This is the first year in which I have charted most of my reading the year prior—introducing several tweaks here and there along the way. I want to continue that trend.
At the start of 2017 I had planned to follow a single literary theme (i.e., read two classics by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, continue that trend by reading a novel on his last years in Hollywood, followed by a biographical novel on Zelda Fitzgerald). It didn’t turn out as planned because I abandoned Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night at the 50% mark after being awfully bored by it. Then I tackled West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan; between Zelda’s madness and Scott’s drunkenness, paired with the drunkenness described in Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned, which I read before the former two, proved too much to make this theme one to enjoy.
Francis Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald:
- The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (DNF @ 50%)
- West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan
I requested a galley of this book and wasn’t approved, but I bought it and read it, which complemented by my TV watching, revealed the second theme of the year, Vatican Politics:
- Conclave by Robert Harris
- TV miniseries: The Young Pope
Without really planning it another theme emerged, complemented by my TV viewing, that of Richard III and The War of the Roses:
- The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant Book 5) by Josephine Tey
- TV Show: The Hollow Crown (Seasons 1 and 2) [Feature-length adaptations of Shakespeare’s historical plays on The War of the Roses]
And yet another theme emerged after the summer, the one about Ancient Rome and the Caesars:
- The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
- TV Show: Rome (Seasons 1 and 2)
- The Twelve Caesars by Gayo Suetonio (Translated by Robert Graves)
I am planning to continue this last theme next year as I’ll be reading more historical fiction based in Rome during the Caesars and prominent figures from this period.