There are time when I feel like Henry Bemis in the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last”.  The episode focuses on Henry, a bank teller played by Burgess Meredith, who is constantly prevented from doing the one thing he loves most: read.  One day, during his lunch break, he retreats to the bank’s vault to get some reading in, only to be knocked unconscious by a concussive blast.  He awakens and exits the vault to discover humanity has been wiped out but, in a fortuitous stroke, the public library is still standing.  Henry is delighted and, after sorting through countless books and compiling a huge stack, he prepares to get started – only to stumble and break his glasses, preventing him from doing the one thing he loves most of all.

Anyway, not to make too much of it, but there are times when I feel like Henry Bemis.  Despite my crazy production schedule for much of the year (I do some of my best reading between set-ups and before turning in for the night), I managed to set a pretty torrid reading pace this year.  I figured the show’s cancellation would allow me to get even  more reading in but the truth is I’ve been as busy these last couple of months than I was working on Dark Matter’s third season.  Still, it looks like I’ll surpass my record of 185 books read in 2014 as I just finished my 185th book of 2017, American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in the Vanishing Land, a terrific work of non-fiction about the serial arsonists who plagued Accomack County, Virginia back in the fall of 2012.  A great read.  Sure, on the surface it looks impress, but truth is a good 15% of those 185 titles were graphic novels or novellas.

But looking ahead to composing my list of Best Books of 2017 (which specifically covers books published in 2017, as opposed to my Best Reads of 2017 which covers a more expansive list of books I happened to read in the 2017 calendar year), I realized I really need to pull up my bootstraps if I want to to weigh in with an informed opinion.  By my count, of the 185 books I’ve read to date, a mere 67 were published in 2017, and 9 of them were graphic novels.  Pretty sad.

In order to expedite things ahead of my spring Best Books of 2017 blog entry (I give myself some leeway to catch up on those late December titles), I put together a list of 2017 titles I still need to get around to between now and said blog entry. The list so far, in no particular order:

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico

Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfegh
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
The Force by Don Winslow
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Redfire: A Red Peace by Spencer Ellsworth
Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter
The Cutaway by Christina Kovac
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
Redemption Road by John Hart
The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
The Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen
A Man of Shadows by Jeff Noon
Age of Assassins by RJ Barker
Words on a Bathroom Wall by Julia Watson
The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
Ferocity by Nicola Lagioia and
Dark Chapter by Winnie M Li
The Man in the Tree by Sage Walker
The Acolyte by Nick Cutter
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
The Unseen World – Liz Moore
She Rides Shotgun – Jordan Harper
Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfar
Quicksand, Malin Persson Giolito
The Widow of Wall Street, Randy Susan Meyers
Down City, Leah Carroll
Book of American Martyrs, Joyce Carol Oates
Sycamore, Bryn Chancellor
Startup, Doree Shafrir
The Destroyers, Christopher Bollen
Grief Cottage, Gail Godwin
Strange Contagion, Lee Daniel Kravetz
To Be A Machine, Mark O’Connell
The Unit, Ninni Holmquist
My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent
If The Creek Don’t Rise, Leah Weiss
A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Caca Dolce, Chelsea Martin
Reincarnation Blues, Michael Poore
Killers of the Flower Moon – David Grann
Bunk – Kevin Young
Improvement – Joan Silber
Whew!  Read any of the aforementioned?  Thoughts?  Are there any I should move to the top of the list?  Others I should move down?  Let’s hear it, fellow readers!

15 thoughts on “November 13, 2017: Time Enough at Last!

  1. I have many, many books, but 2017 wasn’t much a reading year for me. Although Extracted and Executed by RR Haywood are both excellent. I think they were both published in 2017.

  2. Oh, heaven! Enjoy the time to read, Joe. I love Christmas week for the same reason: there’s time to read. Reading during the daytime feels decadent. 😀

    PBmom, you’ve been in my prayers. Patrick and Jeff, too. Let us know how your visits went. *BIG hugs*

    Joe, I got my letter out today. Tracking inquiry says it will arrive at the Prodigy office Tuesday, 5 p.m. It’ll be hiding in a FedEx envelope.

  3. I think you should read a book series, it’s called “I am number four” and it’s about a group of 9 Aliens coming to the world but they have super human abilities and look like humans but they are all separated when they get earth and they have to find each other to defeat another species of aliens called the mogodorians it’s pretty cool, I know I did not give a explanation about it😂 but it’s pretty cool so check it out of your interested the author is Pitacus Lore

  4. I have read exactly none of them, so I have nothing to add. I finished up the last two Mistress of the Art of Death books, and the latest Peter S Beagle, In Calabria (the title, not where i read it), which was charming but I’m not sure it’s a Joe book. But now you’ve given me more books to check out!

  5. I haven’t had much time for reading this year beyond science related stuff.
    I did read’: To Be A Machine. (Transhumanism has become a growing interest to our programmers and biotech engineers in the NS101 community).
    Mark O’Connell is a journalist for Slate and I actually found the piece and his writing style interesting and entertaining.

    A couple friends read Redemption Road recently and whole heartedly recommended it to me. Its an emotional thriller, which isn’t usually
    my cuppa tea. Albeit, Hurt has received much praise, in previous works, for his tendencies to dive deep into the exploration of the characters in each story, so I might just give it a go when I next have enough downtime.

  6. Inspired by your book counts, I made a conscious decision to read more his year. I set a modest goal of 20. So far I’m at 19, with 3 in various states of progress so I think I’ll make it. 📚

  7. Love to check out your reads and see if any are for me, thanks for the list, what drew you to the books? maybe we covered this before, if so I have forgotten, thank you.

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