Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Reading Recap

Looking back (photo by my brother's wife)
I often make a list of all the books I read or listened to the unabridged version during 2017 (read paper or electronic copies: 34, listened to: 8). This year I decided to try to categorize them, which isn’t a perfect science.  There are some books (such as Theroux, Kingdom of the Sea and Bunting, Love of Country) that I debated whether they should be nonfiction of memoir.  And then there’s Engels, Woman on Verge of Paradise, that probably goes in the memoir column, too, but it’s just too funny not to be under humor.  While I wrote a number of reviews (17), I realize that I didn’t write one for my favorite book Herr’s Dispatches. I listened to the unabridged audio version of Herr’s memories as a Vietnam War correspondent twice.  I should also go back and write a review for Herr’s book along with Engels’ ”Paradise.” It’s pretty clear that within certain categories I enjoy books of certain subcategories (historical fiction, nature and travel).  It is also easy to see that certain books (like memories and biographies) are more likely to be reviewed by me.  Books less likely to be reviewed include those I listened to and poetry.  There were a few books that I have read before.  As a kid, I read Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe (and attempted Kidnapped). I had read Staael’s New Patterns in the Sky fourteen years ago, but reread it for April’s A-Z Challenge.  There were other books that I read significant portions of (such as Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians) but they didn’t make the list because I couldn’t say that I read them cover-to-cover.  Here’s my list:

Books read in 2017: 42  * indicates a review in Sagecoveredhills

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Robert Lewis Stevenson, Treasure Island
*Robert Harris, Pompeii
*Michael Morris & Dick Pirozzolo, Escape from Saigon
Robert Lewis Stevenson, Kidnapped
*Frederick Buechner, Son of Laughter
Paul Young, The Shack 
Alice Hoffman, The Dovekeepers
Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

*David I. Kertzer, The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret history of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
Dava Sobel, Longitude 
*S.  C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon
Julius D. W. Staal, The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars.
*Timothy B. Tyson, The Blood of Emmett Till 
*Rosalind K. Marshall, Columba’s Iona: A New History 
*David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America  
Hall and Padgett, editors, Calvin and Culture: Exploring a World View
David McCullough, The Wright Brothers  
Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History 
Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit 
Craig Barnes, Body & Soul: Reclaiming the Heidelberg Catechism
Valerie P and Michael P. Cohen, Tree Lines
Madeleine Bunting, Love of Country: A Journey through the Hebrides
*Paul Theroux, Kingdom by the Sea

Memoir and Biographies
*Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir
*Raymond Baker, Campfires Along the Appalachian Trail
*Jane Dawson, John Knox 
*Archibald Rutledge, God’s Children 
*John Lane, Paddle to the Sea: Eleven Days on the River of the Carolinas
*Archibald Rutledge, Peace in the Heart
Michael Herr, Dispatches

Alexis Orgera, how like foreign objects: poems
Nicola Slee, Praying like a Woman 
Rosie Miles, Cuts
*Danielle Lejeune, Landlocked: Etymology of Whale-fish and Grace
Anya Krugovoy Silver, Second Bloom
Carl Sandburg, Honey and Salt

Tom Bodett, The End of the Road
Robyn Alana Engel, Woman on the Verge of Paradise

Carl Hiaasen, Razor Girl


  1. It looks like you had a good reading year. Happy New Year!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Looks like a challenging list. Hope your 2018 is full of good adventures.

  3. Wow, you read a lot of books! Interesting that your year end post mimics mine, or vise versa ;) I was almost going to categorize the books I read, but was too lazy. Happy New Year!

  4. I've read several of them, a few others by authors here, some of these are actually sitting in my TBR pile, and a few are on my wish list!

    Here's to good reading in 2018!

  5. Some of these are worth more than one read. As a child I thought Robinson Crusoe was about a shipwreck, but as an adult I realized it was really about man's relationship with God and what it means to live a spiritual life. Happy New Year.

  6. That's an impressive list! Wishing you all the best in the new year!

  7. Got to recommend, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Would love to read your take on his conclusions.

  8. Thanks for the reading list. I'm always on the hunt for books others have read and enjoyed. Have you heard of the memoir, My Lovely Wife In The Psych Ward? It's a Silicon Valley Reads book choice this year, and it sounds excellent. Happy New Year and here's to making more memories to look back on.

  9. You have an impressive list of reading material. I read Doris Kearns Goodwin's Wait Till Next Year, too, and, of course, Robyn Alana Engel's Woman On The Verge of Paradise.

    Janie Junebug

  10. Great list, thanks for sharing. I’ve read a few and sone are on my TBR stack.

  11. I'm thrilled and flattered. Thank you kindly, Sage. (Janie's a good egg too.) You're so scholarly that I'm even more excited you enjoyed my book as much as you did. Not to nudge you, but yeah - a review would be great, especially because you're male. A fair number of men have read and enjoyed it, but most of my reviews are from women. I don't want it to appear a man bashing book.

    Here's to countless good reads in the new year and beyond.
    You're a gem.
    Have a great 2018!

  12. That's a well-rounded list. The Dovekeepers is a favorite of mine.

  13. You've read a lot of books!

    I'm sure I've read about that many, too, but there's no way I kept track of them. Most were review requests.

    Have a great 2018!

  14. That's a lot of good reading. I admire that you include poetry, too. (Something I struggle with.)

  15. Wonderful that you accomplished so much reading. Have a wonderful new year and best wishes.

  16. You always share the best reviews for your books, and often I've looked some up. Right now I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Fire and Fury! I know, many are, my library actually has 119 holds currently. Tomorrow I'm betting it's higher.

  17. I like the photograph ...

    That's a very good list.
    I wish you all the best for 2018.

    All the best Jan

  18. That's a respectable reading list, and across a range of topics/genres as well. Fantastic stuff. I need to up my reading game, that's for sure. Happy New Year to you!

  19. You read a nice variety :) hm, I don't think I have The Dovekeepers yet! I have quite a few of Hoffman's books though, read at least 3 so far. I love her writing. How was it?

  20. What an impressive list of reads, Sage! I am astounded at how well distributed your reading was across these categories. I totally understand how these might be able to be classified in many categories, but you did a wonderful job.

    I also didn't write reviews for my favorite books of 2017. I think I found it challenging to put into words how I felt about a book I loved so much. Does that resonate with you at all?

    Good luck with your reading in 2018!

  21. Love seeing reading recap posts! But I try not to look too carefully, at least until I've waded a little deeper into my own To Be Read pile...