We’re a few days in to 2018 now, so it’s well past time to tell you about my Big Obsessions of 2017. I’ve found it really hard to find new obsessions this year – because so much of what I’ve read has been a continuation of things that I’ve been reading previously. I think that’s partly because I discovered a lot of new authors last year and have continued to glom on them, but also because I’ve been trying to work my way through the to-read pile backlog rather than buying lots of new books.
But if 2017 was anything, it was the year of contemporary romance. After getting into Sarah Morgan in 2016, I tried a lot of other contemporary romance authors this year. Some of them weren’t my thing, but quite a few were. I’ve been on quite a few binges on new authors this year and I suspect it may continue. I finally read Jennifer Crusie‘s Bet Me, which I’d heard people raving about over and over in Romancelandia. I read nearly a dozen of Jill Shalvis‘s novels and discovered that I really quite like small town romances, eight of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s and got quite into sports romances even when they’re about American football and three Kristen Higgins books and thought about taking a trip to a winery. I’ve started requesting a few more contemporary romances from NetGalley to see if there are any other tropes that I like. So far I’ve worked out that I’m not a big fan of biker gangs and I really don’t like billionaires, but I’m hopeful that I’ll find some more that I do like at some point in 2018.
I’m still reading other genres though, especially crime and I’ve worked my way through a few series this year. I’ve added Nick Bryan‘s Hobson and Choi series to my autobuy list, because I really need more snarky teen and cynical older bloke detective novels in my life. I’m practically counting the days until the next Vinyl Detective novel from Andrew Cartmel, after reading the first two. I’ve tried out some more of Henery Press’s cozy mysteries and found a couple of series there to dig into: the Tj Jenson series by Kathi Daley, Susan M Boyer‘s Lowcountry series and Julie Mulhern‘s 70s-set Country Club Murders. Also in series set in the past, I read all three of the TE Kinsey Lady Hardcastle mysteries and the Christmas novella too and three more Royal Spyness books.
I have expanded my non-fiction reading this year – I’ve been concentrating on finding stories and voices from different perspectives than my own and I’ve really enjoyed it. Actually that’s one of my themes in general this year in fiction as well. It’s been a bit of a challenge at times, some times finding the books, but sometimes because I’ve got such a big selection of books to chose from that it means that I can ignore books on the shelf for ages in favour of things that are more familiar. But I’m going to keep challenging myself in 2018.
So there you have it. It remains to be seen whether my consistency – as witnessed by revisiting my 2016 obsessions – will continue now the latest batch of renovation work is done and the book pile unpacked, but I hope I do add something random and new to my reading in 2018 or I might worry that I’m getting boring in my old age!