Favorite books of 2017

I haven’t read as much as I would have liked this year and fell short of my Goodreads goal by… well, a lot. I’ve just had a ton of stuff going on, but I’ve still managed to read some great stuff.

Also, if you’d like to be my friend on Goodreads, feel free to send me a request!

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The was the last book Carrie Fisher wrote and it’s about Star Wars so it holds an extra special place in my heart. More than her role as Princess Leia I loved Carrie Fisher for her writing, and it’s definitely the thing I’ll miss the most. She was a huge inspiration to me; she was so honest about her life and mental health in all of her memoirs and this is no exception. I also enjoyed all of the old photos of her and the rest of the cast. If you’re a fan of her or Star Wars in general check it out.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

This is a story about a girl who falls in love with an marries the King of the Underworld. It’s a really odd and cool story, and if you’re into fantasy, fairy tales or mythology you might enjoy it. It’s the first part of a series and I haven’t read anything else, but I plan to.

A Season With the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts by J.W. Ocker

I’ve never been to Salem but I’ve always been fascinated by the history of the witch trials and the impact it’s had on the town in the ensuing centuries. Now it’s a kitschy thing, and I really want to go check it out.

Joyland by Stephen King

This is a weird little story, like most of Stephen King’s work. A college kid spends the summer working at an amusement park and in an effort to avoid an ex-girlfriend and a painful breakup, he decides to stay on for the fall to close up the park and accidentally solves an open murder case. As a general rule I don’t read things written by really established writers, but when it comes to Stephen King I just can’t help myself.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

This was a birthday gift from my best friend in Boston, and no joke, I didn’t put it down from the minute I got it until I had finished it. It combines some of my favorite things: folklore, architecture, history and creepy shit. If you like any of these things you’ll enjoy this book. I also really enjoy nonfiction writers who know how to tell a story rather than spewing facts, and this dude is great at it.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

A whole book about mansplaining. This book is entertaining and often infuriating, and I recommend it to anyone who thinks that mansplaining isn’t a thing.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

This book isn’t as entertaining as some of the other nonfiction on the list, but it’s equally interesting. It’s all about the women, often teenage girls, who painted radium on watches and airplane instruments in factories after the first world war. Radium was thought to be a healthy substance, and they all ended up ingesting it in various ways. When they developed cancers and their bones started rotting, it was a mystery. It’s really sad, but I enjoyed it.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

I mentioned this book and the next one briefly in my YouTube post; the author is a mortician with a YouTube channel, and she answers questions about death and dying. This book is about her time working in a crematory, before she went to mortuary school. It’s enlightening, amusing, sad and I actually learned a lot about the funeral industry. Like her channel, if you’re interested in confronting your own mortality this might be a good book to read.

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

Another by my favorite mortician; in this book, she travels the world participating in death rituals with various cultures. It’s wild to think about the fact that, in some places, it’s completely normal to have the body of the deceased in the house for months, and sometimes years, after death, while in the U.S. we want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. It’s another book that helped me get comfortable with the idea that I, and everyone I know and love, will die someday.

I read 25 or so other books this year, but none of them were terribly notable. I read a lot of YA fiction and nonfiction about odd topics (hello, death and ghosts), and though I enjoyed them, they’re not really worth mentioning. I like talking about books almost as much as I like talking about beauty products, so it’s something I’ll be incorporating more of in 2018.

What were some of your favorites this year? Did you read/enjoy any of the ones I listed? I’d love to hear what you think!

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5 Comments

    • Teresa
      Permalink

      Same. The only exception for me was 11/22/63. I got halfway through and quit. It just dragged too much. I liked the premise though.

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      Reply
  1. Elizabeth
    Permalink

    I don’t have any favorites for 2017 because I didn’t read any. But I love rereading my favorites from when I was in high school.
    -The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
    -Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith
    -Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
    These are my favorites. There was another one but I forgot the title and author of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Let’s talk about: Caitlin Doughty and death | Teresa's Big O(pinion)
    Permalink

    […] Caitlin Doughty is one of my favorite YouTubers. Her channel is called Ask a Mortician, which makes sense because she’s a licensed mortician and runs a funeral home in Los Angeles. She’s also an author, a public speaker, a death educator and advocates for radical things like natural burial and home wakes. Her books even made it into my 2017 favorites. […]

    Like

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