Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

A Year in Books…2017

Somehow 2017 escaped from me without spending time here on the blog recounting my reads. A lot of my reading occurred while on the road (or more accurately in the air) – I was blazing through books until August – and well, everything has been different since then – including reading. I set a goal of 60 books for the Goodreads Reading Challenge and I just barely managed to reach the goal before the calendar switched to 2018. The stats that Goodreads provides are always fun to look at.

(After these screen grabs, some highlights from the year.)

Looking through the eclectic assortment of reads, there are some themes and some definite highlights.

  • Thoughtful police detectives are a good read- I continue making my way through the Inspector Gamanche series set in Quebec (books 3/4/5/6/7/8 this year). Additionally, I started into the Commissario Brunetti series set in Venice and my first visit with Bruno, Chief of Police in a small French town has me wanting more visits. These series are all library loan reads – I need to get my queue setup to keep moving through them in the new year.
  • finally started into the Anne of Green Gables series ahead of our road trip to Prince Edward Island – these reads will continue, for sure.
  • I continue to work through a couple of fun “thriller/history/elite agencies/fate of the world in the balance” series by Steve Berry (Cotton Malone) and James Rollins (Sigma Force)
  • Charles Martin books always seem to be read at just the right time for me – this year, I enjoyed 2 more from his collection: Long Way Gone and Thunder and Rain.
  • Becoming Bonnie was a fun debut novel from a colleague’s wife. This take of Bonnie before she became “Bonnie & Clyde” is a nice addition to the “fiction inspired by real women of the early 20th” genre – together with The Wife, The Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhorn and Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart.
  • I enjoyed several memoirs throughout the year.
  • The Secret Wife was a sweeping fiction read that came highly recommended by my best friend. I was immediately pulled into the stories from the last days of the Romanovs connected to a modern day women in transition.
  • While I haven’t read many short story collections to date, I enjoyed the Uncommon Type collection by Tom Hanks and want to read more collections in the new year.
  • During the Christmas season, I seek out fun and sweet Christmas stories. In 2017 I enjoyed several, including: A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg; Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and Dear Santa: Children’s Christmas Letters and Wishes, 1870-1920. A couple more Christmas stories were picked up via Kindle deals and filed away for next Christmas,
  • My under the tree fiction gifts were just right! The last week home in the Ville was filled with lots of reading time for all of us and my varied fiction stack was very enjoyable. I started with The Austen Escape – then onto Sourdough – and my last night in the Ville included staying up till 1:00 AM to finish Manhattan Beach. Once I got to the gate for my flight home, I started into The Simplicity of Cider and it was finished before bedtime back home in PA that evening.

For 2018, I’ve kept the same goal of 60 books to read. Along the way, I plan to be involved in a couple of book related blog connections to help ensure I’m sharing books here along the way.

What were your best reads from 2017?
What are your reading goals for 2018? 

Finally connecting up with Stephanie & Jana for the monthly Show Us Your Books link-up. Also joining in the Modern Mrs. Darcy QuickLit roundup


  1. How did you like The Austen Escape? I didn’t mind it – I haven’t read any of her other books yet though. You are in for a major treat with Book 9 of the Gamache series – I still think that one is one of my favourites. I am completely obsessed with the entire series. I am going to try out those others you mentioned too – I’d heard of the Venice one before but not the other series. I’m also hoping to try James Rollins sometime. Yay for Anne of Green Gables and a PEI visit!!! Here from the link up and happy to discover a bookish kindred spirit 😉

  2. I feel like I want to read Tom Hanks’s book but fiction books written by celebrities have been hit or miss for me and I’m nervous

  3. I love getting books for Christmas. Since I am Santa, I always get a bunch!

    Can you send me your email address? I reply to comments via email and keep missing yours because I don’t have it! My email is


  4. Great job on reaching your reading goal last year! I like that you read in a variety of genres; I try and do that too. I really want to check out Tom Hanks’ short story collection.


  5. the Inspector Gamanche series is on my list. i’ve read a couple of charles martin books and really liked them but haven’t read those two. Sourdough and The Simplicity of Cider are both on my shelf at home, hoping to get to them sometime this year!

  6. I need to add Jenny Colgan to my list since I want to add a few lighter books to my usual mix of murder and mayhem! I read the first book in the Inspector Gamache series and really enjoyed him, but my absolute hate for Nichol has prevented me from reading the next book. I should get over it but I’m not sure if I can. LOL! Here’s to more great books in 2018!

  7. I’ve seen others mention Jenny Colgan today – I’ll have to see if I can find her books. I read a mix of everything too — keeps everything fresh, I think.

  8. I enjoy reading Christmas books in December too, though I didn’t get many read last month. I enjoyed Little Beach Street Bakery so will have to add the Christmas book for next year!

  9. Congrats on your 2017 goodreads! My fave 2017 read was A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. In 2018, my goal is a book, min a week…and more importantly, to track on/use GoodReads!

  10. What a great list of books you read in 2017! A lot of the books you read are on my TBR list – Manhatten Beach, Sourdough, Hello, Sunshine….

  11. Loved seeing all your titles. I’m a Inspector Gamache addict too so I’ll have to look into the other series. The Secret Wife also sounds intriguing. So fun to get inspired by others’ book lists 🙂

  12. I was introduced to Charles Martin last month through the amazing When Crickets Cry and am now reading The Mountain Between Us! Such a talented author! You visited PEI?? That is a dream for me! I read 6 of the Anne books and would love to visit one day!

  13. Thanks for mentioning Becoming Bonnie. I love the Roaring 20’s!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 Amy Artisan

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑