Current Reads, My Favorite Books of 2017, & a 2017 Wrap Up

Hi, everyone! So, this post is going to be a blend of what I’m currently reading, books that I read & loved in 2017, and as this will be my last post on the blog for the year (!!!), a sort of a wrap-up of 2017 as well. Apologies in advance for the SUPER-long post.

My favorite books of 2017…

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CRUEL BEAUTY / CRIMSON BOUND by Rosamund Hodge.

I am in love with Rosamund Hodge’s worlds. They’re just…beautiful. Fairy tale-reminiscent and so well-written, with wit, and humor, and clever characters, I almost literally devoured both of these books, and cannot wait to read her BRIGHT SMOKE, COLD FIRE duology. If you’re a fan of beautiful writing, myths, and fairy tales…I CANNOT recommend these books enough. At this point, I’d read anything Rosamund Hodge publishes.

WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones.

This book was just beautiful. Gorgeously-written, cleverly-plotted…I loved every moment (and I am equally as excited for the sequel, SHADOWSONG. I mean, have you seen that cover?!) A retelling of Labyrinth—which, admittedly, I have not seen—this book entranced me from page one. I literally read it one or two sittings.

BEREN AND LUTHIEN by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Beren and Luthien’s story was always my favorite part of The Silmarillion (…seriously, someone needs to adapt that to screen ASAP), so I always knew I’d love this one. Coupled with Alan Lee’s always-gorgeous illustrations…and yes, I loved every moment of this.

LORD OF SHADOWS by Cassandra Clare.

I’m a bit late to this one… I know! But falling back into Cassandra Clare’s writing/worlds is just so easy. The characters were amazing, the writing—as usual—flawless, and I absolutely adored the parts which were set in the Fae world. Seriously. I could read an ENTIRE book based on that, honestly. (Also? CLIFFHANGER. I was totally not expecting LORD OF SHADOWS to end how/when it did…and oh my gosh, QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS cannot come soon enough. And can I just add that all the titles in this series are so beautiful?!)

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THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi.

I’ve sort of raved about this book before, but I’m going to again…because it was just spectacular. If I had to whittle down my absolute favorite of 2017, it would probably be this one because of the spell-binding plot and just GLORIOUS writing. Admittedly, I still have not yet read A CROWN OF WISHES, but it’s high up on my to-be-read list for next year. Also…you just know I’m a sucker for myths & legends.

What I’m currently reading/what I plan on reading soon… 

WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER by Leigh Bardugo.

STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor.

THE SONG RISING by Samantha Shannon.

I’m SO excited for all these reads! Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors—DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is incredible; it literally took my breath away. Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season is such a uniquely well-written series…and I’m so excited to read the third in the series. (And have you heard about her new fantasy series!? It. Sounds. Amazing.) And WONDER WOMAN! Amazons! So far, I’m absolutely LOVING this book; I also have THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS to read, which looks equally as lovely.

And this is a bit different, but as photography is a hobby of mine:

Favorite photos I’ve taken this year…

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December supermoon! I had to take it quickly between passing clouds, but I’m so pleased with what I ended up with. (I’m incredibly grateful that the supermoon was when it was because the next day it was utterly POURING rain.) I love, love, love this shot of the moon!

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This was taken at Hobbiton! (Actually one of the BEST experience I’ve ever had… It was a nerd’s dream come true, I swear.) I shared another shot of this same butterfly back in April, so this time I chose the butterfly from another angle. Everything in the Hobbiton grounds was immaculately kept; the flowers, the hobbit-houses… I loved every moment of it.

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This was the year I’ve been dabbling with astrophotography (my nerdy little heart loves the stars/galaxy/universe), and I jump at the chance to take a snapshot of that beauty. I’m still so new at it…but I love these takes! (From my backyard!)

P.S. Did anyone see the Gemind meteor showers mid-December? I didn’t take any pictures…but saw at least nine shooting stars, and oh my gosh, I’ve never seen anything so magical before. (I literally stayed out there for hours watching.)

Aaaaand last photo…

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This was in NZ, early this year. I think I’ve shared this one before, but I’m super-proud of the way it came out, so here it is again. The roaring, crashing Dawson Falls in Mount Taranaki. If you ever get the chance to go there… DO. It was downright magical. Vibrant-green moss covered everything, and honestly, the forests looked like they’d come right out of a fairy-tale.

What I blogged about this year…

JanuaryA Writer’s DeskFairy-Tale Art & How It’s Inspired My Writing

April: Update! New Zealand & WIPsSome MIDNIGHT QUEEN Music & Persevering With Writing

June: The Importance of Female Characters in Sci-Fi/Fantasy | Why I Use Music to Plot + Five Things About My Current WIP |

July: Recent Book Recommendations, What I’ve Been Up to, & A Teaser From My WIP

August: Fairy-Tales: Reading Them, Writing Them, & Why I Love Them

September: It’s Spring! + Writing Burn-Out

October: Current Reads + What I’m Listening To | NaNoWriMo Prep

November: NaNoWriMo Begins! | NaNoWriMo: Week One (+ Beautiful Books Link-Up) | NaNoWriMo: Week Two | NaNoWriMo: Week Three (+ Five Ways To Stay Motivated)

December: Looking Back At NaNoWriMo…Hades & Persephone: The Queen of Life and Death (& Why I Love Her)2017 Writing Goals… How did I go? (+ What I Hope to Accomplish in 2018!) | Current Reads, My Favorite Books of 2017, & 2017 Wrap Up

Sooo…. That’s all for this year! And bring on 2018! 💪💪💪

Now it’s your turn! What has been your favorite read of 2017? Have you read any of my favorites (or my current reads/2018 to-be-read?) Here’s to an AWESOME 2018!

Merry Christmas/happy holidays/Happy New Year, everyone!!!


Currently reading: …See above!

Currently listening to: “Never Give Up on Your Dreams” by Two Steps From Hell (from Unleashed.)

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14 thoughts on “Current Reads, My Favorite Books of 2017, & a 2017 Wrap Up

  1. claire says:

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound, so I might have to try those books in the coming year! The only book I’ve read on your list was The Star-Touched Queen, and I have to agree, the writing was stunning. Your pictures are really pretty (especially the astrophotography, wow!) I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

    claire @ clairefy

    Like

  2. Hannah @ Word Weaver's says:

    I recently bought Cruel Beauty and it sounds amazing. I love everything about fairy tales, so I’m very excited about reading it (I just started reading The Bear and the Nightingale, which is based on Russian fairy tales and folklore as far as I know, and I love the magical feeling it has to it already) ✨
    And your photography is the most beautiful thing, especially your astrophotography 💕

    Like

  3. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    YOUR STAR PHOTOS ARE INCREDIBLE. HOW ARE YOU SO TALENTED. 😍😍 Also I really hope you like Strange the Dreamer! It’s so so gorgeously written it’s just ridiculous afjdksalfd I love Laini Taylor so much. And Wonder Woman was so fun and great! I’m also definitely listing LoS as one of my top reads of the year. As you know. 😭😂 Is there recovery?! I DON’T THINK THERE’S RECOVERY. I’m terrified for next year gahhh.

    Like

  4. Jared Brown says:

    I also have Wonder Woman: Warbringer on my TBR list. I picked it up late last night and have plans to read it after I finish The Way of Kings sometimes this week. Also, (confession time) I haven’t read any Cassandra Clare books at all. They’ve been on my list, but I’ve had no desire to start them. They always get put on the backburner because of the intimidation factor that comes with them. More than likely if I read one, I will want to read all. In that case, I will have no social life for the next few weeks and by the time I’ll get around to it, I’ll be behind on everything else in life. Good post! Have a happy 2018! Happy NEW YEAR!
    -Jared
    http://dabook.club

    Like

  5. karaterzis says:

    Thank you so much! And Happy New Year to you, too.

    I’ve been meaning to read THE WAY OF KINGS for so long now. I definitely intend to get to it soon. I hope you enjoy WW: WARBRINGER, too. So far, I love it. I’ve always been enamored by the concept of the Amazons! And yes… I do know what you mean by that. I love Cassandra Clare so much, but they’re also big, big books (especially for YA) and there are so many of them. It’s a big commitment, but COMPLETELY worth it, I assure you.

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  6. Bec (@booktineus) says:

    Strange the Dreamer was even better for me than DOSAB was! (it’s possible somehow!!) And I hope you love it as much as I did 😀

    Ans you’ve reminded me that I need to get to all those books you talked about in your favourites (well, except the Hodge books because I’ve already loved them… but maybe I should reread…)

    Like

  7. divabooknerd says:

    I absolutely love staking your Instagram account Kara, you’re photos are absolutely stunning and I particularly love the new astrophotography. It’s something I’ve been interested in and researching before purchasing a new camera. I loved Strange The Dreamer, you definitely won’t be disappointed, it was one of my favourite reads for the year as well. Hurry up and crack it open, I can’t wait to see what you think of it! ❤

    Like

    • karaterzis says:

      Aww, thank you, Kelly! ❤ If you ever want some advice on what lenses to buy, feel free to email me anytime! So far, STRANGE THE DREAMER is absolutely beautiful. Gorgeously written & so imaginative (which I've come to expect from Laini Taylor, honestly.)

      Like

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