So, I drafted a pretty good list of books I want to read in 2017. Inspired by both the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, and the Book Riot Reading Challenge, I selected 36 books to expand my reading experience (out of my total 2017 goal of reading 80 books.)

According to Goodreads, which helpfully tracks my progress, I’ve read 20 books so far this year. Only one behind schedule!

Here are my recent accomplishments against my 2017 Challenge list, some short comments on each, and my plans for the next few weeks.

A book in translation: Smilla’s Sense of Snow, by Peter Høeg, Tiina Nunnally (Translator) (Powells | Amazon )

I had this book on my Kindle at the turn of the year, having picked it up late last year at some point. I have a deep love and fascination for books set in the northern realms of the world. Perhaps due to a childhood of reading books like Julie of the Wolves and The Golden Compass,  my affiliation with Team Winterfell, and my natural preference for snowstorms and skiing rather than beaches and heat waves, I’m always seeking the latest, greatest book — memoir, fiction, whatever — set in the far north.  Smilla’s Sense of Snow did not disappoint, bringing an incredibly evocative setting and making me feel the coldness that permeated the book. While I didn’t find the mystery quite as much to my taste as others in the genre, I’m glad to have finally read it. Do you have other recommendations for books set in the north?

A book that’s more than 600 pages: Dangerous Women (anthology), George R.R. Martin (Powells | Amazon )

This doorstopper of a book had been sitting on my shelf for about a year when I began reading it just before Christmas. Technically, I didn’t finish it until February, so I count it as a 2017 read. Any anthology will certainly have ups and downs, but a few standouts for me included: – “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher, – “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm, and  “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson just writes so very, very, well. Probably my top pick from the collection.

Three books by the same author (V.E. Schwab):  A Conjuring of Light (Schwab’s Amazon Author Page)

So, my three books by Schwab also include The Near Witch and Vicious; both of those are still on my Kindle awaiting their turn. But, I gobbled up A Conjuring of Light (and had the chance to meet Schwab at a signing!) I found it a worthy conclusion to the Darker Shade of Magic trilogy, and I was satisfied by the ending and the excellent character advancement that occurred during the book. Schwab has an incredible imagination and I love the details she uses to populate her worlds. I can’t wait to read the other books in her backlist.

A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author: The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon (Powells | Amazon)

This book was just okay for me. I read it quickly, and there were things that were done well. I enjoyed the peek into the experience of the main characters — an undocumented immigrant about to be deported, and a second-generation Korean boy striving to live up to both his own expectations and those of his family.  Yoon’s writing style was great; I loved the titles and interjections of other tangential characters throughout the book. Ultimately, though, it didn’t stick with me, and it won’t go down as one of my favorites.

Read a fantasy novel:  Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch Book 2), by Ann Leckie (Powells | Amazon )

I’m slightly cheating here, as I’m currently reading this book. I’d forgotten so much of the texture of Leckie’s world since I read the first book in the series in 2014. But once I caught back up, I’m recalling how brilliant these books are. I’m excited to finish book 2 and continue on to the third book in the series.

Read a nonfiction book about technology:  Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance (Powells | Amazon )

I reviewed this book (which I listened to via Audible) in my March Favorites roundup. But, I’ll say again here, it’s worth a read if you’re at all interested in space exploration, alternative sources of energy, or just innovation in the world today. Listening to Elon Musk’s story will make you want to stand up and find a way of searching for the stars in your own life.

Second Quarter Reading Plans

As I look to the second quarter of 2017, it’s a busy time: I’m gone right now at my intensive yoga teacher training. When I get back, we’ll be focusing on building our business and spending as much time outdoors as possible in the beautiful late spring and early summer months. I’ve got a few potential trips on the horizon for summer. But, I still have grand plans for my reading life. Here are a few thoughts on what I’ll be picking up soon:

Books On Hold At The Library:

I’ve rediscovered my deep love of the library now that I’m once again living in a convenient spot. I’ve been maxing out my hold list, and a few books that I hope to get my hands on soon include:

From the challenge: A book nominated for an award in 2017: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye, Edgar Nominee for Best Novel (Powells | Amazon )

From the challenge: Read a book about sports: Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer, by Lynne Cox (Powells | Amazon)

Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid. Everyone’s been talking about this one, so I have it on hold and can’t wait to dive in. (Amazon | Powells )

Books I Took To Canada:

From the challenge: Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative: The Mortifications, by Derek Palacio (Powells | Amazon )

From the challenge; I’m currently about half-way through:  Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location: English Creek, by Ivan Doig (Powells | Amazon )

The Game, by Laurie R. King. I recently dove back into the Mary Russell – Sherlock Holmes series, and am once again in love. I picked up a digital copy from my library and look forward to reading this during my trip! (Powells | Amazon )

Other Books I’m Excited About:

The Shadow Land — this book, by Elizabeth Kostova, the author of The Historian, has been on my Kindle Pre-Order list for months now. It releases April 11, and I can’t wait to dive in. (amazon | powells ).

Books From My Shelf:

I plan to knock out the following books currently on my shelves sometime in the next few months:

From the challenge: Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location: A Gentleman In Moscow, by Amor Towles (Powells | Amazon )

Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah. This was a Christmas gift and I’ve been waiting until the warmer months to dive in. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this biography, and look forward to picking it up soon! (Powells | Amazon )

If you’re interested in real-time updates and brief reviews, please join me on Goodreads. It’s a great platform to share recommendations and track your own reading history! Otherwise, I’ll pop in from time to time with a specific book review or a quarterly update on what’s been going on in my reading life. As always, I welcome recommendations and good bookish conversation!

Please note, any links to books are Affiliate Links that will point you to either Powells, one of my favorite Indies selling both used and new books, or Amazon. Should you wish to make a purchase, clicking these links helps to support my writing.