Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017: My Year in Books


Hurray for my busiest reading year EVER!

Can you believe I actually read that much? I've always prided being a bookworm but honestly speaking... speed (and, thus, quantity) was never my strong suite. I am a very slow reader so this particular number surprised me, 18 being my maximum (last year). But yeah, I did that - and this actually inspired me to aim more and stop underestimating how I could incorporate this in my daily routine (like what I have been doing these past few years). I've always aimed low because I was too afraid of not actually making the cut (which is a sucky attitude, I know) - and this year got me thinking that maybe I need to rethink this attitude not just for my reading habits for other of my endeavors, too.

Queen of Shadows | Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda | The Assassin's Blade | Turtles All The Way Down | Warcross | The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue | When Dimple Met Rishi | Rich People Problems | Throne of Glass | China Rich Girlfriend | Heir of Fire | Shatter Me | Want | The Epic Crush of Genie Lo | Crown of Midnight | Inside Out and Back Again | The Forbidden Wish | Crazy Rich Asians | Always and Forever, Lara Jean | A Court of Wings and Ruin | Artermis Fowl: The Arctic Incident | Artermis Fowl | The One | The Elite | The Selection | A Court of Mist and Fury | Thirteen Reasons Why | A Court of Thorns and Roses | The Little Knife | The Demon in the Woods | The Too-Clever Fox  | The Tailor | Ruin and Rising | Siege and Storm | Shadow and BoneThe Witch of Duva | King's Cage | Everything, Everything | 1Q84 (Part 1) | By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept | The Alchemist | Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

So there's your run-down. Out of all the 42 I've read this year, 6 are novellas (mainly from the Grisha trilogy) and 36 are novels (mostly, if not all, are YA). And as far as I can remember, this is the year to which I've written the most reviews! I've read some great writing this year, and despite the number, I felt like I haven't written enough and I intend to add some to this. (hopefully!)

Continuing on with my Six of Crows obsession from 2016, I decided to explore the original Grisha world to which the said duology also took place. SoC would always have a special place in my heart (it got me through one of my worst reading slumps ever, y'all!) but boy is the Grisha Trilogy on another level. Leigh Bardugo is a master of words and world-building, and it showed! I developed an unhealthy obsession with the Darkling (and the Alarkling ship, yeah yeah), for heaven's sake. This is definitely a world I would always go back to. What a memorable read!

Another series that captivated me during this exciting year was the A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) Saga. It started with the 4.70+ accumulated Goodreads rating for ACOMAF that piqued my interest so much I decided to finally ride the bandwagon. But whatever, I knew now that I chanced upon a gold mine! By the time I finished book 2, I was obsessed and even managed to break years of my hardback-fasting because I can't wait for the softbound copy to know what happened next. I spent the better part of the rest of the year too engrossed with its world - from the fan arts, to the fanfics, to everything. This also lead me to start reading the Throne of Glass series, also by S.J. Maas. Haven't finished all the published books under the series right now, but I gotta tell you: A+ story, characterization, world-building. S.J. Maas is a master of foreshadowing, as she proved time and time again for both series, that I think I developed a bit of a paranoia to the littlest details because of her type of storytelling. LOL. But anyway, I am really looking forward to so much from this author on 2018!

Another dark horse: Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians series! Honestly speaking, I never thought I would enjoy this series so much. I came across the first book a few years back and it took so long for me to warm up to it. It was the light-hearted, funny book series I never knew I needed. Plus the movie is coming out soon, so a bonus for Read it 1st.

Also this year, I participated in not one, but TWO, reading challenges (not counting the overall 2017 RC): the Asian Lit Bingo and the Reading Quest. This is the first year I actually got to finish one, and it was soooo rewarding. Particularly with the Asian Lit Bingo - which allowed me to explore new things than what I always dwell on. I explored other authors that I may not have been able to read if not for this, not because I don't like them but mainly because they haven't been given enough spotlight. I particularly liked Jessica Khoury's The Forbidden Wish - a retelling of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. Also, I discovered a new author with Filipino descent (!!!), albeit half: Roshani Chokshi. It was a surreal and unique experience reading The Star Maiden, but it was definitely wonderful. I never really mind the lack of Filipino cultural representation in the books that I read, maybe mainly because of force of habit given the amount of foreign material I am digesting on a regular basis, but being caught off-guard by something like this is a bit of a wake up call. Seeing my culture reflected towards me, for the first time in a very long while, was magical and I vow to continue searching for that feeling in the coming years - Roshani is a start.

Book Twitter also introduced me to several authors and books that formed part of my 2017 highlights: how Mackenzi Lee's The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue made me double over with Monty's fabulousness; the way I can't stop laughing over F.C. Yee's hilarious and enjoyable The Epic Crush of Genie Lo; how I was left awestruck with the ending of Marie Lu's Warcross (god, that book!); and how I discovered a new favorite in the form of Cindy Pon's Want.

Honestly, there's too much to mention. This year gave me too many good reads to count and explain, and another rounds of too-good-to-pass-up series to look forward to in the years to come. I don't think I'll ever have enough.

My year in book pages.
In terms of stats, apparently I've read a total of 14,217 pages (!!!) per Goodreads' count. What a number! I was finally able to surpass my 2012 count (a.k.a. the year I marathon-ed the GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire series). That's a significant jump, and I couldn't be any happier.

Top 10 of 2017

But of course, this won't ever be complete without me listing my top books. Instead of doing the usual top 5, I am doing a top 10 because I would lose my mind trying to narrow down 42 to 5. Here goes:
  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah. J. Maas
  2. Ruin and Rising by  Leigh Bardugo
  3. King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
  4. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  5. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  6. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  8. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
  9. Want by Cindy Pon
  10. Warcross by Marie Lu
So that's it. I am just really thankful of this productive and wonderful year of reading. If I am gonna be honest with myself, part of the reason why  my reading activity drastically increased so much was because too much is going on in my personal and professional life that I tend to escape to the fiction world more often than not. It helped, and as it does time and time again, reading saved me. I can't put it to words enough but I am really grateful that I get to have this piece of magic I can tap into whenever I need it.

Here's to more years of reading and feeling the magic! xoxo

Want to read about my reading adventures through the years? Click away! 
2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

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