Everything I Read in 2017

January 4, 2018

Two weeks ago I completed my goal of reading 50 books in 2017.  I’ve been overwhelmed by how many of you have read my last article and decided to make a reading goal for this year. It’s really nice to make an impact, so thank you! Anyways, feminist queen Roxane Gay released her reading list today. I really enjoyed her format. So, instead of giving you the order of my reading, accompanied with a thumbs up or down, I will organize it based on what you really want to know. No frills.

Also, to be completely *open + honest* I make a small commission off of sales on my blog. If you buy directly through my links I will  benefit. Thank you in advance 🙂 Anything I disliked I did not link!!

Drawing by Maddie Mortell

Favorite Book i read this Year:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 

I haven’t felt this passionately about a book in years. Crazy Rich Asians is an indulgence. It’s masterfully written, created to become a movie. In fact, this year it will be made into one! The all-asian powerhouse cast has been dominating headlines since long before production. This is going to be a HUGE movie of the year. Be the girl (or guy) who read the book first!

I read all three books in the series, and proceeded to lend them to everyone I know. This series is a masterpiece. 

 

Second Favorite Book of the Year:

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover grew up in a survivalist family in the mountains of Utah. She never stepped foot in a classroom until her freshman year at BYU. Her family did not believe in modern medicine. Tara’s life story has made her popular at dinner parties, and it will certainly blow your mind. It doesn’t come out until next month, but when you see it– you must pick it up.

 

Third Favorite Book of the Year:

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

The way I describe this book to people: Imagine if you woke each day as a new person. This day is a chapter of Difficult Women. It’s a series of essays about vast and multi-faceted women– many of which completely unlikable. Roxane had 2 best sellers this year. Her memoir, Hunger, was widely acclaimed and essentially required reading for the feminist twitter community this year. Difficult Women, felt a bit overshadowed. 

 

Memoirs I Absolutely Loved:

Reset – Ellen Pao:  This is required reading for someone in venture capital or tech. However, it’s totally applicable to any women. I expected to learn a thing or two from this book. I did not expect to cry as much as I did. 

This is Just My Face – Gabourey Sidibe:  Truly an A+ celeb memoir. I had never seen Gabourey in anything and found this book at the library. Wow, her story is incredible. She is 

The Rules Do Not Apply –Ariel Levy:  A book that makes you want to write.

Hunger – Roxane Gay: 2017 required reading

 

Memoirs I Liked:

Why Not Me? –  Mindy Kaling: If you love Mindy, you will love this book. It’s better than her first. 

You Can’t Touch My Hair – Phoebe Robinson: 1/2 of 2 Dope Queens. If you love the podcast, you’ll really love this book. 

Just Kids – Patti Smith: I wasn’t the perfect audience, but it is masterfully written.

Not that Kinda Girl – Lena Dunham: This book was gifted to me via Random House, so I decided to give it a go. I went in hoping to have the answer to two questions. First, where do I stand on Lena Dunham? I knew I didn’t stan, but I wasn’t sure if the hate against her was justified. This was post “I wish I had an abortion”, but before “sadly this accusation is one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year.” Additionally, it’s widely known that there is a chapter in her book where Lena admits to molesting her sister. I wasn’t looking forward to this chapter, but upon reading it I realized— you people blew that WAY out of proportion! Her (must much younger) sister had stuck MARBLES up her vagina! In conclusion, Lena Dunham is a weirdo, I don’t know why we made her famous, but she is NOT a pedophile!! 

 

Romance Novels that I Loved:

The Lost Wife – Alyson Richman: WW2 Love Story, so so good. 

Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld: A (very) modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice. Well done!

How to Find Love in a Bookshop Veronica Henry: Best read by the fire or in a warm cafe. 

Paris For One – Jojo Moyes: I read this in under 24 hours

 

Trashy Romance Novels that I Liked:

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover: trash, delicious, trash

I didn’t come here to make friends – Courtney Robertson: If you love the bachelor, this is the book for you. All the tea is spilled. 

 

Romance Novels that I Hated:

Fuck Love – Tarryn Fisher

Us – David Nicholls

Without Borders – Amanda Heger: The only book I felt was a true, true waste of my time. This was a library find. The back of the book described this as a romance novel between a SEXY Brazilian doctor + his childhood crush. There is nothing sexy about it. They fight the whole time. This book was incredibly prude and boring.

 

Best Read on the Beach:

China Rich Girlfriend – Kevin Kwan: Sequal to Crazy Rich Asians

Rich People Problems – Kevin Kwan: Final installment of Crazy Rich Asians Series

The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty: Better than Big Little Lies!!

 

if you’ve ever worked in hospitality read this:

Heads in Beds – Jacob Tomsky

 

Books Everyone Has Read, That I Read + Loved:

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes: I SOBBED at this book. uncontrollably

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty: Better than the TV show, but honestly not worth reading if you’ve already watched.

I Don’t Know Why I Read These Books I Hate Sci-Fi:

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Gold Fame Citrus – Claire Vaye Watkins

 

Scary, Delicious, Trash Books (in scary order):

Pretty Girls – Karen Slaughter: If you’re looking for your heart to race, you must read this. An under 48 hour book.

Perfect Days – Raphael Montes: Extremely original. Unreal ending.

Mud Vein – Tarryn Fisher: A mix of a love story and a nightmare!

The Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll: Cosmo-scary, but I enjoyed it! Great by a pool.

 

Books that were supposed to be scary but weren’t:

Party Girls Die in Pearls – Plum Sykes: The least scary mystery ever. Super cheesy. I REALLY liked it. 

The Girls – Emma Cline This book received a lot of hype. I thought it was really good, but if you LOVE cult-shit, you’ll find it mild. 

The Secrets You Keep – Kate White ( 2nd worst book of the year)

 

Required Reading for a Gender Studies Class:

My Life on The Road – Gloria Steinem: A memoir that felt more educational than relaxing. That said, if you want to make a difference in the new-wave feminist movement, this is an important read.

We Should All be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Super quick, easy read. Great gift idea for a younger woman. 

Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit: An educational read as to why we REALLY need feminism. Written by the woman who coined the term “mansplain.” Essentially explains why mistreatment of women is an epidemic we are ignoring. Not an easy read, but important.

 

Easy Reads with Complex Female Protagonists:

The Mothers – Brit Bennett: Top 5 favorite books of the year

Young Jane Young – Gabrielle Zevin: An excellent work of political fiction that feels very real. A protagonist that is both challenging and inspiring. 

Brass – Xhenet Aliu: A mother-daughter story that will transport you to another place.

Woman Number 17 – Edan Lepuki: A book about two difficult women; art + relationships.

Today Will be Different – Maria Semple: If you have anxiety, read this book.

Books I am Better for Having Read, but Were Hard to Read:

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Enjoyable, thought not super easy, required reading. Pretty much educated me on intersectional feminism. My view of the world expanded, which is surely the sign of an amazing work of literature. 

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara: Holy shit, this book was so long. If you have ADHD like I do, download the audiobook to accompany you on your journey. It’s probably going to go down as a classic. 

Exit West – Mohsin Hamid: The story of two young people who fall in love in the midst of a civil war; which appears to be in Syria (though they never say.) This book was a little bit out of my league, but I recognize it’s greatness.

 

A lighthearted book that totally stole my heart:

The Reminders – Val Emmich: Any person, at any age, would enjoy this book. If you are a Beatles fan, order immediately. If you aren’t, you’ll still love it (i’m far from a stan.) This is just SO cute!!

 

Books that i liked, but not enough to recommend. if you see them at the library, go for it. if they are free on kindle, download. otherwise, i wouldn’t tell you to spend your $

The Heirs – Susan Rieger

Perennials – Mandy Bernman

Vinegar Girl – Anne Tyler


what were your favorite books of the year?

Tell me in the comments section 🙂

More about Mackenzie

Retired scene queen living in Astoria, New York with my boyfriend Ben. Accidentally started blogging in 2011, haven't stopped since. Lover of Nutella, hater of white jeans after labor day. Graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in Sociology. During the day I work for Petrossian Caviar, the world's largest caviar supplier and buyer. I have a wonderful life, and I'm excited to share it with you. Also, I have seen every episode of Law & Order: SVU.