2017: A year in books


One of my 2017 goals was to read more books and take advantage of my commute. I didn't hit my goal of 10 books this year but I did hit eight which I didn't think was too bad at all. A lot better than the three I read in 2016! I'm determined to read even more of my kindle this year. I'd love to hear any recommendations please. So what did I read?

Room - Emma Donoghue
Written from a little boy's perspective, this harrowing novel follows the story of a a woman who was kidnapped and kept as a prisoner. Half the book takes place in a garden prison so you really get a feel for the trauma the pair are going through. No stone is left uncovered as to how they're coping. It starts off slightly mundane to read but really picks up pace halfway through the book. It's such a heartbreaking read and brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion. I saw the film before I read the book but I'd recommend not doing that. In order to get the most out of the book, you have to go in it with a completely clear mind.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
Francie is a second-generation Irish American in New York City, growing up in poverty. The story follows her from an adolescent child in the summer of 1912 to an adult working in the big, bad world, with all her trials and tribulations along the way. Despite being written in 1943, the novel feels timeless. Sometimes I want to shake Francie and sometimes I want to give her a hug. The sign of a good book is when you get invested in the protagonist. It's a great read if you don't want to invest too much of your time - it's easy to pick up on a daily commute.

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
I fell for the hype for this and wanted to jump on the bandwagon. But now thinking about it, I'm not quite sure I enjoyed it. The novel tells the tale of a young naive woman married off in the 17th century Amsterdam to a man she doesn't know in a house full of secrets. I just feel like it never really got going for me. I did find the twists compelling and some of the secrets I never saw coming. But I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like about it. I would be interested to see the TV show though as it'd be fascinating to see it portrayed on screen.

The Night Manager - John Le Carre
Slow at first, this book is addicting. John Le Carre has such a way with words that you find yourself holding your breath from one page to the next, being sucked into a web unsure of how everything is going to pan out. Jonathan Pine gets recruited as a spy to take down an arms seller,  and before he knows it has has dived head first into deceit and danger. I found myself willing Jonathan on and berating him for being careless. John Le Carre really never fails to deliver.

A Storm of Swords: Part 1 Steel and Snow -George R. R. Martin
I'm a massive Game of Thrones nut but by good do the books take me a long time to get through. I think I spent about five months reading this one. It's not the type in book you can pick up and get back into it straight away. As I don't read every day, I found myself having to go back a few pages each time to get my bearings. That said I just love the world that George R. R. Martin has created. I just need a break for a while before I start on the next one!

The Maze Runner - James Dashner
I found this dystopian future trilogy in a charity shop so thought they were worth the £3 investment as I'd seen the first film. As they're young adult fiction, they're pretty easy to read and aren't very big. The perfect commuter book! I really enjoyed it as its an interesting concept. A group of teenagers are at a place called 'The Glade' with no idea why or who they are.

The Thing Around Your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This collection of 12 short stories all focus on Nigerian women.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of my favourite authors, I love how I can just lose myself in her writing and she chooses subjects that I don't know too much about, so they're always so interesting. I'm always left with so many questions and informations swirling around in my head. They encourage me to dig deeper and find out more. I'm not really sure short stories are for me as I find just as I get into them, they suddenly end and I'm left wanting more. Saying that they were really easy to read.

SSGB - Len Deighton
WWII is the period in history that I find the most interesting. I've been intrigued with toying with a couple of alternative history books for a while. I decided to take the plunge with this one. The United Kingdom lost the Battle of Britain and are not under Nazi occupations. There's a resistance in the north but the south is basically Nazi puppets. The story follows a British policeman who is trying to do the right thing. It's a fantastic book and one which I finished in a week. Not mean feat for this slow reader!

3 comments:

  1. I didn't enjoy The Miniaturist either so you're not alone! x

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  2. Great selection of books, I have seen the movie Room and thought it was brilliant, may be interesting to also read the book. I've also read the Miniaturist and just thought it was.... weird!!! Didn't get it.. have you seen the BBC made a dramatisation of it? That was also weird haha!

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  3. The Night Manager was on my list of books I didn't finish last year! It just felt like such a slog to me and I got half way and decided I couldn't be bothered with it. I think I'll just get the TV version with Hugh Laurie to see how it ends!

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