I've loved reading since I learned how, but it's been tough to make it a priority in recent years, between college, graduate school, work, and my own writing. But I've found that if I consider it part of my writing work--you can't write well unless you read, and you can't know the business of publishing unless you keep up with it--I put more effort toward it.
I set a conservative reading goal this year: 30 books from January 1 to December 31. I'm sitting at about 47 right now, and I'll likely make it to 50 before the year's out. That's still about half of where I'd like to be, but it's a start.
Around this time last year, I posted a list of my five favorite reads from 2016. I wanted to do the same this year, especially since I'd read so much more. This is that list.
I don't have very many rules for inclusion, but I do want to give some insight into how I built this particular list.
Books on this list don't have to have been published in 2017 (though many of the books I read this year were--following literary agents on Twitter definitely helps me keep up with new releases); I just have to have read them in 2017. I limit my list to one book per author, which came in handy this year, since I discovered a new favorite author and read a couple whole series this year. This list is for single books and not series, so, for series that I want to have represented, I pick one to represent the entire series.
I don't have a quota for what I read, but I do try to read across age groups and genres. I also make an effort to read underrepresented voices. This doesn't mean that I avoid books by white guys, but I try to make sure that they don't make up all of my reading list. This year, I came pretty close to gender parity. My specific goal for this year was to read more books by women of color, and I think I did that pretty well.
So, all that in mind, here's my list of favorite reads from 2017, in no particular order. And, as always, buy links are provided.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Last Colony by John Scalzi
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Want by Cindy Pon
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
I said, "Yes, exactly!" And then decided that I should, you know, maybe read some of her stuff.
As of right now, I've read eight and a half (I'm not quite through The Near Witch) of her works since October, and I've loved each one. But her Monsters of Verity duology were my favorites. This Savage Song is the first in that duology. The story follows Kate Harker and August Flynn, a human and a monster who are on opposite sides of conflict in the city of Verity. Kate's the daughter of a crime boss who uses his influence to protect anyone who can pay from the monsters that roam the city. August is a powerful monster who's been raised by the man trying to make the city safe for everyone. Schwab's prose is beautiful, and this pair of books checks so many of my favorite-thing boxes. This Savage Song is the only book that I read twice this year. I loved this series so much; I think I'm gonna get a t-shirt made that just says "Talk to me about Monsters of Verity."
And that's my 2017 list. It's more YA-heavy than last years, but I don't think that's a bad thing.
What were some of your favorite reads this year? Let me know in the comments.