January 2017 Book List

Image result for public domain book imageJust to reiterate my reading goals for this year, I’m hoping to read 52 books and complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge: Reading for Fun (MMD 2017 Challenge). That works out to a book a week, and is usually pretty on-target for me. This month, I managed to finish 6 books as of Jan. 27…I’m posting a little early because we are leaving on a trip and I wouldn’t want you to have to wait with BATED BREATH until the second week of February. See, I care about you fellow readers, I really do. Anyway, here’s what I read this month, some quick thoughts on each book, and what I’m planning to read/listen to on our upcoming trip.

1.) Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton-read on Kindle
I really loved this book and Glennon’s story. I’ve never read her blog or followed her on social media, and I honestly hadn’t even heard of her until the media storm around her in the fall. However, I read a brief review that this book is her memoir of addiction, depression, and mental illness and it piqued my curiosity. All of those topics are near and dear to my heart, as they are for way too many people. I was impressed with how real and raw her description of spiraling into a deep depression read. I’m pretty sensitive and censor my media consumption carefully, and there were definitely some triggers in this book, but overall, I could  handle it and enjoyed it.
2.) What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkamp-read on Kindle
Several bloggers that I follow rave about this book, and it’s a pretty quick read. I am very much not a morning person, but I really wish I were and this book had some good tips and ideas. Life changing? Not for me. Not even all that memorable. But I could see how it could provide some great strategies for some.
3.) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben-Audio book
I love, love, love this book and re-read it every year or so. I especially love Gretchen Ruben’s books on audio because she reads them herself. I am a devoted listener to her podcast, Happier, and I’ve incorporated SO many of her resolutions and strategies into my daily life over the years. It is extremely practical and actionable. I highly recommend this along with her other books, Happier at Home and Better Than Before.
4.) 11/22/63 by Stephen King-hardback from library
I’ve had this checked out for a few months and never got around to reading it. I kept hearing how good it is, but I’ve never read any Stephen King and I was really nervous about it because I’m a pretty sensitive soul. I had a hard time putting this book down, and I carried it everywhere with me even though it’s HUGE-almost 900 pages. Definitely a page-turner, it is a time-travel story that centers around the Kennedy assassination. If you read it for nothing else, read it for the glimpses into daily life of 1950’s and 1960’s America.
5.) First Women by Kate Brower-hardback from library
I picked this up on a whim during a quick trip to the library on Inauguration Day. It was really interesting, and I love reading about life in the White House. It was a little repetitive in parts, and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as Margaret Truman’s book First Ladies, but it was still worth reading and I like that Michelle Obama was included. It piqued my interest about our former first lady, and I found I really know very little about her.
6.) Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham-Kindle
If you are a Lauren Graham fan, this book is written exactly how she, or her characters I suppose, speak. This will either be endearing and awesome, or it will drive you crazy. It drove me crazy. It was still interesting to get the behind-the-scenes peaks at Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but I’m glad this book was pretty short and quick to read. (Sorry, Lauren! I still love watching you act!)
So what’s on my list for February?
We have a long road trip coming up and Charlie and I always look forward to a good audiobook or two while the littles binge-watch Disney Nature DVD’s. When the kids get tired of DVD’s, they love a good audiobook as well.
Here’s what we are planning on listening to:
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance for us
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle for the kids (and us, let’s be honest)
For my personal reading, I’m hoping to read:
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
Different by Sally Clarkson
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (book club pick for the month)
Let me know if you’re reading or have read any of these, and your thoughts!!
 Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy!! February Quick Lit Link Up
Image result for quotes about reading

The 2016 Book List

I’m just going to kick it all off and lay it all out there with the simple truth/confession: I love books. I love to read. Audio, Kindle, hardback, shampoo bottle in the shower….it doesn’t matter. If it has text, I will read it. I’m not saying this is a good trait, it just is.

love-of-books However, I’d noticed that reading was becoming less and less of a priority for me over the last several years, and I really missed it. In college, I worked at Barnes and Noble and simply devoured books. The world (and time) was my oyster. Wife-and motherhood changed all that. I started tracking my reading a few years ago to see how  many books I was actually finishing in a year. Nothing fancy, I just created a document in Evernote. The main reason I selected Evernote was because I like it and wanted to use it more and needed stuff to put in it. I also liked the idea of having my documents available everywhere I went via internet. So, Evernote it has been. Tracking seemed to have a positive effect on my reading life. The first year I tracked, 2013, I read 12 books. In 2014, 34 books. In 2015, 37 books. I was starting to notice myself having anxiety about what to read next, how to make sure I was reading quality stuff and not just fluff (but at least a little fluff, still), and realizing that I never got to a book I’d heard about and really wanted to read. So, in 2016 I added The Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge (12 suggestions for categories of books to read) and I also set the goal of reading 52 books, or a book a week if you’re a mathemagician like me. I ended up actually reading 57 books in 2016, and also kept an Evernote doc on books I abandoned and books I’d like to read. I’ve always added interesting books to my Amazon wish list, but this document gave  me the opportunity to add notes on where I heard about the book and WHY I wanted to read it, because more than once I had no idea why in the world something was on my Wish List. So. All that to say…here’s my 2016 book list. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these.

Goal 1: To complete the MMD 2016 Reading Challenge.
Goal 2: To complete 52 books, audio, print, or read aloud to the children.

MMD 2016 Reading Challenge:

1. A book published this year – First Comes  Love by Emily Giffin
2. A book you can finish in a day- Wishfull Drinking by Carrie Fisher
3. A book you’ve been meaning to read – The Girl on the Train
4. A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller – Me Before You by Jojo moyes
5. A book you should have read in school – Jane Eyre
6. A book chosen for you by your spouse, BFF, child, or sibling – BIG,  FAT, FAILURE!
7. A book published before you were born – Wizard of Oz
8. A book that was banned at some point- Gone with the Wind
9. A book you previously abandoned – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
10. A book you own but have never read – 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
11. A book that intimidates you-The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
12. A book you’ve already read at least once: On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins -1.18.16
2. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell-1.25.16
3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes -1.28.16
4. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand  (audio) 2.1.16
5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee-2.16.16
6. The Astronaut wives club by lily Koppel-2.24.16
7. Little house on the prairie-audio-2.26.16
8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte bronte-3.6.16
9. Life in Motion by Misty Copeland-3.25.16
10. Hands Free Life by Rachel Stafford-3.25.16
11. Still Life by Louise Penny-4.2.16
12. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson-4.12.16
13. Hank the cowdog-4.12.16 (read aloud with gus)
14. One Plus One by Jojo moyes 4.13.16-audio
15. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown-4.16.16
16. Let’s pretend this never happened – jenny lawson-4.19.16
17. A fatal grace by Louise penny-audio-4.21.16
18. Is everyone hanging out without me? By Mindy kaling-4.23.16
19. A Full Life by Jimmy Carter-Audio-4.25.16
20. the secret keeper by Kate morton-5.3.16
21. Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton-5.5.16
22. Let it go by Karen ehman-kindle-5.14.16
23. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle-kindle-5.16.16
24. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary – read aloud-5.24.16
25. The Gratitude Diary by Janice Kaplan-audio-5.26.16
26. Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr-5.31.16
27. Inside Out and Back Again-Thanha Lai-6.1.16
28. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen 6.14.16-kindle
29. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson-kindle-6.18.16
30. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum-audio-6.23.16
31. Love Does by Bob Goff-6.27.16-kindle
32. Rising Strong by Brene Brown 7.4.16 audio and text
33. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman-7.12.16-text
34. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton-7.24.16-kindle
35. The Secret of the Shamrock by Lisa Hendey-7.26.16-read aloud with Gus
36. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin-8.7.16-hardcover
37. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker-8.8.16-hardcover

38. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? By Maria Semple- 8.20.16-kindle
39.On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder-8.31.16-audio book with kids
40.7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker-8.31.16-Kindle
41.The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen-9.4.16-Kindle
42.Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson-9.7.16-Kindle
43.Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary-9.8.16-audio with the kids
44.The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh-9.14.16-libray book
45. Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary-9.19.16-audio with the kids
46. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary -audio with the kids-9.26.16
47. Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary -10.6.16-audio with the kids
48.the Year of living Danishly by Helen Russell-audio/kindle-10.19.16
49.The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy-10.24.16
50. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell-10.29.16
51.The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney-11.5.16
52. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr-11.18.16
53. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny-12.5.16
54. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty -kindle-12.14.16
55. The Rise of the Rocket Girls by Natalie Holt-audio-12.20.16
56. Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand-kindle-12.23.16
57.Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher-kindle-12.28.16