How I Fared with My Most Anticipated Reads of 2017

This time last year I highlighted 30 of the 2017 releases I was most excited to read. In July I followed that up with another 25 titles coming out in the latter half of the year that I was looking forward to. So, out of those 55 books, how many did I read, and were they worth it?

 

Read: 32 [Disappointments: 6]

Currently reading: 1 (John Bateson’s The Education of a Coroner)

Abandoned partway through: 5

Lost interest in reading: 6

Haven’t managed to find yet: 4 (Most keen to get hold of: Maggie O’Farrell’s I Am, I Am, I Am – it’s on my Christmas wish list, so fingers crossed!)

Languishing on my Kindle; I still have vague intentions to read: 7

 

That means I’ve managed to read 60% of the books I previewed for the year. Not a bad effort. The problem, of course, is that as a year goes on I inevitably find out about loads more books that had somehow escaped my attention earlier, or a book that I didn’t think I was interested in might start to gain momentum through rave reviews from other bloggers and Goodreads friends and I’ll change my mind about reading it.

A number of my most anticipated reads will show up on my Best of 2017 lists anon, while some – alas – will feature in Friday’s post on all the rest of the books I abandoned this year and the books that most disappointed me (11 out of 55 = a rather dismal 20%).

If there’s a lesson here, it’s to not trust the publisher blurbs but wait for some ordinary reader reviews to come through so I can get a better sense of whether a book is really for me.

 

How did you fare with your most anticipated reads for 2017?

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31 thoughts on “How I Fared with My Most Anticipated Reads of 2017

  1. Most of my anticipated books are by writers whose work I have already enjoyed so I don’t very often run into problems. However, this year I was disappointed by Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking and recently Laura Wilson’s The Other Woman. I wish they would both go back to police procedurals.

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    1. That’s a good general strategy: stick with authors you know and love. However, two of my biggest disappointments and a number of unfinished books from this year were by authors I’d read before…

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  2. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to the potential disappointment of anticipated reads. If the reviews on Goodreads are poor for the book of a favorite author, I will sometimes simply avoid it in order not to be disappointed; Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House is an example, Barbara Kingsolvers Lacuna and Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord. I’ll probably get to them one day but I’m not in a big rush. I imagine though, as a reviewer Rebecca, you don’t get that option.

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    1. True, if I’ve agreed to review a book for a publication or website, I generally have to go ahead with it even if it’s disappointing. (Though see Friday’s post for an exception where I had to retract a review offer.)

      The Secret Chord is the only Brooks novel I’ve read so far and I think was not a great place to start with her. I was reviewing it for a Christian magazine, though, so it was interesting to look at her incorporation of Bible stories. I’m keen to try more of her work.

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  3. I am a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver’s and I read and was very surprised by The Lacuna this year. The first half of the book is wonderful, magical even, and the second half becomes denser. However I still found it worthwhile and also learned so much about this time period which I did not know previously.

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  4. 60% is terrific!

    I had to look back at my posts this time last year to remember what I was anticipating, ha ha! I wrote a Top Ten Tuesday list of 2017 Anticipated Reads. I could only come up with 9 at the time. Out of those nine, I read three. Two were good (Lincoln in the Bardo (loved!) and Magpie Murders) and one wasn’t (Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson.) But that means I left SIX unattempted. Wow. Considering what a moody backlist reader I am, this shouldn’t really surprise me, though.

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      1. I was thinking about that too – why didn’t I read these books? Part of it was that I was doing a “read your own books” challenge for the first two months of last year, and then it was Reading Ireland Month, and then… you get the picture, ha!

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  5. Kelly, that’s great to hear about The Lacuna, I shall move it higher up my TBR list. If anyone can dispel fear about Rushdie’s The Golden House, please do!

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    1. I’m no Rushdie fan, I’m afraid — I’ve only read Midnight’s Children, and it was a terrible slog for me.

      I’ve read loads of Kingsolver books, on the other hand. The Lacuna wasn’t one of my favorites, but I did like it.

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  6. I always read the book reviews in Guardian Weekend. Since the bulk of these are hardback, I rarely read them straight away. The guides I pay more attention to in that respect appear at the end of the year, when they ask various figures for their books of the year. I pick my noted figure, then choose their books!

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    1. You benefit from being a patient reader 🙂 I like to think that I’ll be on the pulse, reading books right at their release or even before, but I so often fall behind on any early-reader goals. And then, yes, you can’t rely on others having vetted the books for you. It means I probably end up being disappointed by a book more often than you do.

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  7. You’re far better organised than I am! I let myself be guided far more by moods and chance, instead of anticipating certain releases. And even when I am eager for something (like I was with The Book of Dust), I end up waiting for it to come out in paperback or appear at the library or something.

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    1. You think I would have learned by now: of course the publisher blurbs are going to make books sound appealing. What they don’t give a sense of (and can’t, I guess) is what the writing is actually like. Maybe I should try to sample the books via NetGalley before I decide they’re worth anticipating!

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  8. My most anticipated reads lists are, like, 45 books long minimum every quarter (about 200 or so books a year) so…that was never going to happen. 😄 But I think about 50% of the books I read this year were frontlist titles, which isn’t bad. Though my disappointment rate for new releases is much higher than yours. I seem to fare better with backlist titles. Not sure why that is. I also read very little new release fiction. I had much more success with nonfiction this year.

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    1. I think my biggest disappointments of the year, and most of my DNFs, were fiction. Why would that be??

      Your anticipated list for the winter is so impressive! I’m going to link to that when I post my own for the first half of 2018.

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  9. I’m not organised enough in my own reading to look that far ahead! As the year ends, I’m revisiting my TBR early (something I usually turn to in January), but I do have some great Jan/Feb releases piling up that I’m looking forward to. Looking forward to your best of lists.

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    1. I’ve only had three 2018 books actually come through the door so far. Two I’ve read and will recommend later in the month. I have access to loads of 2018 e-books via NetGalley and Edelweiss but haven’t dipped a toe into them yet. Perhaps this weekend.

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  10. I’m not great at anticipating reads because I don’t read much new stuff! I was disappointed by the new Arnaldur Indriðason novel / series and have been excited about some NetGalley books and non-fic I’ve reviewed for Shiny that have turned out good, although not as far in advance as a year or even six months.

    I do look out for reviews from you and other bloggers as I know who I’m in tune with and what their comments on a book will mean for me.

    Oh, and The Lacuna is the one of BK’s I really don’t want to read as I really don’t like fictionalised history even by wonderful authors. I have read all her novels so far now, but do have Animal Vegetable on my TBR.

    Happy best-of list-making – can’t wait to read yours!

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    1. I’ve noticed you don’t read much new-release fiction, though you do highlight interesting new nonfiction for SNB. I’m glad you can take a select few recommendations from me and other bloggers 🙂 Ah, Dear Mrs Bird, that’s an upcoming novel that’s on the radar for both of us!

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  11. I tried for a couple of years to plan ahead books I wanted to read that year, but I did so badly with them that I decided there was no point in continuing. I think the biggest challenge is that as the year goes on there are more and more books to anticipate! So, 60% is not too shabby. 🙂

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