2017 Year in Review

January 6, 2018

As we enter into a new year, many are taking the time to reflect on what happened in 2017 and how they can make 2018 the best year yet. I already know 2018 will be the best year yet for many, many reasons. But, it’s important to understand where you’ve been in order to figure out the best way to get where you are going. 

*Unlike TTT posts, all links to books below will take you to reviews on my blog. This is more-or-less to show the shame in lack of reviewing I did this year… O_o


Thanks to Goodreads, it’s easy to get some book stats without much effort. Here are my favorite statistics:

  • 38,529 pages read
  • 2 books DNF’d
  • Shortest Book: White Robes: An Interesting Army by David Kudler (novella, 28 pages)
  • Longest Book: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (novel, 656 pages)
  • Average Book Length: 296 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.6 stars
  • Highest Rated 2017 Read on Goodreads: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • Most Read Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
  • Most Read Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Most Read Format: Hardcover
  • Top Way to Access Books: Public library system

Reflecting on my habits over the last few years, I find that my rating average is hovering in the same spot. I like this because it means that I am critical when selecting the books I am reading. It makes me feel consistent. It instills trust with those who recommend books to me, too!

My average book length went up just a bit. Enough to make me feel like I’m moving in the right direction. That said, I was originally shocked that I’m reading more YA than adult literature. It was a close line! But with the #AnneReadAlong2017 and my Great Newbery Challenge, I guess I’m not all that surprised.

This genre list is a bit shocking. No non-fiction really made a HUGE splash for me this year. Last year, memoirs were one of my most frequent genres. I should return to it next year. Sci-Fi is creeping up to overtake fantasy, however. That’s worth noting! Plus, I’m glad to see I’m reading historical fiction regularly again.

Finally: Three cheers for the public library system! Hip-hip: Horray! Hip-hip: Horray! Hip-hip: Horray!~


When you read 130 books, there are bound to be quite a few 5 (and in one case 6!) star books! You can see my Top Ten 2017 Reads here, but below are all remaining 5-star books which came in under the top 10:

  • George by Alex Gino
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  • Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexi (re-read)
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

I am a little shocked at how few of these I wrote reviews for, whether on GR or my blog! It’s obvious looking back that I spent more time reading and little time reviewing my favorite books. Part of this is a trend I’ve noticed lately where I would rather write a review for 3-4 star book than a 5-star book. It can be challenging to clearly articulate why you love something! I need to hold myself towards honoring what I love more.


No matter how carefully I review my recommendations, cultivate quality book groups, and carefully select my audiobook narrators, there are bound to be some duds each year. Below is a list of my least favorite reads of 2017.

I had quite a few more 2-star ratings this year compared to last year, but significantly fewer 1-star ratings. Why did I have so few DNFs? I don’t know whether I’m proud or disappointed in myself considering the number of 2-star reviews…

As mentioned above, I honestly think I have fewer 1-star reviews because the quality of recommendations for books is improving. The more time I spend with specific readers the easier it is for me to understand what I want to read. I guess you could say I’m starting to understand myself better, too.


We just passed the two year anniversary of Death by Tsundoku! YAY! Personally, I don’t care much for blog stats– I care more about the connections I am making with authors and other bloggers. That said, I am quite curious…

HOLY SMOKES. Yes, in comparing 2016 and 2017, I wrote 5 fewer blog posts than last year. but talk about consistency! What is really blowing me away is last year I had 4,867 views and 2,321 visitors. I grew my views by 2.5 times and almost doubled my visitors. THANK YOU! It means so much to me knowing that people want to visit and talk to me about what my slice of the universe has to say. Thank you.


I picked up writing more non-review posts this year. While I love writing reviews, I also love discussing bookish topics with you all! I have only achieved the infancy of what I hope to achieve with this blog long term. Specifically when it comes to non-review posts. Below you can find my favorites of 2017:



Wow. 2017 was a better year than I expected it was going to be! How did that happen? I give most of the credit to you all, my faithful readers. It’s because of you that I am inspired to push myself beyond what I have been. It’s because of you that I love coming to blog every day; even when I don’t manage to make time for it until midnight. (This was my Friday post, looks like it’s now my Saturday post?)

Writing this post really inspired me. I cannot wait to spend time reflecting on these small victories and developing some goals for 2018. Here’s to making 2018 the best year yet! 

What do you think?

  • What lessons did you learn from blogging and reading this year?
  • Do you ever avoid writing reviews for books? Which books? Why?
  • What are your favorite posts of mine from 2017, review or not?
  • What post are you most proud of from 2017? Share the link below!
  • What happened in 2017 which really blew you away upon reflection? What didn’t you realize you had accomplished?


  • ichabod2014ic January 6, 2018 at 6:06 am

    Wow! You have had a fantastic year, Jackie!
    I read and follow lots of blogs, but I don’t write many posts. :-/
    Happy Reading and Blogging!
    ~Icky. 🙂

  • sagecoveredhills2 January 6, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I find these recap posts interesting. Of your favorites, I’ve only read Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” which I have read several times.


    • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you so much, Sage! I love reflecting on the previous year. There is something so therapeutic about seeing where you’ve come from and learning how you can get to where you want to go. I am still reflecting on what I can do for 2018, but I hope to have that post written soon! Goal setting is super important for me.

      I’m glad that you also enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea. I imagine I’ll be re-reading this book for years to come. I know I didn’t get everything out of it I could have. So many powerful messages! What was your favorite read of 2017?

      Thank you again for stopping by and commenting! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea January 6, 2018 at 10:54 am

    You had a huge year, not only in books but in RL. I am not surprised to see that you did not review all of your 5 star reads, but I am happy to see the list shared here! I love the stats. How did you see how many posts you wrote last year. I don’t do my own stats, but I would like to look at that one 😉 I am curious. I hope you have a fantastic 2018 my friend!

  • Helen Murdoch January 6, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I really enjoy reading these end of the year posts and find other people’s blog stats fascinating. Is that weird? It sounds like you had a great reading year, I hope 2018 brings more of the same!

  • Annemieke January 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Seeing stats can be super great! We should switch review wise. I consistently posted 2 sometimes even 3 reviews a week. But I really can’t keep up with that haha. It was driving me bat crazy.

    • Jackie B January 8, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      Haha! I love that. I just can’t seem to prioritize writing reviews when I have an amazing book waiting for me to come read it next. It looks like we both need a bit of balance, eh?

      I’m aiming for one review post and one non-review post a week this year, I think (Goal posts expected on 1/16 for TTT)– since I read 8-11 books a month, I think I’ll be just fine there. XD

  • Laila@BigReadingLife January 6, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Great year, Jackie! I think sometimes it’s harder to write a review for a five-star book than one that rates less. When I feel like I’m stuck, I just have to remind myself to write what I feel, even if it borders on gushing. I have a tendency to gush, that’s who I am! 🙂

  • Krysta January 6, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I’ll cheer for the public library. It’s certainly saved me thousands of dollars over the years! Ebooks are great, too. I’m getting into them more. I love that they return themselves–no late fees!

  • LizScanlon January 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I always find bloggers reading/blog stats interesting… Some publish snippets from the spreadsheet they track their reading on and the graps are just like- hand me popcorn stuff! XD
    It’s great to see 2017 was a great reading/blogging year for you! Here’s to a super interesting 2018! 😉

  • Grab the Lapels January 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Wooo, I’m a statistic! I’m surprised you don’t review all the books you read because you always sound so busy. I assume if you’re not reading AND reviewing, you working or doing wedding planning or traveling. You make the most of every minute, I see!

    • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      All the cool kids are statistics. 😉 But seriously, it’s a badge of honor in my book!

      Haha. I try to make the most of every minute! We did a Meyers-Briggs test at work today and I learned I maxed out the scale for both Extraoversion and Judging– meaning I gain energy from interacting with others and I love being busy. Seems about right! XD ENFJ here, and proud.

      You have a valid point, though. I think I over do it sometimes. I’d love to write reviews for all the books I read, but it takes me quite a while to write them. I just don’t have the time; particularly when I want to do the book justice!

      • Grab the Lapels January 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm

        Lol! I just noticed my phone autocorrected to “a static.” I do most of my comments on my phone, and I’m pretty sure I seem dumber than I am. I’m okay with that…. Oh, about 10% of the time.

        • Jackie B January 13, 2018 at 9:43 am

          Pft, my phone is WAY dumber than I am. But part of that is I use the iPhone and in the iOS10 update they made the autocorrect “better” AKA removed 90% of my vocabularly from their autocorrect. And now it autocorrect my words into allllll sorts of dumb things. Silly, really.

          • Grab the Lapels January 14, 2018 at 10:14 pm

            Yes! Believe it or not, my phone–MY PHONE–hates the word fat.

            • Jackie B January 18, 2018 at 1:43 pm

              UGH. That does not help people think of fat as an acceptable descriptive word. Have you read Americanah? There is a moment in there where the main character comes to America and is confused at how “fat” is considered an insult instead of just a fact of life. So silly.

              • Grab the Lapels January 18, 2018 at 5:12 pm

                I haven’t read that one, but I think there’s a part in On Beauty when an African woman becomes self-conscious when she sees how thin American women are.

              • Jackie B January 23, 2018 at 8:11 pm

                I haven’t read any Zadie Smith yet! She’s high on the list of To Read authors. This observation makes me sad on so many levels: the African woman seems to feel like she should emulate American women which is obviously silly, and that she has the mental and societal pressure to feel self-conscious about her differences when it comes to body shape. *sigh* I obviously need to read this book.

  • Kristina January 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I am the same ! my reviews are always between 3/5 stars .. never bellow, It takes me ALOT of time to consider a book xD I dont just take 5mins, I read.. and read.. and read AGAIN the back of it making sure i’ll like..

    hah ! newest follower, look at that … ahahah I should definately get to Anne of Green gabbles someday, as it’s a classic from our country ..

    • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      I’m glad to see we have some parallels together! I don’t often rate books with 1 or 2 stars, but that’s because, like you, I take my time selecting the books I read! Often my lower starred books are ones I finished for book clubs. I feel like I need to finish book club books so I can more clearly articulate why I dislike the novel! XD

      You should DEFINITELY read Anne of Green Gables. It’s beautifully written.

  • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks January 8, 2018 at 1:49 am

    I can’t believe Eligible is your longest read 🙂 I wonder what was mine? I didn’t even check. Might have been… But then again, I also read Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, and his books are always so long 😀

    Also, you read an incredible number of books :0 and is this how many you’ve still NOT reviewed? xD I guess if I did that I’d also read more books, probably 😀

    YAAAYYY I’m a top commenter!! Haha and I’m 100% from my country xD that is somewhat hilarious, and also somewhat cute xD

    Congrats on doubling your stats 🙂 I hope you triple and quadruple them next year! I should look at my own. I know they have hilariously skyrocketed, but I never looked at numbers, only the charts 🙂

    • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      I have been avoiding tome-sized books, as you might recall. And I think I know your longest book in 2017! Wasn’t it 4 3 2 1? I recall your post about SUPER long books you loved reading and I was blown away by that. You, as always, are amazing.

      Yeah, I find that writing reviews takes a long time for me. It’s not something which comes naturally– I’m definitely an interpersonal learner. I learn and process data the best through discussion with others. Hence one of the reasons I love book clubs. But, writing what’s in my head? Super challenging. It takes me around 2 hours to write a single review. Mostly, I find time to read books in 15 minutes stints here and there, versus needing 2 hours to sit down and write a single review. I think I’ve reviewed… 1/3 of the books I read this year? This is an all-time low, however. I’ve never been this bad. O_o

      Of *course* you’re a top commenter! <3 <3 <3 I also had to certainly list the top 5 countries, instead of the top 3, if only to show you that Lithuania made a solid showing. 😉

      I am with you on not checking the numbers. I only do it once a year because I like to see it. I don't make many charts myself... I could. I should! But, alas. I don't put the time in. I am not consistent enough to remember such things. That said-- I do love your charts. They are amazing.

      • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks January 14, 2018 at 1:19 pm

        It takes me about 2 hours to write A POST, but the actual writing is maybe one hour at most 😀 it’s all the formatting that’s torturous, usually… and yep, charts are fun! Don’t know where I’d be without my Google sheets on the phone to keep track of what I read and received, cause otherwise I’d just totally get lost 😀 things were tough before I devised a system!

        • Jackie B January 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm

          Your system blows my mind. I’m just not as invested as I need to be in order to maintain such a system. I can barley maintain my blog schedule! (This week is an obvious miss; my Thursday post became a Saturday post… ha) I wonder how many books I’ve missed out on reviewing accidentally and are lost in the ether of my computer? I’m sure a handful. Oops! O_o

  • Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel January 8, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Claps to you!! You did an incredible job in 2017. I hope the next year has many more reviews (5 star ones too, please. :D) as well as more memoirs and non fic up your reading list

    • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Thank you so much, Resh Susan! I am with you on more 5 star reviews– but I don’t want to have TOO many of them or I might become numb to good literature! 😉

      I definitely want to read more memoirs and non-fiction. I have a short list of memoirs, but no non-fiction right now. Any suggestions on what I should pick up?

      • Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel January 12, 2018 at 10:40 pm

        I don’t read a lot of non fic. So no recommendations from me

        • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm

          Haha– that’s completely fair! It was worth a shot. Thanks for circling back anyway. 😀

  • theorangutanlibrarian January 11, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Wow you read loads! Well done! And such a cool genre breakdown. And really looking forward to checking out your top ten now 😀 I also can relate about not reviewing most books- honestly, I’m the same with that- I do some mini reviews to make up some of the slack, but there are *so many* books that just go unmentioned. And yeah there will always be a few books that aren’t enjoyable. Happy bloggiversary!! I’m excited to be one of your top commenters 😀 Wow that’s a lot of words and great stats- very well done!

    • Jackie B January 13, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Thank you! I should do more mini reviews, but I can’t seem to stop myself once I start writing about a book. It’s almost embarrassing. Oops!

      I think it’s important for us to read books which are enjoyable– it reminds us that there is variation in opinion and perception. I am always entertained when books my friends love are ones I dislike. That’s where my real love for blogging comes into play– it’s where we get to the real meat of discussion!

      • theorangutanlibrarian January 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

        You’re welcome! hehe that’s the exact opposite of embarrassing- I wish I didn’t run out of things to say sometimes! I’m impressed!!

        Definitely!! I really agree with you 🙂

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 12, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Still no luck with long comments 🙁 What a fantastic year for Death By Tsundoku! I cannot believe you DOUBLED your views & visitors! That is HUGE! Kudos to you my friend 🙂

    • Jackie B January 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Sorry all the comments are being butts. I did some tinkering last night; I hope that it solves the problem for you!!!

      I’m super proud of the stats, even though I don’t care that much. To me, this means that I finally found a community I resonate with. It’s lovely having that feeling.

      • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm

        Nothing can keep me away from your blog Jackie! I will never give up! It seems like I am starting to be able to post longer comments, so slowly but surely we will win this war lol

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 12, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    George & The Crystal Ribbon were 5 star reads for me as well, but I think you already knew that since I recommended them to you lol

    • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      I’ve added Binti to my TBR after seeing it was a 5 star read for you! I’ve had my eye on it, but now that I know you enjoyed it so much I need to read it!

    • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 12, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      I read my first Ernest Hemingway book this year, The Sun Also Rises, because I visited his home in Key West… I must admit I did NOT enjoy it very much… BUT maybe I should try one of his other books before I dismiss him forever.

      • Jackie B January 13, 2018 at 9:35 am

        Yes! You did recommend George and The Crystal Ribbon to me! Your recommendations have always been net positives in my reading life. I take them very seriously, 😉

        Binti shocked me, honestly. I didn’t expect to connect to it as much as I did. There’s something about the journey Binti goes through as a character in this novella which struck me. I closed the book and thought about it for long after the final page was over. I hope you find it resonates with you! Binti feels a bit different from your usual reads.

        Ernest Hemingway isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. I loved the simplicity of The Old Man and the Sea. I also really enjoyed reading A Farewell to Arms when I was in high school. Who knows if I’d still enjoy it now!? I think part of my enjoyment in both situations came from reading and discussing the book in a group. For me, it helps to unpack everything with others.

        • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom January 14, 2018 at 5:52 pm

          Awwww shucks! I feel the same when you recommend a book to me. You know, if you moved to Ohio (I know your family lives here) we could meet in PERSON and discuss books. Tempting right? I mean Wisconsin does have a kick ass NFL football team #GoPackGo BUT lets set our priorities straight here 🙂
          Binti is a novella?! I had no idea! I actually looked for it on my library’s database, but they do not have any copies… The paperback is only $7 so I may just add it on to my next book order 🙂

          I am definitely open to giving Hemingway another chance… I actually own a copy of A Farewell to Arms that I picked up during a thrift store excursion, so I will give that one a go at some point.

  • Lashaan (Bookidote) January 12, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Wow. That is an insane amount of books read, and so many good ones too! I really need to pick some of those up too (N.K. Jemisin’s series for example). Hope 2018 will be filled with even better books for you and look forward to discovering some with you too. 😉

    • Jackie B January 12, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Thank you so much, Lashaan! I did read a ton of books, but many of them are MG/YA reading levels. I’m working through reading all the Newbery Award winning books before the 100th Newbery is announced in 2022. That means quite a bit of younger literature which is much faster to read!

      I hope you make time for N.K. Jemisin’s literature soon. Have you read any of her books? I enjoy both of her major trilogies.

      Here’s to 2018 being amazing for us both!!! 😀

      • Lashaan (Bookidote) January 13, 2018 at 12:20 am

        Nop, I haven’t read anything by her, but ever since The Fifth Season came out, I was intrigued. Probably about time I try it out huh? 😀

        • Jackie B January 13, 2018 at 9:23 am

          For sure. The Interitance Trilogy is also a great set of books. I’m on the fence about which one I like better– they are both brilliant, but in very different ways.

  • Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads January 14, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    It looks like you had quite an impressive 2017! I’m super impressed with the amount of books you read this year. I seriously need to read some of those books you have on your favorites list – the only one I’ve read is AGOS. I desperately need to finish that series – no clue why I haven’t yet!
    I’m happy you had such a fantastic 2017 and I hope 2018 is even better for you!!

    • Jackie B January 20, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you, Kourtni! I feel like I had a really solid 2017 when it comes to reading and blogging. For year two, I couldn’t be prouder. 😀

      Oh man, you DEFINITELY need to finish the Shades of Magic series!! The second book is my absolute favorite. That’s uncommon right? The middle book in a trilogy? Weird. 😉

      I appreciate all your well wishes; I hope 2018 is amazing for you too!

      • Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads February 2, 2018 at 1:25 pm

        Haha, that IS really uncommon! I feel like the second book in a trilogy is usually the weakest. But so far, out of the two that I’ve read, I’ve definitely enjoyed A Gathering of Shadows more than ADSOM.

        Thank you!! 🙂

  • Jamie January 25, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Wow you had a crazy busy year! 130 books that’s amazing!! 2017 was a huge year for YA lit for me as well, it almost overtook adult lit which is kinda odd for me. I’ll definitely be adding some of your favorites to my TBR. 🙂

    • Jackie B January 28, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      It WAS a crazy busy year!! 2018 will be crazy busy as well, but hopefully with fewer books to allow the non-bookish things to take more of a front-and-center perspective.

      Huh, it’s interesting that we both found ourselves reading more YA than usual. I know I’ve started 2018 reading more YA than expected as well– but that’s because it’s easier to find happiness in those pages. I need happy fluffy books right about now. O_o

      What books did you add to your TBR from my favorites lists? I’ll have to keep an eye out for them on your blog!

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