Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Books

Before I put the past year (and this blog) to bed, time to do one more year-in-reading round-up.

As usual, this is split into two lists, one for plays/screenplays and one for everything else. I count plays only if they are published and available for general consumption. Works that were rereads for me this year are marked with an asterisk. Works that I read for my book club are marked with a dagger.

  1.  † The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton
  2.  Lunch Poems, by Frank O'Hara
  3.  * The Fountain Overflows, by Rebecca West -- some thoughts in this post from 2010
  4.  Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation, by Judith Mackrell
  5.  † Autobiography of Red, by Anne Carson
  6.  Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot, illustrated by Edward Gorey -- my thoughts
  7.  † The Bell, by Iris Murdoch -- my thoughts
  8.  Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
  9.  * Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  10.  The Painted Gun, by Bradley Spinelli
  11.  † Chéri, by Colette
  12.  † The Last of Chéri, by Colette
  13.  The Dwindling Party, by Edward Gorey -- my thoughts
  14.  * Complete Short Fiction, by Oscar Wilde
  15.  The Suitors, by Cécile David-Weill -- my thoughts
  16.  † Selected Stories, by Lu Xun
  17.  * A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor -- my thoughts
  18.  Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor -- my thoughts
  19.  Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, by Jan Morris
  20.  * Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays, by David Ball
  21.  † How to be both, by Ali Smith
  22.  The Broken Road, by Patrick Leigh Fermor
  23.  * The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman -- in 2007 I wrote about what this book means to me
  24.  † Howards End, by E.M. Forster
  25.  * The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman
  26.  Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, by Artemis Cooper
  27.  † On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
  28.  * The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman
  29.  † * Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford
  30.  * The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford
  31.  * Emma, by Jane Austen -- here's something funny I wrote inspired by rereading Emma while on the bus
  32.  Record Collecting for Girls, by Courtney E. Smith -- my thoughts
  33.  The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
  34.  † Barry Lyndon, by William Makepeace Thackeray
  35.  * Act One, by Moss Hart -- when I read this in 2014, I wrote a little something about it for the SF Theater Pub blog
  36.  Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry's Greatest Generation, by Daisy Hay
  37.  † The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz
  38.  * The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  39.  * A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
  40.  * A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  41.  * Lyra's Oxford, by Philip Pullman
  42.  The Power of Style, by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins 
These books, by the numbers:
  • 26 British, 9 American, 3 French, 2 Canadian, 1 Irish, 1 Chinese
  • 22 books by 16 different men, 20 books by 17 different women
  • 26 new reads, 16 rereads
  • 20 adult fiction, 11 nonfiction, 7 kids' fiction, 2 adult poetry, 2 kids' poetry
  • This is a 25% increase over last year in volume of books read -- I'm proud that joining a book club has seemingly made me read more, and introduced me to some terrific books that I might not have read otherwise. (especially The Bell, On Beauty, and The Man Who Was Thursday.)
  1.  Honor Bright, by Lue Morgan Douthit -- my thoughts
  2.  Speech & Debate, by Stephen Karam -- my thoughts
  3.  Reckless, by Craig Lucas -- my thoughts
  4.  Small Tragedy, by Craig Lucas -- my thoughts
  5.  In the Red & Brown Water, by Tarell Alvin McCraney
  6.  The Brothers Size, by Tarell Alvin McCraney 
  7.  Marcus, or The Secret of Sweet, by Tarell Alvin McCraney -- my thoughts on McCraney's trilogy
  8.  * Macbeth, by William Shakespeare -- my thoughts
  9.  The Trip to Bountiful, by Horton Foote -- my thoughts
  10.  Vietgone, by Qui Nguyen
  11.  The Lion in Winter, by James Goldman -- my thoughts
  12.  Les combustibles, by Amélie Nothomb -- my thoughts
  13.  * Lady Windermere’s Fan, by Oscar Wilde
  14.  * Salomé, by Oscar Wilde
  15.  A Woman of No Importance, by Oscar Wilde
  16.  * An Ideal Husband, by Oscar Wilde 
  17.  A Florentine Tragedy, by Oscar Wilde
  18.  * The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde -- my thoughts on the Penguin edition of Wilde's plays
  19.  * Assemblywomen, by Aristophanes
  20.  * Cariboo Magi, by Lucia Frangione -- my thoughts
  21.  His Dark Materials, adapted by Nicholas Wright -- my thoughts
  22.  Kiss, by Guillermo Calderón
  23.  Ironbound, by Martyna Majok -- my thoughts
  24.  Rhinoceros, by Eugene Ionesco
  25.  The Leader, by Eugene Ionesco 
  26.  The Future is in Eggs, by Eugene Ionesco -- my thoughts on these 3 Ionesco plays
  27.  * Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw
  28.  * Candida, by George Bernard Shaw
  29.  The Man of Destiny, by George Bernard Shaw
  30.  You Never Can Tell, by George Bernard Shaw 
  31.  Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Emma Thompson (book also included her production diaries)
These plays and screenplays, by the numbers:
  • 11 American, 10 Irish, 3 British, 3 French-Romanian, 1 Belgian, 1 Greek, 1 Canadian, 1 Chilean
  • 26 plays by 13 different men, 5 plays by 5 different women
  • 22 new reads, 9 rereads
  • This is a 50% increase over last year in volume of plays read, and, while the male:female ratio is still pretty terrible, at least it's 5:1 instead of 19:1! 
    Previous Years in Reading lists: 2016, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

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