my 2017 in books

December 31, 2017

I haven’t, historically, kept track of what I read. But I started bullet journaling around the end of January, and sometime in February I created a collection for books I was reading.

It’s possible that I forgot to put a few things on here, and I know I left out fanfiction and odds and ends of short stories. Otherwise, this is a pretty accurate representation of what my reading life is like. There were some things I consciously decided not to finish, and some things I just ccidentally stopped reading. It looks like there were only two books I read twice this year: The Career of Katherine Bush, which I’ve written about, and Diantha, which I haven’t. The second time I read Diantha I couldn’t sleep, so I read it in the middle of the night on my phone in one go.

I think it’s pretty clear that I get caught up in particular authors sometimes. Sometimes I have to stop myself, so that I still have more to come back to (Anna Buchan). Sometimes I have to push to finish something (the Aunt Jane’s Nieces series). Sometimes I just feel like stopping (Mrs. Molesworth). I’m not sure I’ve ever stuck with one author like I did with E. Phillips Oppenheim in January and February.

My favorite new reads this year, maybe:



  1. I see you went on a Josephine Tey kick at one point too! I know exactly what you mean about stopping yourself from reading too much of an author you like so as not to finish them too quickly—I’ve been “rationing” Tey’s books in just that fashion because there’s relatively few of them. (Same with Mary Stewart.)

    I can spot various familiar-to-me titles scattered through your list, even a few I read this year myself. (You’ll be happy to hear I read my first Williamson book this year: My Friend the Chauffeur.) I love reading people’s best-of lists/reading roundups this time of year—and writing my own! http://www.elisabethgracefoley.com/2017/12/my-year-in-books-2017.html

    • I’m pretty sure I read some Tey every year–she’s an all-time favorite. Have fun making your way through her books. And I’m glad you enjoyed your first outing with the Williamsons.

  2. Thank you for posting the Great List! I’ll have to poke at some of these authors (for instance, I don’t think I’ve read any Josephine Tey!).

    I notice that some number are audiobooks – do you have a recommended audiobook-location method? Or readers you enjoy? Or do you just suffer through the lousy ones?

    • Josephine Tey is amazing, if somewhat antisemitic and xenophobic. (I am a Jew, and think she’s still worthwhile, but wouldn’t fault anyone for passing her by for that reason.) My first book of hers was The Daughter of Time and I think it’s a good one to start with–it’s about a detective who delves into a historical mystery while stuck in a hospital bed.

      I’m kind of an audiobook beginner. I tend to listen to things I’ve read before, and I pick based on what I want to read, but often fail out because I don’t like the readers.

      • I was just disappointed at not finding Josephine Tey in hathitrust, but! my local library has The Daughter of Time! So I’ll be able to try her out.

        There are some authors where it is possible to just roll your eyes and say “yep, you’re wrong” on things like xenophobia, but others itch me – not sure whether it’s a “how integral is this?” thing or a “how spuriously ‘convincing’ is this?” or just how I’m feeling that day, though.

        Incidentally, you may enjoy “May Iverson — Her Book” – it reminded me slightly of “Bab: a Sub Deb” crossed with a boarding-school girls’ novel. I just read it on hathitrust because I stumbled across “May Iverson’s Career” on Project Gutenberg, which sounds promising… but when I opened it up, I discovered it was the third in the series, so I’m reading the first two first.

        Also, there are perhaps a couple of Molesworths left that would be more to your taste. But it is also totally okay to not be interested…

        • Project Gutenberg Australia has Tey, if that helps.

          May Iverson sounds familiar, probably because I did a title search on PG for “career” at some point.

          I’m definitely going to come back to Molesworth at some point. I sort of specifically went for some that I didn’t think I’d be into so I’d have more to look forward to.

  3. Title search for “career” is brilliant. I’ve done subject search (and, uh, have also searched for “Cinderella”), but not yet career…

    The May Iverson books are connected collections of short stories – I liked the third one best, with the exception of wanting to kick the actual-author at a couple of junctures, including one of the last sentences… augh! Would recommend, though.

    • I’ve searched for Cinderella too–no shame in that. I only wish Gutenberg was better about labeling by subject.

      I actually just started reading something else by Elizabeth Jordan, totally by accident, and so far I’m really enjoying it.

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