Books read, 2017

I made my way through 45 books in 2017. As always, it’s never enough — but I was glad to have read most of these, with only a couple of clunkers. They’re listed below in the order in which I read them, as pulled from my monthly Reading Log posts on this blog.

  1. “Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters,” Anne K. Mellor
  2. “A Tramp Abroad,” Mark Twain
  3. “Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan,” John Bauldie, ed.
  4. “A Working Man’s Apocrypha,” William Luvaas
  5. “The Variable Man,” Philip K. Dick
  6. “The Invisible Man,” H.G. Wells
  7. “Behold the Man,” Michael Moorcock
  8. “The Female Man,” Joanna Russ
  9. “Funny in Farsi,” Firoozeh Dumas
  10. “Wolf in White Van,” John Darnielle
  11. “Reading Comics,” Douglas Wolk
  12. “Bloodhounds on Broadway and Other Stories,” Damon Runyon
  13. “Reporters: Memoirs of a Young Newspaperman,” Will Fowler
  14. “The World of Jimmy Breslin,” Jimmy Breslin
  15. “You Know Me Al,” Ring Lardner
  16. “The Island of Fu Manchu,” Sax Rohmer
  17. “Treasure Island,” Robert Louis Stevenson
  18. “Treasure Island!!!,” Sara Levine
  19. “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” H.G. Wells
  20. “On Chesil Beach,” Ian McEwan
  21. “The Slide,” Kyle Beachy
  22. “Galactic Pot-Healer,” Philip K. Dick
  23. “Jose Clemente Orozco: Prometheus,” Pomona College Museum of Art, eds.
  24. “Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything,” Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
  25. “Julius Caesar,” William Shakespeare
  26. “Antony and Cleopatra,” William Shakespeare
  27. “From Bill, With Love,” Bill McClellan
  28. “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” Michael Chabon
  29. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip,” Robert Landau
  30. “Slaughterhouse-Five,” Kurt Vonnegut
  31. “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer,” Philip K. Dick
  32. “Prometheus 2017: Four Artists From Mexico Revisit Orozco,” Rebecca McGrew and Terri Geis, eds.
  33. “How to Win a Pullet Surprise: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Our Language,” Jack Smith
  34. “The Puppet Masters,” Robert Heinlein
  35. “The Toynbee Convector,” Ray Bradbury
  36. “One Hundred and Two H-Bombs,” Thomas M. Disch
  37. “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” H.P. Lovecraft
  38. “Love Conquers All,” Robert Benchley
  39. “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance
  40. “It Can’t Happen Here,” Sinclair Lewis
  41. “The Woody Allen Companion,” Stephen Spignesi
  42. “True Stories of Claremont, CA,” Hal Durian
  43. “Readings,” Michael Dirda
  44. “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen
  45. “Happiness is Warm Color in the Shade: a Biography of Artist Milford Zornes,” Hal Baker

As usual I read more fiction than nonfiction, a couple of recent books, a few things for work and a lot of older books, both in when they were published or in when I acquired them. Any year in which you read two Shakespeare plays is going to be a pretty good year. How was your own year in reading?

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  • Dara Allen

    As usual, when I read reviews of books, I add several of the titles and authors to my “must-read” list! Thanks for sharing your comments, which help other readers to decide which books would be a good fit for them. “How To Win A Pullet Surprise” will surely appeal to a large number of people!

    • davidallen909

      From the Michael Dirda columns in “Readings,” I jotted down something like 20 titles that seemed interesting. It may go no further than that, but seeing what other people read is often inspiring!

    • Terri Shafer

      I like to get my recommendations from you, Dara! You always give me good ones 🙂

  • Richard_Pietrasz

    I have read 8 of David’s that I remember, one of them this year, The Island of Dr. Moreau. My year’s list includes 106, a high number of the few who chime in on David’s book log, but now number 2 behind Terri Shafer in the last several years (I found out she logs her books in at least one of the same places I do which is not this one, so I can compare numbers.) For those interested, scroll through the columns David lists in the category books, or solve the puzzle of whete else on the web I list them; although I did give away the answer in a previous year. As a first recently, and likely lifetime, nonfiction outnumbered fiction. I think I did well with variety and authors new to me.

    It is 4 years now that I have logged every month here and on the other site; my average over that time is just over 2 per week, better than I thought I would do. There are some more long term unread books I hope to complete this year, and so far January is doing well.

    • davidallen909

      It’s neat to have a way, or multiple ways, of looking back on your year and seeing trends or patterns in what you chose to read, isn’t it? I just now realized nearly 40 percent of my books would qualify as nonfiction, which surprises me.

      Several books, fiction and non, had been on my shelves a long time. I’m hoping to focus on that even more in 2018 and am off to a good start as well.

      • Terri Shafer

        I just looked and I’m only at 10% nonfiction for 2017! But am at 30% so far for 2018 😉

      • Richard_Pietrasz

        We both have a 100% NF month in 2017, if I remember correctly.

        • davidallen909

          My December was all non-fiction. If Twain’s travel book counted as NF, January was too, but it probably doesn’t.

    • Terri Shafer

      I have only read 5 of David’s, but have at least 3 on my upcoming lists.
      Now I have to try to solve the mystery of where you log your books, Richard!

      • Richard_Pietrasz

        That site is goodreads.com which I have mentioned before. The algorithm for how I found you there once I speculated you might be there is one I believed I revealed in a previous year. Look up obscure books someone you suspect has read. For me, try Warsaw A Bird’s Eye View as one of several with the only entry by Richp.

        • Terri Shafer

          I think I found you! Very clever 🙂