’s Tale), so I was acquainted with her style. I also enjoyed Alias Grace, based on a true story of a woman in the mid-19th century accused of murder. Told in the points of view of two main characters, each has their unique way of speaking and thinking. It was fun, and the ending was sweet.

4 (Mar 2-11 2017)

4. I confess that the only vampire movie/show I’ve ever seen in its entirety is the classic film Nosferatu. I decided to give Dracula to sort of give myself a bit of understanding on the whole vampire thing. The book was alright – I thought that Van Helsing was unnecessarily wordy and annoying. (I understand that he was the person who was knowledgeable in vampires, but he could have been less wordy haha). And I think I expected more in terms of horror (like more victims). What I probably liked most about this book was the way it was written – diary entries, newspaper articles, telegrams, etc from the different characters in the book. And I appreciated the footnotes and endnotes in these B&N Classics series to help with some vocabulary and context. I wouldn’t say that this book sparked an interest in me for any more vampire-themed movies, books, or shows, however.

5 (Mar 13-14 2017)

5. I love dystopians. Love love love them. And alternate history is another genre I want to eventually get into. The Sound of His Horn was short (around 100 pages I think) yet incredibly creepy. Humans trained to act like animals, to be game for hunters. And hypothesizing if the Nazis won WW2 (it was a short story, so I knew not to expect much detail – just this snippet of a story/incidence). It was a fun read for me.

6 (Mar 15-31 2017)

6. I decided to give Austen another try, and sooner than I planned. (I got this recently at B&N, along with two other books – so it was in easy reach.) I liked Persuasion more than P&P. Probably because I was a bit more accustomed to Austen’s style and knew what to expect. I liked Anne’s character here more than P&P‘s Elizabeth. And again, the extra notes in this collection were very helpful.

7 (Apr 1-7 2017)

7. I wanted a classic book about pirates (another thing I never really got into – and I don’t care much for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies), and I got a nice introduction to it with Treasure Island. My regret was not keeping a dictionary by my side at the beginning, because I was totally lost on the nautical terminology haha. It was a short book, had steady action, and was a fun read.

8 (Apr 8-12 2017)

8. (Oh hey, I cut my hair a bit shorter again at this point.) Matt Walsh is my favorite conservative and Christian blogger, so as soon as he mentioned that he was publishing a book, I immediately pre-ordered The Unholy Trinity. His trademark bold, unapologetic, and witty style had me hooked the entire time, and it also brought up some new points I previously had not considered. An excellent read, and I hope that he publishes more books in the future. My mom is reading it now, and she’s also enjoying it. I recommend it to my fellow conservatives.

9 (Apr 13-16 2017)

9. I had read a few of Aesop’s Fables many years ago, so I thought it would be fun to read this collection of 203 stories. What was awesome is that most stories are shorter than one page, and there were a few old illustrations… so it was a very fast read! I liked the stories.

10 (Apr 17-26 2017)

10. Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite authors – of course I read Little Women and its sequels when I was younger, but she has a largely unknown darker, more sinister side. She liked to write “blood and thunder” stories, and published several under various pseudonyms. One such novel, A Long Fatal Love Chase, is one of my all-time faves. This book, Behind a Mask, is a collection of four of her thrillers. There’s revenge, deceit, and manipulation galore. The titular story, Behind a Mask, had a few slight similarities with Jane Eyre, so that was fun.

I also read all 150 Psalms and the entire New Testament this year during Lent as my daily Lenten discipline – I calculated how many chapters to read each day and made a chart, so it was easy to keep myself on-track. I did this with my mom, and I liked that we occasionally had discussions about that day’s readings. I’m now thinking of reading a bit of my Bible each month – like maybe read only the four gospels next month, and the following month Genesis, etc.

Also, BookOutlet.com is PHENOMENAL. I’ve gotten 25 books from them for less than $100 (including shipping). They don’t have nearly as much of a selection as B&N or Amazon, but their prices can’t be beat and sometimes they have sales on top of their already-low prices. I occasionally browse through their Classics section to see if any new titles have been added. They take PayPal, which is great because I like to use my Etsy and eBay sales for some of my online shopping.

Whew. This is probably my longest post on this blog, ever! Now I need to return to Book #11, which will be shared in my next batch of lame and you can find better write-ups elsewhere reviews.

Until next time…

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23 thoughts on “My first ten books read in 2017

  1. So cute seeing all your styles with your books! I liked Emma a lot- in case you’re thinking of another Jane Austen. I’m intrigued by the Louisa May Alcott thrillers. Interesting.
    Good job reading such a variety!

    • Thank you! While I do tend to gravitate toward the older classics, I’m trying to gather a variety of books.

      And I recently acquired Emma, so it’s on my to-read list! I also have Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park.

    • I tried to watch the movie adaptation a few times (never got through it in its entirety) and didn’t care much for it. Not really into the vampire thing. I think I had my fill with “Dracula” haha

  2. I read a series of books, starting with “His Majesty’s Dragon.” The main character is a sea captain who ends up transferring to the “Air Force” after he’s unexpectedly paired with a dragon. The book takes place in Napoleonic times (obviously an alternate history) and has a bunch of technical nautical terms and also some kind of made up terms about dragon flying. I skimmed most of the technical stuff and still got the gist of the stories. I recommend them if you haven’t read them and like dragons.

    Interesting collection of books you have here! If you want a humorous element added to your Jane Austen you could try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lazy writing (the “author” basically just takes the original story and adds some Zombies) but a fun read. I read Sense and Sensibility and then started Mansfield Park, but found the latter kind of boring and haven’t finished it.

  3. I’m reading Pride and Prejudice. I read a number of books recently that I read throughout college and high school that I really enjoyed. You might enjoy some Thomas Hardy. I like his books ever since they introduced me to the concept that it’s ok to wish for the death of a main character.

    • I recently bought some Hardy books – Far From the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d’Urbevilles, and The Mayor of Casterbridge. I found Tess at a library book sale and my cashier (a volunteer there) noticed it and told me that he really really liked it. I’m excited to get into some Thomas Hardy, likely within my next ten books.

  4. You’re reading some great books, BeautifulM! 🙂 Some of those are favs of mine!

    I love hearing about what people are reading! One of my first questions, when I meet people, is “What are you reading?”

    I am rereding “The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss” by Anderson Cooper and his mom.
    My next reads will be “The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, and “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers. I have an on-going To Read List that’s be going-on for a long time! So, there are always books in my future. 🙂

    Well, I enjoyed your book reviews!
    And you got great fashion taste in clothes! 🙂
    HUGS!!! and ❤

    • I know, my to-read list keeps growing and growing, too! And so does my book collection. I have most of my books in boxes – I have 116 books, excluding reference and other “non-reading” books (like I have some older Lutheran hymnals, some religious studies books, many language learning books, etc).

      But thankfully I made an Excel spreadsheet with my “library” so that I know exactly what I own and what I’ve read haha.

      HUGS!

  5. Form Dracula to Aesop , youur book reading is very diversified with a special place to Jane Austen. You are right to come back to the book . The book is the basis of our civilisation.
    My wife reads very much . I envy her and you .! 🙂
    Bravo Marica
    Love ❤
    Michel

  6. Fantastic Marica! I am so delighted that you are reading some Classics by Eyre and Austin. Try to read some by Thomas Hardy, and some other authors who are not American or British. You will love each book that you read. Try to join a book club if you can. More power to you.

    • I am reading Hardy now – “The Mayor of Casterbridge” – and I’m enjoying it so far.

      I have read some Czech books before, and I have a number of Russian items in my little library.

      As for book clubs… eh. I just like my own solo journey with books I choose.

  7. Wow! You read a lot of classic novels! I usually have problems with the wordiness and the way it’s written in general, but I do love Jane Austen’s writing. And I loooved Dracula! But like you I was expecting more horror, more victims, haha! I might give a try to The Sound of his Horn since I’m a big fan of dystopia as well! 🙂

    • I liked a few books from my high school English classes and there were some that my classmates read that sounded interesting to me (I was in “college prep” English and many of my friends were in “Honors / Advanced Placement”, so we had different reading lists.) There are tons of classics and I want to read as many of them as I can so that I can see what made them “classics”.

      I’ve just finished an excellent dystopian last night – Neal Shusterman’s “Scythe”. I’ve read two of his series (the Skinjacker series and the Unwind series) before, and those were also good. Shusterman has some very interesting ideas in terms of scientific advancement and such. “Scythe” deals with a future where famine, war, poverty, and even death don’t exist – but to keep the world population steady, there are Scythes who are the only people allowed to kill. (I’d go further into detail on this whole philosophy and such, but I want you to read it! haha). Seriously, it was awesome. It really got me thinking about a few things. And I believe that it will also become a series, so I look forward to its next book coming out in March 😀

      I own “The Sound of His Horn”, and I’d be happy to mail it to you since I know it’s a little hard to find.

      • Hey, I actually own a copy of Scythe! 😀 I’ll try to read it after my trip, it sounds really good! I like your idea of trying to see what makes classics classics. Sometimes I read a classic and even though I’m not in LOVE with it, or devour it in a day, I can really get why it must’ve been so popular or controversial in the year of its publication, and that makes me appreciate it better.
        That’s so nice of you to offer! Thank you! We could totally make a book exchange or something! I’m leaving on a trip really soon, though, so it would be best when I’m back! I’ll send you an email, then! 🙂

  8. Truly, an enjoyable read! Hearing your thoughts on each book was a delight. I especially like your pictures with each book. It’s a nice touch. I definitely look forward to more posts like this in the future. Your writing was fine, and I think your enthusiasm is engaging.

    Aesop’s Fables sounds like something I would enjoy. I also love dystopians of any sort of media. They can be very interesting, and thought provoking.

    I probably need to do the same, and make more time for reading. I love it, but my laptop dominates my time. I did so for a little bit last week, and enjoyed it immensely!

    • Sorry for taking so long to reply -_-

      The good news is that I will shortly have a post about my next five books (since I want to keep these a little shorter haha, and hopefully post on this blog a little more frequently).

      I’m reading another dystopian right now and liking it. And it’s from a Russian author, so that’s fun.

      I’m glad that I’ve made more of an effort this year to fit reading into my day. It’s calming for my eyes to have some time away from a screen, and nothing quite like the smell of books 😀

  9. Pingback: Books 16-20 of 2017 | marica0701

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