When challenged to read books in 2017, I joined friends who had set individual targets based on their interest level and the challenges life had in front of them. Three friends proposed to read 15 books. Three really ambitious readers proposed reading 50 books, 60 books, and 75 books in succession with varying degrees of reported success. In fact, I had one friend that reported reading a few hundred pages per day to the tune of 379 books read.
In joining a friend in the aim to read 24 books, or two books per month, we both exceeded our goal by landing in the thirty-plus books range. On a rating scale of 1-star to 5-stars, Matt with Matt Lynn Digital rated the 35-books mostly as worthy reads.
Five (5) books landed with ratings of less than average, which is to say at 3.25-stars or less. Eleven (11) books landed at average with a rating of 3.5-stars while one (1) landed at slightly above average with 3.75-stars. These seventeen (17) books will be collected into this remembrance of 2017. Simply follow the links for a fuller review of any particular book.
Ranking as above average at 3.75 stars in 2017 included this one (1) book:
- Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.
Having written in a style reminiscent of Agatha Christie, I particularly liked the notion of there being two mysteries in a single book to unravel. One might remember that I spent an entire blog post in 2016 reviewing the Agatha Christie books read in 2016.
Ranking as average at 3.5 stars in 2017 included these eleven (11) books:
- The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
- Confessions by Kanae Minato
- Candide by Voltaire
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Howards End by E.M. Forster
- Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI by Robert K. Ressler
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
I stayed mostly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with these books, with Candide being the notable exception.
Ranking as just below average at 3.25 stars in 2017 included this one (1) book:
- Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Ranking as slightly below average at 3.0 stars in 2017 included these three (3) books:
My ranking of James Joyce came as the biggest disappointment here as I had hoped for something that would resonate more fully with me. Perhaps the larger issue here was my coming to the book in my forties rather than as a younger man.
Ranking lowest at 2.50 stars in 2017 included this book:
- At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
That final book lands in the pulp fiction genre; the book itself was recommended by Stephen King, whose writing has some quirks to it though has been entertaining to me. The bottom line for this book for me is to realize that not all influences to authors that entertain me are books that I would want to read.
The above listing of books reflects the bronze listing of books. A silver and gold listing will follow shortly.
Matt – Friday, December 29, 2017