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2017 Reading Recap.

Reading Challenge : 50

Books Read : 45

Reading Challenge for 2018 : 30

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I had a lot of fun reading all sorts of books in 2017.

I’ve always been a bookworm but I took my book addiction a little further last year and read almost every free moment of my day.

Although I have decided to downsize my reading goal for this year, it does not mean I’m going to stop reading once I reach my goal.

Before I introduce my TBR List for the month of January, I wanted to go ahead and share a recap of the some of the books that stood out to me in 2017.

Most Unexpected, Surprisingly Good Book of 2017

This book was amazing! I never thought it would be as enjoyable as it was, but I couldn’t put it down once I got past the third chapter. It’s extremely unique given the comic book-like pages it contains, as well as the topic of loss, mental health, and peer-pressure. Highly recommend it as a fun and easy read.

Favorite Fantasy Book of 2017

I LOVED this book so much that I was incredibly disappointed that it didn’t win best Fantasy book on Goodreads. The love story between the main characters, the plot, the climax, the plot TWIST, and the ending had me emotionally wrecked for at least two days. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy book that had my attention from beginning to end like Caraval has. Stephanie Garber is, in my humblest opinion, the fantasy book master!

Best Autobiography/Nonfiction/Comedy Book of 2017

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If you’re a fan of The Room then you’ll enjoy this very special treat, written by Greg Sestero… you know, the guy who played Mark. In this book, Sestero shares his experiences on set of The Room and his friendship with Dracula himself- Tommy Wiseau. Sestero certainly has a sense of humor and I could not stop dying of laughter as I read through the pages of The Disaster Artist. It’s pleasing to know that this has also becomes a New York Times Best Seller. This book certainly does not disappoint… and oh! yes, it’s better than the movie!

Most Disappointing Book of 2017

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Betcha you thought it was going to be Hillary Clinton’s ‘What Happened’ or my other least favorite book ‘The Upside of Unrequited,’ right? Well no… I was more disappointed with this book than the other two even though Lord of Opium got a higher rating. So why Lord of Opium? It’s Prequel- House of the Scorpion- was one of my most favorite books back in high school. Released back in 2013, I’d waited for this sequel for at least 7 years… and to finally have the opportunity to read it after all this time waiting and then realizing the story wasn’t as gripping or as powerful as the first? You get my point. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to voice displeasure so it makes me feel less lonely in my sentiments.

Best Book Series

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Although the Harry Potter books are already years old, they’re still considered classics and I finally decided to pick them up and read them. Boy, they certainly did not and have not disappointed thus far. While I haven’t finished the series yet, they are by far the only book series that I’ve read with excitement. Of course, there are other book series I didn’t get the chance to read in 2017 so I might have had a different opinion had I read them, but we’ll see if my opinion changes this year.

Best Overall Book of 2017

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The bible, unsurprisingly, is awarded the Best book out of all the books I read because it was a beacon of hope in my darkest days. 2016 and 2017 haven’t been my best years on account of mental illness, an assault, baby loss, and other personal struggles, therefore the Bible became my source of strength and encouragement. It certainly gets a little frustrating to read when you don’t know what to look for, when there are so many details, and when there are so many pages… but thank God for the Holy Spirit. I received guidance when I needed it the most. This book is def a life changer. I’m beyond grateful for it.

Best Children’s/Childhood Book

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This book is years old, I know. But I had to pick up some childhood books to read and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading the Ramona books again. While I definitely appreciated the books when I was younger, I appreciate them all the more now as I began to notice how I much I related to Ramona growing up. It can be easy to be misunderstood by teachers and your closest loved ones. Yet, in spite of how misunderstood Ramona is, she never seems to give up. She has a spunky spirit that makes her unique and easier to stand out which is what I believe many struggle to embrace too. The message is clear – Stand out. Be yourself. & Try again.

Best Poetry Book of 2017

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I fell in love with Rupi’s style of writing poetry, and art. Simple. Right to the heart of the matter. The topics are heartbreak, abuse, healing, and the beauty of women. While The Sun and Her Flowers was rather similar, this book was the one that started it all.

Best Classic Literature

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It was hard choosing between The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby. Each book has a complicated plot, interesting characters, and a sad ending. In the end, I felt that the Scarlet Letter was more relatable and entertaining. While the writing style of Hawthorne can be challenging to read, and there were often too many details that I didn’t bother paying attention to, the story unfolded beautifully. I believe this is a book everyone should read if not for the story itself, then at least for the “expressive style.”

Best Young Adult Fiction Novel of 2017

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I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first got my hands on this book. I wondered if it would echo the hatred and disrespect that many folks have towards those in authority, & I hoped it wouldn’t be one-sided. Thankfully I got something far better than that…What I got was a look into poor communities that swarm with gang violence while taking a different look into the lives of the young people in it. It offers a different perspective and approach as to why some turn to a life of crime. It also takes the time to address those who abuse their power and influence over others… from police officers, gang leaders, and even journalists. It challenges its readers to have an open mind and to not judge someone based off the color of their skin. Black, white, hispanic, asian… there will always be some bad apples no matter the race, but there are those who are different and strive to be better and do better for their families and communities.

Most Unique/Thought Provoking Book

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This has to be the BEST WW2/Holocaust autobiography books I’ve ever read. What makes it different from a lot of other survivor stories is the way it’s interpreted. Art Spiegleman uses his art talent to illustrate his father Vladek’s experiences during the Holocaust, his mother’s suicide, and his dysfunctional relationship with both his parents. You catch a glimpse of how life was before the start of WW2, life during the war, and the aftermath of the war. It’s a heart-wrenching & thought-provoking read. HIGHLY recommend it to everyone.

I wish I could go over every book I read last year and give you all an honest recap of each one, but hey… check out the reviews I’ve posted when you have time.

There were some books I regretted reading and some others that I’ll most likely re-read. I have yet to post reviews from the last few books I read both in November and December. Apologies for the delay!

Thanks for reading!

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