2017 Reading Challenge Recap

In 2017…

I read 6,627 pages across 21 books. 

The shortest was We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which is 52 pages long.

The longest was The 8th Confession by James Patterson which comes in at 482 pages.

The average length of the books I read was 316 pages!

I was 9 books shy of my goal for 30 books but I read a lot of good, quality pieces from some amazing authors! I got a little frustrated with the PopSugar reading challenge and just decided to read books I thought would be interesting and it worked out really well for me!

You can read my thoughts on some of my favorites below and visit me on Goodreads for more that aren’t posted here!

A Book About An Interesting Woman: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

 So I’ve seen this book compared to Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train… this book is not that…at all. In fact, I had so much to say about this book that I needed to write a full review. There are spoilers, I warned you, I couldn’t avoid it. 

A Book of Letters: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is really one letter but it will do for this category. A quick read, this book was packed with such good commentary on modern day feminism, motherhood and gender roles. It really addressed all the pressure that women face to raise daughters in a certain way so they will become “acceptable” women. I love how Adichie challenges her friend, and in turn her readers, to defy gender roles, question society and strive toward being feminist that are truly working toward equality for women in all respects. Can’t wait to read it again.

A Book Written by Someone You Admire: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I have seen the Ted talk and of course everyone has heard her quoted in a Beyonce song but I loved actually reading the text and consuming this beautiful message in yet another way. She has definitely been one of my favorite people since I read Americanah.

A Book That’s Published in 2017: Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.

This is the first fiction work that I’ve read from Roxane and I absolutely loved it. You can see how her life experiences have shaped her writing and I just love the expanse of her imagination. She really takes her readers on a journey with each of these short stories. She’s better than Degrassi at really going there and I loved being along for the ride. I can’t get enough of Roxane Gay!

A Book With a Subtitle: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay.

I must admit that it was really difficult to read this book at times. Roxane is so raw and honest about her life experiences and confronts some difficult truths about herself and her body in the process. Although my own struggles with my body are different and stem from different roots, I really related and couldn’t put it down at times. The honesty of this book is just so raw and so necessary! So glad to have read it and so thankful it was written. Add it to the reasons I love Roxane!

A Book Set in Two Different Time Periods: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

A beautiful and intriguing novel through and through! Even for someone thoroughly exhausted by the slave narrative, this offered a fresh perspective I think we are quick to overlook. The structure is incredibly frustrating though! It felt like it took too long to all come together which may have be purposeful but served as a detriment in my opinion. Still a very good read!

A Book That’s Been on Your TBR List For Way Too Long: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.

I’ve been so busy that it took me forever to get through this but I’m so happy l did! I follow Roxane Gay in Twitter and absolutely love her. This book was everything! I think and feel so much of what Gay writes on a near daily basis and I love when reading is reflective of real life.

A Book By a Person of Color: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

Although I’m personally exhausted on slavery narratives, I enjoyed this book. Whitehead does a wonderful job portraying America as a slave nation and the different perspectives he provides make the book more interesting. The amount of research the author did on the the time period and the underground railroad is clear throughout. The idea of the underground railroad, as an actual railroad, is a very interesting concept. I think he missed an opportunity here to do more about the railroad itself. I also wish some of the secondary characters were more developed, but I get it, this was centered on one character and her journey. Overall good read. 

A Book With a Family-Member Term in the Title: The Mothers by Brit Bennett.

This was such a good book! Dealing with the grief and loss in different ways and situations and realizing that our mother figures can lead us in the right direction if we let them. I heard this one is getting turned into a movie too! Super excited for that. 

A Book That is a Story Within a Story: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

I loved this book so much, I wrote a review! Read what I thought here