2017: A Year in Written, Spoken, Words

As I get off to an uncertain start with 2017, both personally — I’ve finished my Creighton internship and am now a full-fledged FCP (FertilityCare Practitioner), so now what? — and in terms of watching the unfolding events of our nation with a mixture of anxiety and revulsion on basically every level, I’m left thinking that what I need less of is noise. And what I need more of is words – the written word in all its forms. Part of the farce known as 2016 can be attributed to people getting “news” from sources that are anything but real. In this household, in the wake of all that noise, we made a decision to support print media and legitimate news sources. I need more words, thoughtful impassioned words from people who have vision and a compelling story to tell.

I need to surround myself with this, in the hopes of being able to share my own voice too. Yesterday I finished the first book of my 2017 list, and I shared about it on social media. A few people asked if there was a list I was working off of and since there is, and I put it together just recently, I figured I’d share it here for anyone who might be looking for reading suggestions in the new year.

It’s a mix of fiction and non-fiction, drawn from quite a few genres. It’s an incomplete list, as I’m sure books yet to be released will make it onto the list as we journey through the year. Imperfect as it is – and the books appear in no particular order – here’s the 2017 book list. I’m hoping to read about 2-3 books a month. Some will probably take longer, some may take much less time. In addition to these books, I have a daily devotional — 2017: A Book of Grace-Filled Days by Amy Andrews — a little daily gem with my morning coffee. It’s my dearest ambition in 2017 to greet the day with the news in one hand and Scripture in the other. To aid me I’ve got The New Yorker weekly to peruse (I have yet to read one all the way through from cover to cover before the next one arrives), and The New York Times every day (online). As for magazines, in addition to The New Yorker, US Catholic makes its way to our door. While I could never read every word of these publications or the books on my list, a goal to strive for will guarantee that I finish 2017 having read much more than I would have if I hadn’t set a goal at all. It’s all about the journey, not the destination, right?



  1. Between the World and Me — Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives — Gary Younge
  3. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis — JD Vance
  4. DoCat: What to Do?  — Social Doctrine of the Church, published by the Austrian Bishops’ Conference
  5. Upstream: Selected Essays — Mary Oliver
  6. The Art of Memoir — Mary Karr
  7. The Writing Life — Annie Dillard
  8. Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture — Bishop Robert Barron
  9. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing — Marie Kondo
  10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — Betty Smith
  11. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  12. Dear Life: Stories – Alice Munro
  13. Commonwealth — Ann Patchett
  14. The Piano Teacher — Janice YK Lee
  15. Gone Girl — Gillian Flynn (I know — I’m probably the only person in America who hasn’t read this yet.)
  16. The Underground Railroad: A Novel — Colson Whitehead
  17. Born to Run — Bruce Springsteen
  18. The Brothers Karamazov — Fyodor Dostoevsky


What are you reading this year? How do you choose books for your list?




5 thoughts on “2017: A Year in Written, Spoken, Words

  1. I look forward to hearing about these books. I’m reading “Hidden Figures”. A great book. I’ll let you have a turn with it. I’ going to look for my copy of “Choosing Civility”. I once gave copies to my children.

  2. Great list!
    Not quite as ambitious; I’m aiming for 24 (or about 2 a month).
    Am doing the Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenge again which gives direction for 12 books and flexibility for the rest.

  3. I love to see others’ book lists, especially the end-of-year favorites lists. I don’t have time to waste on clunkers. But if I know a book is awesome (even if it starts out slow), I’ll push through. I haven’t read Gone Girl either, so that makes two of us! 🙂

  4. I bought my Dad Bruce’s auto bio for Christmas, that was the first concert I ever went too!
    I am really looking forward to reading Silence especially after seeing the movie!

  5. We’ve got some crossover on our lists! I also have, on my tbr list, Hillbilly Elegy, some Alice Munro, Born to Run, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. You aren’t the only person in America who hasn’t read Gone Girl; I haven’t either. I know too many of the twists and turns, though, so probably won’t. Great list!

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